Support » Your WordPress » Slightly Souped Up Version of TwentyTen Default Theme

  • Hello everyone,

    I am still rather new to WordPress, CSS3 and everything that goes along with it, but over the past few weeks — or has it been longer? — I’ve been adding quite a few of the free WP plug-ins, as well as making some tweaks to the default TwentyTen theme itself. If you’d care to take a quick peek, you can click right here if you wish.

    Just remember; this may not be the final product, but I am slowly getting there.


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  • Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    as well as making some tweaks to the default TwentyTen theme itself.

    I looked at the source and you are modifying the TwentyTen theme directly. Don’t do that. You’ll just suffer when your modifications get overwritten and wiped out with the next update.

    Create a child theme of TwentyTen in a different directory and make your modifications there. You’ll have less problems that way.

    Hello Jan,

    Thanks for your comments. Actually, a while back I did in fact read the online instructions regarding using child themes. However, there must be something that I am not quite grasping, because when I attempted to do so, it broke my blog. I started getting all kinds of errors.

    I just re-read the instructions for creating a child theme and tried again.

    This time I made an exact copy of my current already-altered TwentyTen theme, and I renamed the folder “twentyten-child”.

    I made sure that I have “Template: twentyten” in the head section, as well as “@import url(“../twentyten/rtl.css”);” after the head section, and before all of the CSS code.

    After that, when I try to activate my child theme, I start getting errors like this:

    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare twentyten_excerpt_length() (previously declared in /Applications/myServer/mySite/Blog/wp-content/themes/twentyten-child/functions.php:231) in /Applications/myServer/mySite/Blog/wp-content/themes/twentyten/functions.php on line 231

    In the “functions.php” file — which that error is talking about — there are all kinds of comments like the following, and I am not sure how I am so supposed to do what it says:

    * To override this in a child theme, remove the filter and optionally add
    * your own function tied to the wp_page_menu_args filter hook.

    If I try to fix it with my limited understanding, then my server just throws me a similar error with the very next function, and on and on it goes.

    That is why I gave up. I just couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do.

    In other words, am I supposed to remove the entire function from the child’s “function.php” file, or just comment it out? Do I need to then write another function to replace it?

    I don’t know PHP, and usually just alter the actual HTML and CSS in files. I don’t know how to write functions.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, because the online instructions don’t suffice; at least not for someone at my level of understanding.


    Open your FTP program, go to your 2010 Theme, copy it to your computer, rename the folder, open style.css, under the name part, rename that, upload back to themes, activate and edit without worrying of it being overwritten.

    Hello Boyevul; thanks for your response. That is precisely what I ended up doing just over six hours ago.

    While I had pretty much resolved the aforementioned problem by removing the original “functions.php” file from my child theme’s folder, and then making a new file with just the part that I needed, there was still one nagging graphical problem.

    So, realizing how much I had already altered TwentyTen, and that it was pretty much a new theme already, I decided to go the full mile with it. Thus, I made a copy of the directory, renamed the folder, renamed the theme, took the template string out of the head section of the CSS file, and removed the import string from the CSS file as well.

    After a few more graphic tweaks in the template files, it is now a full-blown standalone theme, exactly as you have stated. Now I can continue tweaking to my heart’s content without having to worry about updates.

    @jan Dembowski, nice one. Needed this guide too. Thanks!

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