Child Themes: What They Are and Why You Need Them

As the digital landscape continues to grow and evolve, so does the trend of niche website design concepts. One such concept is child themes. However, many users are still unaware of what this term means or how it can benefit their sites specifically. Rest assured, however, that with a little bit of knowledge about child themes, you can get a lot further in your site’s development. In this blog post, we will answer essential questions like – What are child themes? Why do I need them? Let’s get started!

What are WordPress Child Themes?

A child theme is a specific type of WordPress theme that allows you to restyle your website without changing your site’s core code. Essentially, a child theme inherits the functionality and content of the parent theme, but allows you to make adjustments to the design of your site. Child themes were introduced as a way to give users more control over their site’s design.

Before child themes existed, users who wanted to change their site’s design would have to edit the code of their site’s theme. This was a lengthy process that often led to mistakes and broken sites. This also caused a problem when it was time to update your theme because all of your customizations would be overwritten. Child themes will inherit all of the functionality of your parent theme, but it will also have the additional design code that you added. Thus, you can have the functionality of your parent theme, but also have a design that is unique to your specific needs.

Why Do You Need WordPress Child Themes?

In addition to making site design changes easier and safer than ever before, child themes offer a number of other benefits as well. For example, if you want to make changes to your site’s functionality, you will likely edit the code in your site’s parent theme. However, if you use a child theme, you can make as many changes as you want to the style of your site, and your site’s functionality won’t be affected. When you edit the code in a child theme, the changes you make will be more specific to your site. This means you can avoid making edits that could negatively affect other websites that use the same parent theme.

5 Important Things to Know About Child Themes

  1. A child theme is a WordPress theme that inherits its functionality from another WordPress theme, the parent theme.
  2. Child themes are usually much easier to create than creating a WordPress theme from scratch.
  3. The style.css file contains the CSS for your child theme, and the functions.php file contains the code for your child theme’s functions.
  4. It is generally recommended to create a child theme if you want to make changes to an existing theme.
  5. When a child theme is active, WordPress will first look for template files in the child theme’s directory. If a template file is not found in the child theme, WordPress will look for it in the parent theme’s directory


Now that you know what child themes are and why you need them, you are better equipped to create the website of your dreams. Child themes can allow you to make unique design changes without worrying about breaking your site’s functionality. However, keep in mind that a child theme is only as good as its parent theme. If you create a child theme based on an outdated or poorly designed parent theme, your child theme will likely inherit these faults as well. Thus, you should always choose your parent theme wisely. In the end, a child theme is a great way to make changes to your website’s design without breaking it.

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