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Preface to WordPress Child Themes

Posted by WhoIsWP Team on December 28th, 2016 in

WordPress is a unique website created to make a difference. Thanks to its revolutionary concept, numerous people have had their shot at creating an online business or blog with little to no technical knowledge and even though it might have a learning curve at first, getting used to the intuitive nature of the platform is easy.

Doing a WordPress theme check and finding the newest themes to use in various contexts is a piece of cake, however, it seems like not all users, especially the newer ones, are aware of how to modify a WordPress theme.

Customizing a WordPress theme

 

The extraordinary thing about WordPress is that it lets you constantly change the website you created in order to make it unique, awesome and customize it to precisely match your style. But in some situations, after upgrading your WordPress theme, previous changes might simply vanish without a trace. A simple process can be used to avoid this.

 

What is a parent theme

 

The original theme you have installed on your WordPress website needs regular updates in order to stay optimized and safe to use. However, if you make modifications to this theme directly, the various characteristics that you have set will probably be lost when the update is performed.

 

What is a child theme

 

Making modifications to your responsive WordPress theme without loosing anything you worked hard to implement, is definitely possible with a little know-how and a little patience, by giving your parent theme a child.

The best advantage of a WordPress child theme is that it gets all its characteristics from the parent theme, thus making the process of building on the preexisting theme’s features a lot more versatile and convenient.

 

What does a WordPress child theme do

 

The child theme will automatically import all the features of its parent, while at the same time allowing the user to redefine templates and functions as needed. The main difference between the two is the fact that, once you upgrade the parent, the settings of the child remain in effect.

If you want to make modifications to your main WordPress theme, this method is the best and effortless way to go about it. By using this process, you can make modifications to the theme that already exists, instead of installing or creating a new one.

Nowadays some WordPress themes already come complete with an integrated child theme, to make it even easier to modify. Others come with the option of adding custom code for the same purpose.

 

The challenge of creating a WordPress child theme

 

In case you find the process of creating a child theme a little too intimidating for now, depending on your needs, there is also the option to install a plugin to get the job done in a shorter time span. There are a few of them online to choose from.

Although the process is not quite as easy as doing a WordPress theme check, making this sort of theme in WordPress is easier than you would expect. Let’s do a quick overview of the required steps.

 

Creating a WordPress child theme

 

Creating a child theme is a little more complex than doing a WordPress theme check to detect what WordPress theme a site is using, but with the following list of steps, you will find it’s easier than it seems.

 

  • Create a new folder for the child theme
  • Name the folder – normally, the most appropriate name is the name of the original parent theme followed by the word “child.” This way, you know exactly what you’re working with
  • In the new folder, create a file named style.css. This is the style sheet for your child theme
  • Fill in the theme name, URI, description, author name and template
  • Archive the child theme
  • Upload the child theme by going to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearances > Themes
  • It will now look the same as the parent, so you are free to modify it to your heart’s content

 

WordPress child themes in a nutshell

 

A WordPress child theme offers a lot of potential for changing the templates of an already existing theme, and can be used either for special occasions or simply when you don’t want to loose the ability to upgrade your parent theme.

So feel free to plan the perfect website for your business in far less time and with considerably less effort. The WhoisWP theme detector is here to change your life for the better and help you out whenever you need to find what theme or plugins a WordPress website is using.