How To Create A WordPress Child Theme

One of the best themes you can have in 2014 is a WordPress Child Theme.  There are a good amount of reasons that many WordPress Developers are beginning to work with the child themes.  These themes give the perfect opportunity to customize for your site a unique layout right on to of another theme that you already have.  This is a great theme for people who are just starting out, because they can play around with the theme and it will help with their learning.

Normally, a lot of the premium themes will have new updates, but sometimes it can be awhile.  If you are choosing to make changes to your core theme file it will be overwritten when you perform updates.  With a child theme, the great thing about it, is that it will be completely separate, and you will be able to easily tuck it away.   What this means exactly, is that you will be able to build off of an existing theme, and then you can also save a lot of time during the process.

In this post, I would like to show you some of the basic concepts when creating a WordPress child theme, and the reasons why it is such a great idea for your site!

When you are first Getting Started with the WordPress Child Theme:

These themes are actually not as hard as they may look.  Some of the main benefits of working with the parent theme means you will not have to write all your own HTML and/or CSS from scratch.  The child theme automatically uses any kind of template file that you decide to include, such as footer.php, or sidebar.php.  If these things happen to be missing, your WordPress child theme will grab the exact same files from the parent.

This perfect functionality will offer a huge amount of freedom to be able to customize an already existing template.  It is also wonderful to touch up an area around your personal site for any type of special event, like adding some type of design patter for the holidays like Christmas.

The Required Files

You will basically only need a single .css stylesheet for you to be able to set up the child theme in your WordPress.  Another thing you will also be required to do is create the new directory in the section /wp-content/themes folder, so that it can house the child theme.  You should pay close attention to make sure you are not creating the folder inside of your parent theme part.  It should be right by this directory instead.

Most developers like to include with it a functions.php, and the will also put a screenshot.png with the same folder that has your recent CSS file.  This screenshot will be shown in the WordPress admin panel on your site, also your functions theme file is used for many back-end changes.

Let us focus for now with main stylesheets. This particular file is known as style.css.  It will include comment headers, and the key meta info.  These things are very important so that your personal theme is displayed as a child if you are including the parent directory theme for the site.  A header comment example is shown below:

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 10.03.36 PM

All of the tags should be normal to a standard WordPress Theme, except the template value, it should would be directory name for accompanied parent themes.

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