Everything You Need to Know About WordPress Child Themes

A child theme is a set of styling guidelines and/or functions which are utilized to incorporate functionality or replace the appearance of an existing WordPress theme. Child themes can be modified without altering the original code of your theme, allowing you to make changes as small as changing a couple of colors, or as extensive as completely changing the look and feel of your theme.

Many WordPress framework themes, like Genesis, work by using the young child theme function in WordPress. The fundamental functionality for the theme is included inside the parent theme and child themes may then be properly used as a means of using different “skins” to the theme.

Why are Child Themes so Important?

While numerous users opt for their WordPress themes directly from the package, it is additionally quite typical to personalize themes by modifying the design sheets or by the addition of functions that are new the functions.php file.

There are two main problems with editing your WordPress themes directly like this: it can break your website.When make a coding error you update to a brand newform of your theme, all of your past modifications will undoubtedly be lost.

Of course it’s possible to overcome these problems by backing up files and keeping copies of changes you make, but this can quickly become tedious, especially if you’re using a theme that is updated frequently.

The Best way to make changes to the look of your theme or add to its functionality is by using a young child theme. Since the files of a child theme are split compared to that of this parent theme, they won’t be suffering from any updates and while you sort it out.

Child if you make a mistake, it’s easy to deactivate the child theme and go back to the original themes can also be very useful for people who are new to WordPress development. Rather than starting to code a theme that is new scratch, it’s much easier to begin with a fundamental theme and then produce a young child theme to modify the dwelling into searching how you want.

How to Create a Child Theme

To get started doing producing a fresh child theme, you need to produce a brand new folder because of it. Use an ftp client to connect to your website and navigate to your WordPress themes directory (/wp-content/themes). It’s conventional to name your child theme folder the same as the parent theme, with “-child” appended to it. So for example, you should name your folder “twentythirteen-child”.

All of your child theme’s files will reside in this folder, but not every child theme consists of a lot of files if you are creating a child theme for the Twenty Thirteen theme. In reality, the minimum you will need to produce a young child theme is a style.css file.

There is a template that is basic should follow for producing the design sheet for the kid theme, therefore go right ahead and duplicate the code below, modifying where appropriate:

Theme Name: Twenty Thirteen Child Theme
Theme URI: http://wordpress.org/themes/twentythirteen
Description: Twenty Thirteen Child Theme
Author: WPKube
Author URI: http://www.wpkube.com
Template: twentythirteen
Version: 1.0.0
@import url("../twentythirteen/style.css"); 

/* ————Theme customization starts here ————-*/

The most significant areas of this rule will be the Template and @import lines, therefore make certain they are filled in precisely.  Look out for theme files that begin with a capital page, due to the fact rule is instance delicate – it requires to exactly be typed. The rest of the information can be completed Theme Name and Template blank if you’re feeling lazy.

Using the @import rule is also not necessary if you’re planning on completely rewriting the entire CSS rules of the parent theme.

After|you can even leave everything but the Theme Name and Template blank if you’re feeling lazy.

Using the @import rule is also not necessary if you’re planning on completely rewriting the entire CSS rules of the parent theme.

After as you choose and” class=”synonym”>you can even leave everything but the Theme Name and Template blank if you’re feeling lazy.

Using the @import rule is also not necessary if you’re planning on completely rewriting the entire CSS rules of the parent theme.

After as you choose and you’ve produced your skeleton CSS file, you are able to upload your theme that is new by it into a .zip file and uploading it via the WordPress dashboard, under Appearances > Themes. Alternatively, you can upload the files into your newly created child theme folder via FTP. Once the files are uploaded, you can edit them from within the WordPress Dashboard (under Appearance > Editor). Before you can use your new child theme, you must also remember to activate it.

If you’re not in the mood for messing around with FTP, there’s a plugin that is handy does all of the setup for you personally: One-Click Child Theme. After installing the plugin, make sure the parent theme you wish to work with is activated and then just click on the “Child Theme” option under Appearance in the WordPress dashboard. The plugin will ask you for the theme name and other details and on clicking “Create Child” it will then create a new directory and style.css that is pre-filled file you’ve created the basic structure of your child theme, the fun really begins and you can edit its appearance and functionality to your heart’s content.

As the only mandatory file in a child theme is style.css, it should be pretty obvious that editing the CSS is a good place to start for you automatically.

Editing a Child Theme

Once. Any code you create in your child theme’s style sheet will override the style sheet of the parent theme that is original. You’ll probably want to grab a copy regarding the initial CSS for reference to help you cut and paste parts and edit as needed.

The functions.php file can be a file that is common be included in child themes. Rather than overriding the original, this file is loaded before the parent functions.php file. It’s important to be aware of this so that you don’t duplicate code or create two functions with the same name.

Your functions.php file should start off looking something like this:


//functions go here


you can use the following code to do so:

if (!function_exists('func_name')))

If you want to replace the original functions from the parent theme with different code
function func_name() //do somethingStyle.css and functions.php would be the primary files being utilized in kid themes, but some of the initial themes files could be overridden by creating a file associated with the name that is same the child theme. It’s also possible to add new files, for example if you wish to create a new kind of page template that’s not included in the parent theme.

WordPress will use its standard hierarchy rules when working with child themes, so it will look for files within the child theme folder first and then try to find them within the parent theme.

When if it doesn’t find them, it will Not to Use a Child Theme

Child themes are extremely useful but they’re not the solution that is optimal every situation. Here are a cases that are few a child theme is typically not what you need to be utilizing:

  • Making basic CSS modifications. It’s overkill to use a young child theme for some fundamental modifications like changing colors or fonts that are changing. In this case, it’s easier to use a custom CSS plugin like this one to make your changes.
  • Changing something that’s editable within the theme options. Theme frameworks and some themes that are basic consist of additional functionality inside the dashboard to create fundamental modifications such as for instance modifying the colour template, eliminating the header image or changing how many columns. Should this be feasible utilising the theme you’ve selected, there’s no need certainly to create a child theme.
  • Completely changing the dwelling and/or functionality associated with the moms and dad theme. The theme that is parent provide the foundation for your theme. You’re probably better off either creating a new theme from scratch or finding another theme to tweak that meets your requirements better.


Don’t if you’re using a child theme to overwrite nearly all the files in the original theme Be intimidated by the basic idea of child themes. Creating one may sound at first like a highly technical task for hard-core WordPress developers, but it’s actually very simple to do as long at no risk of breaking your site.

If as you have a little knowledge of CSS and possibly PHP.

Child themes are also a great way to get your feet wet in the world of WordPress theme design and give you the peace of mind that you can screw up as many times as you need to and you’re you have got every other strategies for making use of youngster themes, please share them into the commentary.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.