October 16, 2020

Code Snippets vs Advanced Scripts

If you're here reading this comparison, you probably already know that you can expand the functionality of your WordPress site with snippets of code. Unfortunately, adding bad code (bad code could be something as simple as a missing curly bracket) to your functions.php file will mostly likely break your website.

Once this happens, you have to either log into the server by FTP or Control Panel and then manually edit the functions.php file. This can easily cause more issues if you don't edit correctly or if you edit the wrong file.

Thankfully we have a few solutions to help address this, so you'll never have to edit your functions.php file again. This comparison is between two great plugins that allow you to add to your functions.php file without ever having to edit the actual file itself.

The first is free, Code Snippets. There is no premium version of this plugin.

The second is premium, Advanced Scripts (affiliate link). Advanced Scripts pricing currently ranges from $19.99-39.99 with all being Lifetime Licensing.

Both of these plugins allow you to add PHP code snippets, both feature a "safe" mode, and both have a visual interface where you add/edit/save/enable the snippets. Here's a brief description of both as listed on their respective sites/pages:

Code Snippets is an easy, clean and simple way to run PHP code snippets on your site. It removes the need to add custom snippets to your theme’s functions.php file.

Code snippets

Advanced Scripts is the best scripts manager on the market. Besides PHP, CSS, and Javascript, you can also write SCSS and LESS code, use custom hooks, and all of that in a better interface.

Advanced Scripts

One big difference you'll notice between the two just from their descriptions, is that Code Snippets only allows PHP snippets. However Advanced Scripts allows PHP, CSS, JS, SCSS, LESS, and custom hooks.

Yes, re-read that again because the difference is quite significant.

So what does the visual interface look like on both? Here's a screenshot of them:

Code Snippets
Code Snippets #2
Advanced Scripts

They both offer two completely different looks but both with similar aspects. I included two screenshots of Code Snippets to show the full interface. Both are good, but I personally prefer the streamlined version of Advanced Scripts.

Overall Functionality

So how do these two perform? Both function exactly how you would expect. You add the code, enable it, and it's added to your site where ever or however you set it.

One thing to note, Code Snippets is straight forward and easy to us. Advanced Scripts is also easy to use, HOWEVER, there are multiple choices and it can be confusing if you're not familiar with the locations (location of the snippets: footer, header, as a plugin...etc). Unfortunately Advanced Scripts has zero documentation on their plugin, which is pretty lame because most users won't know/understand the location bit and will have to search for this info.

One bit of functionality I want to discuss is the "safe mode" that both say they have. Only one truly has a safe mode and that's Advanced Scripts.

Here's why I say Advanced Scripts is the only one to truly have a safe mode. Lets say you add some bad snippets/scripts and enable it, Advanced Scripts will immediately place the site and script in safe mode, and you're site never goes down. That's right, it automatically switches to safe mode thus protecting your site from a fatal error. Even if you use a code module like Oxygen Builder has, and you place some bad PHP in it, it will trigger safe more with a warning stating such.

But I thought before you said both have a "safe mode". Well, theoretically they both do but only Advanced Scripts does it automatically for you. Code Snippets does not. You will either have to go into the server and edit your wp-config.PHP or try to edit the bad code using a special URL. There's a catch to the special URL though, it only works if you're logged in as an Admin. So in the rare case your cache gets cleared and you get logged out, the wp-config method is your only option.

The reality is that Advanced Scripts does the heavy lifting when you really need it to, and Code Snippets fails to actually prevent your site from a fatal error.

Conclusion

Even though Code Snippets doesn't offer the same extensive features Advanced Scripts does, it's still a great plugin and does a good job. It's lean and easy to use. I have used it and would have no problems using it again.

With that being said, Advanced Scripts is feature rich and honestly significantly the better of the two. The automatic safe mode alone makes it a better choice, not to mention the extended options of also adding CSS, JS, and more. My number one complaint (and probably only one) is the lack of documentation. It needs it so folks can understand and use this plugin to it's fullest potential.

Regardless, for $39.99 you get a lifetime license for use on an unlimited number of sites. That's a win and when you consider the fact you could potentially use this plugin in place of a child theme.... that's a double win.

It's a no brainer for me and I think you'll feel the same. Advanced Scripts is the better of the two, and worth buying. Go check this plugin out now.

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