Debugging theme mods

When developing themes, it can be useful to see what theme mods (setting values from get_theme_mod()) are set for your themes at the database level. However, this information is serialized, making it difficult to access, read, and modify while testing.

I’ve been relying on two tools for this sort of work lately: Sequel Pro and the Online PHP Unserializer.

Sequel Pro is a Mac-only, open-source tool for working with MySQL databases; it’s much faster, robust, and intuitive than PHPMyAdmin, and easier to work with than MySQL Workbench. The Online PHP Unserializer does its one thing, and does it well.

Copying serialized data from the database back and forth from the Unserializer makes it easy for me to troubleshoot mod settings, revert to previous values, or zero out certain values without having to delete the whole row from the database. This can be invaluable when testing code for the Customizer, or anything involving multiple themes at the same time.

If you have other troubleshooting tips, or any other tools to suggest than those above, let me know!

Published by

Kirk Wight

I am a WordPress developer working at Automattic (the makers of WordPress.com). Based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, I am easily distracted and very curious.

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