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How To Create A Child Theme, And Why You Should Be Using One

Posted on October 17 by in Resources | 220 comments

How To Create A Child Theme, And Why You Should Be Using One

According to our recent WordPress Themes Survey, 85% of our customers customize their themes, and only 35% use a child theme when doing so. This may be due to a lack of understanding as to what a child theme is, or due to the perceived difficulty of creating one. In this tutorial, we will go over how to create and use child themes, and why using them is so important. (A special note for Elegant Themes customers only: If you are only looking to perform simple CSS changes to your theme, then you can use the Custom CSS box in ePanel instead of creating a child theme. For more in-depth changes that require editing php files, a child theme must be used.)

icon-getting-started

Why You Should Be Using Child Themes

Creating a child theme when performing adjustments to your theme’s code can save you a lot of future headache. Child themes allow you to make changes without affecting the original theme’s code, which makes it easy to update your parent theme without erasing your changes. By creating a child theme, you create a separate set of files that you can use to customize the theme without affecting the original theme at all. Not only does this make updating easier, it also makes sure that you will never ruin your original theme as you are never actually modifying the files. You can always turn off your child theme and fall back on the original.

understand

Getting Started

In this example, we will be creating a child theme for our Foxy theme. First things first, we need to create a new folder for your child theme. Naming it something like /foxy-child/ is conventional. Within your new theme folder, create a file called style.css and fill in the information as outlined below. The theme Name, URI, Description and Author are totally up to you.

/*
 Theme Name:     Foxy Child Theme
 Theme URI:      http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/foxy/
 Description:    Foxy Child Theme
 Author:         Elegant Themes
 Author URI:     http://www.elegantthemes.com
 Template:       Foxy
 Version:        1.0.0
*/

@import url("../Foxy/style.css");

/* =Theme customization starts here
------------------------------------------------------- */

The most important parts of this file are the “Template:” and @import sections, which identifies the parent theme imports the CSS from the original. You must ensure that the path to your parent theme’s css file is correct, and that the “Template:” parameter correctly identifies the name of your parent theme. If you are using a different theme, then adjust the values accordingly. Everything must be case sensitive! The folder of our parent theme is “Foxy” with a capital F, and the @import URL reflects this.

Activating Your Child Theme

After you have created your child theme folder and style.css file, you can upload and activate your new child theme. Uploading and activating a child theme is no different than a normal theme, simply upload it via the Appearances > Themes page in your WordPress Dashboard and activate it. Before you upload it, you must first ZIP it. Mac and Windows both have native ZIP functionality. Make sure that your parent theme is also uploaded (In the case of our example, the Foxy theme).

child-upload
icon-php

Modifying Your Theme’s CSS

We have now created our Foxy child theme and uploaded it. Because all we have done is import the original theme’s CSS, the theme will look exactly like the original. To modify your theme’s CSS, you can add any changes to your child theme’s CSS file below the @import line. All new CSS information is added after the original theme’s CSS is loaded. Because our new CSS is located below the original’s in the file, all new CSS styles will overwrite the original’s. For example, let’s say that we want to change the font weight of the “price tag” on our theme’s homepage. Right now it’s bold and gray, and we would like to make it thinner and green. We can add the relevant CSS to our foxy-child/style.css file as follows:

/*
 Theme Name:     Foxy Child Theme
 Theme URI:      http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/foxy/
 Description:    Foxy Child Theme
 Author:         Elegant Themes
 Author URI:     http://www.elegantthemes.com
 Template:       Foxy
 Version:        1.0.0
*/

@import url("../Foxy/style.css");

/* =Theme customization starts here
------------------------------------------------------- */

.et-price-sale { color: #5bbc26; font-weight: 300;}

Once this change is added, the CSS in the child theme’s style.css file overwrites the original. In this case we get a nice green price tag as shown here:

price-change
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Editing The Functions.php File

Functions.php is where a theme’s main functions are typically stored. A parent theme’s functions are always loaded with the child theme, but if you need to add more custom functions to your theme then you can do so by creating a new functions.php file within your child theme folder. The new functions will be loaded right before the parent theme’s functions. Your child theme’s functions.php file should start with a php opening tag and end with a php closing tag. In between, you can add your desired php code.

<?php

// Your php code goes here

?>

icon-css

Editing Other Template Files

Beyond CSS and Functions modifications, you can also make structural changes to your theme by adjusting the php template files. This should be done with care, but by editing the PHP files you can adjust any part of the theme. Unlike editing the functions.php, where the original theme’s functions are imported automatically, PHP files are edited by replacing the file entirely with a new one. The theme’s original file is ignored and the new one is used instead. The first thing we need to do is replicate the old file before we start to modify it. To do this, simply copy and paste the theme’s original file into your child theme folder ensuring that the file name and location is exactly the same. For example, if we want to modify the the Foxy/includes/navigation.php, then we would copy and paste this file to foxy-child/includes/navigation.php.

folder-structure

WordPress knows to use this file in place of the old one because its name and location are the same. We can then open the file and make any necessary changes.

<div class="pagination clearfix">
	<div class="alignleft"><?php next_posts_link(esc_html__('&laquo; Older Entries','Foxy')) ?></div>
	<div class="alignright"><?php previous_posts_link(esc_html__('Next Entries &raquo;', 'Foxy')) ?></div>
</div>

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Additional Child Theme Resources

1. The One Click Child Theme Plugin – If you are having difficulty wrapping your head around the creation of the child theme folder, then this plugin will create one for you with the click of a button!

2. The WordPress Codex - There is all kinds of great documentation in the WordPress codex. If there is anything you need clarification on in this post, then this should be your first stop.

3. Child Theme Pros and Cons - For more information about the pros and cons of using Child Themes, WP Beginner has a great writeup.

220 Comments

  1. I have been needing this for so long!! The explanations I found online were too confusing to me so I always gave up, but I know how important using child themes is. Thanks!!

  2. Great tutorial. It clears many confusions related to child themes. Thanks!

  3. I’ve always saved my edits in a text file so that I could update without losing my changes but always meant I had to re-add them each time.

    Thank you for this knowledge bomb!
    Wordpress Level Up!

    • I know! I thought “wow, the time they put into choosing the icons”. I liked it.

      Especially today, where everybody blogs with stock photos.

      :)

      • I was commenting in the below comment about icons…

        sorry.

    • I was doing exactly the same. Although I’m not a programmer (as a graphic designer that i always got involved in web design etc.) i don’t know much about css and coding apart from html. This tutorial was veeeeery helpful!

  4. I love the round icons that you have used for each section of this tutorial… ;-)

    • The article icons caught me eye the most! The child theme info was great, too ;-)

  5. Hello, I must confess that I am addicted to your blog, thanks for the info

  6. Awesome Post, and very good advice. Thank you :)

  7. HOLY SMOKES!

    They are coming thick and fast, you guys are on a MISSION!. This is brilliant thanks again.

