How to Edit HTML in WordPress

WordPress is an easy-to-use platform, and you can utilize this platform without touching a single line of code. But, knowing how to edit HTML in WordPress or your source code in HTML is an excellent skill to have under your belt.

With the appropriate knowledge of editing code, you can perform advanced customization or troubleshoot issues to improve your WordPress website.

In this article, we’ll talk about why editing HTML in WordPress is needed and how to edit your source code in the right way.

So let’s get started.

Why it’s Important to Know How to Edit Your WordPress Source Code

WordPress is an extremely user-friendly and intuitive platform. There are several different ways to customize and change your website without ever touching a line of code – thanks to plugins and themes.

Technically, you don’t need to access any of your site code or files to have a fully-functioning & well-designed website. The WordPress dashboard, themes, and plugins all make tweaking & personalizing your website quick and easy.

However, there are times when you may want to perform advanced customizations & implement more control. Perhaps the change you’re looking to make isn’t an option with the plugins or theme you’re currently using.

Another possibility that might force you to change your source code is that your website is crashing or experiencing some kind of error that prevents you from accessing your admin password. You will likely need to edit your WordPress source code so that you can troubleshoot the problem.

In such instances, it’s useful to know how to edit HTML in WordPress and how to effectively & safely modify & access other source code, including CSS, PHP, and JavaScript.

Put simply, by learning some basic WordPress coding, you can get more control and flexibility in managing, designing, and maintaining your WordPress website.

Editing Source Code in WordPress

As discussed earlier, WordPress uses four different programming languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. Each language has its code & different functionalities.

For example, HTML controls the content structure, and CSS manages the appearance. That being said, you might need to perform different operations by using a specific set of codes. Let’s find out more about how to edit the WordPress source code.

How to Edit HTML in the WordPress Classic Editor?

If you want to edit or add the HTML of a WordPress post or page, you don’t need to access your site’s source code. In the Classic Editor, all you need to do is move from the Visual Editor to the Text Editor on the back end. You will see the HTML working behind the scenes.

Edit HTML in WordPress visual editor

From the Text Editor, you can change, access & update the HTML on any post or page with just a few clicks. You can view the changes at any time by toggling back to the Visual Editor. When you are done, make sure to save your edited post or page.

How to Edit HTML in the WordPress Block Editor?

Using the Block Editor (Gutenberg), switching from the Visual Editor to the Text Editor requires a few more techniques. However, you have also got multiple options available for editing your HTML, including making changes to individual blocks or the entire post or page.

Edit HTML in WordPress code editor

To edit the HTML of the entire post or page, click on the three vertical dots at the Editor’s top-right corner and then choose Code editor. This will open the WordPress HTML editor. To switch from the Visual Editor to the Text editor within a specific block, you have to click on the three vertical dots that you see in the block toolbar and then select Edit as HTML.

Edit as HTML in WordPress

Another method to add HTML to a post or page is to use a Custom HTML Block. In this way, you can write your HTML code directly in the block instead of clicking on the preview to see how it’ll look at the front end. After doing all these steps, save the changes to your page or post.

How to Edit HTML for Homepage in WordPress?

You can also edit the HTML on your homepage. In most of the WordPress themes, the homepage acts as its page. Therefore, the procedure of editing the HTML is the same as that in other pages of a website. You have to choose the relevant page from the list on your dashboard.

Edit HTML WordPress homepage

You can also click on the Edit Page in the top admin bar from the homepage to access the Block or Classic Editor. If none of those options works for editing the HTML on your homepage, you may be using a page builder or theme with a built-in homepage editor. If that’s the case, then you can study the documentation for the relevant tool.

How to Edit HTML in a WordPress Widget?

Finally, you may want to add HTML in your WordPress footer or sidebar. Many WordPress themes have the widget section to control the content of your website’s homepage. You can easily make these homepage footer and header adjustments via a Custom HTML widget.

Edit HTML WordPress Widgets

Go to Appearance > Widgets, and add the Custom HTML widget to your sidebar or footer and edit it. Then click on the Save button to publish it on your site.

How to Edit Your WordPress Source Code via the Theme Editor

Your WordPress theme comes with a built-in editor that enables you to modify your theme’s file online. You will see CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and all other development-related files that play a crucial role in your theme in the Theme editor. Here’s how you can do it.

Accessing the Theme Editor

If your WordPress website is still working well and you are able to access the back-end, then you can find your site’s source code under Appearance > Theme Editor.

Edit HTML WordPress theme editor

In the editing area, you can make any changes you’d like. If you have multiple themes installed or you’re using the adult/child theme combination, you can switch between themes in the upper right-hand corner of the Editor.

To select specific theme files to edit, you can choose from the list to the right of the Editor. The files that you’ll see depend on your theme, but at a minimum, you’ll be able to see these following files.

  1. Style.css: This is your stylesheet that contains many design-related features like your theme’s color scheme and theme’s fonts.
  2. Functions.php: Your theme’s functions file has PHP code that modifies WordPress default features.

Once you are done editing your WordPress source code in the Theme Editor, ensure to save the changes. You need to click on the Update File button at the bottom of your screen.

WordPress will prevent you from saving the changes if it detects any errors in the code. That’s what makes using the Theme Editor slightly safer than editing your WordPress code via FTP.

How to Edit your WordPress Theme without Coding

For some people, WordPress coding can be daunting. If you feel comfortable with manipulating your website’s source code, you can still make extensive changes.

While you won’t be able to change as much as you can with the help of custom code, there’s still a lot you can do with WordPress Customizer.

In the WordPress Customizer section, you’ll see a guided method of customizing a WordPress theme you’ve chosen. You can start with high-level items under Site Identity – which enable you to change your website’s tagline, name, and icon. And then you can modify your site’s menus, colors, homepage, etc. If you are looking to do more editing, you can also use additional plugins.


You need to have a strong reason to edit HTML in WordPress. In most of the cases, it’s enough just to utilize plugins and themes.

If you want to perform advanced customization or need to fix any problems, you may edit the WordPress source code. Before doing it, there are many things to consider: the tools, goals, and most importantly, your time.

Remember, safety first!