by Adam Preiser updated January 2, 2018

How To Create A Child Theme For WordPress – It’s SUPER EASY


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Using a child theme is a good best practice for your WordPress website, but most of the tutorials on how to create a child theme are way too overcomplicated.

So in WPCrafter fashion, here is the easiest to follow tutorial on how to create a child theme for WordPress.

Video Transcript

How To Create A Child Theme For WordPress – It’s SUPER EASY

Welcome back for another video my name is
Adam from were I make videos

for non-techies like me and in this video
I want to make it the easiest video on YouTube

on how to make a child theme for your website
and some people completely overcomplicate

this whole thing in it should be that complicated
at all now of them just take 30 seconds talk

about why you want to child theme is a good
best practice to have a child theme on your

website so the way it works is you have your
parent theme and if you change anything and

that parents name and then there’s an update
to the parent theme all your changes as for

scooting custom styles they all get completely
wiped out and that’s why you have this thing

called the child theme so the child theme
is linked to the parent just in like in life

when there’s a child this is dependent upon
the parent for their existence is the same

thing with the child theme and apparent theme
that child theme is dependent upon the parenting

for its existence now you want to child themes
you can put your customizations inside the

child theme and that makes all of your customizations
upgrade is safe so now when there is an update

to your parent think you can update it and
you don’t lose any of your code customizations

now for me on my website I have extensive
code customizations I love the theme that

I bought for my website but it wasn’t everything
that I wanted it to be so I changed it over

time and I can comfortably change anything
on this theme and no one that there is an

update on the to be safe so let me show you
how to do this now I did make a YouTube video

on how to do this about a year ago so wildly
popular video over 100,000 views on it but

I wanted to just redo this video so working
to create this child theme using a plug-in

to create it and it’s so easy to use so I’m
logged into WordPress and I want to go to

plug-ins add new and working who download
and install this plug and so first of all

let’s just type child thing and this is going
to show us all the different plug-ins that

are available that are related to child themes
now I’m many use this one here it’s called

the child theme configurator and its currently
active on hundred thousand sites now when

we use this plug-in to create a child theme
you can then disable and delete the plug-ins

you don’t have to have it on your website
forever it it does have some useful utilities

that make it nice and convenient but you don’t
have to have it now my old video I think I

was using this one click child theme and that’s
a good one as well but this one makes the

process smoother so let me click on install
now and then I’m going to go ahead and activate

it now with the way we use this plug-in is
there’s a new option underneath tools so you

can go to tools and then child themes right
here let me tell you the problem with the

other plug-in and why I am now recommending
using this plug-in there is some challenges

you could face when you put a child theme
on an existing website where you already customized

your menus and you may have customize some
things in the customizer now what happens

is if you just install a child theme your
GNU WordPress sees it as a different theme

so all those menus you put in different locations
they’re knocking to be there anymore all those

widgets you put in different locations they’re
knocking to be there anymore and all those

customizer custom-made positions they’re knocking
to be there anymore either and that’s a big

problem in that was causing some problems
for some people with this plug-in does a little

better is that it takes those widgets and
menus and customizations you made in it throws

them into the child theme for you and it makes
it so easy so working a first go right here

in order and click on create a new child theme
and then right here we need to choose what

the parent theme is now I actually have three
themes installed on the site because I use

it for testing this is the active theme right
now so many choose that so that’s the theme

I want to make a child theme for so first
of the click on analyze and then here working

to just follow a couple more steps so forcible
we are going to give the team a folder name

and we can just use the default typically
you want the name of the parent theme-and

then it’ll just say child and so that makes
it really easy so you can just leave that

the same here’s another option number five
which is going to keep this one check to this

is primary stylesheet and then we scroll down
actually all these were pretty much can he

keep the default but I do want to talk about
it and here’s an option for the style sheet

handling really that the same I’m here on
option seven this is where you might want

to change it a little bit so when I go here
you can actually give the child theme a different

name it could be just the name of the parent
theme in the word child or you can name it

whatever the heck you wanted is usually a
link to to where this thing can be found in

you can put whatever you want you can change
the author name you can change the author

website and the description let me actually
show you where that shows someone open this

in a new tab so if I’m right here and I click
on theme details that’s this here the name

by the author name the link in this little
bit of text here that’s what it’s give me

an option to change here so if you want to
you can change it or just leave the same I

say just leave it the same okay summer scroll
down a little bit here now here’s what you

want to do you want to check on this box and
so right here saying copy menus widgets and

other customizer settings from the parent
theme to the child theme this one option here

makes this a very smooth process so then go
ahead and click on create new child theme

and it really only takes a second and now
we have all these different options here so