  8. I made a child theme once and it seemed to slow the site down. Any idea why? Thanks!

    • Using a child theme should not slow down your website, unless of course your customizations themselves added excessive queries or assets to load.

      • So why using @import get penalized by Google & Yahoo speed metrics?

        • Instead of using the @import I came across this article:
          http://kovshenin.com/2014/child-themes-import/

          Kovshenin mentions using the following code inside the functions.php file:

          // Faster than @import
          add_action( ‘wp_enqueue_scripts’, ‘my_child_theme_scripts’ );
          function my_child_theme_scripts() {
          wp_enqueue_style( ‘parent-theme-css’, get_template_directory_uri() . ‘/style.css’ );
          }

          • Yeah, this seems like a better way to do things and the method wordpress codex recommends.

    • It could be the 12 css files and 10 javacsript files that download with the Modest theme

  9. Thanks Nick,

    Finally got my head wrapped around this – now I just need to extract all my changes to my current theme and migrate them to child. then I can finally install the much needed theme update.

  10. Good info to know, but not really required as there are dozens of good and free plugins that create child themes.

    • Thanks for the suggestion Luis.

    • Glad to read about this new plugin. Despite ET’s recommendation — and I love you guys, you know that, right????

      I get nervous about a plugin that hasn’t been updated in two years. :-)

      • This plugin only creates the basic child theme files – it can be deactivated afterwards…

    • I have been using Child Themify with great results!

  11. Hi Nick and Elegant Themes crew,

    Great post and great blog!

    And… amazing themes: I love them!

    Particularly I am using a Foxy child theme for my blog -> http://www.desdealicante.com

    And this tutorial has taught me some concepts I didn´t understand.

    I love all the freebies you are giving away to your customers: the icon fonts, business icons, flat icons, templates… They are just awesome and they let us take our blogs to the next level!

    You guys rock!

    Kind regards from Spain.

  12. I did … use a other theme from some other developers … But I will never ever do that again. Your support and blog posts are so much more help full then all the others I used before and tried now. Thanks so much for your great articles and technical support.

  13. Thanks for this information. As always you guys are providing useful advice.

    I have to say, though, that I have installed child themes on a couple of Elegant Themes installations and the child theme did not render appropriately for reasons I still don’t understand. True, this was a few versions of the theme ago, but it left me reluctant to try again.

    I find that for very simple tweaks it has worked fine for me to go to Theme Options | General Settings and make changes in the “Custom CSS” box. Those changes have remained even after updating the theme to the newest version. Of course, I always keep a backup. This solution does not work, however, for changes made to the *.php files.

    • Hey Cliff, don´t be afraid at all about child themes. It simply is the right way to go. As I said in one of may posts about creating child theme: “At the beginner level this subject is surrounded by an inexplicable mystery halo. I don´t really know what the reason for this is, but for somebody who doesn´t know the basics of child themes or how to create one, the whole thing usually appears like something to be done by an expert”.

      Seriously, give it a new try and you´ll see how easy the whole thing is. And you´ll love working with child themes from now on! :)

      • Thanks for the words of encouragement, Luis. I just may do that for the next one.

    • I had the same issues when using child themes a while back. Fonts and formatting, etc. didn’t render correctly in the child theme. So I went back to altering the original theme. Maybe things will work this time because I would really like to keep my themes updated!

  14. You really surprise me that only 35% of your customers customize your themes using a child theme.

    I wonder how they have been managing updates?

    • I am afraid that they don’t update their themes as often, which is something we would love to remedy by encouraging child theme use :)

      • Nick,
        idea that solves the problem,
        create child theme together with default theme download parent.
        So user activates immediately child.
        Great big help

        please, integrating language folder ;)

        I can not run language o_O

        Thanks for everything Nick

        • I agree with you @ramthas. It’s THE solution.

          • Agree with ramthes a 1.000%. This was why I moved away from ET. Theme has no child theming concept. It is not about encouraging the users to add one, it is about adding it right away, with all it needs, functions, styles and languages. It misses badly. Would give the sense of not having to bother about extra time spent to update.

            Just take theme, upload and good. WITHOUT own mistakes one could make in creating a child theme concept. Hasnt it be integrated in Divi BTW?

        • Another +1 for child theme provided as standard. I’m now at the point of implementing a child theme due to the number of tweaks I made over time. I imagine that most people don’t envisage that they will make many changes when they first start out with their sparkly new theme, but then they get to the point of having a completely out-dated theme and too many customisations to make it easy to switch to a child theme and other worries about messing up their site. Whilst I will be doing this from now on, I think it is about time this became good practice.

      • would be great if somehow themes could be updated from within the dashboard, would simplify the process and maybe reduce the issues you have from people not updating.

        • What happens if you dont update your elgant theme??

          • Bug and security issues to your site, or your server.

    • I’ve been managing without a child theme by simply copying what was done to my theme into a file on my computer and pasting the code back after each update. Ok to do when there isn’t much but now I have quite a few things to copy/paste so I’ll be creating a child theme ;-)

  15. Creating child themes is great when you update themes regulary or when the theme need to be working and you don’t keep track of your changes, so when the update comes you don’t know what you did to the original theme.

    But.

    If you know what you’re doing, creating child themes also creates lots of new files that needs to be get for the web to render correctly, also it creates the @import problem.

    All in all, it all depends on your demands, if you want the absolute fatest site, you should be using only 1 theme and avoid @import at all cost, optimize for performance, but… you will have to work harder when the theme is updated.

    Or.

    You could use child themes, avoid the nightmare of having to check each file before updating the theme and get a site a little slower but much more easy to manage.

    I prefer not to use them, but I’m a freak anyway.

    Btw: EXCELLENT post, you’re doing great, posting all this useful information, you’re the BEST site for beautiful themes and you really love what you do, that’s… priceless.

  16. Thank you for explaining this in a simple but thorough manner! I sometimes use Child Themes, but often edit the original theme because I’ve been confused in the past with Child Themes, but this helps tremendously!

    • You’re welcome Julie :)

  17. Merci pour cette aide, si vous faite un article qui rentre plus en profondeur dans les détailles, je suis preneur.

    Ukutchuss

  18. i am using Vertex theme and have followed your instructions to a T. When I see the child theme in the appearance/themes section of the dashboard i get this:

    Broken Themes

    The following themes are installed but incomplete. Themes must have a stylesheet and a template.
    Name
    Vertex Child Theme
    Description
    Template is missing.

    Not sure what to do next. any advice is appreciated. thank you.

    • You may have added the path to your parent theme CSS file incorrectly, or you have the wrong name in the Template: parameter. Also make sure that your parent theme is uploaded.

    • I am also attempting the child theme on Vertex. Just to be safe, I went no further than incorporating the @import line with the exact relative path and proper case to the parent theme’s style.css file.

