How to Set Up and Use a Child Theme in WordPress?

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Okay so you’ve got a WordPress blog? Not satisfied with the looks and feel of it? Or does it just feel way too old-fashioned? Or is it the reason why your blog is killing it’s own speed?

What if I tell you there’s an easier way out of all of those problems all at once? But probably you already know that, right? Or else you wouldn’t have googled about anything even distantly related to How to use a child theme in WordPress.

So well yeah I understand what you’re looking for, and that’s exactly what I’m going to lay out on the plate for you! But hey before that, let’s dig deeper into the basics!

What are Child Themes?

A question that might be causing whirlpools in your brain right now, so let me answer that. Before giving you a guide on How to set up a child theme, let me tell you “what” a Child Theme is and why you might even need it!

Take the “main” theme as the “Parent” theme! It’s like the genes and DNA of your child themes. Because your child theme will be inheriting the styling and functionalities of this parent theme. Just like it happens in humans.

So yeah that’s what child themes are. But then again, you’d be questioning me, why do you even need a child theme? Right?

Benefits of a Child Theme:-

Yeah, now you know what a child theme is, right? So ask me, Comm’n go and just pitch the question you’ve been dying to ask. Why do you need the child themes, right?

Why can’t you just do and achieve what you want to do and achieve with the parent themes? It’s clear that the “parent” theme will have all the functionalities and styling of your child theme, right? So why not?

Well the point is, you “can”. You just shouldn’t! Yeah so let me tell you How to use a child theme and Why to use it at the first place!

  • Safer Theme Developments:- When modifying your parent theme, you might loose the development if something goes wrong. Well, child themes prevent that from happening. You modify your child theme, and if something goes wrong, your child theme messes up, not parent.
  • Faster Theme Development:- If you’re going to modify your theme and develop it, you don’t have to code from the scratch, because you’ll already have the functionality and styling up to the child theme, right? You can just start from there. It’s like “quick saving” your game in the middle of it, rather than to start a new game everytime.
  • The Learning Curve:- Coding a theme from scratch isn’t as easy! Nope! But playing with a child theme and updating, changing or modifying it? Nope that doesn’t need you to have a Ph.d with codes. So well yeah, you can learn how to code, or atleast get a bit better at it by playing around Child themes.

Basic Requirement of a Child Theme:-

Anyone can create a child theme, yeah even you. You just have to make sure you meet the basic requirements. Well it’s like anyone can breathe on this planet, as long as they’re Human! So yeah that kind of “basic” requirement.

  • The Directory:- Where you’ll be storing your Child theme.
  • Functions.php file :- So that you can modify the functions of the parent theme, without actually modifying the parent theme.
  • Style.css :- Ofcourse, to load the theme CSS!

 How to Use a Child Theme in WordPress:-

Genesis is the most popular Parent Framework when it comes to child theme WordPress thing. I mean it’s the most popular, SEO optimized and widely used parent framework on WordPress that supports child themes.

So that’s what I’ll be using to explain to you  how to apply a child theme in WordPress.

First of all, you’ll need the “Parent” framework/theme. Which you have to install on your WordPress just in the normal method of installing any theme.

So Go to your Dashboard and click on Appearence>Themes

How to use a child theme in wordpress

After that, just select the Parent Theme /framework. And click on Activate. In case if you haven’t uploaded it yet, well then first upload it and then activate it.

How to set up a child theme

Done? So your Parent framework is working fine now, isn’t it?

Now, just  repeat the process! I mean with a “slight” change.

Go to your theme dashboard, again click on the Appearance button>Themes.

How to use a child theme in wordpress

Now click on “Add new.

How to set up a child theme

And then, click on the Upload Themes button.

 how to apply a child theme in wordpress

Now just click on Choose file, and choose the child theme you’re trying to install! Upload it just like you do any other theme, and done!

How to use a child theme

I mean once the child theme is uploaded, just activate it like you activated Genesis (or any other Parent Framework you had), it’ll automatically switch from the parent framework to the child theme!

Check out this amazing comparision on generatepress vs genesis they have compiled a detailed guide about these amazing.

Bottomline:- Just Upload the Parent Theme> Activate, next upload Child Theme>Activate! Yeah that’s how it’s done in simple English.

Final Words:-

So yeah that’s how “not so hard” it is to answer a question like How to use a child theme in WordPress. Hope that solved your problems?

If you still got issues and are unable to upload the child theme to WordPress! Make use of the commentbox, I will show it over video to you about how to do it! Yeah like for real!

And if this piece helped, I’d seriously appreciate a share!


Aishwar Babber is a passionate blogger and a digital marketer. He loves to talk and blog about the latest tech and gadgets, which motivates him to run GizmoBase. He is currently practicing his digital marketing, SEO, and SMO expertise as a full-time marketer on various projects. He is an active investor in NewSmartWave and ImageStation.

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