If I am customizing a WordPress site, should I do that via a theme or a plugin? By customization I mean:

  1. Add new custom post type
  2. Add new fields to the Users
  3. Add new widgets
  4. Add custom permalinks

I am leaning to creating new plugins for the above, and leave the theme for styling, however I wanted to confirm if this is the right approach.



1 Answer 1


Yes, the types of customizations you are enumerating are persistent to the site, regardless of theme changes. They are indeed commonly recommended to be contained in a plugin.

Personally I consider there is exception from the rule when theme is uniquely developed to the site and de-facto is site project. However I am tad in minority about it and most people insist on plugin approach even in that case.

  • I am going back and forth on that and hence asked the question. Yes it is for a custom site. However, I am just thinking it may be easier to seperate everything, even to more than one plugin, so that coding would be easier as it looks like a number of small projects.
    – Greeso
    Feb 4, 2014 at 21:55
  • @Greeso if you are writing modern PHP code with proper classes and namespaces you do not need plugin as a level of code organization. It just gets in the way because you need to depend things on multiple plugins being enabled and WP doesn't do that natively/well.
    – Rarst
    Feb 4, 2014 at 23:14

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.