Code Snippets I used for a long time, now there is also the Code Snippets Pro version. Plugins that ensure that snippets from
functions.php can be displayed and managed a bit more clearly already existed. This is nothing new. So what does Code Snippets want to offer me to stand out from the known solutions? Most importantly, why should I pay money for it and do I even have to?
Code Snippets has been the most popular code manager for WordPress for over 10 years. Since 2022, there is also a Pro version. The WordPress plugin allows you to add code snippets directly in WordPress admin, which you would otherwise have to maintain in your child theme’s files.
How well all this works in everyday life and whether Code Snippets can keep all its promises, I’ll tell you here in the post. In addition, I’ll tell you at the end what I think of the plugin and whether I can recommend the extension to you with a clear conscience.
What exactly are WordPress code snippets?
Now, before I take a look at the WordPress plugin itself, I’d like to start by briefly clarifying what the Code Snippets are all about. After all, I can’t just expect you to already know what exactly WordPress Code Snippets are and how they might help you and your blog. Don’t worry, this thing is basically quite simple.
WordPress Code Snippets are PHP snippets, which are small fragments of code meant for functions.php in your WordPress theme. Through functions.php, you usually add smaller functions that don’t necessarily require a separate plugin. Such snippets can be cosmetic, for example to hide the admin bar in the WordPress backend, or for practical purposes to change all file names to lowercase when uploading.
Basically, the snippets are simply PHP code and are always used when no extra plugin should be developed or installed. So for relatively small functions. Theoretically, you can fill the functions.php with extensive code because there is no real limit. But it is generally used for small code snippets. So much for that.
In the actual use of the code snippets, there is then the idea, as for actually all changes to the theme, to add them only via a child theme. This is done so that the snippets persist and the theme doesn’t overwrite everything during an update. Nevertheless, the administration is of course a bit more complicated and you keep the overview in the functions.php only with appropriate comments in the code itself.
What the Code Snippets plugin for WordPress is all about
The code snippets themselves can be switched on and off. Moreover, it is possible to import or export the snippets, clone them or remove them again. This is, compared to other plugins, which often only work as a simple collection, very well thought out and sensibly solved. So, in my opinion, the biggest strength of Code Snippets is the management itself, which is very keen to ensure a good overview at all times. It has never been so easy to manage and maintain a large number of snippets within WordPress in a meaningful way.
Here’s how you add code snippets in the plugin
For classic snippets in PHP, you now just add the code and then select whether the snippet should only be activated in the WordPress admin, only on the website itself, once or always and everywhere. You also quickly enter a name, the description and the tags and then save the whole thing accordingly. The first snippet is ready.
This is all very fast, really easy and above all completely self-explanatory. I find it ingenious that I can set many things individually according to my own wishes with the Code Snippets plugin. But let’s take a closer look at this point in the next paragraph.
Select individual settings in the Code Snippets plugin
What I really like, also because many WordPress plugins just do not try, are the free settings options of the Code Snippets plugin. If it suits me, I can completely disable the description for snippets, among other things. Why I want this? Not everyone needs them or wants to include a description with every snippet. For me, a simple overview of the snippets is enough here, as the name is descriptive enough.
But this is true for many functions of code snippets. The sort order, for example, or even the deactivation of the tags. If you don’t necessarily need all this, you don’t have to use it or be annoyed by the display. If you want even less, turn off the syntax highlighter and whether code is minimized (CSS and JS) is also entirely up to me. There are also various themes for the code editor, including classics like Twilight or Base16.
What I also like, because it speaks for the care of the developer, is the hook at “Complete Uninstall”. Here, the plugin is cleanly removed from WordPress along with all the data created. Something that many plugins for the CMS unfortunately don’t try to do and leave orphaned data or database entries, even if I deleted the extension.
A comparison with the theoretical competition
Veterans from the WordPress scene will remember Toolbox by Sergej Müller. The plugin came out once in 2010 or 2011, I think, and allowed you to manage snippets clearly and apply different logic to them. Code snippets that were only intended for the backend were thus no longer loaded in the frontend, and vice versa. An ingenious plugin and very much ahead of its time.
Several competitors and extensions followed, most of which were also available completely free of charge. None reinvented the wheel, but they were all very popular at first. Today, over ten years later, most of them no longer exist and Toolbox is no longer actively developed.
What makes Code Snippets different or better than many similar WordPress plugins are the customization options just praised. It also makes management appropriately useful. Thanks to import and export, snippets are also flexibly transferable, which is important if you run more than one blog and want to exchange snippets with each other.
