How to Enable Theme and Plugin Editor in WordPress

By default WordPress allows users to edit the theme and plugin codes through the admin panel. But some time it disable and user don’t how to enable this setting. In this tutorial we go tell you, how you can Enable Theme Editor and Plugin Editor in WordPress.

Enable Theme and Plugin Editors in wp-config.php

You can enable the editors by changing your wp-config.php file. If you use a Managed WordPress installation, enabling the theme and plugin editor is currently not supported. Switch from Managed WordPress to Standard WordPress.

From here it’s a few steps to enable the editors again:

  1. Use SFTP and go to the location of your WordPress site.
  2. Open wp-config.php on your computer.
  3. Search for:
     define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);
  4. Change true to false:
     define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', false);
  5. Save the file and upload it back again.

The theme editor is now available in the Appearance tab:

Security Risks When Enabling the Editors

The first risk is that someone could have gained admin access to your site. When that happens and you have your editor enabled, they could use that to add any code they want. At that point they don’t need SFTP access or anything like that, WordPress already provides all the access they need to modify your site and misuse it.

Theme or Plugin Updates Might Break Changes Made Using the Editors

The second risk is that it makes it really easy to change something in a way that most likely will break when there is an update for that theme or plugin.

  • In most cases it’s the theme you want to adjust and there are multiple ways in doing that. If it’s only CSS then you should use a plugin (for example: Simple Custom CSS) that has a CSS editor which allows you to change the styling independently of the theme. So when the theme gets updated or you switch themes, your custom CSS is still loaded.
  • Another way is to build a Child theme. This is a more advanced way of overwriting parts of a theme which is not always that easy. But when you understand how it works, you can do great things with it.

Share this post:

Leave a Reply