      It installs fine, does all the checks for the parent them and says it’s happy, but when I view the site it is clearly missing all of its styles. Everything is floated left and just raw.

      I’ve looked and looked and looked and re-typed the line from scratch, but to no avail. Any pointers or debug methods?

    • Hi,

      I don’t know if you problem was ever resolved, but i encountered the same and wasn’t able to get a solution either. After tinkering around a bit, i finally managed to make it work.

      I changed the line

      Template: Vertex
      to
      Template: Vertex/Vertex

      I think the reason for this is because the folder structure for Vertex is …/themes/Vertex/Vertex/style.css compared to most other elegant theme paths which follow the basic formate …/themes/parenttheme/style.css.

  19. Quite shocking statistics really, if people have the knowledge to modify the theme, they should really know to add it to a child theme?? Have been using child themes for years, it just makes so much sense and makes customisation so flexible and future proof. How about adding a blank child theme download to all elegant themes to encourage this?? Just a thought!!

  20. Thanks for a great clear post!

    Question: if I use a .php file in my child theme, when I update my theme, are there any .php files that are updated with the theme? In other words, is it possible that a php file I am using in my child theme needs to be updated with the theme? But if I am using this php file in my child, this particular file won’t be properly updated?

    Hope I’m making sense.

    Thanks for the clarification!

    Lindsey

    • Yes, it this case I would pay close attention to the changelogs. We mention any php files that were edited. For these particular files, you would need to copy over the new file and re-apply your customizations.

      • Thanks, Nick, for the tip – will do!

      • Thanks, that was my question too. That’s why I still end up editing the php files manually every time.

        (And I can’t *believe* I never noticed the “custom CSS” field.)

  21. Great article guys!
    The only thing I hate about using childthemes is when you have both the parent & child theme code open & you edit the parent one instead of the child one(late night code binges)!
    Lol …arrggg
    Just one point to help the newbies … add css headings into your childtheme so you know what your css script controls. That way you can easily go back through your childtheme code & you have it all documented.
    Otherwise you will have all this code & not know where one code starts & another one one ends, or what they control.
    Any idea what impact childthemes have on SEO, if any?
    You guys have been so helpful! Love your work :)
    Can’t wait to get my website live within a few months.

    • Child themes will not affect SEO at all (unless your customizations adjust the structure of your page, in which case there are many ways that changing your website can help/hurt SEO).

      • Then, what are they all arguing that the @import problem exists and causes lower speed in loading pages? If not page load increasses or decreases SEO rankings, then what?

  22. Hmm…. So to modify the navigation.php file, one needs to include the folder
    which contains it–and not simply copy the php file into the child theme folder ‘at the root’.

    Interesting.

    I also thought child themes would let me display different graphic files instead of the graphic files inside the parent theme [like having a different colored logo] but I could not get that to work—– even by recreating the file hierarchy inside the child theme folder to match the appearance of the parent folder.
    The original graphic file will keep being displayed unless I change the file in the parent folder itself.

    • If you want to replace a graphic file, then you can do so by editing the relevant style in your stylesheet and using a different image, or by editing the relevant PHP file and replace the path to your new image.

      • Thanks for the reply and the tips, Nick!

  23. So helpful! I’ve been using a child theme for css for a while but hadn’t delved into the php yet. Thanks again, I’m so glad I chose Elegant Themes. Y’all rock.

  24. One other point.
    When it’s time to update your theme it can be a bit worrying.
    You need to delete the parent version … then the childtheme vanishes. Then when you apply the update the childtheme reappears :D
    Heart starts beating again…. well, for the first few times anyway.

    • Chris — I’m doubly paranoid. I use the Backup Wizard on my host for the entire site. THEN I go in via the Control Panel and download the theme files & the child theme files (if a child theme exists) to my laptop.

      My rule in my ye ole system management days still applies today.

      Always be able to get back to start.

      Makes the heart palpitations a lot less too. :-)

  25. Nice article! Just one observation though. You referred a plugin, The One Click Child Theme Plugin which has not been updated for more than 2 years. And is compatible up to WP 3.2.1 only. Is it a good practice to use a plugin that has not kept up with the present WP version ?

    • It’s true that it is better to use plugins that are well maintained. If you know of a better alternative let me know and I will update the post!

      • Hello Nick

        First of all, I am a little excited that THE man behind ET responded to my comment! :-) Thank you! And just to let you know, I am a huge fan of ET, am also a subscribed member.

        My two pence, now. I think your article very clearly outlays the philosophy behind Child Theme; and along with the great Codex article, should be the way to go. Without any need of a plugin!

        I also came across the Orbisius Child Theme Creator. They also provide a free sandbox environment to test out the Themes [ and plugins ] before deployment.

        Once again, thank you for the beautiful ET !

  26. Does a new Functions.php file in the child theme append or overwrite the original?
    and thanks

    • A child theme’s functions.php file is loaded in addition to the original.

  27. This article is long overdue. I learned my lesson a few years back in regards to child themes. Customizing a theme and then realizing that I could not update my theme to the latest version without losing said customizations is a real predicament. That is the tutorial I would like to see. It should be titled “So you didn’t use a child theme! Now what?”. It could walk users through using tools like file compare to reverse engineer their customizations then copy them out into a child theme. Now that would be a tutorial!

    • Dang Hugh! You just wrote what I was going to write. I screwed up & procrastinated… And then we got a WordPress upgrade AND an Elegant Theme upgrade to our themes — and I couldn’t have just ONE site…

      I wrote about it, “WordPress: How to Avoid ‘Upgrade’ Procrastination”.

      I have some nice things to say about Elegant Themes too. :-)

      I’ll update that post – or write a sequel to it — pointing to this great post.

  28. OMG. The way that I used to create child themes is the wrong way.
    Shared by ElegantThemes is very simple and easy.

    Thanks very much.

  29. OMG. The way that I used to create child themes is the wrong way.
    Shared by ElegantThemes is very simple and easy.
    Thanks very much.

  30. Obviously a popular topic! It’s been on my bucket list lately. I had someone do me a child theme for Evolution, but it needs a few tweeks and I needed the impetus to figure out how to do it.

    One thing about the post, I think it’s always good to get someone who is interested in the topic but has little experience in the subject area to read things like this through and say … say what??

    Here’s me reading it .. yeah, excited! child theme tutorial … cool! And I read this:

    First things first, we need to create a new folder for your child theme. Naming it something like /foxy-child/ is conventional. Within your new theme folder,

    And I’m like .. . create a new folder … umm where? And then I go away and, I don’t know, make a coffee or something. Because right there I’m lost and I haven’t even gotten started yet.

    Anyway, I’m loving the posts recently. thanks.

    • Same problem, did you ever figure it out? I’m stuck too b/c the instructions are not clear. I too was like oh maybe I need to get a coffee. Glad I’m not the only one!

    • That’s exactly it!! bang on!! “create a new folder?” uh “where” uh……….

