What is a WordPress Child theme? Is it good to use?

WordPress has faced problems and issues concerning updates on the theme where users apply the themes to their site, edited the styles and designs but when the time comes that the theme needs an upgrade, it resets the theme again to default with upgrades.

Although is good to have an updated theme, the downside is that the user then has to style and design the website again because it didn’t save the customized features in the previous version.

This issue is time consuming and problematic for users because they are left with two options, these are to stay in the current theme without any upgrades or to risk getting hacked and getting slower performances of the theme because it’s no longer the modern version.

With this problem, WordPress Child theme is created.

What is the meaning of a WordPress Child theme?

The theme you are using is called a parent theme, therefore it is the original default version of the theme you used to style and design your website.

A WordPress Child theme is the version of the theme where you can style and design your website while applying the same functions and features of the parent theme.

The difference between a parent theme and a child theme is that when updated, the child theme does not lose your custom style and design applied in the website.

However, the parent theme updates and resets back to the default design.

All parent themes, just like humans, are capable to have a child theme. However, not all parent themes are nice.

There are child themes that do not inherit the same functions and features of the parent theme. This leads you to minimum features and functions that you can use to design your website.

Does Hosting Company Matter for WordPress Child Theme’s?

WordPress child themes work on all wordpress installations. So it doesn’t matter which hosting company you are using.

As long as they can run wordpress, you can have a child theme.

The hosting company I personally recommend is Blue Host.

If you use my affiliate link, you will get 50% off the monthly fee which brings the hosting cost to less than a latte at

Is it good to use a WordPress Child theme?

Users tend to apply WordPress Child themes more into their websites because it:

  • allows them to save in time management avoid the hassle
  • inconvenience of styling every time an upgrade is available
  • it helps the website to keep up with the times
  • no need to continuously develop and upgrade.

It is up to you and your needs if you should choose a WordPress Child Theme.

Is your website simple or does it need a more complex process?

Designers or users should be choosing to use a child theme when you need the special functions and features of a stronger parent theme without the need of overriding the codes that much.

If you are constantly adding some features and functions to your website, it would be recommended to use a child theme, this will make you site awesome and dynamic.

How to setup a WordPress Child theme?

When you create a child theme, it can be as easy as acquiring a new style.css file in a new folder.

A good child them can get as many template files from the parent theme or maybe, if you chose a good theme, more.

There are templates that can be created and applied from a child theme that is not possible of using in the parent theme.

You would need one line in your new style.css header the will define the template. There are also frameworks, plugins, CSS and HTML codes that you will need to work out on.

In setting up the child, it will take a more and complicated process since you will be tweaking more to your design, style, features, functions and others.

It will take up a lot of work but it will also surely make everything worth it when you have your website looking so awesome.

What to remember in choosing a parent theme?

As mentioned earlier, parent themes have the possibility of not being a good parent theme since there are some parent themes that does not enable the child theme to inherit the same good features and functions.

There are factors to consider when choosing a good parent theme and you will need to read more.

You should be reconsidering the use of a parent theme when you discover the need of tweaking or adding more theme files from the parent theme itself.

If you already think that the parent theme is incomplete for you and does not possess all of your needs, it would be best to change a parent theme.

For example, you have a parent theme and you discovered that the contact page is not visible, then choose another theme that lets you have your own contact page.

Or when you have a parent theme and you find the need to change how the footer looks like, then you should be reconsidering the applied parent theme if you should continue to use it or not.

There are designers who have used customized child theme but these designers failed to realize that they should have been using independent custom themes instead.

Since these designers have already tweaked and changed so much in the theme’s files, they should have used that parent theme in the first place because it has added more work from them.

Benefits of having a Child theme

Pros of having a child theme are the:

  1. Creating a more dynamic website is possible when you have a child theme since you can easily develop and enhance what is already existing in the parent theme.
  2. Your theme updates are safe and there is no need for you to worry when there is a new update of the parent theme because your website is safe to update without losing your codes, styles and etc.
  3. When you are changing the codes, you won’t have to worry of getting a mistake and losing or destroying everything because you will always have the parent theme to use as a do over.

If your website will need more functions and features, it is good to make a WordPress Child theme.

It will definitely create a stunning website for your audience to check out but you will need to be careful on choosing a good parent theme. It is recommended to use a WordPress Child theme if your website needs constant addition of features and functions.

Overall, the child theme allows your site to look stylish and modern all the time.


Dustin Heiner is the Owner!

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