A Child theme in WordPress is a theme that inherits the features, style, and functionality of its Parent theme. The main purpose of having a child theme is to modify a parent theme without making any changes into it.
Today it’s not the best practice unlike a few years ago to have a child theme for your website, an estimation of 90-95 % of the website doesn’t need a child theme at all. In this article, I am going to explain what a child theme is and if you should build one for your website or not.
Why we need a Child Theme:
One would need to have a child theme if he/ she wants to customize core codes in certain files of the parent theme. Earlier a child theme would also be required if you were adding a custom function or a custom CSS to your existing theme.
Adding codes to the child theme where we are adding custom codes or just adding some CSS to the website is not recommended as changing a parent theme will make the child theme useless along with all the customization code that is written in it as all of it points to the parent theme.
Child Theme Alternative:
Besides writing any custom CSS in the child theme and struggling to keep track of everything, one of the best alternatives is the WordPress customizer.
WordPress added this 2 years ago and a customizer lets you add your custom CSS right into your website without needing to keep track of it. Even if you change your theme the custom CSS still remains with your website.
Go to appearance → customization → additional CSS
This option is more to do with a plugin which enables you to write custom CSS code to your site.
This awesome plugin is known as “Code Snippets”. Instead of writing code for a function in a long list of code and struggle to remember the exact purpose of code this plugin allows us to write comments and description along the way while we write code.
Go to Snippets(in the panel) → Click on “add new” → add name, add a custom function
This plugin also allows giving a description for the custom function which makes it easier to identify later and also allows to select when the function will run, backend, frontend or everywhere.
These are a great alternative for anyone who needs to add a custom function to his website. With these, the necessity to use a child theme becomes even smaller, only for certain conditions where changes in the main code of a theme are required a child theme is recommended.
We are Polosoft technologies, a leading WordPress development company in San Francisco.
When it comes to the clients we always recommend the best to them, whether they should have a child theme or not.
We develop high-end customized WordPress websites for those who seek excellence in website design.
Along with WordPress development, few other development technologies used by Polosoft are: