Support » Themes and Templates » What data will be lost without a child theme?

  • Hi there,

    I’m doing a site for someone and I’ve been learning so much about WP over the past week from nothing, it’s great.

    I was told I need to create a child theme before making changes to my twenty ten theme. However I only found that out recently, after making quite a few changes to the theme, but only using the style.css page which i’ve added or changed rules to – I am avoiding touching the php files : So I’ve changed font and background colour/size, hidden meta tags, added an item to the navigation, and all pages have relevant text / images in them.

    My question is, if the client decided to hit ‘update’ one day, what exactly would happen ie which data would be lost? Does it mean all content in pages menu items etc will revert to the original, or would they only lose all style changes ?

    many thanks

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • On a full update WP and the default theme are overridden. The data isnt touched. And nor are child or any other themes. If u need to go further than style css you can create a child function.php or new templates too.

    Thanks Roots. my question though relates to the data that is lost if you don’t work from a child theme – basically I feel i have changed the parent theme too much to go down the child route ?

    Sorry Roots just re-read your reply . So….. If data isn’t touched on update , what is ( as every one warns on every forum )? Many thanks

    Just hold on……….the data in mysql is never touched…………but the default theme can/is over written, child themes are not for wimps, no pro touches the default, he copies it, renames it, activates it, then hacks it.
    And then he runs a child theme off that. A pro never loses his original theme, or does anything thats not reuseable………..

    Mysql data is never touched.

    By the way, the template was used to create a basic website, no blogs no comments etc

    About your replies…..
    .the data in mysql is never touched
    I’m not too familiar with mysql, which data on the site would that refer to?

    but the default theme can/is over written
    Overwritten IN WHICH WAY? Does it revert to the basic twentyten theme, which data goes which data remains ?

    child themes are not for wHimps, no pro touches the default…
    Sounds a bit aggressive and patronising to me. And what is so difficult about Child themes that it isn’t for ‘whimps’.

    As I said I’m a beginner and aren’t pretending I know better however I would appreciate more constructive comments. By the way, all data relating to the creator of the theme remain in the stylesheet. In terms of constructive comments, I would like to know, okay, say I created a child theme from the modified parent theme now, would my changes in my child theme be saved upon next update although i’ve made changes to the parent theme. Anyone? thanks a lot

    ANY change made to the twentyten theme would be lost. If you touched any code in that theme, anywhere it would be lost

    what i meant was
    a lot of people overlook the very great benefits of child themes and look down on them…….but we all swear by them……….
    and by data we mean data in mysql.the theme is not data, the css is not data

    Okay.. Thanks . What can I do ? ( other than never updating !)
    Can i download the theme again while running the modified one , then create a child theme in a new folder then how do I transfer all the data to my new child theme , copy and paste the CSS and copy and paste page contents in the relevant areas ? Bear in mind I would like to stay away from php or database stuff in this process until I know what I’m doing..?

    sure………….do exactly what u just outlined……..



    Forum Moderator

    A child theme just stores your changes/customisation to the parent theme. Nothing else. Have a read of Child_Themes.

    Thanks all, in terms of rectifying my approach, if I created a child theme from the parent theme i’ve modified and am currently working on , then activated the child theme and kept working from that, would my data be safe upon update?

    yes it will……………i am not nit picking but data is posts and stuff in the database – they will be safe
    plus yr theme edits will be safe too
    on an aggressive upgrade wp overwrites the default theme
    all other themes u have are untouched………..
    so we always keep the default untouched
    then we copy it
    then maybe copy that depending on what we are doing……..
    in my first pass i fix the css the way i like it
    in my second if i alter templates i keep a changelog and comment heavily in the files
    its just about being organised
    not only are u safe from upgrades but bits of css / templates are reuseable………

    That is great news. I don’t want to risk starting from scratch again from a ‘virgin’ theme, so I will create a child theme based on what i’ve done so far.

    Lesson learnt. Thanks very much all for your prompt help with this. ;0)

    good luck………..once yr done at the template level u can create further child themes just with a new style.css – it can use templates from another theme.its cool how it all fits together………….or u can use functions.php for theme specific php overrides and leave yr templates intact…….

    ONe last quick question on BACKUP, sorry if this is off-topic.

    I know there are plugins for that but so far i’ve only used my FTP for this purpose, basically copying everything from the main directory onto my computer, all folders etc.

    However I’ve seen the TOOLS > export option on the admin panel. Does it do the same job? do I need to use this as well as the FTP backup method?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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