A Child Theme in WordPress is a sub-theme that receives all its parent theme’s features, style, and functionality.
A child theme, created in a folder in the themes directory, is a safe way to change a WordPress theme without changing the parent theme’s files. Furthermore, all child theme changes are kept and applied to the updated version when the parent theme is updated.
This procedure makes using a child theme the safest way to change existing themes because rather than directly modifying files, you can override them with child theme templates. The parent theme still includes functionalities not overwritten by the child theme.
Why Use a WordPress Child Theme?
Firstly, choosing a good parent theme that offers many functionalities and enables easy customization significantly reduces how long it takes to create a WordPress site.
Next, using a child theme allows efficient and quick customization of the website, and developers and designers use them to accelerate development.
Child Theme Pros and Cons
WordPress child themes enable developers and users to customize their sites more rapidly. However, they have advantages and disadvantages.
- Safe updates: You lose all of your customizations when you update a WordPress theme. However, a child theme stores your customizations, and they won’t be lost when you update the parent. Therefore, child themes help you keep parent themes updated.
- Easy extendibility: A child theme built on a robust theme framework enables maximum flexibility without writing much code. You need to modify the template files and functions you want to customize.
- Fallback safe: When creating a whole theme, you need to consider all possible scenarios. If you don’t write code for something in a child theme, the parent theme’s functionality can be a fallback option.
- Learning curve: It takes time to learn about the parent theme, specifically when you have chosen a firm framework with its hooks and filters. However, this drawback is temporary. Once you are familiar with the parent theme, you will create custom sites in half the time.
- Parent theme dependence: The parent theme’s developer may drop the theme or a feature you need. Nevertheless, reliable theme frameworks have a secure business behind them, and most WP themes are open source, so you can still use them even if they have been dropped.