Child WordPress Themes — What are they and how to create them?

Child WordPress Themes — What are they and how to create them?

WordPress child themes are crucial concepts for WordPress developers and site managers who want to customize their site while maintaining easy updateability. This article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of what child themes are, how they work, how to create one, best practices to follow, and an FAQ to answer common questions.

What is a child theme on WordPress?

A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the style and functionality of another theme, called a parent theme. Using a child theme allows you to modify or add features to your site without altering the parent theme. This makes updates to the parent theme easier because your changes remain intact in the child theme.

How do child WordPress themes work?

The child theme works by inheriting all styles and functions from the parent theme. You can then add or edit the files in your child theme to customize your site to your needs. WordPress will load the parent theme first and then apply any changes found in the child theme.

How to create a child theme?

  1. Create a new folder for your child theme in the wp-content/themes directory.
  2. Create a style.css file in your child theme folder. This file must include a comment header at the beginning that declares the parent theme:

Theme Name:   Prositeweb Child
Theme URI:        https://www.prositeweb.ca/prositeweb-child/
Description:  prositeweb child description
Author:           Prositeweb Inc.
Author URI:   https://www.prositeweb.ca/
Template:         prositeweb
Version:          1.0.0
License:          GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI:  https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
Tags: light, dark, two-columns, right-sidebar, responsive-layout, accessibility-ready
Text Domain:  prositeweb
  1. “Template” designates the parent theme folder.
  2. Create a functions.php file . This file is used to add or modify features. You should include a function to load the parent theme’s CSS file:

add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'my_theme_enqueue_styles' );
function my_theme_enqueue_styles() {
    wp_enqueue_style( 'parent-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/style.css' );

  1. Activate your child theme from the WordPress dashboard.

Good practices

  • Keep your child theme simple . Change only what is necessary to minimize maintenance issues.
  • Use WordPress hooks and filters to add or modify functionality.
  • Test your child theme with demo data to ensure it works as expected.


  • How to install a child theme on WordPress? Activate it from the dashboard, just like you would any other theme.
  • How to create your own WordPress theme? To create a WordPress theme from scratch, you need to have a good understanding of PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as the structure and principles of WordPress development.
  • What are the two required files in a WordPress theme? The required files are style.css and index.php .
  • What file is not essential for a WordPress theme? A file like functions.php is not required, but it is extremely useful for extending the functionality of your theme.

By following these guidelines, you will be well equipped to create and manage WordPress child themes, enabling efficient and maintainable customization of your website.

If you need assistance, contact us . You can also follow us on social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

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Gilblas Ngunte Possi

Gilblas Ngunte Possi

Founder and Full-Stack Developer at Prositeweb.

My proficiency with modern tools and a keen analytical sense regarding information technology enable me to provide superior guidance in the development and implementation of your web solutions.

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