What Is A WordPress Child Theme?
Child Themes are those which obtain their functionality from another WordPress Theme, usually referred to as the Parent Theme. These themes are usually created when an individual wants to alter or customize the theme without losing ability to later update the original WordPress theme as patches become available.
In the past you would not have been able to update these WordPress Themes without losing all your sites customizations. This created somewhat of a panic as site owners wanted to update and protect their site data as the patches became available, however they also feared having to reboot site development with every upgrade.
WordPress’ Core Developers and their growing Community of contributors looked into this dilemma and came up with the solution of offering Parent and Child Themes. These Child Themes would be designed to carry the same functionality, coding, and features of the parent theme, without creating alterations to the parent theme itself. This solution enabled WordPress users the ability to customize, add to, and modify features without fear of updating the original theme and losing site structure and customized functionality.
Theoretically, any WordPress Theme can be used to create a child theme from them, but it should be noted that not all WordPress Themes make the best Parent themes. WordPress Themes that possess a limited services requires several plug in’s and additives for a fully functional website.
Referred to as the Theme Framework, a good parent them e contains its own Hooks and Filters which allows WordPress Developers and Web Designers the ability to create full-bodied Child Themes with personalized functionality in a shorter time frame.
Why Choose Child Themes?
Child themes are great for those who are in a hurry to create their idea of the perfect WordPress Site. It can help reduce the amount of time needed to build a website, offer complete functionality for your intended business, as well as customization options for those DIY types who don’t really intend to change to WordPress Coding, just tweak it a bit to fit their Blog.
If you are running a simple operation and potentially including an e-commerce aspect for such opportunities as working from home, a child theme could be best option. However, if you are a major company or infrastructure, you might benefit more from having a WordPress Developer or expert web designer build you a distinct Theme. It is rare that such instances will occur as WordPress Contributors and Developers are always on top of fixing the next patch and creating some all new inclusive version.
It is really only recommended that WordPress users who are sure to incorporate or alter their Themes Layout and Plug Ins frequently invest in a great child theme. Of course if you just want to tweak some things within the layout, using a custom CSS plug in would work too; however, if you think you might be doing a lot of heavy alterations, you should invest in a child theme.
Advantages of Using WordPress Child Theme
As with all things, there are always pros and cons to dealing with new incorporation’s to your WordPress Site. Themes are no different; in fact, they can either make or break your website. Here are the advantages of using a Child Theme for WordPress:
- Safe to Update: With parent themes providing all the functionality for an ideal child theme, when you chose the child theme you also enable yourself to make any customization without altering the original Theme Framework. This is great because when new versions of the child theme are made available, you can easily update without fear of losing your child themes customization.
- Easy to Encompass: Incredibly well-rounded parent theme will provide all the flexibility without you having to be knowledgeable in coding.
- Fall Back Safe: The process of creating a child theme can be quick, especially when you know you have a reliable Parent Theme to fall back on in regards to coding and possible online scenarios and Site functions. If you forget to incorporate something crucial during your theme development you can always access the parent themes functionality as an option.
Disadvantages of Using Child Themes
As mentioned, WordPress Users will notice several Pros and Cons when incorporating new features into their blogs. Here are the Cons of having a child theme for WordPress Blogs:
- The Learning Curve: the time it takes to learn the parent theme can be the most crucial and time consuming part of creating an efficient child theme. The learning curve includes handling the individual Hooks and Filters of each Parent Themes full-bodied structures.
- Potential abandonment of Parent Theme: With child themes you want make sure it is based on a parent theme provided by a company who intends on maintaining the themes upkeep and maintenance. It can happen that an individual developer might decide to let that particular theme go and so your child theme can be inefficient and at some pint will possess a flurry of security gaps due to lack of maintenance. If you decided to go with a commercial framework, such as Genesis, you will always have access to customer support and theme upkeep since this company is one of the leading Developing companies around.
Conclusion of Child Themes for WordPress Sites
While you can create a child theme from practically any WordPress Theme, it is significant to note that you might not be essential to fashion your ideal WordPress at all; especially if you consider the amount and types of changes you might intend to make with your site.
If they happen to be minor, you could decide between using a Custom CSS Plug In or create a custom-style.css File. On the other hand, if you want to make severe changes that will make alterations to the core parent theme files, you might want to create a custom theme
Hopefully, you have an understanding of what Child Themes are and the various Pros and Cons associated for WordPress Users. Of course, every platform may not have need of a Child theme; however, they can be great for building your ideally functional website.
If you would like help deciding whether or not to use Child themes, contact professionals at CMS Managers knowledgeable in all things WordPress! They can provide you with a multitude of services like those within their various WordPress Support and Maintenance Packages starting at just $29.99.