      • I have no experience at all, so forgive me if I’m wrong, but I understood that you can create the new folder wherever you want, because you zip it & upload it like any others zipped themes.

  31. Very good tutorials for create Child theme. style.css and .php file editing guide-line is simply superb. I read many articles regarding create a child theme, but this tutorials just amazing and easy to learn. Thanks for share Nick !!!

  32. I would like to mention the editor in WP, which alows to edit the files directly in the browser, even with child theme. Makes it very easy to access.

    Need blog, thx guys!

  33. Nice article..thanks for code…

  34. Is there a way to easily make a child-theme after the original theme has already been customized and edited?

    • Alex,

      Did you find out the answer to your question? Can a site built on a modified Parent Theme be transferred to a child theme?

  35. Thanks for the perfect tutorial on child theme, I am going to check One click child theme plugin ! It’s totally new for me.

  36. Hi Nick,
    just one question,…
    apart of css and functions files, if you change any other php file of the main theme, and you do these changes in the child theme equivalent php file, when you update your main theme, you have to be worried about to replicate the very same changes you did on the former main theme into the new main theme php if they have changed…so it’s seems to be quite the same…
    so…you have to revise manually the files has changed in the update process in order to redo the former adjustments in the child theme equivalents files…
    (problably I’m wrong…)
    ¿¿??

    thanks any way for the blog in general is realyy useful and professional!!!

    jrox

  37. Could the child theme be used to store the language.mo file ?

    • Of course, it could be used. After all, the purpose of creating the child theme is to facilitate customization. Create a ‘languages’ folder in your child theme directory and store the language.mo files there.

      • Dear Hareesh, so it is enough to create the languages folder and store the .mo and .po files there???

        • Thank you for this tutorial. I always wanted to learn about Child Themes because I love making wordpress sites.

        • Save your translation files in your child theme folder in the directory “lang”
          Create a file called functions.php in your child theme directory and add following code:

          Replace THEME with your theme name, e.g. Divi.
          It should work like that.

  38. Is it possible to integrate the translation files .po and .mo in lang folder (lang) in a child theme?

    • Save your translation files in your child theme folder in the directory “lang”
      Create a file called functions.php in your child theme directory and add following code:

      Replace THEME with your theme name, e.g. Divi.
      It should work like that.

  39. Thanks for the wonderful post. I wish this had been available earlier. I had a hard time trying to figure out how to create a child theme just two weeks ago.

    I got it done eventually but I did not zip my style.css file before uploading. I just upload it as is into my child-theme folder. Now I’m getting worried…will there be any problem with theme updates in the future?

  40. You referenced a One Click Child Theme Plugin – I checked and it says it is over 2 years old and may have issues with current versions of WordPress. Is it still safe to use?

    Thanks for all your hard work and great product!

  41. Great post and it came at the perfect time. I was just doing some small changes to a new website right in the main themes code. Since creating a child theme is so darn easy I am going to add one before I go any further.

    Thanks

  42. Hi Nick, I followed your recipe to the ”T” and I keep getting a ”broken theme” message saying: ”The following themes are installed but incomplete. Themes must have a stylesheet and a template.
    Envisioned Child Template is missing.”

    Obviously, I’m using the Envisioned Theme. Here’s the code in the Envisioned style.css:
    */
    @import url (“../Envisioned/style.css)”;

    /* =Theme customization starts here
    ——————————————————- */

    Question: which template file should I upload ???

    Thanks.

      • Thanks Shashank! That is exactly what I have in my style.css.

        I was just showing the line that shows the import path is correct. Any other suggestion from anyone?

        Nick, I know this would help your support people tremendously if we could use child themes as much as possible. It’s a win-win for all. So, how about some input? Thanks….

        Christian.

        • As a follow up to my above reply. I did the following which brings me closer to be operational with a child theme. I used Filezilla to delete my manually created child directory and used ”Child Themify” plugin to create a new one. After activation, the first change I could observe was that my homepage drop-down menus were now completely screwed.So, I went into ”Appearance ->Customize and chose “Navigation” menu. I selected my custom menu for both “Primary” and “Footer” from the drop-down menu. Voila, now my Child Theme looks exactly like my main theme.

          This is how the “Themify” plugin created css now reads:
          /*
          Theme Name: Envisioned-child
          Version: 1.0
          Description: A child theme of Envisioned
          Template: Envisioned
          */

          @import url(“../Envisioned/style.css”);

          Which is exactly how my manually created style sheet read in the first place.

          This begs the following question: What does the “Themify” plugin do that is hidden and yet seems to tell WP that this directory is not broken anymore and that there is no template missing.

          Please don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the effort ET is putting in this. But, if ET wants us all to simplify their life by using child themes (and I’m all for it) we need clearer instructions and if I may even a dedicated topic to Child Themes that is easily accessible in the Support Forum. As we speak, if you try to do a search on “child theme” you end up with more than a 20k posts because it seems every new post has “note: we recommend using child themes for customizations”. Not bad for collateral damage…..

  43. Whats about translation (.mo and .po Files) in Child Themes? How can i apply changes to them and load them into a child theme?

    • Save your translation files in your child theme folder in the directory “lang”
      Create a file called functions.php in your child theme directory and add following code:

      Replace THEME with your theme name, e.g. Divi.
      It should work like that.

  44. The Irony, oh the irony.
    I remember ‘back in the day’ when full themes were made here. ;-)

  45. Wow I wish I could read this now – I am on my iPad and the floating social toolbar on the left is covering up text no matter what I do. Please put a close button on that thing – you never know how some of these mobile browsers will render things. :) Great topic! Thank you. I intend to start using child themes, probably after reading this. As soon as I get to my desk computer.

  46. Never had to use a child theme because usually I just change the css. This tutorial is a great introduction. Made me curious. I will test! : D

  47. Hi and thank you for this tutorial. I am afraid that I am one of the 85% that modifies themes and not one of the 35% who uses a child theme.

    I have been quietly fearing the day that one of my sites absolutely needs a theme upgrade.

    I saw someone ask higher up how to retroactively create a child theme on an already customized theme.

    Given the statistics that you cite, it would also be very helpful if you could suggest the steps to go back and introduce child themes to previously modified themes

    thanks,
    Jake

  48. Thanks ET. It finally all works as you describe!

    Being code-ignorant and having read many tutorials on how to create a child theme before never with any luck, this is the first time I was actually able to achieve this goal. This should be a great time saver next time I update my theme.

    Thanks, you’re doing a great job educating people like me who would rather go out an shoot pictures rather than juggle with code and broken themes.

    Christian.

  49. Great blog post!!!! And using child-themes also makes for quick testing…. instead of creating one child-theme I create a duplicate… I now update the “second” child-theme when ready to test just a quick activation…. if everything goes sideways just activate the original child-theme and your back very quickly. Once your happy you can copy over the “second” child-theme to the first for your “live” site…Probably a better way to test sites but this has been working for me….

