Awesome site redesign, week three: plugin versus theme

It’s been just over three weeks since I started on Jinglebell Junction’s awesome site redesign. I originally wanted to dedicate 2 hours a day for the entire month of June to this theme, but week two was derailed by life and a paying client. So, I did loose a few hours of work time on this project but I’m back on track now… well mostly. I’m sitting here being lazy this fine Friday evening, getting ready to work on it while the house is quiet.

As I was saying in previous posts about this project, JBJ has very specific functionality needs. First and foremost, the site needs custom post types and page formats for a craft section, and another for a recipe section. I won’t be using a plugin for this, I’m writing my own.

I’ve been trying to decide if I should include these functions, things such as my custom post types and shortcodes, in the theme files or create a separate functionality plugin for them.

Since this is a custom theme and I have no plans of changing it any time soon, lumping it all in with the theme seems like a good idea and I’m tempted. But in the end I’ve decided that using a plugin for the theme’s functionality is the safest bet. I can think of several good reasons not to include them in the theme.

For one, I’ve already written about this before and really can’t think of any reasons NOT to use a plugin for special theme functions.

Placing these things in the theme would definitely make me feel like I’m tied to one theme for eternity. Or at the very least cause a lot wasted time in the future – because if I would switch themes, I would have to spend extra time rebuilding those custom functions.

But this could all be avoided had I simply used a plugin to begin with… So why? Because I can’t see the future but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

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