Support » Requests and Feedback » WordPress Core: Deploy a child theme from the parent

  • As child themes are becoming the way forward how about a change to the WordPress core Appearance menu?

    A lot of users do not use a child theme as they might find the creation a bit daunting, so why not make it more friendly.

    Theme developers can then include a child theme folder or zip in the theme, it could even be a condition of acceptance to the themes directory that themes must be “child theme friendly” and include a built in child theme.

    Suggestion 1:
    A core function that will look in all theme folders for a folder or zip post fixed ‘child’ so inside the twenty eleven theme /twentyeleven-child/ or

    The admin can select from the list and deploy the child theme, if the child theme folder exists a message ‘The Child Theme already exists’, if not the child theme is created with the contents of the folder or zip!

    Suggestion 2:
    In the Appearance > Editor when looking at theme files have an option to transfer to child theme, so if I was looking in the editor at twenty eleven, I could select footer.php and “Transfer to Child Theme”, the code would look for a folder ‘twentyeleven-child’ and copy the footer.php across if the file exists over-write if not copy across



Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Cheers,
    The plugin is part of the way there, it cannot transfer the template files but it is on the to-do list, and it only works with the active theme which could mean switching themes.

    Would be much better if it was a WordPress core option though as it would prompt theme authors to consider making their themes child theme friendly!

    At least we can suggest it as an easy way to get started for topics where the author is editing core theme files instead of just saying create a child theme.

    I will write a how-to post on my site using the plugin for now, it may help a few people 🙂



    I suspect this isn’t built in given how insanely complex many parent themes are. And you REALLY want people to understand these files are on their server, and how to get at them, for when things go wrong and they break the theme.

    At least for the default themes out of the box a transfer couldbe offered?
    I have complex settings of widgets, and header and background images and when I create a child, I have to redo all the work (surpisingly annoying the fact that uploaded images cannot be re-selected!)

    So, how do I now migrate my widgets ? Redo everything ?

    Are you trying to say that when you switch from a parent theme to a child, you have to redo the design work?

    Sorry, I’m not sure what’s being asked at this point….

    (Widgets are saved in the ‘Inactive Widget’ section and you can re-use them easily).



    Forum Moderator

    I think the OP is asking for theme_mods( custom menus, widgets, headers & backgrounds) to be automatically transferred to the child theme. If I’m correct, then I don’t think this is going to be very useful. Some people switch to a child theme because they want something different – not a clone of the parent themed site. Additionally, a child theme can de-register menus, sidebars, headers and backgrounds. Or re-use them in a totally different way.

    I checked again, when I did a Child theme manually with WP 3.2.2, NOW widgets are maintained…..the only redo that seems to be involved is:
    – header image
    – background settings
    – ??

    MY idea of child theme for one project is, to keep twentyten as the base theme and I apply changes here and there through child theme. In this way updating twentyten does not kill my mods. Up to know, I had used my private plugin to override settings and styles. I will gradually move that stuff to the child theme, now.

    I don’t dare to try to upgrade to 11….

    Let me know, if my comment is out of scope, then I keep shut 😉

    Thanks folks



    Forum Moderator

    the only redo that seems to be involved is

    These are stored on a per-theme basis. A child theme, in this context, is just another theme with its own theme settings. So you have to set the header & background back up in the child theme. Whilst this might not make much sense in Twenty Eleven and its children, this independence is vital if you are creating a theme that is significantly different to its parent.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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