A child theme in WordPress is a subset theme that inherits behaviors, the styling, and functionality of the parent theme.
To make it simple, a child theme in WordPress is just an addon or extension for your existing theme.
This article is going to illustrate step by step guide on how to create a child theme for any WordPress theme without any coding experience, meaning, anyone can do it.
If you get a client who needs his website functions changed via code, then it’s recommended to do so with a child theme, never edit your main theme’s files, always create a child theme.
Why You Need a Child Theme
A child theme is very important, especially when you want to customize or tweak an existing WordPress theme. A child theme is not a new theme, a child theme in WordPress will inherit all the features of the main theme.
If you tweak the main theme’s code, all those changes will be erased upon the theme update, that’s a thing that can make you waste a lot of time and energy. To avoid this, create a child theme!
How to Create a Child Theme for Any WordPress Theme
I’m going to demonstrate how to create a child theme for WordPress using a plugin, the best thing about this method is, a plugin can help keep settings and styles form the parent theme. Let’s say, for example, you had written a custom CSS for your main theme, that code will be deleted on installing the child theme. To avoid this, we are using a plugin called Child Theme Configurator, and by the way, it’s a free plugin and it’s the only one with the capability of importing settings and custom code form the parent theme :).
Another awesome thing about Child Theme Configurator, you can customize your child theme the way you want. For example, theme screenshot, theme developer, child theme name among many other configurations.
Go ahead and install the plugin, you can proudly grab it here, or by searching for Child Theme Configurator in the WordPress plugin installer page.
Upon installing the plugin, please navigate to Tools in WordPress dashboard then Child Themes (Tools > Child Themes). You’ll be welcomed by a configurator screen.
You will then be required to select a theme that you would want to create a child theme for as shown in the screenshot below.
From the above screenshot, I want to create a child theme for a theme called shopper. Go ahead and click analyze.
Keep everything default, apart from step 7. Step 7 is where we are going to customize child themes the way we want.
As you can see in step 7, you can change the theme’s name, theme author, theme description, author website, among other changes as shown in the screenshot below
Another interesting part is step 8, Please check the checkbox in step 8 that says “Copy Menus, Widgets and other Customizer Settings from the Parent Theme to the Child Theme:“, that is if you want to keep settings from the parent them,
Lastly, run the configurator, and your child theme will be created.
Navigate to appearance > themes to confirm if the child theme has indeed been created.