Whether you’re a professional developer or a regular WordPress user, chances are you already heard about WordPress child themes and might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Even though they might sound intimidating at first, using WordPress child themes can actually be fun once you learn the ins and outs of it!
What Are WordPress Child Themes?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of why you should be using WordPress child themes, let’s first get things straight and see what child themes are. A child theme is essentially a theme that inherits files and functionalities of another theme, also know as the parent theme. At its most simplest form, a child theme includes just a style.css file, but they can also include other files, such as functions.php, or even images and folders.
What Are The Benefits Of Using WordPress Child Themes?
Why not simply customize the original, parent theme? The answer is quite simple! WordPress themes, particularly the premium ones, get updates almost on a regular basis. And each time you update the theme you’re using for your website, all your custom settings will disappear. This is where using WordPress child themes comes really handy. All your customizations will be neatly tucked away in a separate file and ready to be used with the updated version of the parent theme.
How To Create A WordPress Child Theme
Creating WordPress child themes is incredibly easy – all you really have to do is create one new folder and a new CSS file, and you’re good to go. So, inside your theme folder, create a new folder: for example, if you were creating a child theme for our Brander theme, you’d create a folder called brander-child inside the theme folder, and a style.css file inside the child folder. Then, simply copy the contents of the original style.css file into the new one and start customizing it.
However, since you’ll be working in a new directory, image source links inside the copied CSS file will no longer work, but there’s a simple workaround. Simply include the following line inside the new CSS file
As of version 2.7, WordPress will look inside the child theme folder first, which means the files inside the child theme will override the original files inside the parent folder. And this goes for all file types, not just the style.css, so you can customize footer.php, header.php, or even functions.php.
There you have it – everything you need to know in order to start using WordPress child themes today and set up a truly unique website that perfectly matches your own style and preferences.