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Creating a WordPress child theme allows you to make customizations to your website while preserving the original theme's functionality and future updates. In this tutorial, we'll walk through the steps to create a WordPress child theme:

Prerequisites:

  • A WordPress website with an active parent theme.
  • Basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and FTP.

Step 1: Create a New Directory for Your Child Theme

  1. On your computer, create a new folder with a name that represents your child theme. For example, if your parent theme is "Twenty Twenty," you can name your child theme folder something like "twentytwenty-child."

Step 2: Create a Stylesheet for Your Child Theme

  1. Inside your child theme folder, create a new file named style.css.

  2. Open style.css with a text editor (e.g., Notepad, Visual Studio Code).

  3. Add the following code to style.css to define your child theme:

/*
 Theme Name:   Twenty Twenty Child
 Theme URI:    https://yourwebsite.com/twentytwenty-child/
 Description:  Child theme for the Twenty Twenty theme
 Author:       Your Name
 Author URI:   https://yourwebsite.com/
 Template:     twentytwenty
 Version:      1.0.0
*/
  • Modify Theme Name, Theme URI, Description, Author, Author URI, and Version with your own information.
  • Template should match the folder name of your parent theme (e.g., "twentytwenty" for the Twenty Twenty theme).

Step 3: Enqueue the Parent Theme Stylesheet

  1. In your child theme folder, create a new file named functions.php.

  2. Open functions.php with a text editor.

  3. Add the following code to functions.php to enqueue the parent theme's stylesheet:

<?php
function enqueue_parent_theme_styles() {
    wp_enqueue_style('parent-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/style.css');
}
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'enqueue_parent_theme_styles');
?>

Step 4: Activate Your Child Theme

  1. Save both style.css and functions.php files.

  2. Using FTP or a file manager, upload your child theme folder to the WordPress themes directory, typically located at wp-content/themes.

  3. Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard.

  4. Go to "Appearance" > "Themes."

  5. You should now see your child theme listed. Click on it, and then click the "Activate" button.

Step 5: Customize Your Child Theme

With your child theme activated, you can start making customizations:

  • To override templates from the parent theme, create template files in your child theme folder with the same names as the parent theme templates. WordPress will use the child theme templates instead.

  • Add custom CSS styles to your child theme's style.css file to modify the appearance of your site.

  • You can also add custom functions and features to your child theme's functions.php file.

Remember that the child theme inherits all the functionality of the parent theme, so you only need to customize what you want to change.

By following these steps, you've successfully created and activated a WordPress child theme. You can now customize your website without losing the ability to update the parent theme.