Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

What is: Plugin Editor

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Plugin editor is a simple text editor located at Plugins » Editor. It allows users to view and edit plugin files from within your WordPress admin area.

Plugin editor in WordPress

Plugin editor has a text area where it opens the plugin files. On the right hand side, it lists all the files from the selected plugin. There is a drop down menu on the top that allows you to select a plugin that you want to edit.

It is important to note that any changes that you make directly into your plugin’s core files will be overridden when you update the plugin. In theory, you should never be using the plugin editor to edit any files. Often developers use the built-in editor to view the code to make appropriate changes by utilizing a hook or filter within the plugin. If for some reason you find an absolute need to edit the plugin’s core file, then we recommend that you talk with the plugin author first. Perhaps there is a better way of accomplishing what you are trying to do rather than modifying the core plugin file. The only reason why we say this is because you don’t want to spend the time to make the modifications every time you update the plugin. At the same time, you don’t want to stop doing plugin updates because that could put you at a serious security risk should there be a vulnerability in the plugin.

Unlike the the Theme Editor, if you make a syntax error in your plugin editor, then it won’t lock you out of your WordPress admin. It will simply deactivate the plugin and explain the error to you.

Lastly, you should only use this section if you know what you are doing.

Additional Reading

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!