I want to come back to this plug-in so let’s
now go to appearance in the and themes in

your to see here’s my parent theme but here
is that new child theme and then I can just

go ahead and click on activate and now the
child theme is activated and you could see

the parent theme there now you can’t delete
the parent theme it is dependent upon the

parenting the parenting needs to be there
this is just so you can take your code customizations

and you can throw many child theme so everything’s
upgrade safe let me show you a couple cool

more things about this plug-in and what I
like about it now a lot of times okay let

me actually first go to appearance in the
and editor and then let me show you all the

files in that parenting so to choose primer
click on select so the parent theme has all

these files now if you wanted to say customize
this theme footer file if you did it in the

parent theme it’s going to be overwritten
when there’s another update so now the thing

is why we’ve got this great child theme now
how do we actually take this footer theme

footer file and make a copy that is in the
child theme now for me it’s easy I know exactly

how to log into the file systems in duplicate
and move and do all that stuff but it might

be a little bit of the geeky nerdy things
so it’s not so non-techies gets old techie

at that point but that that child theme creator
plug-in makes this process easy so I can go

to tools and go back into the plug in settings
right here and I can choose right here were

excessive files and so here’s all the files
in my parent theme I can click on any file

I want and it will make a copy of it in the
child theme and then I can go in and change

any code I want so for me I’m I want to take
that footer file solid click right there and

then click copy to the child theme and it
made a copy of it and now if I wanted to customize

that file I could go to appearance and then
editor and here is a theme footer that file

and it’s right there now it’s copied into
the child theme and it’s super easy to make

any code modification that you want you want
to add a theme function you could do right

here if you wanted to add some kind of stylesheet
you could do it here now here’s the deal you

might go into creating a website they cannot
never get to change anything to change the

code I met to change the style I don’t know
how to do that nor do I think of the need

to do it let me tell you your to find out
that when you have a website for little while.

I find not want to change that let me ask
the maker of that plug-in and the maker of

the plug is good come back and say he take
this custom function and put in your functions

file and and that’s when you realize that
you need a child theme and so that’s where

you can come in here inputted in this theme
functions file and have it all be upgrade

safe you doing any e-commerce with the plug-in
WooCommerce you’re gonna need some custom

functions to be able to do the custom things
that you want to do and if there’s any aspect

of your website that you might want to be
different color in the theme developer doesn’t

make it easy while that’s can it be custom
code it’s actually not that complicated but

the reason you have a child theme so that
you have it in their in an upgrade safe manner

a before you go I have something for you and
before I get into that I wanted to ask you

to do something for me if you can give me
a thumbs up on this video and if you’re not

a subscriber click on the subscribe button
right beneath me if you have a question on

this video be happy to answer it you can also
leave a comment or question down below this

video hey I put together a course just for
you Dominic give it to you for free all you

have to do is click on the button right here
on the right it’s called the three steps to

WordPress success it’s an awesome course you’re
gonna love it I would love for you to join

in and enroll as a student in this course
thanks for watching this video I really appreciated

and I do it just for you

My passion is making the best quality video tutorial online, for non-techies. When I am not behind the camera, I am usually helping out one of my YouTube subscribers.

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  1. Hi Adam
    Great video tut – thanks.
    I have made many child themes before using the cPanel and also prior with the plugin you recommended.
    My concern is that with one client website that I outsourced a number of years ago they never made a child theme. At the time I didn’t know the significance of having a child theme. The theme is twentyeleven and I tried to update the theme (only once) and the theme totally broke. I am currently on V1.2 and 3.3 is waiting for me and too frightened to update this theme. It is also becoming a security risk as I have not updated to wp 5.0 and beyond either. (all tied in with this damn theme)
    I was going to do the child theme through cPanel as normal but after reading another comment below your vid I am not sure this is wise. If I do the child theme through the plugin how will I know what areas to tick to bring forward from the parent to the child ? I’m sure there is a LOT of css changes.
    Would appreciate your guidance.
    Many thanks – Leonie

    1. I would just wait until they need a new site design. The org developer didn’t follow best practices and now they are paying the price for it.

  2. Hi Adam,
    Thank you for the video. I am new to WordPress, I created a website two years ago with a free parent theme. The website is working great but I have never updated the theme because I am afraid the customization I made will be lost. A question, should I be creating a child theme now after two years? or should I just leave it as is?

    1. That’s a tough one. Yes, you can, but if you made code customizations, you are going to want to port those to the child theme.

  3. I am going to use change the theme on my website after a long time. Twenty Sixteen looks better than fifteen considering the option to remove the sidebar.

  4. Hi Adam,
    I tried using LIlaea’s child theme creator plugin per your recommendation. I’m using Generatepress (with GP Premium) and Elementor lite page builder. When I analyzed my theme, I got a warning that it could not be analyzed because “the preview did not render properly.” The recommendations following that alert were to attempt the following:

    First, verify you can preview your home page with the Customizer and try analyzing again.

    If that does not work, try temporarily disabling plugins that minify CSS or that force redirects between HTTP and HTTPS.

    Have a few minutes to explain what this is advising me to do? Need some non-techie directions here.

    Thanks in advance!
    Best, Nick Stewart

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