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Your Ultimate Guide on How to Edit WordPress – HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript

WordPress being one of the most used and user-friendly platforms, had a CMS market share of nearly 61.8% in the previous year, which has continued to increase. This has resulted in the significant need to learn how to edit WordPress HTML and change other technicalities in a fully functioning WordPress website.

The need to Edit your WordPress website may arise due to different reasons, including any malicious malware, updating any plugin or WordPress version, or a simple website crash. In several cases, slight website customization may do the thing for you; however, in most cases, you either require editing WordPress HTML or the source code in WordPress.

This article brings you the answer to questions like how to edit the source code in a WordPress website and how to edit the HTML in WordPress. Before moving on, let’s get our facts straight about why editing WordPress HTML and source code is important.

WordPress Editing – Why

The major purpose of developing a website is to improve your online presence and interaction with your customers. Additionally, having a WordPress website makes everyday functionality, management, and performance easy. However, there may come situations in which you may be required to improve WordPress functionality by either editing WordPress HTML or editing WordPress source code.

Learning how to edit WordPress by editing HTML and other source code helps ensure proper functioning, adequate security, and continuous connectivity. Updating WordPress websites helps businesses achieve greater control and perform advanced customizations on websites.

From the slightest change in WordPress to edit HTML and upgrading themes to checking and maintaining the security and hosting services, WordPress editing includes all of it. To get into further details of why WordPress website maintenance is essential, click here.

Now, without any further delay, let’s get into how to edit the WordPress website. First, we would get into the details of how to edit HTML in WordPress websites.

Steps to Edit the Source code in WordPress Website

Updating the WordPress website significantly includes editing the source code of the website, other than just editing the HTML. A WordPress website comes together when different functionalities and programming languages are used to design, structure, and maintain it.

This also highlights the importance of sequential monitoring and management of WordPress to make sure it is updated, as it ultimately improves the performance and functionality of the website. Let’s move on and learn about how to edit the source code in a WordPress website.

The Source code for a WordPress website includes codes written in CSS, PHP, and JavaScript that cater to design functionalities, and performance, respectively. One cannot say which is less important in developing a WordPress website; however, we can tell you how to edit them to improve your WordPress website’s overall appearance.

Editing the source code in a WordPress website can be achieved through access the file in your website’s theme editor. However, there are two ways you can access the files. First, Using WordPress Theme Editor, or Second, Using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Editing WordPress Source Code Using the WordPress Theme Editor

The theme editor in your WordPress website works as the built-in website editor that lets you modify your theme’s files. The editor allows access to all the CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and all the other theme-related files.

Pro Tip: Before starting off with editing your theme and source code in WordPress, make sure to create a backup for your website to save you from any hassle.

While making edits to your theme, we suggest you create a child theme and make your desired changes there. It saves you from the overwriting issues in the theme that usually come after updating the WordPress website. Now let’s get started with how can we access the theme editor

How to Access Theme Editor

First things first, you can never edit your theme files until and unless you do not know where they are located. If you know how to access the theme editor, scroll down to the next heading, but if you don’t, then continue reading.

Accessing the theme editor requires access to your website’s backend. Once you move across the construction site of your website, click on the Appearance tab in your WordPress website’s sidebar, and you will see a dropdown menu showing the theme editor option in the last.

Clicking on the tab opens up the CSS file of your currently running theme. This is where you can make all the design edits in your WordPress website’s outlook. In case you are using multiple themes or a combination of parent-child themes, you can switch between them from the top right dropdown option that displays the name of your theme.

Pro Tip: Once you are done updating your WordPress website, press on the “Update file” button at the bottom to save your changes. However, if you are unable to save your changes, there might be some errors in the code you have added.

One of the prominent features of WordPress that makes it a better option for updating WordPress source code is that it does not allow you to save your changes if it contains errors. This feature makes editing WordPress safer than using FTP.

