PHPMatters Help You Better Hosting Your PHP-based Sites
How to Replace the Default WordPress Theme and Plugin Editor

How to Replace the Default WordPress Theme and Plugin Editor

The editors for WordPress theme and plugin are used to edit the active theme and plugin by modifying lines of coding stuff. That makes it possible for you to have a quick look at a certain theme or plugin to check if there is a need to make some changes. However, since the default editor is so plain that can no longer satisfy your needs, WordPress allows you to replace the default one to a customizable one.

In this way, certain rows, syntax and line numbers are highlighted and that makes it much easier to recognize the right parameters from the well-organized lines. Follow this guide with the method of replacing the default theme and plugin editor in a few steps. We are going to do so by means of a WordPress editor plugin.

Make Preparations for the Editor Replacement

In case that something goes wrong when modifying the theme and plugin editor, we suggest you to backup your website before everything. Granted that the editor cannot work normally due to the incorrect replacement, the backup makes allowance for unexpected needs. Having all things ready, you should set about installing the plugin on your website.

WP Editor Plugin

The selected plugin is WP Editor and that is used for an alternative of the default theme and plugin editor in WordPress. Besides, it can also replace the page and post editor. Once taking this plugin into effect, the theme and plugin editor would come with line numbers, line wrapping, active line highlighting, and some other features.

Log into your WP admin and search for WP Editor plugin to get a result as below. Click “Install Now” before activation and enable this plugin on your website. A new item “WP Editor” on your sidebar appears if you have successfully installed this plugin.

Install WP Editor Plugin

Customize Theme Editor & Plugin Editor

Click “WP Editor” and go to WP Editor Settings page. This is where to make a change to theme editor, plugin editor and post editor. By the way, the Overview tab shows you detailed information about WP Editor plugin while Main Settings tab enables some basic settings for the editor.

Go to Theme Editor tab where includes various options for theme editor customization. This is where to customize theme editor with multiple advanced options.

Theme Editor Settings

First of all, select a proper theme for that theme editor from the drop-down list and that can be anything as you need. An array of extensions is available for the theme editor browser and that requires you to check certain extensions as needed. And then, set font size in pixels via Font Size mode and the default font size is in 12 pixels.

Check “Yes” or “No” option to enable or disable line numbers, line wrapping, active line highlighting, file upload and creating themes for the theme editor. To make your theme editor more customizable, we suggest you to check “Yes” for all mentioned items. The left settings are designed for indent size, tab characters and editor height and that enables a proper appearance for theme editor. Finally, click “Save Settings” to have all changes saved.

For Plugin Editor, this tab includes as many options as what available in the Theme Editor tab. Adjust all options according to personal needs and then click “Save Settings” to confirm all changes.

Check the Replaced Theme and Plugin Editor

After confirming all settings for customizing the theme editor and plugin editor, you should check the replaced editors via Appearance > Theme Editor and Plugins > Plugin Editor respectively. The replaced theme editor is much more user-friendly than ever before and that makes it easy to target certain files from the Theme Files list.

Replaced Theme Editor

For Plugin Editor, all coding stuff included comes with highlighting and it is easy to recognize. You are allowed to upload files via the Upload Files field with a few clicks.

Replaced Plugin Editor

By the way, if there is a need to make your post and page editor much more understandable, you can modify the options for Post Editor tab via WP Editor Settings page. That adds line numbers, colors and highlighting to post/page editor as well.