The WordPress Manuals

Learn how to use WordPress – and take advantage of its advanced features.

Using a Text Editor for minor theme edits

Image of files in theme folder


Each WordPress theme is made up of a collection of templates which includes a stylesheet (style.css) and several PHP template files.

The stylesheet controls the formatting and layout of your blog theme in terms of colour, what the font looks like, where elements are position on the page and so on.

PHP (stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) is the scripting language used by WordPress to create the blog pages. When a visitor goes to your blog to read content, a request is sent to your server. This request is received by the PHP programming language which obtains the required information from your MySQL database and displays it in the visitor’s web browser.

While you don’t need know how to code PHP a basic understanding of both HTML and PHP means you can make minor edits to themes using a text editor such as EditPlus. EditPlus is a text editor, HTML editor and programmer’s editor for Windows. While you could edit in NotePad, EditPlus offers many powerful features that makes it better suited for editing PHP.

For Mac Users try using Smultron; free Text Edit software designed for Macs.

Always save a backup of your themes on your hard drive so that you have the original files in case it is necessary to restore the original themes.

Image of edting footerEditing the blog footer

A simple theme edit is to change the link in the blog footer from ‘Powered by WordPress MU’ to ‘Hosted by’ and the name of your domain. For example, all Edublogs themes are ‘Hosted by Edublogs’.

You use EditPlus3 as follows to edit the blog footer in all 100 themes contained in the Farms 100 big ones theme pack:

1. Download and install EditPlus3.
2. Launch EditPlus3.
3. Locate and open up the folder on your computer that contains the themes.
4. Now open up the footer.php in one of the theme folders. For example, 72 classes

Image of footer.php


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