Note: In several cases, there comes a situation where you may not be able to access the theme editor. Here’s what you got to do if this happens;

  • Look for a theme-specific code editor in your files. Several themes in WordPress make different use of theme editors, which also affects the visibility and functionality.
  • Search for any security plugins and checks you might be using that have resulted in “hiding” the theme editor option for better security against intruders.

Editing WordPress JavaScript Files Using Theme Editor

JavaScript helps with better responsiveness and performance of a website. Change in size or color of a button when hovered over, opening a dropdown menu when clicking a button, is all because JavaScript is at the back.

In most cases, a WordPress theme is well incorporated with JavaScript files hosted in a different server and are included in the theme using a “call” function. These are called external JS files that are sometimes also added using third-party plugins in your site.

However, you can write and add your own JavaScript files to a theme and access them via the theme editor. Generally, using a JavaScript file, whether third-party or self-written, requires you to use the call function in the place where you want to use it, as many times as you want. The following call function is used to incorporate the JavaScript file in the code.

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”path-to-javascript-file.js”></script>

 

The JavaScript files are added in the source code file using the <script> tag.

Pro tip: Make sure to include the <script> tag between the <head> and </head> tags in you html file, otherwise the file results in error.

Editing WordPress Website Using JavaScript Manually

You may edit the source code of your WordPress website’s header and footer using the same call function in the respective files. These files are usually saved with a .php extension and are probably located in the Theme Files within the theme editor.

Several third-party tools or functionality often require website developers to add JS source code in WordPress website headers and/or footers. For this purpose, adding the code is exactly the same as mentioned above. Call the JS file using <script> between <head> tags.

Bonus: If you cannot find the opening <head> tag, simply go for Control + F and type “head” in the search bar.

In some cases, you may need to edit the JavaScript for individual pages or posts instead of the entire header or footer. To do so, you are required to, first, create or use a pre-developed Javascript file and add it to your WordPress theme files. Secondly, call the file from the page or post you wish to edit.

The call function to Incorporate JS in the post/page of WordPress is slightly different and requires a series of steps. So, to call the JavaScript file in your WordPress page/post through Custom Fields, you may follow these steps;

  1. Open your Block Editor, and click on the three vertically aligned dots on the top right corner. This will open a dropdown menu.
  2. From the Dropdown menu, click on the “options tab” at the end, which will open a widget with several options.
  3. Once the options widget opens, scroll down to “Advanced Panel” and check the “Custom Field” box.
  4. Now you would be seeing a space where you can add your custom fields beneath the post editor.
  5. Add your JS snippet in the value field, give a customized Name to your added JS code, and once you are done with your edits, click on the “Add Custom Field” to save.

Editing WordPress using Plugins

Updating or editing the source code of your WordPress website can sometimes be very strenuous. For this purpose, you may use plugins that automatically update the functionality of your headers and footers. Also, using plugins is more effective as it retains the updates you made even after every WordPress update.

WordPress offers various free and paid plugins to make edits in your header and footer files that provide better website support and overall performance.

Another effective method is to hire a WordPress maintenance service provider. The service providers not only assist you with easy edits and updates but also improve your site’s overall performance, security, etc.

Editing CSS source code in WordPress website

CSS is the abbreviation of Cascading Style Sheet and is basically responsible for all the styling and design of your WordPress website. Editing CSS files in your website refers to making changes in how the widgets, buttons, and text fields in your website appear.

Editing CSS files in your WordPress files is more or less similar to making updates in the JavaScript files. Although there are three basic methods to changes in a CSS file; however, their usability differs on the basis of what changes you make and how frequently you make them.

Edit WordPress CSS using Theme Editor

a commonly used and easy method to edit the CSS file in your WordPress website is to use the Theme Editor in the same way mentioned above. You can access all your CSS files on the rightmost side, where all your theme files reside.

Edit WordPress CSS using WordPress Customizer

Slightly above the Theme Editor option in your Appearance widget lies another option that says “customize.” WordPress allows you to modify your WordPress website using this WordPress Customizer as well.

After you click the “Customize” option, scroll down on your navigation panel and click on the “Additional CSS” tab in the left bottom corner. This would open a small CSS editor that supports slight or minor changes in your CSS code. Once you are done, click save and move forward with your website.

Edit WordPress CSS using Plugins

In case you plan to avoid making manual changes in your WordPress website’s CSS, downloading some useful plugins can do the thing for you. If you are one of those that have limited CSS knowledge or prioritize making regular updates, using plugins is the optimal option for you.

There is a range of CSS editing plugins that you can use to make your desired changes to your WordPress website. After you install the website, all you need to do is install the plugin to your WordPress website, enter your license key, and get going with editing.

Edit Source code in WordPress website using FTP

As talked about earlier, using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is another way to make edits to your WordPress website other than Theme Editor. This method actually works by using any FTP client such as WinSCP. The prime reason for using these third-party tools is to enable access to the WordPress website’ server and the files stored there.

Using FTP client to edit source code comes in handy when you are not able to access the Theme Editor is your WordPress website or doing a PSD to WordPress work. Using this editing approach helps update the files locally and then re-uploading these files to your website’s hosting environment.

It may sound dreading, but the whole process requires only four steps, let’s get started with what to do and how to do it.

Step 1: Log in to or Create Your FTP Account

In the very first step, to connect with your WordPress website’s server through an FTP client, you need to log in to your FTP account using your account credentials, including hostname, username, and password. You may find the credential information from your hosting account.

In case you can not locate your login information, you may create a new username and password in your website’s cPanel. To access your cPanel, click on “FTP Account” in the Files tab.

After clicking on this icon, select Add FTP Account to add a new username and password.

Creating new login credentials requires you to complete all the mentioned fields.

  • Make sure to add a unique but relevant username for your FTP account.
  • Enter your user-generated or automated password in the field. Make sure your password is strong.
  • Make sure to use public_html in your directory extension.
  • And, select unlimited for your Quota from the two given options.

Pro Tip: Make sure to copy/paste and save your FTP credentials in a secure place. Also, we recommend the use of an automatic password generator for strong and customized passwords.

Click “Create FTP Account,” and you are done with it. In case you cannot create an FTP account, reaching out to your hosting provider can be helpful.

Step 2: Download Your FTP Client

Once you are done logging into your FTP credentials or creating new, the next step is to download an FTP Client like WinSCP.

WinSCP is one of the top-rated and free FTP solutions for Windows that supports easy and rapid file transfer between your device and hosting server. There are many FTP clients to choose from, other than WinSCP, as per your business needs and website.

Step 3: Log into the Website Hosting Environment

Now, using your downloaded FTP client, in this case, WinSCP, login to your WordPress website’s hosting environment by entering your FTP hostname, username, and password from step 1.

To do so, press starts WinSCP, and you will see a dialog box in the front. Select your file protocol and add your FTP hostname, username, and password in the fields, respectively. Once you are done, click login, and you have finally made it to the hosting environment.

Pro Tip: If you are using FTPS protocol, select FTP and then go for one of the FTPS invocation methods.

Step 4: Edit Your Source Code Files

After logging in, you can access your WordPress source files and can make HTML, CSS, PHP, and JS edits as you see fit. Simply right-click on any file and select View/Edit.

When you’ve made your changes (again, be careful not to white screen your website), you can save the file. The WinSCP would then automatically re-upload all your edited files and replace them with new ones.

Congratulations, you are done with editing the source code files on your WordPress website.

Basics on How to Edit HTML in WordPress Websites

While updating the WordPress website may include minor to major changes, upgrading the outlook and structure of the website requires making edits in WordPress HTML. Although changing HTML is relatively easier than other technical changes in WordPress, as discussed below, it is still essential to learn how to access the HTML code in your WordPress website.

There are several ways to access the HTML file and edit WordPress HTML to upgrade the layout of the website. Let’s take a look at each in detail.

