Support » Plugins » Do Theme Changes Affect Plug In?

  • Bill


    I suppose that this is a beginner’s question; “Do theme changes affect the functionality of plug-ins already installed?”.

    WP promo type docs tend to say that a user can change themes easily and the same with plug-ins but are these really independent?

    If one were starting from scratch, would one choose a theme before choosing plug-ins or vice versa? and once chosen, how disruptive might further changes be?

    Thanks in advance for helping me along!

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Themes and plugins are activated independently. Switching themes will not affect which plugins you have active.



    Thanks for your reply David!

    Upon some more checking through forum, I noticed others lost widgets when changing themes. I have been thinking about my question some more. Please let me know if I am on the right track.

    My understanding is that widgets are functions that display on the site. Plug ins are system dependent applications installed by an administrator. Plug ins might or might not be widgets. Themes define and format what is displayed. Themes and plug ins are independent if the plug in is not a display function but interdependent if it is a widget. If it is a widget, changing to a new theme would require that the theme support it or coding would be necessary to continue to use it.

    Does that sound right?

    Widgets display in the sidebar of a theme. They are attached to the theme and whatever the sidebar is named when registered via the theme’s functions.php. When you change themes, but both themes register the same names for their sidebars (ie Sidebar 1, Sidebar 2 etc), the widgets will remain active after the theme switch. When you change themes, you will lose whatever widgets were active on sidebars that are no longer registered.

    So, if Theme 1 has registered “Sidebar 1” but Theme 2 has registered “Sidebar Left” the Widgets will reset.

    If Theme 1 and 2 both registered identically named “Sidebar 1”, then widgets will carry over.

    Good to know David!

    What is easiest for nontech person to do when changing themes with different sidebar file names? Must one uninstall and reinstall the widget?

    No need to reinstall if the plugin that creates the widget is still active at your Dashboard->Plugins. To re-place your widgets on your sidebars go to Dashboard->Appearance->Widgets and drag and drop ’em wherever you want whenever you want.

    Thanks for helping me to understand David!

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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