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[resolved] Frameworks And Child Themes (14 posts)

  1. Arro
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    I lost a lot due to a theme update so no have questions about using a child theme.

    I need to establish child themes for sites and must use a free framework. Tentatively looking at Pagelines DMS and Whiteboard. What about Gantry, and Carrington? Would like other suggestions and pros/cons please. Not doing e-commerce sites.

    1. When making a child theme is it okay to just copy the existing style.css and functions.php files from the parent to the child theme folder or is it necessary to create fresh files? And, since most of my design to date is done in the parent "main options" where you can specify and modify the header and other areas, if I use a child theme will I still be able to use and preserve "main options" styling or will I have to do that only in the style.css in the child theme to preserve the styling? This is the most important issue because setting the styling this way is so easy and it takes me forever to try to figure out another way, mostly because I am never sure where the code should be put. It is not so difficult to find the code samples by using Google.

    2. I have always used the theme > settings > general, reading, writing to specify things; and I use the theme advanced options to drop in CSS code quickly since I don't have to look for where to place it. When using a child theme will I still be able to use these parent theme features or will it all have to be done in the child theme?

    3.What about plugins and widgets, how are those saved from updates wiping them out?

    Thank you! My level of experience is beginner working towards intermediate.

  2. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    When making a child theme is it okay to just copy the existing style.css and functions.php files from the parent to the child theme folder

    No, you create duplicate CSS if you copy style.css - which makes it harder to keep track of what you have changed and slows down your site. Using a browser tool like Firebug shows you the CSS for any element - you can then COPY that bit of code to the child theme and make the changes there.

    If you copy the functions file - it will crash your site - so definitely don't do that!

    Theme options/settings work the same way in a child theme as a regular theme. But make those in the child theme, not the parent - as they don't carry over from the parent.

    If you are using a child theme, don't make any changes to the parent theme.

    Plugins and widgets are done the same way in a child theme - set them up in the child theme, not the parents theme.

  3. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    I need to establish child themes for sites and must use a free framework. Tentatively looking at Pagelines DMS and Whiteboard. What about Gantry, and Carrington?

    You don't need a framework to use a child theme - most themes work with child themes.

    I've not used any of the above so can't comment on them except to say that if you use a commercial theme/framework, make sure it's well supported by the developer - as these forums don't support commercial products.

  4. Arro
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Thank you WPyogi for the great information.

    So when using a child theme, how will I find the theme options/settings? Does the bit of code @import url("../twentythirteen/style.css"); cause the child theme to load in the dashboard when I go to http://www.domain/wp-admin?

  5. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    That line imports the CSS styles from the parent. The theme options and settings are in the same place as any theme - when you activate the child theme (like any other theme - click acivate) - voila! There's nothing to find, really.

    Is this what you are referencing?

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes

  6. Arro
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    I think you are right about commercial themes and support issues. I prefer to remain in the wordpress.org themes but how do you avoid getting a theme that a developer abandons and becomes vulnerable without updates? Thoughts?

  7. Arro
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    That line imports the CSS styles from the parent. The theme options and settings are in the same place as any theme - when you activate the child theme (like any other theme - click acivate) - voila! There's nothing to find, really.

    When you say it imports from the parent, does that mean if you already have made changes in the parent and after the fact deploy a child theme? If starting from scratch with a child theme would that line of code still be used?

    Yes to the link you referenced.

  8. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    There aren't any guarantees, of course, but if you look at the longevity of the theme, number of downloads, the support forum for the theme, update history, reviews, other info about the developer (if available), that gives you some arguably relevant info.

    (This isn't to say that newer themes won't be well supported for years to come, but that's really all the info there is...)

    There's always WP default themes...they'll certainly be supported for a long time to come.

    A couple of really well supported and highly customizable themes you might want to check out are Suffusion and Weaver II. (There are MANY other great themes...but those for sure fit the bill IMHO.)

  9. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    When you say it imports from the parent, does that mean if you already have made changes in the parent and after the fact deploy a child theme?

    Yes, changes to the parent would be imported, but they'll be overwritten when the theme is updated - so don't do it that way. The parent theme should be unmodified when using a child theme. If you're already in that situation, you can use a file comparison program to find your changes and move them to a child theme style.css file. Then reinstall the parent theme to get a clean copy.

    BUT if you are doing something like that ALWAYS make a backup copy of the theme file first - in case you get mucked up.

    If starting from scratch with a child theme would that line of code still be used?

    Yes, it's always used.

  10. Arro
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    I feel like I am taking too much of your time but if you can please explain:
    1. do I go to like Dreamweaver and create a new file called style.css and ftp it to the content > themes > child theme folder?
    2. can you suggest a file comparison program?
    3. can I google how to make a backup of the theme or is there something special I need to know?
    4. I will stay with Weaver II, I use it and like it already but when I updated from Weaver I lost some pages that were not in the nav links, e.g., a resume page I made that I didn't want anybody to view unless I sent them a link to it. How can I preserve pages like that in the future?

  11. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    No problem - that's why we're here :).

    1. Any plain text editor can be used to create the new file - if you use DW, make sure it's saved in UNIX format/ANSII encoding and upload it in ASCII format.

    2. this one is pretty cool IMHO - http://www.diffchecker.com/

    3. Downloading a copy of the entire theme folder to your local computer should suffice for this. But you should also (and regularly) backup your entire site/database - see:
    http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups

    4. That doesn't sound like a child theme vs. parent theme issue - and so far as I know, changing from Weaver I to II was a MAJOR rewrite of the theme - so you should ask on the Weaver forums for any questions related to that. They should also be able to help you with any child theme question specific to Weaver II. Here's fine too - but they do have great forum support from what I've seen/heard.

  12. Arro
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    1. Any plain text editor can be used to create the new file

    So I could do this in notepad? Save as .txt?

  13. WPyogi
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    See: http://codex.wordpress.org/Editing_Files#Using_Text_Editors

    The file should be saved as style.css but in the above format.

  14. Arro
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Oaky WPyogi, thanks so much for all the great information! Really, really appreciate it. Cya.

  15. Arro
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Resolved

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