  50. Awesome Post, and very good advice. I agree with you that most of the people are modify the themes but what kind a themes premium or free?

    Thanks again!

  51. Hi – I posted this previously, but it never showed up on the blog.

    Further up, someone asked what about themes that have already been customized.
    Are there good ways to retroactively use a Child theme?

    If only 35% are using Child Themes, surely, it will be useful for those of us that have modified themes without using the Child Theme.

    thanks,
    Jake

  52. Thanks for creating such a detailed article on how to create child themes.

  53. Wow, very usefull tutorial. thanks a lot!

  54. Doesn’t it slow down the website? I mean, does WP load the style.css file of the theme…and then the style.css file of the child too? If you calculate this for all the files…sounds like it loads things 2 times…am i wrong?

  55. Hi All,

    Nick, is right about using a plugin that is updated/maintained.

    Arindam, thanks for mentioning my plugin (Orbisius Child Theme Creator).

    If anyone of you has any suggestions for improvements let me know on twitter @orbisius or from the forums.

    Slavi,
    http://club.orbisius.com

  56. Thanks for this very useful article. I just created a child theme for my install using its instructions :)

  57. Great tutorial. Just starting to look at using child themes on my websites, so this has been really useful. I’ll be testing to see if this slows them down at all.

    Thanks for the blog post.

    Cheers James

  58. I did not know child themes before. I followed you guide and finally ended up with a website showing no theme at all. It seemed to use the files from the master theme, but not those that I had modified and copied to the child theme.

    WP its self however insisted on loading the child theme, so that I had to delete if from the server.

    To me it seems as if the whole child theme approach is not as simple as it looks from this guide here.

  59. Thanks for making me aware of the child themes, and how to use them! I can clearly see the benefits of using child themes, and your instructions are very informative and useful!

  60. This tutorial is laid out perfectly: direct and to the point (no added clutterly nonsense), beautifully formatted and covers exactly what it says. Thank you so much! You’ve saved me so much time – just wish I found this sooner :-)

  61. Beautiful. Great post, fantastic blog. Thanks guys.

  62. Question about the functions.php file. I realize from what you said, that the new functions.php file will be added to the original functions.php file. Can you explain if and how we could remove or change something that might exist in the original functiions.php file, by using the new and added functions.php file? Meaning, is there a way to override a function, etc. from the original functions.php file from within the new “child” functions.php file? Can you ellaborate and explain? Thanks.

    • Child functions.php will be loaded before parent’s functions.php. So you will not be able to override parent theme function just by coping and modifying it in the child’s functions.php.

      To override parent function in functions.php in the child’s functions.php you need to follow these steps.

      1. create a blank functions.php file at the same location in Child theme folder as the location of functions.php file in parent theme folder.

      2. Copy full parent class function in the child’s functions.php.

      3. Modify it’s code as required and rename it as Child-function.

      4. Deactivate the parent theme function

      5. Activate the child theme function to be called in place of parent theme function.

      To read more about how you can override parent theme function in child theme read this post Child Theme : How to setup and Why you should create it for your WordPress blog

      • Thanks for the explanation Ashish.
        A few questions:

        1. Does it have to be the functions.php file? What if I need to make an edit to another php file?
        2. How do you deactivate the parent theme function?
        3. How does one activate the child theme function to be called in place of parent theme function?

        That link you placed, doesn’t work by the way.

  63. Thank you for a great service , as some one who is just starting out I am finding elegant Theme’s most valuable. My question regard a child theme is to do with a theme like wooden. How do we call style-red.css within the child theme . I realize that we can do custom css in e-panel but I would like to be able to modify the css in the child theme, please not I am new to the concept .

    Thanks in advance

    Chris

  64. Great info, thanks. But I have a problem… my child theme isn’t displaying properly. I haven’t edited anything in it but the sidebars are all displaying at the bottom and it’s driving me nuts. The nav bar and post images on the home page were all broken too, but I wiped everything out and started again and that has gone away, but the sidebars are still displaying all wrong? Any suggestions welcome… I won’t have any hair left if I keep pulling it out this fast ;-P
    Also – I’m trying to insert this code: .pagination { display: none; }
    (which was given to me by the template developer) into my style.css but it’s not working – the pagination is still showing. Am I putting it in the wrong place?
    thanks :)

  65. Gosh, finally I got my child theme to work after reading the article and the comments here! I haven’t been successful in using Child theme earlier because I used to just create a folder and upload the style.css file there. Activate the child theme from the admin dashboard but there is no css loaded when I refresh my website.

    After I read the instructions here, I found out that I have to install my child theme through the admin dashboard. Then I saw that my navigation menus are messed up (no CSS). Only after reading through all the comments, I found someone with similar problem as mine and he solved the problem by setting the menus again through the Appearance ->Menu.

    Finally my child theme is working!

    Prior to this, I have been googling for answers but I couldn’t find any solutions to my problem. I almost gave up on using child theme.

    Thanks!

  66. Thanks for sharing this awesomeness! I’m going to put this to work right away on my sites!

  67. Thanks for this! I plan to step through this in greater detail soon. I’ve got some child themes that are causing me grief with WordPress version 3.8. Is anyone else running into similar issues?

    • Hi Skinny,

      I don’t think that WordPress version is causing you the problem. Because WordPress version update will not remove your custom changes if you are using Child Themes properly

      The most important feature of Child themes is that they allows a user to do custom changes in their theme code without changing original theme’s code.

      Because of this feature you can run theme update on your blog without worrying about losing your custom changes .

  68. Thanks for this post. I’ve been trying to figure out child theme use for years now and this is the only article that I come across that’s so well written!
    Keep up the good work.

  69. I’m trying this with Divi, but getting an error that says:

    The parent theme is missing. Please install the “Glenn” parent theme.

    Here’s the style sheet I created

    /*
    Theme Name: Glenn’s Sheds
    Description: Divi Child Theme
    Author: Now Age New Media
    Author URI: http://www.nowagenewmedia.com
    Template: Glenn
    Version: 1.0.0
    */

    @import url(“../Divi/style.css”);

    /* =Theme customization starts here
    ——————————————————- */

    • It looks like the parent theme’s name is Divi. You should use

      Template: Divi

      instead of what you have.

  70. I created a child theme just now. I updated the parentheme, and many thing is changed. I mean menus, settings, colors. How can we save this parts?

    Or what shall we save in to the child theme?!? There are tons of settings?
    Specialy elegant themes have many settings in the epanel? We lost this during update?
    Is there any “knowhow” about this out there?!?!

    Many thanks!
    Ben

    • ePanel and customizer settings will not be lost during update unless you had originally modified the theme folder name or theme name. It’s best not to make any modifications to your original theme if possible.

