Child Themes

Child themes seem to be an excellent way forward with Wordpress sites. I have now installed child themes on all the sites that I operate.

A child theme is a basic theme that references a main theme – called the parent theme. Amendments to the theme can then be made in the child theme, without affecting the parent theme. Anything that has NOT been amended in the child theme is inherited from the parent theme. The advantage of this, over simply amending the parent theme is that the parent theme can be updated, without destroying the amendments made. Because the child theme references the parent theme, this process in no way compromises the parent theme authors' copyright, even if this was a purchased, premium theme.

My strategy with themes for clients is now as follows:

  1. The client can pick a suitable theme.
  2. I will then create a child theme based on the chosen parent theme.
  3. I will make the required amendments in the child theme.
  4. If required, more than one child theme can be produced. For example, alternative color schemes could be trialled. Also, with amendments to the child theme, the existence of previous versions means that clients can easily return to previous amendments.

This routine use of child themes empowers the client in their choice of theme and request for amendments, enabling the client to have far more flexibility and control over their finished site.

Does your existing web developer use child themes in this way? If not, you need to consider moving your site to Old Castle Web Solutions.

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