WordPress Tutorial - Creating a Child Theme

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A child theme is a modified version of a parent theme. Creating a child theme allows you to preserve your original WordPress theme and prevent any of your custom style changes from being overwritten when the developer updates the original theme.

Child themes inherit all the original functionality of the original theme, and they will also be updated when the developer upgrades the theme's functionality.

Step 1: Create a New Folder

Create a new folder in your WordPress themes directory using an FTP program. I like to use the same name as the original theme and just add -child to the end.

So if you're using the twentyeleven theme, just name it twentyeleven-child

Step 2: Create your style.css file

Create a new file in a text or web editor called style.css and use the following code. Of course you would modify it to fit your theme.


Step 3: Make Your Customizations

Add any custom CSS changes below the @import line as seen above. When you're done save the file and upload it to your new child folder (see video below).

Step 4: Test and Publish

Login to the WordPress Admin panel and go to the "Themes" area under "Appearance." You should see the new child theme you created. Preview then activate your new theme when you're ready.

Video Instructions

Need a visual? Here's a walkthrough video that will show you how to create a child theme.

Installing WP | Admin Overview | Editing Your Design | Plugins


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