March 24, 2023

How to Create a WordPress Child Theme (Tutorial)

In this post, were going to talk more about what WordPress child styles are and why you must utilize them. Well talk about some scenarios where it makes sense to produce a child style and teach you how to do it.
Among the best things about using WordPress is its near-endless modification alternatives. There are some procedures you need to follow before you dive under the hood. Otherwise, your personalizations might not work as meant.
Thats where child themes come to the rescue. Theyre a WordPress feature enabling you to tailor your themes safely and keep all your tweaks organized. When you find out how to use them, your life ought to get a lot easier, especially if you spend a lot of time playing with your styles style and habits.
What is a WordPress Child Theme?
A WordPress kid style works simply the same as a routine one on the surface area. When triggered, itll work just as any of your other themes would. The distinction is, child styles have a moms and dad from which they inherit all their attributes.
For example, imagine youre utilizing the Twenty Twenty-Two theme on your blog site. You can create a child for it at any point, which would look and work simply the same. You can personalize every aspect of how a child style works without impacting its moms and dad. Heres how that can work in your favor:

You can update your themes securely. When you update a theme, you likewise lose any changes youve made to its code at the same time. However, if youre using a child theme and you update its moms and dad, you bypass this concern.
Its simpler to keep an eye on the changes you make to a style. Lots of WordPress themes consist of lots of files and numerous lines of code. Because its simple to lose track of those tweaks, that means any change to them– no matter how little– can be challenging. With a child style, you can make modifications to your hearts material and still keep things tidy.

Lets summarize what weve discovered thus far using an example.
WordPress will recognize it as a various product if you produce a child theme for Twenty Twenty-Two. The kid theme will acquire all of its parents styles and functions. WordPress then loads any modifications that bypass its default setup. Itll render those instead of the default Twenty Twenty-Two theme files if so.
It sounds challenging, but its simple once you learn how to develop one and see it in action.
When to Use Child Themes
If you prepare on making changes to your theme, you need to produce a kid for it. If youre completely pleased with the way your theme looks and works, you can utilize it as is.
Pro pointer: You can also choose to utilize WordPress custom/additional CSS capability if only CSS changes are needed. This is much simpler than developing a child style and can be done directly from the Customizer.
If youre still on the fence about whether its a great idea to use a kid theme or not, here are a couple of examples of situations where doing so makes sense:

We require to include a short bit of code to that file. This option will download a copy of the file to your computer and open it utilizing your regional editor.
/ *.
Style Name: Twenty Twenty-Two Child.
Style URI:
Description: Your very first child theme!
Author: John Doe.
Author URI:
Design template: twentytwentytwo.
Variation: 1.0.0.
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later on.
License URI:
Tags: child style.
Text Domain: twenty-twenty-two-child.
In the beginning glance, this appears like a lot of info, but for a child theme to work, theres just one field you require to get right: Template. In the example above, you can see we utilized twentytwentytwo, which is the name of the Twenty Twenty-Two themes directory. If youre utilizing a different theme as a moms and dad, you need to replace that worth with the name of its folder (not the styles complete name).
Youll likewise desire to choose a title and description that makes sense for your child theme because youll see both within WordPress Theme tab. As for the rest of the fields, the values can be changed with anything you like.
Moving on, after youve set the proper Template worth and fine-tuned the code, you can save the modifications to your style.css file and close the text editor. If you look at the Themes tab, you must see a brand-new addition.

If youre going to make any modifications– permanent or temporary– to your active themes functionality or style.
When utilizing a style that receives constant updates (which is an advantage!) and you do not desire to lose your customizations during the process.
To test changes you might want to carry out on your active style using a safe environment.

