Customising output of plugins


Is there a correct way to customise the output of the plugins? For example, the "Blog Directory" plugin outputs the blogs in table format. If I wanted to change this, how would I do it without editing the core files?

I'm happy to get my hands dirty code-wise, I'd just like to know the best and safest way to do it as I may need to do it with a few plugins.

Thanks for any help!

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Xavier,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    The rule of a thumb when it comes to customizing plugin's output is to use CSS where possible, then go for custom page templates if necessary and then check plugin's code for various filters/hooks that may have been made available to your by the plugin developer. Often it's necessary to mix those ways in order to achieve the goal.

    The way to go though is strictly related to the plugin you wish to customize the output of.

    In case of "Blogs Directory" plugin output is "hard coded" into the plugin so the only way to change it significantly would be to edit "blogs-directory.php" core file of the plugin and I wouldn't recommend it. I think however that a lot could be achieved here with some custom CSS in terms of directory "look and feel".

    If you described (some simple sketch/mockup would be extremely helpful) what would you like to achieve, I'd be happy to to check the plugin output assist you with this.

    Best regards,

  • Xavier

    Thanks for your reply Adam.

    This is slightly disappointing. There's only so far css will take me if the data is in tables. For example, in this instance I wanted to list out the blogs in a grid format using the Bootstrap grid. I've just noticed there's a site categories plugin though that has way more features and flexibility so I will use that instead.

    Also, I just wanted to point out for anyone that may be using the Blog Directory plugin that wants to change the page slug of the directory page (not just the title), the changelog has a note about being able to change the slug by setting a constant in the wp-config file, which is handy :slight_smile: That should maybe be shown on the plugin project page.

    Version 1.1.9: Change blogs directory slug by defining BLOGS_DIRECTORY_SLUG in wp-config.php


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