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[resolved] When should I use a Child Theme, need help... (6 posts)

  1. Spencer Hill
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Heya,

    I've recently discovered Child Themes, and while I understand them in principle, I don't really know how applicable it is to me based on how I currently use WordPress. I'm hoping that by asking the question of when should I use a Child Theme that someone might be able to give me some insight?

    Currently my team and I design custom websites and then convert them to code. We have a pre-built theme that is based off Twenty Eleven but contains extra directories relevant to our clients (like a "psd" directory), etc...

    So far, to me it seems that if I create a child theme based on Twenty Eleven that the layout will have to remain the same, which is obviously unacceptable if I'm creating custom designed sites.

    So can anyone enlighten me a bit about how I might be able to apply usage of Child Themes into my existing workflow? Thank you!!

  2. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Do you wish to make use of any new featires that might be added to Twenty Eleven? Is your custom theme a new, standalone theme?

    it seems that if I create a child theme based on Twenty Eleven that the layout will have to remain the same

    What gave you that idea?

  3. Spencer Hill
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Thanks for the reply esmi.

    Yes, I rely on the Twenty Eleven theme to provide features and functions that I repeatedly use. Such as the "add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' )" and the "add_filter( 'excerpt_length', 'excerpt_length' )" functions.

    Though often times I customize functions.php by replacing all of the widget areas it creates with custom ones that are more relevant to the project at hand.

    Regarding your second question; yes my themes, historically, have always been standalone. So I literally duplicate the Twenty Eleven theme folder and customize it accordingly. So it's truly a standalone theme, but still Twenty Eleven "under the hood". Which is why I thought Child Themes might be an ideal solution I've overlooked.

    And in response to your last question; I have read a variety of posts via Google that explained only functions.php and style.css override their sibling in the parent theme. Which leads me to believe that if I wanted to customize, say, content.php I couldn't do that. Meaning Child Themes are strictly for the purpose of styling changes. Which seems nearly useless, so I assume that's wrong?

  4. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Which leads me to believe that if I wanted to customize, say, content.php I couldn't do that.

    Sorry but the articles that you are reading are totally wrong. Any template file in the child theme automatically over-rides the parent's version. So you can create any custom template you want in the child.

  5. Spencer Hill
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Very good to hear. Okay, I think this all makes sense to me now. Thanks!

  6. 007webby
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Very interesting discussion! I am having a question regarding this. I work the same way as member s3w47m88. I copy the main theme, and then amend it. I amend most files, content, content-single, content-page, functions, header, footer, I pull in additional headers etc. So I am building my own theme based on the current WP theme.

    What I don't quite understand is this - if I replicate this as a child theme, amend most of the files, what will an update bring to my child theme if most parts are amended?

    Many thanks.

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