WordPress Developer Tips for Using Prefixes and Namespaces

While coding on some projects you might have encountered some issues because your code is not working properly. And this might be because several functions share a similar name.

And this type of problem is known as ‘naming collision’. Mainly namespaces and prefixes are the major answers for the most problem faced by so many people.

Namespaces and prefixes are very crucial which helps you to stop the conflicts when several functions or classes have a similar name.

Taking into consideration that how many WordPress contributors are there who creates a wide range of themes and plugins and contribute to WordPress core.

Most of the contributor might be facing the same problem so it is important to find the solution to it to help them.

In this blog, we will learn about the prefixes and namespaces plus we will see the importance of both. Also, we will mention WordPress Developer Tips to assist you to solve such kinds of issues. Let us start!

What are prefixes and namespaces?

One of the important features of PHP is namespaces which is specially created to stop conflicts when two different functions or classes have the same name. It is also known as naming collision which precludes your code instead of running.

In a file system, you will find the folder name as namespaces. Two different files can have the same name. However every function and class will work perfectly but only if these two files are kept in two different folders.

However, if these two files are kept in the same folder it will encounter the problem which is also known as the Namespaces issue.

WordPress Developer Tips for Using Prefixes and Namespaces

In WordPress, actually, there are two different meanings of namespaces. The namespace explained above is the version which is actually created in PHP natively.

However, previously the namespaces were not supported by the PHP when WordPress was actually developed. Because of this WordPress users were finding another method to get a similar effect.

While finding a solution for achieving similar effects they came up with another functionality which is also known as ‘prefixing’. In WordPress prefixing is the convention which is used by WordPress developers.

In front of the class name or a function, the WordPress developers put prefix. Consider an example that instead of just writing user.ideally, you can use yourcompanyname_user.

In this way, most of the instances of the ‘user’ class would be prefixed. By doing you will ensure that there are no conflicts while incorporating themes, plugins, and core with a user class.

While coding prefixes and namespaces are the most used which help you to interface with written code by other developers.

Even if there is no case then also you should follow this practice. It is important to follow such WordPress Developer Tips to eliminates the chances of naming collisions.

5 tips for WordPress developer to use namespaces and prefixes

If you are wanting to set up prefixes and namespacing in your code then you should follow these tips.

1. Instead of prefixes use the PHP namespaces

Prefixing can work good but it has some disadvantages. The main problem with using prefixing is that the code you write would not be easier to read.

This is because the person who is reading the code will not find your actual function or classes. Despite that he/she will saw prefix at first.

Making use of PHP namespaces means you will ensure that your functions and classes in your code is easy to read. However, a person who reads your code will get an idea about the role of that particular function or a class.

This is more helpful if your code is used by some other coders for example developers or plugins.

The task of writing your code will be easier with namespaces because you are not writing prefixes’ names and only writing class and function names.

Using namespace is a good WordPress Developer Tips to make your code more readable and clean.

2. For your namespaces, it comes up with a naming convention standard

No official standards have been determined for creating and naming your namespaces. But making sure you are writing the best code will help your website and its code to run more consistently.

Adding the same name convention to all your namespaces will help you to remember and recognize which one will be suitable for which type of project.

The best method to create namespaces is to start with the vendor or company name. After this, you can add sub-namespaces for every project.

Consider an example that you are creating a theme in your company then you can use yourcompanyname as the primary namespace whereas the sub-namespace can be a theme for that specific project.

Let’s see how it will look like

namespace yourcompanyname\theme;
&lt;p&gt;With this type of code, you will get an idea of where your classes and functions will be called from. &lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3&gt;3. Encourage Aliases to clean up the code&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;PHP is helpful for calling different functions along with similar names from various namespaces. Simply by adding your function's full path, you can achieve this. An example is given below.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;But if you are doing this repeatably, your code will be clutter quickly. However, it will be longer and tougher to read. For these functions, it enables you to create aliases instead of PHP. Thus it will make your class easier.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;To build an alias, while importing the function or a class you just need to specify it. an example is given below&lt;/p&gt;
namespace yourcompanyname;
use yourcompanyname\Theme\User as ThemeUser;
class User implements ThemeUser {
&lt;h3&gt;4. When there is no namespace support you can use prefixes&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;PHP namespacing is not supported by every item. It works with &lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Certain constants&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Other than these you will have to use old form of WordPress prefixing. Which also consist of some items such as image size names, script handles, or database options.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;To your namespaces, you need to follow the same naming conventions. &lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3&gt;5. Apply Auto-loading to Streamline Development&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;When you call a given class, the auto-loading will automatically pull in class files. Auto-loading is one of the best PHP features. You can save so much of your efforts and time because every time you don't have to write include or require statements. &lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;This can be done with the help of PSR-4 standards in PHP. &lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Conclusion:&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;br ?-->
Making a use of namespaces is important even if you are a non tech person or a experience developer. Namespace help you to stop the naming collision and will improve your functions and classes. 

About Sonnal S Sinha

Sonnal S SinhaSonnal S Sinha is a passionate writer as well as WordPress and WooCommerce rockstar who loves to share insights on various topics through his engaging blog posts. He run successful website design and digital marketing company. With 15+ years of experience in WordPress themes development, he strives to inform and inspire readers with his thought-provoking content. He helps thousands small and medium businesses and startups create a unique online presence. Follow Sonnal S Sinha for your regular dose of knowledge and inspiration.