Your child styles folder can have any name you desire. For practical functions, we advise providing it a title you can easily recognize, such as twentytwentytwo-child (or something else, depending on what its parent theme is).
Youre all set to move on to step number two once you have a folder for your child style prepared to go.
2. Produce a Theme Stylesheet.
As you might know, stylesheets are the CSS files that provide your pages with the majority of their visual style. Each style features its own unique stylesheet, and your kid is no exception. Bear in mind that by default your kid theme will inherit all its moms and dads styles. You can override those by including brand-new code to the style.css file youre about to produce.
While your child styles style.css file will can be found in handy down the line, it likewise satisfies a crucial function today. It just informs WordPress “Hey, Im a theme also, load me alongside the rest!”.
For that to occur, you need to return to your kid styles directory site and gain access to it. Right-click anywhere within and pick the Create brand-new file choice.

Now, right-click anywhere within the styles directory site, choose the Create directory alternative, then set a name for your brand-new folder:.

Any of these situations are excellent factors to use kid styles daily. If youre going to create one primarily for test purposes, you may also desire to look into setting up a staging site.
How to Create a WordPress Child Theme (in 5 Steps).
If this is your very first time establishing a WordPress kid style, you must definitely support your site. Do not be scared– the process is very straightforward, however it constantly pays to err on the side of caution.
Prior to we leap in, you should currently know which style you desire to utilize as the parent in this situation. If youre just doing this for testing functions, feel complimentary to select one of WordPress default themes in the meantime.
1. Produce a Folder for Your Child Theme.
The first action is, of course, the simplest. Each theme you install on your site has its own folder within a devoted themes directory on your server. To kick things off, were going to create a new subdirectory for your brand-new kid style.
There are a lot of ways to connect with your sites file structure– such as through your panel– but were partial to Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) due to its ease of use. To access your site through FTP, youll require a devoted customer. We suggest utilizing FileZilla since its simple to get even for beginners, and its under consistent development. Youll likewise need to brush up on your skills before dealing with these steps if youre not au fait with using FTP.
Once installed, gain access to your websites directory site utilizing your SFTP credentials. This directory site frequently appears as public_html however at DreamHost, the default is the domain youve included (
Go into the directory and make your way to wp-content/themes/. Inside, youll find a distinct folder for each of your WordPress styles.

3. Configure Your Child Theme to Inherit Its Parents Style.
By now, you ought to have developed a folder and style.css file for your brand-new child theme. Within the latter, we included details designating it as a theme. The next action is to make sure your kid theme inherits its parents style and features.
To do this, were going to use a functions.php file, which allows you to instruct WordPress to add new functions. Within that file, were going to include a script to “mark time” your moms and dad styles stylesheet (not the one we just developed). Afterward, your child style will be ready for you to use.
To begin, go back to your kid styles directory site. Inside, produce a brand-new file called functions.php, simply as you did with style.css throughout step second.

Each theme you set up on your site has its own folder within a dedicated styles directory on your server. If youre utilizing a different style as a parent, you require to change that value with the name of its folder (not the themes complete name).
By now, you should have produced a folder and style.css file for your brand-new kid style. In any case, you can utilize any image you desire as your themes screenshot.

If you were to produce a footer.php file within its child style, WordPress would automatically pack that one rather. The platform does this as long as both files share the same folder tree structure. In this case, because your parent themes footer.php file is located at the top of the twentytwentytwo directory, the exact same needs to apply for its counterpart.

Armed with that details, you can access your child themes style.css file and add the required code to modify it. You can then save the changes to your style.css file and youre excellent to go. Return to your websites front end to see what your theme looks like now.
2. Learn to Override Your Parent Themes Files.
A minute ago, we discussed how your child themes style.css immediately bypass its parent styles code. The very same applies for any other file of which there are two between your moms and dad style and its child.
Picture, for instance, you decide to create a kid for the Twenty Twenty-Two style. The parent, in this case, has a footer.php file within its theme folder:.

