Many of our articles and code recipes include instructions on how to “customize and add this code to a plugin for customizations”. In addition, our support team may provide you with customizations to add to your site via this method.

This tutorial explains two methods for adding custom code to adjust theme functionality: creating a custom plugin or using the Code Snippets plugin available for free in the WordPress repository.


But can’t I just edit my theme?

We strongly recommend using the customization plugin method for a variety of reasons. To be clear, the file functions.php within Memberlite or your child theme (if applicable) performs like a plugin in that it can execute php code. While adding code to your active theme’s functions.php file is often quicker than building a plugin, the downside is that as we update Memberlite, you’ll lose the custom functionality that was added. Code in a plugin will persist.

In addition, the use of a customizations plugin helps your developers and our support team know exactly WHERE the custom code is located as it relates to your Memberlite setup.


How to Copy and Paste Custom PHP Recipes

Before you begin using a custom recipe, please read through our documentation on how to safely copy and paste PHP recipes. This guide on the Paid Memberships Pro site on how to copy and paste custom PHP recipes is useful for beginner to intermediate level WordPress users who may not be very familiar with PHP and code.


Method 1: Create a Plugin for Memberlite Customizations

First, figure out how to FTP into your website.

  • Using a customizations plugin is one instance where knowing how to use FTP to “put” or “edit” files on your web server is very important.
  • If you don’t know how to use FTP, read this guide on the WordPress Support page about FTP clients. You can also refer to your web host’s FAQs and guides.
  • Your web host should have provided you with FTP or SFTP credentials. To properly log in to your web server you will need the:
    • FTP (or SFTP) address
    • Username
    • Password
    • (possibly) a port number and root directory

Then, create your customizations plugin.

  1. Create a folder called memberlite-customizations in the wp-content/plugins folder of your site.
  2. Create a file called memberlite-customizations.php in the folder you just created.
  3. Edit the memberlite-customizations.php file and paste this block of code into the file.
  4. Save the file.
  5. Upload the plugin via FTP to your website.

Finally, activate the plugin via the Plugins page of your WordPress admin.


How to Edit Your Customizations Plugin

  1. Connect to your web server via FTP.
  2. Navigate to the /wp-content/plugins/memberlite-customizations/ folder.
  3. Download the latest copy of the memberlite-customizations.php file.
  4. Open the file in your preferred editor.
  5. Add the code for the recipe or code shared via your support forum thread at the bottom of memberlite-customizations.php.
  6. Save the File and upload the folder and file to your website via FTP.

Method 2: Use the Code Snippets Plugin

Code Snippets by Shea Bunge is available for free download in the WordPress.org plugin repository. This plugin provides a simple way to run PHP code snippets (or what we call “recipes”) on your site. It removes the need to add custom snippets to your theme, child theme, or a separate plugin for customizations.

Download Code Snippets via WordPress.org

How to fix things if customizations break your site.

We understand that you may not be completely comfortable working “in the code”. If you are updating the customizations on your own and an update to the customizations plugin completely breaks your site, don’t fret.

These steps should repair your site:

  1. Connect to your website via FTP and navigate to the wp-content/plugins folder.
  2. Rename the folder memberlite-customizations to anything else (I generally rename it to memberlite-customizations-off.
  3. Now, visit your site. WordPress will automatically deactivate the plugin and, in doing do, your site should be restored.
  4. You can then repair any broken code in the file and rename the folder to the original memberlite-customizations.
  5. Upload the updated file and reactivate the plugin via the ‘Plugins’ dashboard page.

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