How To Create And Customize A WordPress Child Them

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The WordPress platform is a magnet for those who want to take matters into their own hands, who want complete control over their websites and want to be independent in running them. WordPress does make it really easily to completely customize a website. If you have a bit of knowledge of HTMl, CSS and/or PHP, there is nothing you can’t change.

I mean, just compare the default themes, Twenty Fifteen and Twenty Fourteen. Hard to believe they are running on the same platform, isn’t it? Therefore, it is only natural for you to want to adapt the look of your website to fit your vision. I doubt there are many WordPress users out there who don’t constantly think about what to implement next. However, a problem arises.

What Are WordPress Child Themes And Why Use Them?

When talking about child themes, we first have to talk about parent themes. A theme only becomes a parent theme when someone builds a child theme for it. Until then, it is just a theme, such as the ones you find in the WordPress directory. Every theme that includes all of the files required in order to be considered complete can be a parent theme.

Yet, while any such theme can be a parent theme, some are better suited to this purpose than others. For example, frameworks such as Genesis by StudioPress are specifically made to be customized by child themes.

What is a child theme, then? Well, from the WordPress back end, a child theme doesn’t behave any differently. You can find and activate it under “Appearance” → “Themes,” just like you would with any other theme.

The big difference is that a child theme depends completely on its parent in order to work. Without its parent theme present, it will not do a thing and cannot even be activated.

That’s because a child theme isn’t a standalone entity, but instead modifies or adds to the files of an existing theme. It uses everything present in the parent theme and changes only those parts that you want to be different.

This allows you to alter styles, functions, layout, templates and more. In fact, you can customize the parent theme beyond recognition. However, without it being present, none of it will work.

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I am a freelance creative designer. I have 8+ years of experience in Logo Design, Web Design and Development...
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