But now, you decide you need to customize it. You can either find a plugin that will provide the customization you need or switch to a new theme. And best practices say: you do that via WordPress child themes. Customizing a theme comes with risks. If you edit the code in a third-party theme which is one you bought off of a marketplace for example , then when you next update the theme, all your changes will be lost.
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Methods of Customizing WordPress
Welcome to this brief tutorial on how to install a Child Theme to your WordPress. A child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality and styling of another theme, called the parent theme. We use the Child themes to modify the existing theme and have the changes saved on it if the parent theme is being updated. Because they do not actually edit anything in the parent theme, but all changes are made in the new child theme. All your changes will stay intact.
How to install a WordPress child theme
If you love your current theme but want to modify its features and look, the proper way to do so is by customizing its child theme. This tutorial will explain why this practice is necessary and guide you through the process so that you can create and edit a WordPress child theme regardless of your technical skills. Another reason to use a child theme is that it offers a fail-safe solution if you ever mess up your edits.
To understand how child themes work it is first important to understand the relationship between parent and child themes. A parent theme is a complete theme which includes all of the required WordPress template files and assets for the theme to work. All themes — excluding child themes — are considered parent themes. As indicated in the overview, a child theme inherits the look and feel of the parent theme and all of its functions, but can be used to make modifications to any part of the theme. The directory needs a name. For example, if you were making a child theme of twentyfifteen , then the directory would be named twentyfifteen-child. Your stylesheet must contain the below required header comment at the very top of the file. This tells WordPress basic info about the theme, including the fact that it is a child theme with a particular parent.