WordPress has allowed people to take control of their websites by letting them build it for and by themselves. With thousands of themes, anyone can get a website built that looks like it took a team of professionals to set up. You can also customize your theme to fit your website’s needs. What is a child theme do you wonder? A child theme is essentially when you modify or make any changes to a particular theme and those changes are saved in a separate folder. This is the safest way to use and customize a theme.
You should be using a child theme so whenever you make changes to a theme, the original doesn’t delete these modifications every time it updates itself. That way you have your changes the way you want them, without it affecting the original or the parent theme.
How to Create a WordPress Child Theme?
You have two options. Either create a child theme manually or use a theme plugin. Let’s take the easier route and use the plugin. WordPress has many free child theme plugins that can be installed with just a click.
- Download the child theme plugin.
- Log on to the admin of your website.
- Click on plugins and then click on add new.
- Now upload plugin.
- Activate plugin.
- Go to appearances and then themes to check if your theme is activated.
- Click on the child theme, which will take you to the configuration page.
- You will see a space to write the theme name, description and author. Fill that out.
- Click on create child.
- Your child theme is now activated.
This is the easier and more recommended way of going about activating a child theme. You could do it manually as well, but it does take more time and hoops to jump through.
How to Customize a WordPress Child Theme?
After creating a child theme, you might want to customize or modify it. To do that, you need to write all custom functions in your themes functions.php. Let’s say you want to change the single page display of how it is in Twenty Sixteen theme. The page is located in twntysixteen/template-parts/content-single.php. Then follow these steps.
- Create a content-single.php in your child theme folder.
- Create another folder within this folder and replicate the parent theme path. The only difference will be the addition of ‘-child’ in the end as mentioned earlier.
- Write your code in the content-single.php.
That’s All There Is To Do
You can do this for any theme to create a child theme as long as you make sure that there is a separate folder for the child theme that replicates the parent one. You want to still let the parent theme update itself and not delete any changes you make that is personalized to your website. Now you understand the relevance of a child theme and its uses. With a child theme, you can make any changes without disturbing the parent theme and customize the look and layout of your website.
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