      • My experience is different. I just installed this Divi elegant theme, nearly instatly created a child theme…. than updated the parent theme and the menu and color settings was different…

  71. Can I change max height in “Fullwidth section” – slider module?

  72. I use a child theme for the Gleam theme (with only style.css, functions.php and header.php), but by doing so the “Exclude pages from the navigation bar” setting in ePanel Navigation does *not* have any effect anymore. Newer pages that should appear in navigation bar only appear if I activate the parent Gleam theme and not the child theme. Older pages that I exclude only disappear when activating parent theme. What could be causing this strange faulty behaviour?

  73. Great article, I never knew about the child theme concept, I’ll try it out on one of my sites and see how I go – Has anyone experienced a negatives with this?

  74. Beware! This guide is probably outdated and might bring in subtle and hard to debug problems, read:

    I initially created a child theme following this guide. So I created the .css file and added to it the @import instruction to its parent theme.

    The child theme was apparently working good, but with time I noticed it was not retaining the same responsiveness as its father theme in all of its aspects (galleries, pages with widgets).

    I could not understand what was going wrong until I removed the @import instruction… and finally everything was working good as the father theme.

    Probably the wrong thing with @import is that it requires the father .css file when you are already importing all of the father theme files with “template: templatename” instruction in child .css. So this probably means importing the .css two times and that leads to problems.

    Please take this with care and correct my observations if wrong!
    They were just an educated guess and worked for me.

  75. smart work.

  76. Prior to reading this I uploaded my theme but now want to add a child theme. Is it ok for me to add after the original theme has already been uploaded into wordpress and edited? If yes, how do I upload the child theme? Do I need to place it in its own folder and then zip it?

    • Hi Rick,

      >Yes first upload the original theme onto your WordPress site and activate.
      >Then create a new folder on your desktop and name it the same as the original theme, but add -child to the end of it.
      >Open Notepad, copy and paste his text and change it to fit your website.
      >Save the notepad file into the folder you just created as all files and add .css to the end of the name (style.css)
      >Now right click on the whole folder that you created on your desktop with the style.css in it and zip it.
      >Go back to WordPress where you uploaded the original theme and upload the child theme as if you are installing a brand new theme.
      >If successful, you will get a message that says that WordPress has recognized that you just installed a child theme.

      Hope that helped as that’s how I understood it and how I did it.

      Regards,
      Christie

  77. So glad that I found this. I’ve been needing to learn this for a while. 2 questions:

    1. Do you create the folder in you cpanel or in your wordpress dashboard?
    2. The child theme plugin that you link in the post has not been updated for 2 years and there is a warning. Does it still work?

    • Hi Kate,

      Please see below on how to add the folder. In regards to the plugin, if it hasn’t been updated for 2 years, rather do it the way he explains it as you do not want to loose all your hard word. Remember to back up!

      >First upload the original theme onto your WordPress site and activate.
      >Then create a new folder on your desktop and name it the same as the original theme, but add -child to the end of it.
      >Open Notepad, copy and paste his text and change it to fit your website.
      >Save the notepad file into the folder you just created as all files and add .css to the end of the name (style.css)
      >Now right click on the whole folder that you created on your desktop with the style.css in it and zip it.
      >Go back to WordPress where you uploaded the original theme and upload the child theme as if you are installing a brand new theme.
      >If successful, you will get a message that says that WordPress has recognized that you just installed a child theme.

      Hope that helped as that’s how I understood it and how I did it.

      Regards,
      Christie

  78. I get this when following this for child theme creation

    The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the index.php file.

  79. Hi there,

    I know a lot of people have already said thanks for the post. I am going to add another thank you to those as I have been struggling with child themes for a while. Not knowing where to start and the fact that is seems impossible for a person like me who doesn’t know any coding.

    Your explanations weren’t 100% clear, but as I continued to read on, I noticed what I had to do. Like the folder with the same theme name and “-child” added to it. I wasn’t sure where to add this folder. When I saw that you must .zip it, I knew that I had to do it on my desktop.

    My question though. Should I edit, zip and upload the child theme every time when I make changes? Or how do I add more files?

    once again thank you for making it mostly idiot proof!

    Kind Regards,
    Christie Koekemoer

  80. Great Post.

    Question about Writing a Plugin or Creating Child Themes.

    Am I better of writing a Plugin or Creating a Child Theme if I would like to do the following:

    1) use my own footer.php
    2) use different navigation menus for different pages

  81. Great post! Trying to figure out how to override some CSS in the child styles.css file e.g. display:none? How do you reverse that?

  82. The only problem with child themes is when there are substantial changes in the parent theme after an update -sincealways the child theme’s php-files are used instead of newer ones from the parent theme….

    • in this case you alos have to replace the affected php-files of the child theme with the newer ones…

  83. Thanks for the article. Still have some questions…

    – I used your method for uploading and activating my child theme. It shows up in the dashboard but not in my ftp files. Where is it? How do I modify it?

    – Same question with the functions.php file. Your instructions were to create the file and upload it. But to where?

    – Finally…I was instructed by ET support to remove code from my existing functions.php file. How does that work with a child theme? Can I remove info?

    Thx!

  84. I have been trying to get my head around creating a child theme for ages. This was by far the clearest tutorial I have found. THANKS!!!

  85. ” Unlike editing the functions.php, where the original theme’s functions are imported automatically, PHP files are edited by replacing the file entirely with a new one.”

    trying to get clear on this, so the style sheet and functions child files only contain the edits? and not the whole files?
    And, with other template files, it must be the whole file, including the edits as well as the un edited code?

    what about defining the paths, like with style.css

    @import url(“../Foxy/style.css”);

    is this only done for the style sheet? (I’m guessing that this is the case because wp is looking at the original stylesheet as well as the edits in the child theme)

    This is the thing that is never specified in every child theme tutorial I’ve seen.

    Also, must the child theme include the style sheet and functions file, even if it’s only other files that are edited?

    thanks!

  86. How can I add new options to theme epanel using a child theme?

    • Never mind, I found the way! :)

      • would you mind to share, @Palash C?

  87. This is very helpful article/guide and it helped me.

    Just one clarification needed…
    “For example if (display:none;) property is applied in the main theme CSS to an element, and when we create child theme and call CSS from there like described above, and in this child CSS file when we use (display:block;) is not over-writing it..???”

    I tried this but not working, it only works if we use that property with “!important”.

    Hoping to hear back from you guys.. :)

    Thanks again!

  88. In this thread really, you have explained very well….nice job

  89. I can never get child themes to work properly. This is very confusing considering I’m not a site designer.

  90. I now understand completely the how-to of creating a child theme, so thank you. I do have question though. I use your Divi theme – which is unbelievable – and input a small snippet of php code into the single.php and page.php to add breadcrumbs to the site. Every time there is a new update to the theme the breadcrumbs are replaced.

    What is the best approachs to keep the breadcrumbs active so I am not inputting them on every theme update?

    • You can create a child theme, and then include modified version of single.php and page.php, which will not be overwritten when the parent theme is updated.

