A Beginner’s Guide for WordPress Child Theme

A Beginner’s Guide for WordPress Child Theme

Child Theme Parent Theme in WordPress

Content Management System(CMS)

CMS stands for Content Management System which is a software application that manages and publishes digital content in a website or blog. It has a human friendly and easy to understand interface, so users with limited technical knowledge can also install and work on CMS.

Users can create their website quickly using some pre-built template and custom style sheet. There are multiple pre-built plug-in also available for customization; users can add each type of content very easily using backend functionality.

All about WordPress

WordPress is a mostly used content management system. WordPress was introduced in 2003, it has become very popular compared to other cms, and 40% of the websites on the internet are built in WordPress.

WordPress is also highly adaptable, it is an appropriate choice for all types of business and organisation. We can create an e-commerce website, payment gateway, custom plugins, custom theme, custom child team etc in WordPress. WordPress is built in php and it uses a MySQL database for storage so basic knowledge of these two things gives good understanding in WordPress.

WordPress is designed with an SEO concept so its functionality helps users to optimise their websites and bring more visibility to their websites.

Also Read: WordPress Multisite: A Step-by-Step Guide to create WordPress Network

Reasons to create a child theme in WordPress:

  • Without modifying the original theme you can make customizations to your theme’s functionality or appearance.
  • Making customizations to WordPress themes without losing them during theme updates. 
  • WordPress’ pre-built plugin may conflict with your theme, because the plugin changes the same file which you customise in the theme file that is why conflict generates, so to resolve this issue by creating a child theme can be the best idea.
  • If you’re using multiple themes in one website, you also need to generate conflicts between two different theme activating.

When was the concept of WordPress child theme introduced?

Child themes are introduced in WordPress version 2.7, and released on December 10, 2008.
Users used it to modify and customise theme files before child themes arrived. Customising theme files causes a lot of problems, For example possible loss of customization and security vulnerabilities during theme updates.

Also Read: What are the Functionalities of Actions, Filters and Hooks?

What was the challenging task in a project?

When you want to customize your header.php file in your theme to add logo image and menu items on the website header, these changes work perfectly and your website looks and functions as you want.

Now, when you’re going to update your WordPress theme to the latest version of the theme, you will observe that the changes that you made in header.php are no longer there. This is because of an update of your theme so it overwrites the original header.php file with the new version, which does not have the modification code.

Also Read: Top 10 Dominating Web Development Trends to Look for in 2022

How to solve your problem by creating a child theme:

In this case, you want to customize your code in header.php file and you also want to update your theme to the latest theme but then your code is gone, so here customization conflict was generated, child theme concept will solve this problem, do you want to know how? Let us explain to you that by creating a child theme and customizing our header.php file in our child theme and activate the child theme and update our parent theme.

Now your modification will not fade away when you update the parent theme because inheritance rules apply here. So, child theme file data shows first then parent theme file.

Step-by-step process to create a child theme:

  1. Create New Folder: Go to the theme folder on your project, it is located in wp-content/theme.now create a new folder into the theme directory and name it something similar to your theme name like “mytheme-child” for child theme. For Example my parent theme name was it-company then my child theme name should to be it-company-child.
  2. Create a Style.css File: Now into your child theme directory, create a new file and name that file as a “style.css“. this is a required file into your child theme, top of the style.css file add following code first then add your CSS code if you want to add.
    Theme Name: Sprybit ChildTheme 
    URI: https://www.sprybit.com/
    description: >-IT Company Child Theme
    Author: Janki Makwana
    Author URI: https://www.sprybit.com/
    Template: it-company
    Version: 1.0.0
    License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
    License URI: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
    Text Domain: it-company-child
  3. Create a functions.php File: Create a new file into your child theme folder named function.php. This file will contain all your additional functions or modifications you want to make to your child theme
  4. Enqueue Parent Theme Stylesheet: Add the following code to your child theme’s functions.php file to enqueue the parent theme’s stylesheet:
    function mytheme_enqueue_styles() {
        wp_enqueue_style( 'parent-style', get_template_directory_uri() .    '/style.css' );
        wp_enqueue_style('child-style',get_stylesheet_directory_uri().'/style.css',array( 'parent-style' ),
    add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'mytheme_enqueue_styles' );
  5. This code tells WordPress to load the parent theme’s stylesheet before loading the child theme’s stylesheet, and here the global variable function to get acf field and fetch style to get that.
  6. Now create a header.php file in your child theme and add your code.
  7. Activate the Child Theme: Go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Themes. You could see your child theme listed there. Click the Activate button and activate the child theme.
Step-by-step process to create a Child Theme

That’s all, nothing more, you now have a child theme that inherits the functionality and styling of the parent theme but allows you to make modifications without affecting the parent theme files.

As you have learned, building a child theme in WordPress is not that much complicated task. All it takes is a folder and two files. Yet despite its simplicity, a child theme is quite powerful. It allows to completely and safely customize a website without editing any core files.

Web Development,WordPress
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