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How to create a WordPress child theme

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A WordPress child theme is a way to modify an existing theme without making changes to the original theme files. This is a good option if you want to make changes to a theme, but you don’t want to lose those changes when the theme is updated.

To create a child theme, you will need to:

  1. Choose a parent theme.
  2. Create a child theme folder.
  3. Create a style.css file.
  4. (Optional) Create a functions.php file.
  5. Activate the child theme.

Choose a parent theme

The first step is to choose a parent theme. Any WordPress theme can be used as a parent theme, but it is best to choose a theme that is well-coded and well-supported.

Create a child theme folder

Once you have chosen a parent theme, you need to create a child theme folder. The folder name should be the same as the parent theme name, with the addition of “-child” at the end. For example, if the parent theme is named “twentytwentyone”, the child theme folder should be named “twentytwentyone-child”.

Create a style.css file

The next step is to create a style.css file. This file is where you will make changes to the parent theme’s CSS. The style.css file should contain the following line at the top:

/* Theme Name: Your Child Theme Name */

You can then add your own CSS rules to the style.css file.

(Optional) Create a functions.php file

The functions.php file is where you can add custom PHP code to your child theme. This is where you can add custom functions, hooks, and filters.

Activate the child theme

Once you have created the child theme folder, style.css file, and (optionally) functions.php file, you need to activate the child theme. To do this, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on the Appearance > Themes page. Then, click on the Activate button next to the name of your child theme.

Your child theme is now active. You can make changes to the parent theme’s CSS and PHP by editing the corresponding files in your child theme folder.

Here are some additional tips for creating a WordPress child theme:

  • Use a text editor like Notepad++ or Sublime Text to edit your theme files.
  • Use a CSS preprocessor like Sass or Less to make your CSS more organized and easier to maintain.
  • Use a WordPress theme development framework like Roots or Timber to make the development process easier.
  • Test your theme thoroughly on multiple devices and browsers before publishing it.

Creating a WordPress child theme can be a fun and rewarding experience. By following these steps, you can create a theme that perfectly suits your needs and style.

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