Easy Child Theme Creation – A WordPress Guide

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METHOD ONE: Download and Use a Plugin
You can use one of the recommended plugins listed below, or you can search the WordPress.Org Plugin Directory to find a plugin that you like and meets your needs.

If you choose to search the directory, research any potential plugins thoroughly. Check the ratings, reviews, FAQs, screenshots, and support. Take note of the date the plugin was last updated, the compatible WordPress versions, and if the developer has a website or other means of contacting them with questions besides the support link on the WordPress Plugin directory page.

You can also search for, download, and install plugins through the Plugin > Add New menu option in your WordPress Admin Dashboard.

Recommended Plugins

Child Theme Configurator
Child Theme Configurator is a fast and easy to use CSS editor that allows you to create a child theme and customize it beyond the options of the Customizer. Designed for WordPress users who want to be able to customize stylesheets directly, the Child Theme Configurator lets you easily identify and override the exact CSS attributes you want to customize. It properly enqueues theme and font stylesheets for optimum performance and handles vendor-specific syntax, giving you unlimited control over your WordPress look and feel while leaving your Parent Theme untouched.

Download Child Theme Configurator.

Childify Me
Childify Me allows you to create child themes from any non-child theme directly from the Theme Customizer panel. It also works when previewing a theme before activation and is multi-site compatible.

Download Childify Me.

One-Click Child Theme
One-Click Child Theme adds a Theme option to any active theme allowing you to make a child theme. This plugin is useful for shared hosting, especially one-click WordPress installs, which usually involve learning how to use FTP and shell accounts, as it allows you to easily create child themes from any theme just by clicking.

Download One-Click Child Theme.

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15 comments

This is great information for anyone who has a WordPress site. I have found that many people who design their own websites, myself included, fail to create a child theme when they initially build their site.

We all learn our lesson the first time we hit that update button and loose hours of hard work and special coding. Thank you XterraWeb for taking the time to research this issue and provide us with so many different choices. I’m definitely going to take advantage of your insight.

Amor Libris (Kelly Hartigan)

Thank you, Melanie. I learned that lesson too. I was new to WordPress and didn’t learn about child themes until after I had made multiple changes. I wish I had known about this before. Unfortunately, once you have made multiple modifications to your WordPress parent theme, things become a bit more challenging. I was about to give up until I conducted some research and discovered I could make the process a bit easier with the exception of dealing with the functions.php file. I hope the information in this article helps make the process less challenging for you.

A wonderful insight into the possibilities but I dont’ think I’ll be going there anytime soon.
Simply using my WordPress site as it comes is enough for me. I find it time-consuming to get posts, menus and sidebars as I want them without digging into the minefield you’ve explored in depth.
Kudos to you guys who are capable of such technical wizardry. 🙂

Amor Libris (Kelly Hartigan)

Thank you, Tom. Yes, this is a bit more advanced. However, if someone just created a self-hosted WordPress site, the plugins to create the child theme would be helpful, easy to use, and save them from encountering problems in the future.

This is SO helpful! Most people have WordPress sites and would have no idea about these tips that could save them heartache in the future.

Well this blog article was not what I was expecting but everything I needed to read about! I may switch to WordPress one day and will try this.

Thanks for all the info – at the moment I’m just using a free WordPress theme for my blog, but I know at some point I’ll want to upgrade to something I have more control over. You’ve explained all the options in a really easy way – pinned for when I take the next step in blogging!

This is really useful thanks for sharing. I sometimes struggle to figure out child seems so I will be bookmarking is page.

A helpful post – not come across child theme before.I don’t have a wordpress blog anymore though! Look forward to more helpful reads 🙂

This is great information for someone starting their own blog! I wish I had a post like this to read when I switched over!

Child Themes are great. I’m currently working on mine so this was a great help.

Very informative! I am not on wordpress and have not made the switch but will be bookmarking this if ever I do.

been looking for a friendly guide for wordpress users lately! this will be a big help for me! thanks for posting it!

At the moment I’m using a free WordPress theme but I hope to switch this up soon. Your explanation is one of the clearest I’ve seen – child themes have had me confused for a long time. Thanks for explaining it in such an easy way to understand.

Very good information. When I was looking for a new theme, I saw child themes and didn’t understand what it was.

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