Parents give all those values to their kids that they know, while at the same time encourage them to be unique in their own ways. Surprisingly, this is also applicable to WordPress child themes and parent themes. WordPress is the best CMS for those who want to build their site without hiring a developer or without any tech knowledge. It is certainly a promising tool to build an elegant looking website.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into WordPress and its child themes. First, let’s lay eyes on WordPress itself.
What is WordPress?
Launched in 2003, WordPress has spread its wings exponentially in the market. People love this platform as it lets them aesthetically-appealing websites without scratching their heads by learning programming languages. In fact, you can use any kind of website you want using WordPress.
WordPress is called a Content Management System (CMS), which allows users to create and manage components of a website without the hassles of coding. The next thing you’ll need to launch your website is domain name and WordPress hosting, provider.
What is a WordPress Theme?
WordPress theme is a unique template containing multiple features. To be more specific, WordPress themes are made up of files that instruct the way one’s website will be displayed to the users. It includes files like style.css, index.php, text files and PHP. Altogether these files result in the overall design of a WordPress website. Themes are solely responsible for the visual appearance and how the users will communicate with your website. In short, they are responsible for the structure and cosmetics for your site. A theme is mostly liable for front-end of the website which includes colors, widgets, font, etc. A theme is a must for any website built in WordPress.
“Multipurpose” themes work for almost any type of website, which offers a lot of features and preferences. While “niche themes” are those which are specially made for individual themes of websites. If you have a photography business, in such cases, a photography theme would be ideal for your website.
WordPress provides free as well as paid themes that you can choose from. WordPress Themes Directory (WordPress.org) is available that lets you choose any theme you want. Carefully look at the components a specific theme offers so that you can pick the one which is best for you as per your website requirements.
Here, when you make changes to your WordPress theme and wish to keep those modifications after updates, it’s highly recommended that you use a child theme. If the changes are not made using a child theme, the changes made can erase off when the update happens. Now, let’s unmask some essential things about the benefits of WordPress child themes.
There is no child theme without a parent theme. A parent theme is just like your usual WordPress theme. The child theme obtains all the functions and code of its parent theme, along with it the child theme also has some extra properties which make it distinctive from the latter. While using a child theme you add on a code, which is not derived by the parent theme.
The parent theme does not include any of the features of the child’s theme. Also, the parent theme does not change at all when you add a child theme. Nor any of the files of the parent theme’s will be modified when you create a child theme. In short, altering a child theme will not change a parent theme at all. A child theme may have more template files than a parent theme. A regular child theme comprises of a style.css file. Additionally, the parent theme’s files are overridden by the child theme’s files. Child themes allow you to quickly and easily make changes on your website because there are fewer files to sort from.
It is a good idea to consider a child theme if you want to make several changes to your styling. One of the basic reasons to use a child theme is that the characteristics of a child theme are not erased when an upgrade is done for a parent theme.
Child themes are important as before they came into existence, it was not possible to update your theme at the same time by keeping the changes you made. Before that, if you had added a fancy pop-up menu to your website, you couldn’t update your WordPress site.
Now a question must have popped up on your mind that, “Is it possible to just keep the adjustments on your theme as it is and not upgrade your it, so that there would not be any need of a child theme?”
The answer is yes, but it won’t be a good idea as WordPress needs to be updated every now and then. Because most of the time these updates are released for security purposes and it often helps you make your website perform better.
If your website will be needing plenty of style.css or functions.php, we highly recommend using a child theme. If you just want to make a few changes to your CSS file, you can even use CSS plugin offered by WordPress.
Note: It is crucial that you select the proper parent theme for your child theme. Although any theme can be a parent, the niche themes are usually ideal
Even though you can create a child theme of any WordPress theme, you need to identify the number of changes that you may need while building your site. If the changes are not that major, then creating custom-style.css using the custom CSS plugin mentioned above can be sufficient. If there are too many modifications in the parent theme, then creating a custom theme is a good decision.
Hope this article has helped you comprehend everything about a child theme and when should you use it. If you have anything more to add about WordPress parent theme or parent theme, do share it in the comments section below.