WordPress is a very complex blogging platform, and there are certain files that you should not touch by yourself. Sometimes, altering these files can cause your entire site to go down.
The file you shouldn’t touch is the wp-config.php file. This holds all of the information necessary to connect to your database, where all your posts are held. This is essential to WordPress, so please don’t modify it!
Another somewhat dangerous file is the .htaccess file. This contains the rules so your permalinks work. Other plugins, such as caching plugins, can place rules here too. It’s a very powerful file, and editing it could lead to server errors – 500 internal server errors, to be exact.
Last but not least is the beloved functions.php or custom_functions.php file. This one contains theme customizations, and one simple missing letter or symbol can cause your entire site to crash. You might not even be able to get into your dashboard!
If you absolutely have to edit your functions file, don’t edit through the WordPress dashboard! Ask a designer or technical support person to do it for you, or use FTP to edit the file. Make sure you download a backup of the file to your computer before editing as well. That way, you can simply restore the file if there is a coding error.
Are there any other files that you have had issues with? Please share in the comments!