  91. boston-salon.com —-This is my site for experimentation. I used the Child Themify plugin and activated it (Simple Press). I looked in the files in Cpanel and it contains just style.css as expected. So…If I made a few changes in the footer.php and some other .php files in the past, I should bring them over to the child theme. Right? I created a file below the style.css entry and I called it “includes”. Is the name important? I would add previously modified php files there? That was (the name “includes”) used in the example in the discussion of child themes on ET. If I couldn’t remember which ones were modified (I did do a number of changes to another site a year ago), could I just copy all the php files over to the child theme?

    One confusing note. If I use the new ET automated update plugin, do I activate the main theme, add it and activate the plug-in there, and then activate the child theme? I’m not sure which version remains activated at the end. ART

  92. Just starting to play with the Divi theme. Love it, btw. Are you still suggesting using a child theme for Divi even though you suggest in the tutorials to use the ePanel’s Custom CSS box for edits? I’m always afraid to use those boxes instead of child themes because I fear they get overwritten on updates. Am I wrong? Thanks. And again, great work on Divi. She’s going to replace my old standard theme. She is a she, right?

    • Hehehe, I always call Divi a “she” and I had no idea why. Glad it’s not just me! I’ve been through an update with Divi and a WordPress update all my ePanel customisation remained. But there is something I wanted to do to the ordering of the post page and there is no way to do it in ePanel, the original files need to be literally rearranged so it’s still worth having a Child Theme (although I am massively intimidated by the whole process)

      This is a really old comment and you probably figured it all out by now but I felt compelled to chime in anyway!

  93. I generally provide theme customizations as copy of theme with updated files. Is it advisable to create a child theme for each clients customization.

  94. well explained, but i am still struggling with the php coding

  95. I have tried to create the twentythirteen child theme but I kept getting error massege “style sheet missing.” This is what have in my Stylecss file could you please cross check it with me.

    @charset “utf-8″;
    /* CSS Document */
    Theme Name: Twentythirteen child
    Description: Twenty Thirteen child Theme
    Author: Alex Obiefuna
    Template: twentythirteen
    Version: 1.0.0
    @import url(“../twentythirteen/Style.css”);

    /* =Theme customization starts here

    ——————————————————- */

    • Hi Alobi: try this:

      @charset “utf-8″;
      /* CSS Document */

      /*
      Theme Name: Twentythirteen child
      Description: Twenty Thirteen child Theme
      Author: Alex Obiefuna
      Template: twentythirteen
      Version: 1.0.0
      */

      @import url(“../twentythirteen/Style.css”);

      /* =Theme customization starts here

      ——————————————————- */

      • Also, check if the file ‘Style.css’ from your parent theme is ‘style.css’ instead ;)

  96. This looks great, I’m going to try this on your nimble theme.

    I think I can make it even better with this!

  97. Nick,

    Great tutorial, However you can create a child theme with out adding a functions.php to the child folder. This is only needed if your a higher level user and want to add some hooks or filters or other custom additions. Great resource. I look forward to reading more post.

  98. I created a child theme for the Deep Focus, it includes the home.php file. I changed the line

    get_template_part(‘../includes/featured’)

    for

    get_template_part(‘../DeepFocus/includes/featured’)

    and the slider is working but I keep getting an error

    get_field: function not found.

  99. Awesome tutorial, was searching for this topic and this thing just clear all of my doubts.

  100. One more file to consider including with your child theme is the “screenshot.jpg” from the Parent theme folder.

    Without that file, you will just see an empty box in the WP > Appearance > Themes page.

  101. It was a great tutorial when I started developing child themes. But I think it would be great to also mention how to override the parent’s javascript files. It took me a while to find somewhere else how to unregister the parent’s files and I believe it would be a pretty common thing to do for a child theme.
    Still a great post.

  102. Great write-up, Elegant Team. I second the idea for a follow up article on how to unregister the parent theme JavaScript files. That could be useful in certain cases.

  103. As always. Thanks, needed this info ! Not sure why I look other places first :-)

  104. Hi,

    I too love the simplicity of your tutorial, it had me up and running with a child theme in a few easy clicks.

    Easy for the css and the functions that is. But what about other pages that I have modified.

    The footer.php for example. I left the original in the parent theme and a slightly amended one saved to the child and uploaded that. But the website still renders the original footer text?

    I also tried to with content.php/ Is there anything I need to add to either of these files at the top to ensure one loads over the other?

    Thanks for your support
    Andy

  105. Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve been wondering about how to make a child theme a long time and finally decided to google how to do it. Much easier and handier than I thought. No more updating theme files every time I get an update from the programmer.

  106. Thanks. This shed a lot of light for me. However, I am still unsure about how upgrades affect a child php. I want to modify a php file from the parent theme (specific to the theme, not functions or other template php file). I want to copy it to my child folder and make the modifications but am concerned about what will happen when the parent theme is upgraded. If functions are added (or deleted) to the php file in the upgraded theme, how will that affect the child php that I have modified? And will having the child php adversely affect the upgraded parent theme? Thanks!

  107. HI am bangin my head against a wall here.

    I am trying to creating a child of the Twenty Twelve theme… following all the parameters..I have double checked everything….and I have tried other people’s child themes…

    I constantly get the message:

    Twenty twelve Child\ The parent theme is missing. Please install the “twentytwelve\” parent theme.

    I dont know where the “\” is coming from or why its there…. Please help!!

    BTW I am on a MAC using textedit …if that makes any difference

  108. Great write up!

    Another thing I really like to do with my child themes is to take the screenshot.png from the original theme, edit it (with photoshop, etc) so it says “Child Theme” in the image somewhere, and put that new screenshot.png into the child theme’s folder. Then, when you’re in your site’s dashboard looking at the themes you have available, it’s easy to tell which is the child theme.

  109. I don’t have any about designing, CSS and themes, so may be I can stuck up in all these things. this is not my cup of tea.

  110. Is possible duplicate a css file different from style.css file, or any modification shall be made in the same file (style.css) in child-theme?

    Thanks!

  111. I have done it slightly differently with a plugin, however it’s always nice to learn to do things the way they were supposed to be done, so thumbs up mate for this tutorial.

  112. I got this eror when I attempted to create a child theme for nimble

    array(5) { ["parent_template"]=> string(6) “Nimble” ["parent_theme"]=> string(6) “Nimble” ["new_theme"]=> string(12) “nimble-child” ["new_theme_path"]=> string(62) “/home/casanova/public_html/ayfi/wp-content/themes/nimble-child” ["new_theme_title"]=> string(12) “nimble-child” } NULL Theme switched!

    • I guess maybe it isn’t an error, just seemed to be at first look.

  113. Just created a child theme for Divi.

    Really looking forward to using it and writing a bunch of tuts on customizing Divi.

    Haven’t found any hooks or filters in Divi yet, not sure if there is any.

