What is WordPress Child Theme?

As much as everyone loves to just jump in and modify a purchased theme, it’s a huge mistake because when that theme is updated all of your settings and customizations are in danger of being lost. Creating a child theme is a way to prevent this from happening

First a couple of definitions:

Parent Theme

A parent theme is an ordinary theme that contains all the necessary files that makes it complete such as the index.php, styles.css etc. For a complete list visit here:

Any theme is a parent theme as long as it is complete (that is, it has all the necessary files) can have a child theme.

Child Theme

While a child theme is similar to the parent theme it is not designed to function independently instead, it complements an already existing theme by adding more files or allowing you to override some of the existing files of the theme.

You can look here for the requirements to build a child theme. Ill add thoughts and details on this later.

Benefits of Using a Child Theme

  • Using a pre-exiting theme saves time in development because it has existing functionality instead of creating a theme from the scratch
  • It also ensures that you dont lose your customizations after upgrading the parent theme.
  • If for some reason you dont like the customization then just disable the child theme so its great for testing!

Examples of Popular WordPress Child Themes For a Couple of Niches

AgentPress Pro WordPress Child Theme

AgentPress Pro WordPress child theme adopts amazing minimalist design and is compatible with desktop and mobile devices. The theme is suited for real estate agents who are in need of an appealing website to drive sale.

AgentPress layout uses a massive background picture that fascinates your website visitors. The theme comes with featured images, HTML5 mark up and custom menu options. When you download the AgentPress Pro WordPress child theme, you are allowed to choose from four different color options to customize your website.

Café Pro WordPress Child Theme

As its name implies, Café Pro child theme is best for coffee and restaurant businesses. It is a mixture of two different themes to create a unique interface that impresses website visitors.

Café Pro features a header that allows for the addition of contact address, number and links. While the child theme can serve restaurants best, it can be used by other business. Café Pro is beautiful minimalist theme that is developed with CSS3 coding and HTML5. It features different sections including an area for uploading logo.

Parting Thoughts

As important as the child theme is, very few people use it because they don’t understand what it is. People still choose to modify their original theme files, editing and adding more files until the theme is first updated and all their hard work is lost. What is even worse, instead of fixing it, they will often just restore a backup, leaving the site vulnerable to any security patches that might have been part of that release. Questions? Thoughts? Comments?