If you never make changes to your PHP and CSS files, you most likely will not need a child theme. However, if you make changes to more than just your customizer, you need a child theme. For example, if you want to add your own functions, PHP code, or write a complicated CSS code, you should have a WordPress child theme. 

If you’ve activated your parent theme in WordPress and then go to your editor, you’ll see that you can make a lot of changes to your theme. In addition, you’ll have endless options and settings you can change and customizations you can choose.

However, if you’ve activated a child theme and go to your editor, you’ll see that you can only make changes to your PHP and CSS files. You have to select which files you want to add to your child theme to see more than just the PHP and CSS files. 

Create WordPress child theme

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard and select add new plugin. One of the best child theme plugins is the Child Theme Configurator plugin. 
  • Once you’ve activated the plugin, you’ll find it in your tools on your dashboard. 
  • Select Child Theme in your tools, and then select a parent theme of your choosing. 
  • Once you click on Analyse, you’ll get a message if the theme can be used as a Child theme. 
  • You can change the name of the theme, change the various settings, add theme tags etc., and once you’re happy with it, you can click on Create New Child Theme.

To ensure that you’ve created the WordPress child theme successfully, go to Appearances and click on Themes. You should see the child theme there. You also need to activate the child theme, which will also deactivate your parent theme in the process. 

  • Once you’re ready to start playing around and make changes, go to Child Themes again under Tools. 
  • Proceed to Files, and there you can see all your files. You can select the files that you want to copy to your child theme. 
  • And once you go back to your editor, you’ll see all the files you’ve selected. 

If you go back to your parent theme and select one of the files you’ve copied to your child theme and decide to delete it, you’ll notice that nothing major will happen to your website. That’s because all the files you’ve selected are copied and stored in your child theme. 

WordPress child theme is a great feature to have and use if you modify and apply changes to your PHP and CSS files. Also, it’s the best way to ensure that nothing gets lost that can hurt your website. 

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