How To Create A WordPress Child Theme

plrvideodirect wordpress child theme imageIn this post I will show you how to create a Child Theme for your WordPress site and cover why you need to have a Child Theme.

But first lets cover the ‘why’.

When you are building a website using WordPress, the theme is what makes your site look the way it does.

The size and color of the letters in this post, the background image (if there was one) and other elements that make this site look like it does is in most parts, due to the theme I use.

Sometimes I might want to change certain things of the theme that cannot be changed in the built-in them customizer. Things like making the border around the content area round instead of square or remove the title just on the home page. These can be done by customizing the code within the theme.

The problem with customizing the theme code is that every so often the theme creator discovers something about the theme that requires an update. Something like a part of the code that can be hacked and allow the bad people to break your site or worse. Or the theme creator simply wants to make the theme better and in either case they create an update and for your theme to maintain its functions and security, it needs to be updated to each new release from the theme creator.

The ‘problem’ comes when you update the theme (and you really need to update when updates exist) because that update wipes out any custom work you made to the themes code.


You get past that “bummer” by creating and using a Child Theme.

Any custom work you do to a theme is done in the Child Theme. The Child Theme inherits & overrides the styles, codes and templates of their parents.

Just as in life, without parents, there are no children. In WordPress, Child Themes cannot exist without parent themes. This will become more clear in a second when we create our child theme.

In this video guide of just at 5 minutes in length, I detail two ways to create a WordPress Child Theme – one way is very much quicker than the other.

I also give you links for additional info on WordPress Child Themes.

So watch the video and post any questions in the comments below or use the contact form in the nav bar at the top of the page and I’ll reply in a few hours – no more than 24 hours at the most.

  • video
    Steve Dougherty


9 thoughts on “How To Create A WordPress Child Theme

  1. Ben Johnson


    I enjoyed the video about creating a Child Theme…..

    However, I have a question……

    Why did you delete the child theme after you made changes to the parent theme?

    Do you need to re-install the Child Theme Plugin to make future changes to the Parent Theme?

    Or…..Could I leave it there for future and frequent changes?

    Waiting for your reply!

    Thank you
    B Johnson

    1. SteveD

      Hello Ben,
      Thank you for checking out the video and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I actually did not delete the child them – only the plugin that I used to create it.

      The child theme is still there and active after I deleted the plugin used to create the child theme.

      I wanted to demonstrate the power of the plugin to create the child theme AND once the child theme was created, the plugin was not needed for anything else – it had completed its job and could be safely deleted without affecting the child theme it created.

      At about the 4:40 mark in the video I show that after the plugin has been deleted, the child theme is still active and working.

      Hope that clears things up for you Ben.

      Thanks again for checking out my post.

      – Steve D.

    1. SteveD

      Hi Kim,

      I think that is one of the security features of the player – it times out after
      5 minutes. It prevents people from grabbing the video URL and putting it
      elsewhere, like on their own site and I get stuck with the bandwidth fees.

      By refreshing your browser the video will / should play just fine.

      I’m on Firefox as well and the video didn’t play for me because the page
      was open for the last couple of hours but after refreshing, it played.

      Thanks for checking it out and let me know if you have questions.

      By the way, the player I’m using is a freebie called FV WordPress Flowplayer

      – Steve D.

  2. David Scott Lynn

    Hi Steve!

    Where do I best go to learn what code to use to work in the theme creation and modifications?

    I didn’t see a reference to crating that code, and I’m assuming this video was intended for people who already know that stuff, right?

    Also, BTW & FYI, the font size of the text editor in this Comment Box is SUPER small at my end! Was hard to read my own typing! I hit Command + and it zoomed the text, but it seems like I’ve run into a lot of people don’t know how to do that zoom thing. And doing that causes the left hand Share buttons to overlap the right edge of the text a bit.

    Thank You Steve,

    1. SteveD

      Hi David,

      Thank you for the heads-up on the font issue in the comments box – this is the first I’ve heard of it but I’ll look into what can be done to make it more user friendly.

      The video (and post) is more about the creation of the child theme and not the customization codes you later put into the child theme.

      I wish there was a site that contains a bunch of theme customization codes that you could search through but if it exists I have not found it 🙂 If you locate one please please let me know.

      How I do it is when I decide I want to make an alteration to a theme – and not all themes are coded the same, I first use firebug which is an addon (extension) to the Firefox browser. Not sure if it is available to Mac users.

      That lets me see what part of the theme I need to make the change in.., the style.css, the header or footer and so on. Then I start on Google (and then Bing & Yahoo if needed) to search for the code to make that change happen.

      It is not a perfect process and since I am not proficient in coding, it is the only process I know of at the moment.

      Thanks for putting up with the comment box issue to send me this comment and I wish I had more details to pass. If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer.

      – Steve D.

  3. Jan Battin

    Hey Steve,
    Thought I would let you know, that your video is broke. Says it can’t find it.


    1. plrvideomaster

      Hi Jan,

      Thank you for the heads-up on the failed video player.
      I recently had an update for my caching plugin and it seems to have had a bad affect on that video player. I’ve contacted their support and hopefully will get this resolved shortly.


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