In this WordPress Video Tutorial for beginners, learn step by step how to add a child theme to wordpress. This can be done with a variety of plugins, however in this video we will just show you how to add a child theme for the genesis framework.
So in this video, what I want to show you is actually how to add a child theme in WordPress. I’m going to be talking about what exactly child themes are as well. And just a very general overview of what we’re going to be learning is what exactly are child themes, what are their purposes, where can you get them or how can you make them, and how do you install them.
So the first thing to answer, you know, what exactly are child themes, is what is their purpose. And I think the first method is and the most obvious method is it’s a safer method for actually at the [inaudible]. If you do a lot of changes to your code, some custom changes to your code, you’re probably going to be wanting a child theme. And the reason why is not only is it safer for editing them but also when you make updates to your theme for example at the developer of your theme, if you purchase them from somebody, now has a newer version, well, all your changes are going to stay there if you use a child theme.
So that’s probably the primary method, the second method, and the one that I’m actually going to be showing you how to utilize is as a skin. And so we’ll talk more about what I mean by this in the future but what I pretty much mean is that as a skin, you purchase a child theme from another developer. So there’s a main developer who creates your general theme and there’s other smaller developers who create child themes for that main theme. So just added design, there’s a certain function now, certain features that are unique to those child themes but pretty much it’s the same in essence, right?
We’re always just trying to edit our main theme files and these are two different ways, or two different purposes that we may do it. So the first thing that we’re going to be talking about is the first method, as a safer editor, right. Or a safer editor or also as just an easier editor. So what we do is we — generally we’re going to be using a plug in but kind of how they work is it creates a separate set of files for you, right. So these separate set of files now you can customize without touching the original version and that’s just good like I mentioned before, if you update your original theme, well now, your changes will stay if you use a child theme. And also, if you do something wrong for example, if you make some type of change to your child theme code, it’s not going to effect the original.
So if you wanted to divert back to the original theme, you could do that, right. So it’s kind of like a safe checker as well as just an easier method for editing the code. And so how do we actually get this? Well, there’s ways that we can do it just by simple code and doing it manually, but there’s also plug ins that we can use as well. And then the plug ins that I found that were good were child theme configurator and one-click child theme plug in. These are both free plug ins that you can use and they’re very simple to use as well.
The next thing is as the actual skin design, right. And so this just adds additional design to your original theme, alright. So there are many skin or child theme for different themes. And you can just think of them like skins or additional design and I think the most obvious one is going to be the Genesis framework. So the Genesis framework is the one that we’re using in our course and they have — it’s such a very basic framework so it’s just the basic framework or we can think of it like a theme where it really houses the main core functionality of our website. But this Genesis child themes you can think of them as just designs to it, right? Because if remember right now, our website looks fairly basic, right? The Genesis framework as itself is just a very plain white background.
If you want to add some type of design to it or some skin to it, well that’s where we get a Genesis child theme and these child themes can be produced from many different places. For example, from [inaudible] StudioPress itself or other third-party websites and I’ll actually show you how to install the new child theme. It’s very simple, very easy to use. Literally, you just purchase the theme or purchase the child theme and you install it as usual. Like I mentioned before, we’re actually using the Genesis framework which is our man theme and what we want to do now is actually add a child theme to it, right. So what we went ahead and did is we purchased a theme from [inaudible] and we’ll have just an educational copy for you guys to kind of test it out as you go along In the course in the description box below or on our website. But pretty much our theme right now looks something like this, right. Fairly basic, fairly simple.
Well what we also want to do is we want to customize them, we want to add this added skin that [inaudible] made. So how do we go about doing that? All we do is right now, we have — we should probably just have our Genesis framework theme installed. And see, you’re just going to add new, and you’re going to add this smooth post child theme and that’s what the child theme is called and you know, it’s just purchased through the [inaudible] website. And so what we’re going to do is install it like normal, it’s just going to be exactly treated as the new theme, right. So all we’re going to do now to make it active, just click “activate.” So now that it’s activated, that’s literally all we have to do. Now we can go back to our website and see what it looks like and we would just make the basic changes, right.
Ultimately, our menu items are probably going to be a little bit messed up although they look kind of okay right now. And we can just move things around as normal, right. So now our child theme is installed as you can see there’s a much different design to it but it still holds the Genesis framework, right. So we don’t want to delete the Genesis framework otherwise the main theme or the main functionality to our website won’t be there, right. So always keep them both installed but you only click activate on the smooth post child theme or whatever child theme you’re using.
And the same would be fairly similar if you were creating your own child theme with the plug in, right. You’d be activating the additional one or the child theme and you’ll be making changes to that. That way when you update anything or when you update your main theme files, your — your changes will still stay.