Update 8/22/2017: Looks like the appearance editor is in the process of getting a makeover – finally! My post below still has some accuracy, but I’m glad to see some of the issues being resolved to make code editing easier.
Avast me hearties! There be dangers lurking in the WordPress Appearance Editor!
Okay, okay, before you roll your eyes and abandon this post, I just wanted to share something. It occurred to me on my morning commute as I was handwriting new content aimed for beginners. I had to get myself in a mindset of what it was like diving into WordPress files for the first time again. Re-calling a greener Rachel lost in a labyrinth of files, desperate to complete the small task of changing a font color and not knowing where anything was – I realized that during this learning process, there was one adversary I encountered time and time again.
Said adversary stalled my progress in learning. In fact, it scared the heck out of me a few times whenever it caused the white screen of death before I even knew it was called that.
This adversary is the appearance editor on the dashboard. Thinking back on what I knew back then ( and didn’t know ), having this tool in my hands at the time only served to confuse me, discourage me, or give me impressions of WordPress that weren’t correct.
Here’s why I feel that way and why this tool should be approached with caution.