Semalt: WordPress Child Theme – Why & How To Create
In real life, the children are the inheritors of parents, and they can easily adapt the good and bad habits as well as personality traits of the adults. At the same time, they have some unique characteristics which neither their mom nor their dad gave them. You can say the same with the WordPress themes. For all the WordPress themes you download, purchase or install, there is an inherited and well-versed child theme that suits your different purposes.
Here is an overview from Alexander Peresunko, a top specialist of Semalt, on how and why to create child themes in WordPress.
Why create the Child Theme:
Child themes can override and inherit the templates, layouts, and styles of their parent themes. In WordPress, the Child Theme exists independently but collaborates with the parent themes to perform an extensive range of functions. It depends on the parent and can be activated only when the parent theme is installed and active on your WordPress site. While creating a child theme, you should bear in mind two major things:
- You should add a new directory in the folder with the name of your child theme.
- The styles.css file in the new directory should be inserted with particular header information.
Once you have created the child theme, you will notice that it has the same information as the typical parent themes have. The one reason why you need to create child themes is that they tell WordPress which parents themes are best suited for specific websites.
How to create a Child Theme:
You can easily create a child theme by keeping in mind the following points.
1. Add the brand new directory and Edit the styles.css file
The first step is to add a new directory to your existing theme with the name of your child theme and adjust its settings. It is an important step, and you should not do anything to the styles.css file if you don't know how to edit it. This file is present in the Header section of your WordPress and has specific information about your site, its location, and its content. The only problem is that its header information cannot be edited easily. However, if you know something about those criticalities, you can insert the specific code in the header section of your theme.
2. Editing the Parent Theme
You should properly edit the parent theme and know everything about its styles while creating a child theme in WordPress. Honestly speaking, there are no definite styles, and that's because the parent themes have default styles. However, you can manually edit them and scan the interwebs for better results from your child theme.
3. Adding the functions.php file
If you are looking to add a functions.php file to your child theme to make it look better than before, you would have to insert a particular code and edit the settings of your theme. Now we know what we need to do with our child themes and hot create them. The best part is that these themes are easy to create and can customize, installed and installed anytime. Additionally, you can add new options to the child theme based on your requirements, but we recommend you not to edit any code or change the settings of the child theme due to its limited usage and options.
Three Fun Things to Do with Child Themes
Now you know the basics of your child theme and can do the following fun things with it
1. Add New Options to its Customizer – You can easily add new options to its customizer and will see it getting all the features from the parent theme.
2. Add New Post Type Templates – If you have been using WooCommerce, you may want to add the custom product templates to your child theme to give it an appealing look. Add it to the child theme ensures that you would not lose the code when the parent theme updates itself.
3. Override the Layouts of the Parent theme – You should override the layouts the templates in the parent themes. One of the best and most convenient ways to do that is copying the template from the parent them in the child theme and start customizing it from there.