Amazing WordPress world is overcrowded with popular free and easy-to-use premium themes, but finding a theme for business needs is not an easy deal. Moreover, there is always a risk to damage an existing website by adding new updates and modifying the content. Fortunately, WordPress proposes a good decision for this problem. It’s called child theme.
WordPress child themes are as simple as a bit of custom CSS code. Child themes open new horizons to the WordPress website. They are able to save existing parent theme and website functionality while changing or adding some content. The main principle of child themes is a perfect combination of the parent-child relationship. WordPress themes, both premium, and free templates are parent themes. And all child themes adopt their characteristics from the parent themes. That is, the child theme will get the full set of functions from the parent theme.
If updates of parent themes are released, the child theme doesn’t take them. Only the content of the parent theme can change, but the settings of the child theme remain the same. Thus, you can save changes and enjoy your own updates only in the child theme. Let’s sort out why to use a child theme.
Which are key differences between the child theme and the parent one?
Well, now let’s get to know the main differences between the parent and child theme:
- The child theme can`t function without installing parent and child themes simultaneously. First, it’s recommended to activate the parent theme.
- The child theme is created only for one parent theme. There is no possibility to create one child theme for several parent theme.
- Any modifications of the parent theme do not affect the child in any way.
One may ask us: why to use a child theme? Our team strictly believes it`s better to use a child theme and we give you a few valuable reasons.
Theme updates. If you modify the theme code and then the theme will get updates, all these modifications will be lost. It seems that`s an important reason to start using a child teme. Do you still need theme updates? Yes! For example: what if the theme update includes a security fix and in case of absence of theme update, your WordPress website could become a potential target for hackers.
Easy to Extend. Great flexibility is one of the main advantages of a child theme. There is no need to write a lot of code. You can modify only those template files and functions that you need.
Benefits of using Child Theme
The existing concept of a child theme is great. We suggest using child themes with all premium themes, and Crumina Team includes child themes in the package with our premium theme.
The child themes have a lot of advantages:
- The child theme saves your settings. Using a child theme, you can make changes directly to the code, without fear of losing your settings when updating the theme.
- The child theme is the first step in learning how to write code for WordPress.
- A child theme can improve the overall workflow. Using only one theme, you can create sites with different levels of functionality and complexity for several customers.
Child theme components
The child theme is a continuation of the parent theme, adopting all the functions and features. There is the main structure of the child theme:
- Directory of the child theme: This is the root of the folder where the files of the child theme are located.
- File style.css: This file contains all the properties of the styles of your child theme.
- The functions.php file: Contains the definition of the functions that are called in your child theme.
You can add any number of template files, but the above files must be in each child theme.
The easy way to install a child theme
For example, our SEO theme functionally provides an opportunity to create a child theme in 3 steps.
- Install and activate the parent theme according to its documentation.
- Install and activate the child theme right after that. The child theme comes packaged with the parent one, so you will easily find it. In all Crumina themes it is located in the ‘Child theme’ folder of the theme package.
- Customize installed child theme. Done!
How to add my custom CSS to the child theme?
It’s available for admin to add custom CSS to the child theme. One should strictly know how to do it correctly. Otherwise, it leads to damaging the child theme. We`ll explain how it works in POLO theme. You can insert your custom CSS codes directly to the style.css file, that is located in the CHIL THEME FOLDER by default or to Theme Options>Advanced Options>Custom CSS Code section. Both ways are correct.
As you can see the child themes bring a lot of advantages to your website. It doesn`t change your website appearance but allows to make modifications without a fear to lose all content. It is very flexible, and therefore definitely saves you money and time. Try child theme right now like experienced WordPress theme developer did.