You can include a brand-new design to any style you desire, although the process is a bit involved. If you want to try your hand at creating a new one, heres a tutorial to get you started.
4. Usage Theme Hooks.
In WordPress, hooks are sets off that allow you to add custom-made code when something takes place or tweak the method your files work. These are both things you can achieve by customizing your files, however using hooks is much cleaner given that they exist separately.
Learning how to develop hooks is a bit beyond the scope of this article.
Simply put, you can include hooks to your child style using its own functions.php file. By doing this, any modifications you make remain independent of its parent style.
Unlock the Benefits of WordPress Child Themes.
WordPress kid styles can be daunting at. Plus, adding personalizations to your child theme must provide you with a better understanding of how WordPress works, which can open a lot of doors.
Do More with DreamPressDreamPress Plus and Pro users get access to Jetpack Professional (and 200+ premium themes) at no included expense!

Freshly minted kid themes dont included these images, so you need to supply one for WordPress to pack it. Thankfully, this is a really simple process. All you have to do is include a PNG image called screenshot.png within your kid styles directory.

As long as both files share the very same name, WordPress will do the rest. Using this technique, youll have the ability to alter any element of your styles performance. Plus, if you ever break anything, you can merely delete the upseting file from your kid styles directory site and start over.
3. Produce Custom Page Templates.
Whenever you develop a new page in WordPress, you can choose which design template to utilize alongside it. A few of the most common examples include full-width layouts or those with sidebars.

In this case, theres no need to replace any of the codes worths. The very same code will work despite which parent style youre using considering that you already designated this using the style.css file.
To make a long story short, that bit of code tells WordPress it must pack your moms and dad themes stylesheet, which is the last piece of the puzzle you need for your child theme to work.
Now conserve the changes to your functions.php file and close it. Make certain to agree when FileZilla asks you if you wish to replace your websites functions.php file, and thats it! Now your kid style is all set for its grand debut.
4. Activate Your New Child Theme.
To utilize your kid theme, go back to your WordPress dashboard and go to the Appearance > > Themes tab. Inside, there need to be one theme without a featured image– your kid style.

Now open the file utilizing FileZillas View/Edit choice and paste the following code within:.
add_action( wp_enqueue_scripts, enqueue_parent_styles );.
function enqueue_parent_styles() style.css );.

Now, the pages source code will reveal up on a column to your right, including the particular class for the element youre checking:.

Click the Activate button next to the themes name and open your website as you usually would. Your website needs to look exactly as it did before we got started if you followed the previous 3 actions to the letter.

Feel complimentary to take a fast look around just to triple check everything is working correctly. If the response is “Yes” (which it ought to be), youre prepared to proceed to the 2nd part of this tutorial, where well talk about how to use your brand-new child style.
Before that, lets make one quick pit stop and add a featured image to your child style.
5. Add an Image to Your Child Theme.
So were clear– when we talk about a styles included image, were referring to the graphic that appears above its name within the Themes tab. Here are a few examples.

With that out of the method, your Themes tab ought to be looking incredible again, so its time to return to service.
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How to Customize Your WordPress Child Theme (4 Tips).
At this stage, you should have a fully working child style on your hands. You likewise have a firm understanding of how the whole procedure works and why each step in producing one is essential. This indicates we can leap right into playing around with your kid theme utilizing the files you just produced!
1. Include Custom Styles.
As you already know, every WordPress kid theme immediately inherits its parents styles. They also have their own stylesheet. If theres any conflict in between them, any personalizations you add to your child styles style.css file will then override their moms and dads styles.
Tweaking your themes style using CSS is easy as long as you know what its components are. Even if you dont, you can easily learn utilizing a web inspector, such as Chrome DevTools, which is included with your web browser. Simply right-click the element you wish to change and pick the Inspect alternative.

WordPress will show this image at a 387 x 290 resolution. Youll probably desire to save it utilizing a higher measurement so it displays well on larger screens. In any case, you can utilize any image you desire as your styles screenshot.

At some point, you might even end up creating your own theme.

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