Child Themes

What is a child theme? Back to top

A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits design and functionality from its parent theme. Child themes allow you to change certain design elements or features of your site without changing the parent theme directly.

Why use a child theme? Back to top

Why should you make customizations in a child theme instead of the parent theme? The best reason to use a child theme is this: if you make changes to a parent theme, you will lose those changes if you install an update to that theme later. You might be thinking that you just won’t install theme updates in the future, but that’s not a good idea. What if an important security update or a critical bug fix is released for the theme? You need to install these updates, so do things the right way and make your customizations in a child theme.

Getting started Back to top

Creating a child theme can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know what to do. Lucky for you, we’ve created starter child themes for all of our themes. Getting started is as easy an uploading the child theme and activating it.

If you’re reading this and you’re not an Hybopress Themes customer, you should fix that right now. 🙂 Feel free to download of these child themes to use as a guide for creating your own child theme.

To get started:

  • Download the child theme that works with your parent theme.
  • Upload the child theme by visiting Appearance → Themes in your WordPress dashboard. Click Add New and upload the child theme zip file.
  • Activate the child theme.

Customizing styles Back to top

Now that you’ve activated your child theme, you’re ready to make your customizations. Custom styles go in your child theme’s assets/css/child-style.css file.

If you need help with custom styling, see one of the many great CSS tutorials for beginners.

Customizing template files Back to top

Sometimes you need to do more than customizing styles. Preferably we recommend you to customize parent theme using available action and filter hooks. But you can also copy any template file you want to modify, from the parent theme into your child theme’s folder and edit the text in the new file. The new file will automatically take precedence over the parent theme file, and any changes you make in the new file will be saved when you update the parent theme in the future.

Child theme downloads Back to top

Additional reading Back to top

For a more technical explanation of child themes and some examples for doing things like loading new javascript and styles, see this guide from the WordPress Codex.