All this is not an insane amount, and they are not things that make everything noticeably better or make me sit in front of the monitor with my mouth open in amazement. But they are points that have simply been implemented very cleanly and successfully. That’s the kind of thing I like when I use a WordPress plugin. With Code Snippets, I can just tell that someone has thought of everything and put some effort into it.
Code Snippet Alternatives
In fact, for a very long time there were no real alternatives for Code Snippet Pro. In the last two years, however, these two plugins have been fighting for a piece of the code manager pie:
Cloud Storage and Cloud Snippets
That’s exactly what makes the Pro version interesting, though.
Store your snippets in the cloud and access them from all your WordPress blogs.
Later, the developer will also release helpful pieces of code that you can then download and use directly from the plugin.
I’m really looking forward to Cloud Snippets and Cloud Storage!
Code Snippets Pro Features
Only the new Pro features make the plugin fascinating.
|Import and export between websites in ||➕||➕|
|Unlimited snippet storage||➕||➕|
|Enable and disable snippets||➕||➕|
|Group similar snippets using tags||➕||➕|
|Displaying source code to visitors using an Elementor widget||➖||➕|
|Run your code snippets with an Elementor widget||➖||➕|
|Display source code to visitors via the WordPress block editor||➖||➕|
|Run your code snippets with a WordPress block||➖||➕|
|Full-featured code editor with highlighting and linting||➖||➕|
|Free usage on localhost, dev and staging||➖||➕|
|Third-party support and features||➖||➕|
|Cloud storage (coming soon)||➖||➕|
|Cloud Snippets (coming soon)||➖||➕|
|Other cloud storage platforms (coming soon)||➖||➕|
|Snippet creation, activation, and management with WP-CLI||➖||➕|
|Accessing snippet data and functions via the WordPress REST API||➖||➕|
With the snippet source code block you share the source code with syntax highlighting.
The pricing of the plugin is the problem for me
Well, and now we come to the catch of the whole thing. I would love to recommend the plugin to you right now, because it is indeed a nice and clean solution. But do you really need it? No! Are there enough alternatives that are similarly good? Unfortunately, not anymore! However what is the biggest problem with Code Snippets?
It is, in my opinion, the prices called. For me, the plugin is not one of the plugins that are paid monthly or annually. It is a small premium plugin, no more and no less. But the developer wants at least about $40 per year or about $90 as a lifetime license.
This is clearly too much for me. Also, just because there are then also stupid limitations. So I may install the plugin in the smallest tariff only on two websites. What is that for an extension of this kind?
I’m really sorry, but for a plugin that only manages code snippets, I think the called price is outrageous. By itself, $40 is not much, but then as a single purchase and for an infinite number of websites, please. After all, Code Snippets can also be used for free, but then limited in some places accordingly. Whether and how all this comes into question, remains your decision.
The catch for me is the price. That prevents a clear recommendation. At least for the purchase. Free of charge the plugin may be tried and used.
Only if you don’t care about money and it doesn’t play a role in your decision, Code Snippets is worth the purchase. Otherwise, I would always advise you to try the free version or go the classic way via a child theme.
Why I can’t recommend Code Snippets to everyone
In the beginning, the promises made by the developer were really a bit too much for me. On the website he talks about over ten years of development and that the cost is building a community and not paying expensive cars for the developers. That’s not even advertising, that’s just talk and that kind of thing pisses me off.
After I got over that, I took a closer look at the plugin and wasn’t that dissatisfied. So if I exclude all the self-praise and ignore all the rest around it, I look at a cleanly developed and comprehensive Code Snippets plugin for WordPress. It makes management easier, and yet the question remains if snippet management was ever a real problem for you in the first place.
For my part, I usually add snippets once and then more or less forget about them. If themes get updates, I copy them briefly beforehand and then add them again. And if I don’t want to do that, I just create an appropriate child theme. I rarely use more than five or six snippets. So do I really need an additional snippet manager?
Code Snippets works well, allows a description of the snippets, formats everything clearly and cleverly, so it is actually useful. I also like the well thought-out options, because I can use them to set the plugin exactly the way I want it at the moment. Still, the question remains for me, is it really that much worse without the snippet manager?
Finally, it is and remains for me the price that is out of the question. I also thought a lot about the usefulness. So you also ask yourself the question, if you really need the plugin or just want to have it because it sounds practical. Do you really have so many snippets in your theme that you risk losing track of them if you can’t manage and describe them separately? Code Snippets, no matter how much further it is extended, is just a snippet manager. It’s not worth an annual sum to me, nor such a high one-time fee, and whether a plugin should be added for a few snippets at all, I’ll put that question with exclamation marks in the room as well. You are welcome to tell me what you think about it in the comments. Write then also immediately whether the free version is a real alternative for you.
I like the plugin anyway and have treated myself to the Code Snippets Pro version.