Child Theme provides us the flexibility to modify and make changes in our existing theme. Child Theme has the characteristics of the parent theme and you can customize the child theme without breaking the cores functionalities. It is very convenient to creare custom designs whether you are creating you own website or outsourcing website development. In this way, once you update the theme all of the changes you made will not be over-written.
In the past, there were a lot of problems present always when there is a need to update the theme. For example, when you update the theme you will lose all the custom CSS styling files. But on the other hand, if you don’t update the theme your site will get at a high-security risk. In order to solve this problem, the concept of child and parent theme was introduced.
How does Child Theme work?
A Child Theme is stored separately from the parent theme and has its own functions.php as well as style.css file. The best way to understand the child’s theme is to think of it as an overlay. When any visitor visits your website and the browser loads it, WordPress first loads the sub-theme and then finds the missing style and functions from the parent theme. In the end, you will get the best of the design without losing the theme’s core functionality.
A parent theme is also known as the Theme Framework that contains its own filters and hooks. In this way, we can design the custom WordPress website using the child theme with the parent theme as the backup in a short period of time.
How to create child theme in WordPress?
The process of creating a child theme is very simple and easy. Just follow the steps below in order to create a child of your parent theme.
- Open your C-Panel and click the File Manager.
- Thereafter visit public_html>wp-content->Themes.
- Here create the new folder, Pick up the name of your child theme, and select create. It is suggested here to use the parent’s theme name followed by a child suffix. Like you can create yourthemename-child.
- Inside the new folder, you create just create a style.css file and fill the following code in it.
Theme Name: Actual Theme Name
Description: Theme Name
Theme Author: Your Name
Template: Theme Name
- Change all the values in the code above in accordance with your need and specification. The most field above is the template because it tells WordPress which parent theme your child theme is based on. Once done click, done, and save.
- Create another file namely functions.php in the same folder, but not populate it with code from the parent theme because there is a need to separate it. Instead, copy the code from it into the blank file and save it.
- Visit the WordPress Dashboard, Go to the appearance and activate the child theme it will be the same as the parent theme.
Pros and Cons of Child Theme
- Fallback Safe
- Easy to Extend
- Safe Update
- Performance will Improve
- Need to learn
- Need to understand Hooks and Filters.
- Need to create a custom website.
WordPress provides us a powerful way to create an entirely new project-based theme without breaking the core functions of the theme. With Simple Coding and the skills of directory management, you can modify the child theme in a way you want and can create endless opportunities in your code as well as the website. If you are not a professional coding expert, it is better to hire outside help for making the desired changes in your website.
However, sometimes there is no need to create the child theme. Child Theme is best suited if you want major changes in your theme or website. If the changes in the theme are minor then just create the custom style.css file in your theme else use the Custom CSS Plugin.