  114. Hi.

    Is it possible to use the ePanel (e.g. Custom CSS box) and a child theme in harmony without causing conflicts or confusion?

    Cheers,

    Lyndon

  115. Hi.

    Is it possible to use the ePanel (e.g. Custom CSS box) and a child theme in harmony without causing conflicts or confusion?

    If so, why not just create a child theme by default anyway?

    Cheers,

    Lyndon

  116. I’ve tried using child themes before but never got it to work. I was hoping this would help but I must be illiterate or something because I just get a plain “style-less” site now. I followed the instructions, placed the folder with the child theme in the themes directory of my site called framemarketchild (all lower case).

    Then I created my child theme folder and file and it looks like this…

    /*
    Theme Name: FrameMarket Child Theme
    Theme URI: http://www.discipleshipmedia.com/wp-content/themes/framemarket
    Description: Frame Market Child Theme
    Author: Elegant Themes
    Author URI: http://www.discipleshipmedia.com
    Template: framemarket
    Version: 1.0.0
    */

    @import url(“../framemarket/style.css”);

    /* =Theme customization starts here
    ——————————————————- */

    Did I miss something?

  117. This is a great article thanks. What I am confused about is, I have a website alreday designed on Divi, unfortunately I didn’t really understand about child themes so I just made changes to the theme itself. If I create a child theme for my site now, will everything be copied over – my design and the customizations I have made, or do I need to completely re-design the website from scratch?
    Thanks!

  118. When I create a child theme for Divi, the menu class names change and lose the original formatting – even with a blank style.css. Has anybody else experienced this? If so, is there an easy fix?

    • yep rob – mine did exactly the same thing, as soon as I created the child theme, all my navigation headings changed, and the order of the drop down menus altered as well – sorry I don’t have a fix for it either.

  119. Thanks for explaining Child Themes a bit better on this post. It is now a lot clearer for me. How is everyone else going with them?

  120. I have read many of the comments here. I really wonder why the critical stuff is never commented… ?!?

  121. I love DIVI but don’t want to lose my customizations when we update. I tried to use the child themes plugin and it seemed to mess up the custom menu’s I made. I don’t want to break the theme.

    Do you think I should do it manually?

  122. Now, I don’t need to hire someone to do a little customization on my site. I can do it myself. Thanks a lot.

  123. Sir, i am trying to edit my theme to make it support for infinite scroll, i am tried all the methods, by using the child theme. i didn’t get any error but the problem is it doesn’t work. what should i do…

  124. This is really great information; however, there’s a problem – at least with some Elegant Themes. I want to tweak “DailyNotes/includes/entry2.php” so I copy it to “DailyNotes-Child/includes/entry2.php” and edit it. It does not make a difference because, as the directory name seems to imply, it is likely being explicitly included from another module.

    Consequently, any changes that I make in the child area do NOT affect the theme, and I’m forced to go back and edit the theme files directly. =Sigh=

    My next course of action is to find the module that’s doing the including and see if I can make THAT file a child module and change its include code. :)

  125. Hi! If you only need to edit CSS, what’s the advantage of dhild themes over using the Theme Options textarea to input CSS? On runtime, both ways will overwrite theme CSS with your own. Using child themes just add a little more I/O in your server disk, while the other just add a little bit of microseconds of cpu job to add within the code… If you use a cache plugin, using the theme options will embed the modifications in the html, then you will save in CSS files to load.
    Am I right? Am I missing something? I’d like anybody from Elegant to clarify if I’m wrong. Please.

  126. woohoo! finally nailed it, been wondering about this for a while! thanks

  127. Thanks for useful article, i translate that to Persian in my web site (with ur name for source) I hope there is no problem there :x

  128. he, i left ” : x ” for love emotion (smiles) but it’s like its the angry one in ur website :P

  129. Thanks for an excellent article – that I put to immediate use on day 3 of my work with Divi.

    Modularity is key to any good development, and I like being able to use a child theme to isolate the CSS and PHP changes I make. The custom CSS area of the Divi settings is nice, but I was already starting to outgrow it: being able to source control a distinct style.css file is perfect; and the additional functions that a fix for BuddyPress was steering me to add to my theme’s functions.php file – much, much better in my child theme’s functions.php file.

    Thanks again!

  130. Hello, Can you or someone Please make a VIDEO on how to do this. There’s many Visual learners here! Thanks~

  131. Hi Nick. Am concerned about the feasibility of using a plugin to make a child theme. Seems like a waste of time / resources, when the steps above take minimal time. Furthermore, the plugin you reference, The One Click Child Theme Plugin, seems to be outdated and unsupported. Your thoughts?

  132. Thanks for the tutorial. I knew how to use child css but had no idea about functions.

  133. I came back to this post to get a refresher, and I also found something of a conflict with the WP Codex. Perhaps this is new for the codex, but it says specifically: ” @import should not be used to import the parent stylesheet into the child theme. The correct method is to use wp_enqueue_style() to enqueue the parent stylesheet, using this code in your child theme’s ‘functions.php’. ” and they go on to demonstrate it.

    I wonder if this otherwise awesome post could use an update?

  134. The one thing about child themes that I can’t figure out is this: if it is (and it is) so important to create/use one, then why aren’t theme authors/providers providing a child theme WITH the main theme? It would be really simple for you guys because you know your code and you know where things are likely to be customized. It would be done ONCE, by the author/provider and everyone else would be able to choose whether to use it or not without having to worry about coding it.

    So I invite Elegant Themes to provide with each one of their themes (at least the ones to come and hopefully the existing ones) a Child Theme Folder that will be installed in the content/themes/ folder or that would come with instructions to put it in that directory.

    What do you think?

    Marie

  135. Hi,

    Can anybody help please on the below error message for my broken child theme? As my Divi theme is installed, active and working fine.

    The parent theme is missing. Please install the “divi” parent theme.

    Regards
    Chris

  136. I need some help. I have created a child theme using the Orbisius Child Theme plugin. From there, I can create a child theme based on Divi theme.

    But everytime I update something in the css file, it takes ages to refresh to the latest. I have tried to clear cache on all my browsers. But it just take maybe 20 minutes to refresh to latest.

    Is this a Divi problem?

    I have even tried to use the Divi child engine plugin. Same problems too. Even worst, the customizer breaks all the time.

    I am currently using mac os x mavericks. Please assist.

  137. This article is incredibly helpful, but I still have a question – I’ve done exactly (as far as I’m aware, anyway) as your instructions say but every time I attempt to upload the child theme it says that “the theme is missing the style.css stylesheet.”

    Do you have an idea of what I could be doing wrong? I’m using the free version of a premium theme, am I able to create a child theme with that? I work for a non-profit and actually don’t have any particular web skill set, but no one’s touched our website since 2009 and it’s awful so I’m trying to learn on the fly – therefore any and all help would be wonderful and much appreciated!!

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