Are you confused and don’t know what a WordPress child theme is? We are here for you to help you learn how to create a child theme in WordPress step by step guidance.
It allows users and developers to customize their WordPress sites quickly. In this article, we are going to explain what a WordPress child theme is and whether it is useful for you or not.
What is a Child Theme?
It is a theme offered by WordPress that consists of the features, functionality and style of another theme of WordPress(parent theme). The main benefit of using the WordPress child theme is you can customize the child theme without making changes to another theme(parent theme).
Now you may have an idea of what a WordPress child theme is. It is a sub-theme in WordPress that inherits all the features, functionality, and style of its own parent theme.
Why use a Child Theme?
After understanding what a WordPress child theme is, it becomes important to understand why to use a child theme. It is a safe path to modify a WordPress theme without actually making any kind of change to its parent theme.
If the parent theme gets updated, simultaneously the changes made in the child theme are also preserved and applied to the updated version.
Why are we saying that it is a safe place as it provides the best path to make changes to the existing theme. Even if you don’t need to modify the theme file directly, you can directly override it with the help of templates in the child theme.
What is the Parent Theme in WordPress?
It is a complete theme that consists of all the template files and assets which are required for WordPress for theme work. In simple words, all themes except child themes are considered parent themes.
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How to Create a Child Theme in WordPress? – Step By Step Guide
You already understood what a WordPress child theme is and why to use a child theme. Now It is most probably the same as creating a new folder that contains two files functions.php and sty.css.
The very first step of creating a child theme is to choose a good parent theme. The aim is to select one that is closer to the functionality and appearance of your goals. This is because you can make a few changes according to your needs.
Steps For Creating A Child Theme
For creating a Child Theme in WordPress with easy steps follow the steps. This will help you to easily utilize the features and services of WordPress Child Theme.
Step 1- Creating A Child Theme Folder
First thing you need to create a folder to place all the template files and assets of the child theme in one place. Now if you want to create this folder, use the file manager which is on the control panel of your WordPress.
After opening the file manager, tap on the public_html folder and click the wp-content folder.
Provide any name to the folder using the parent theme’s name, don’t forget to add “-child” to the end.
Suppose for example if you are creating a child theme of twenty twenty-one, you will provide a name to the folder “twentytwentyone-child.” This folder is a directory of your child’s theme.
Step 2: Creating a Stylesheet
The next step is to create a stylesheet file to store all the CSS rules and declaration of the child theme in one place. To create this, first, create a new text file with the “style.css.”
Just add the required header comment at the top of the file, for the stylesheet to work. This comment consists of all the basic information about the child theme including the parent theme.
You just need to include two main things( theme name and template). Moreover, you can include other information like author name, version, description, and tags. These details are necessary at the time of publishing or selling the child theme.
You can add custom CSS at the time of customizing your child’s theme. Just click on the save button to save the stylesheet in your child theme directory.
Step 3: Enqueue the Stylesheets of Parent and Child Themes
Now you have to enqueue your stylesheet of parent and child themes. This ensures that the child theme inherits its patents theme styling or not. This is helpful when you activate your child theme, you don’t need to look only at a bunch of unstyled text.
The second important thing to consider is to load your Child theme stylesheet before the parent theme, without overriding it.
This way you can add custom CSS without modifying your Child theme. These modifications will argue with the styles and functions of the parent theme.
To perform this you have to create a new file in your child theme directory with the name of “functions.php”.
Step 4: Installing and Activating the Child Theme
You need to install a child theme in the same way as you install others. Copy the folder to the site using FTP. Now just create and upload a zip of your folder of the child theme.
To upload this file first, open the WordPress dashboard and tap on the appearance > themes > upload. Select the child theme’s directory. After uploading it, click on activate.
You can see your child theme, as it lives now! but at this time it looks like a parent theme. You have to customize this for further process.
Step 5: Customize Your Child Theme.
If you want to customize your Child theme, start by adding CSS to the style.css file in the directory of your child theme. You can make changes easily to your Child theme.
Let’s discuss how to customize colors, typography, or other basic adjustments to the parent theme. You just need to add code to your child theme’s stylesheet below the comment. This code can override the code of your parent themes stylesheet.
Although to modify this, you need to add functions to the functions.php file in your child theme’s directory.
Let’s take an example, if you give a chance to writers to format their posts in different ways then you can use the add_theme_support() function. However, to give permission to format posts as notes, a gallery of images, links, videos, quotes, single image, you have to add the function of the functions.php file in your child theme directory
Congratulations, you completed the process, now you can use your child theme. Test your site once to see changes.
Till now you have an idea of what is a WordPress child theme and how to create a child theme in WordPress. For better understanding let’s discuss some pros and cons of the WordPress child theme.
Pros and Cons of WordPress Child Theme
Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the WordPress child theme. As we discussed why we use child themes and the steps of how to create a theme. Now take an overview of its pros and cons for a better understanding of WordPress child themes.
- It provides you with safe updates, you don’t need to modify the parent theme. You can update it easily when the new version launches as all your customized settings are saved on the child theme.
- It can extend it easily as well, as the child theme built a powerful framework that allows a great deal of flexibility without codes. You just only need to modify the template files for customization.
- At the time when you are creating a complete theme, you don’t need to code for something in a child theme. This means that it provides you with fallback safety by providing parent theme functionality.
- The learning curve is slow as you need to spend time learning about the parent themes. Especially in the case when you choose a robust framework with its filters and hooks. This is not a serious disadvantage, you will get to know the parent theme in a fraction of the time to create custom websites.
- In most cases, it will depend upon the parent theme. The developers of the WordPress parent theme abandoned the theme or dropped features as per your need. Most of the WordPress themes are open source, meaning that you can use them even if you are abandoned.
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Winding Up Now – WordPress Child Theme Review
We hope the above-mentioned steps of how to create a child theme in WordPress will help you. Moreover, it will enhance your knowledge by providing you with the basic knowledge about the general query of what a WordPress child theme is, why use a Child theme, etc. it also includes what is parent theme in WordPress.