Edit HTML through WordPress Classic Editor

One of the easiest and most accessible ways of editing HTML in WordPress is accessing the Classic Editor in your WordPress file and clicking a button. Opening your WordPress page on the right corner, you see two tabs saying visual tab and text tab. To edit HTML in WordPress, you would just have to move from visual editor to text editor.

After switching the tab, what you’ll see is the detailed WordPress HTML file for your page, where you can make your desired changes to your WordPress page. Plus, you can always switch to a visual editor to view the WordPress HTML edits you have made.

Pro Tip: Make sure to click the save button after you are done editing the WordPress HTML file on your desired page or post.

How to Edit HTML in WordPress using Block Editor

Editing HTML in WordPress using Block Editor is slightly different than the classic editor; it requires a few more steps to switch from visual editor to text editor. In Block Editor of WordPress, editing HTML firstly requires you to click on three vertical dots in the top-right corner of your editor.

This results in a dropdown menu, where you select the option “Code editor.” Once you click on this tab, the site will open the WordPress HTML editor. Now, to switch from the visual editor to the text editor of a given block, click on the three vertical dots in the block menu bar.

From the dropdown list, choose “Edit as HTML” to make relevant changes to your specified block.

Another way you can edit HTMLin your WordPress website is to use the Custom HTML Block.

The Custom HTML block allows the editor to directly add your choice of HTML code in the specified block. With the “Preview” button on the right, the user can also view the WordPress HTML that is edited.

Pro Tip: Remember to save your work once you are done editing HTML in the WordPress website.

A very common query that people often come across involves editing HTML in the WordPress homepage. Let’s learn how you can do it

Editing HTML for your WordPress website’s Homepage

Editing HTML code on your website’s homepage comes in handy in two ways. If your WordPress website is built on a theme in which the homepage acts as an individual page, the process of editing its HTML is the same as the above two methods.

Just select the homepage from your website’s dashboard and get down to edit HTML in your WordPress website.

Secondly, you can also click on the “Edit page” tab on the top menu block of your homepage to access the Classic or Block Editor.

Bonus: If none of these WordPress HTML editing options work for you, with regards to your homepage. You may use a page-builder or a theme with a built-in homepage editing option for your WordPress website.

How to Edit HTML in a WordPress website Widgets

Theirs is definitely much more when it comes to WordPress editing using HTML. Other than pages and posts, editing HTML in WordPress website’s widgets is also a frequently asked “how to edit HTML in WordPress” question.

Several themes in WordPress websites use widgets, including sidebars, headers, and footers to customize and edit WordPress. Editing HTML in headers, footers, and sidebars in WordPress websites is supported by the Custom HTML widget.

To access this widget, simply navigate to the “Appearance” tab on your Website’s sidebar and select the widget you wish to edit HTML in. Add the Custom HTML widget there and start editing HTML code in your WordPress widget.

On the Whole

There are a number of ways you can update or edit your WordPress websites’ HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript. However, which one you choose is completely dependent on your website’s needs, how regularly you make updates, why you need to update, and so on.

If you wish to edit the source code on your WordPress website, using a Theme editor is one option that gives you access to all source files. The other more technical way is to access the files in your WordPress website’s hosting server through an FTP client and make changes to them directly.

Whereas, editing HTML on your WordPress website can be either done via the classic editor or the new block editor. Whether you wish to edit WordPress HTML in the widget, homepage, or any individual post, all you need is to open your editor.

Whichever method you choose, they come with a series of steps that you must look into to avoid any error and hassle. For this purpose, a safer and more convenient manner is to hire a WordPress maintenance team or a WordPress service provider.

They are pro at their work, know what they are doing, and always come with a suitable package to meet your business needs. We at WP Pals are a highly skilled, experienced, and professional team of WordPress developers ready to serve you the right set of services with the most suitable package.

Comment below to let us know how useful this article was for you. If you know more about editing WordPress, we would surely like to hear you.