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What is Child Theme in WordPress?

  • By admin
  • March 15, 2021

The developers on WordPress are more frequently enrolled to work on the customization of the theme. While you come across any such professional, you may notice that they work on the theme and the child theme option.

As per the definition from Codex, a child theme is referred to as – “A theme that has inbuilt functionality and styling that has been passed on from the parent theme.” It is a modified way to change the existing theme on WordPress.

Furthermore, it is simply understood that a child theme on WordPress is bound to be connected with another theme. It means that the child theme on WordPress will inherit the parent theme’s functionality and features and other shareable themes. It is done so that the themes on WordPress can share and derive working of another theme or a parent theme.

Explanation of WordPress child theme – 

Many of you may get confused by the name “child theme” because it is a lesser-known version of WordPress’s theme. If you are thinking so, we want to inform you that you are on the wrong track. A child theme is equally important and has the same version, which is equally powerful. You can also say that a child theme is more like an extension of the current WordPress theme.  

The WordPress developers explain the child theme in a more codable form as – A child theme is present on the top of your existing WordPress theme that you can change and modify as per your requirement. Here, you are allowed to make changes in the functionality and the way that it looks without causing any harm to the parent theme.

What’s the difference between Child Theme and Parent Theme?

When we talk about the themes of WordPress, we usually refer to the parent theme. It is because a parent theme is the main theme that handles all the features, styling, and functionality. It can also be said that a child theme may need a parent theme to work. However, the parent theme does not need a child theme to work more efficiently.

While talking about the child theme, you will see that it is an additional layer given at the top of the parent theme. The use of a child theme is that it allows your developer to – add, remove, or make changes in the existing theme of WordPress. Here, you need not worry about losing the customizations that you have saved. It is mandatory for a child theme to work correctly under the parent theme as it inherits their working. The files that are present on the parent theme will be accessible by the child theme.

Thus, working with a child theme will be more valuable as it adds features and style to the existing theme on WordPress. It is suggested not to edit the following directly –

  • Plugin Files
  • WordPress core files
  • Theme Files

Note: The starter themes are a special kind of theme that is meant to be worked on by the theme developers, with the exception of the theme files.

Advantages of using a Child theme on WordPress

It may occur to your mind that what is the use of child theme on WordPress when we are preferably using the parent theme. Thus, here is a list of advantages that will make sure about the need for child theme on WordPress –

  • The child theme makes it easy to amend changes in the existing theme.
  • You can save minor and major changes to the original theme without altering the impact on the original site’s performance.
  • It is the safest way to customize the WordPress theme as it will not make you lose the theme’s customization and built-in style.
Limitations of the child theme –

Every feature or plugin that you use has to have some limitations to enable the original website’s smooth functioning. With the allowance of functioning and styling of the child theme, there is a set of drawbacks that comes with limitations.  

The child theme on WordPress will allow you to make changes with a limit to the WordPress theme. If you want to have complete freedom for the adding up of features and customization, you need to look elsewhere. 

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