How to Create a Child Theme WordPress

A toddler theme consists of a minimum of one listing (the kid theme listing) and two recordsdata (type.css and features.php), which you will have to create:

  • The kid theme listing
  • type.css
  • features.php

Step one in creating a baby theme is to create the kid theme listing, which can be positioned inwp-content/themes. It’s endorsed (although not required, particularly in case you’re making a theme for public use) that the identify of your little one theme listing is appended with ‘-child’. Additionally, you will need to make it possible for there are not any areas in your little one theme listing identify, which can end in errors. Within the screenshot above now we have known as our little one theme ‘twentyfifteen-child’, indicating that the mum or dad theme is the Twenty Fifteen theme.

The subsequent step is to create your little one theme’s stylesheet (type.css). The stylesheet should start with the next (the stylesheet header):

 Theme Title:   CMS Theme Little one
 Theme URI:
 Description:  CMS Little one Theme
 Creator:       CMS Staff
 Creator URI:
 Template:     CMSTheme
 License:      GNU Common Public License v2 or later
 License URI:
 Tags:         mild, darkish, two-columns, right-sidebar, responsive-layout, accessibility-ready
 Textual content Area:  CMS-Theme-child

A pair issues to notice:

  • You will have to switch the instance textual content with the small print related to your theme.
  • The Template line corresponds to the listing identify of the mum or dad theme. The mum or dad theme in our instance is the Twenty Fifteen theme, so the Template can be twentyfifteen. You might be working with a special theme, so modify accordingly.
  • The one required little one theme file is type.css, however features.php is important to enqueue kinds appropriately (beneath).

The ultimate step is to enqueue the mum or dad and little one theme stylesheets. Observe that the earlier methodology was to import the mum or dad theme stylesheet utilizing @import: that is now not greatest observe. The proper methodology of enqueuing the mum or dad theme stylesheet is to make use of in your little one theme’s features.php. You’ll due to this fact have to create a features.php in your little one theme listing. The primary line of your little one theme’s features.php can be a gap PHP tag (<?php), after which you’ll enqueue your mum or dad and little one theme stylesheets. The next instance operate will solely work in case your Mum or dad Theme makes use of just one primary type.css to carry all the css. In case your theme has multiple .css file (eg. ie.css, type.css, primary.css) then you’ll have to make certain to take care of all the Mum or dad Theme dependencies. Setting ‘parent-style’ as a dependency will make sure that the kid theme stylesheet masses after it. See here a more detailed discussion :

add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'theme_enqueue_styles' );
operate theme_enqueue_styles() 

Your little one theme is now prepared for activation. Log in to your website’s administration panel, and go to Administration Panels >Appearance > Themes. You must see your little one theme listed and prepared for activation. (In case your WordPress set up is multi-site enabled, then it’s possible you’ll want to change to your community administration panel to allow the theme (inside the Network Admin Themes Screen tab). You possibly can then swap again to your site-specific WordPress administration panel to activate your little one theme.)

Observe: You might have to re-save your menu (Look > Menus, or Look > Customise > Menus) and theme choices (together with background and header pictures) after activating the kid theme.

Template Information

If you wish to change extra than simply the stylesheet, your little one theme can override any file within the mum or dad theme: merely embrace a file of the identical identify within the little one theme listing, and it’ll override the equal file within the mum or dad theme listing when your website masses. As an illustration, if you wish to change the PHP code for the positioning header, you’ll be able to embrace a header.php in your little one theme’s listing, and that file can be used as an alternative of the mum or dad theme’s header.php.

You can even embrace recordsdata within the little one theme that aren’t included within the mum or dad theme. As an illustration, you may need to create a extra particular template than is present in your mum or dad theme, corresponding to a template for a particular web page or class archive. See the Template Hierarchy for extra details about how WordPress decides what template to make use of.

Utilizing features.php

Not like type.css, the features.php of a kid theme doesn’t override its counterpart from the mum or dad. As a substitute, it’s loaded along with the mum or dad’s features.php. (Particularly, it’s loaded proper earlier than the mum or dad’s file.)

In that manner, the features.php of a kid theme supplies a wise, trouble-free methodology of modifying the performance of a mum or dad theme. Say that you simply need to add a PHP operate to your theme. The quickest manner can be to open its features.php file and put the operate there. However that’s not sensible: The subsequent time your theme is up to date, your operate will disappear. However there may be an alternate manner which is the sensible manner: you’ll be able to create a baby theme, add a features.php file in it, and add your operate to that file. The operate will do the very same job from there too, with the benefit that it’s going to not be affected by future updates of the mum or dad theme. Don’t copy the complete content material of features.php of the mum or dad theme into features.php within the little one theme.

The construction of features.php is easy: A gap PHP tag on the prime, and beneath it, your bits of PHP. In it you’ll be able to put as many or as few features as you would like. The instance beneath exhibits an elementary features.php file that does one easy factor: Provides a favicon hyperlink to the head factor of HTML pages.

<?php // Opening PHP tag - nothing needs to be earlier than this, not even whitespace

// Customized Perform to Embrace
operate favicon_link() 
add_action( 'wp_head', 'favicon_link' );

TIP FOR THEME DEVELOPERS. The truth that a baby theme’s features.php is loaded first means that you would be able to make the consumer features of your theme pluggable —that’s, replaceable by a baby theme— by declaring them conditionally. E.g.:

if ( ! function_exists( 'theme_special_nav' ) ) 

In that manner, a baby theme can exchange a PHP operate of the mum or dad by merely declaring it beforehand.

Referencing / Together with Information in Your Little one Theme

When you have to embrace recordsdata that reside inside your little one theme’s listing construction, you’ll useget_stylesheet_directory(). As a result of the mum or dad template’s type.css is changed by your little one theme’s type.css, and your type.css resides within the root of your little one theme’s subdirectory, get_stylesheet_directory() factors to your little one theme’s listing (not the mum or dad theme’s listing).

Right here’s an instance, utilizing require_once, that exhibits how you need to use get_stylesheet_directory when referencing a file saved inside your little one theme’s listing construction.

require_once( get_stylesheet_directory() . '/my_included_file.php' );

Different Helpful Data

Utilizing Publish Codecs

A toddler theme inherits post formats as outlined by the mum or dad theme. When creating little one themes, bear in mind that utilizingadd_theme_support(‘post-formats’) will override the codecs outlined by the mum or dad theme, not add to it.

RTL help

To help RTL languages, add rtl.css file to your little one theme, containing:

Theme Title: Twenty Fourteen Little one
Template: twentyfourteen

rtl.css is barely loaded by WordPress if is_rtl() returns true.

It’s beneficial so as to add the rtl.css file to your little one theme even when the mum or dad theme has no rtl.css file.


Little one themes, very similar to different extensions, could also be translated into different languages through the use of gettext features. For an outline, please see Translating WordPress & I18n for WordPress Developers.

To internationalize a baby theme comply with these steps:

  • Add a languages listing.
    • One thing like my-theme/languages/.
  • Add language recordsdata.
    • Your filenames need to be he_IL.po & (relying in your language), not like plugin recordsdata that are domain-he_IL.xx.
  • Load a textdomain.
    • Use load_child_theme_textdomain() in features.php throughout the after_setup_theme motion.
    • The textual content area outlined in load_child_theme_textdomain() needs to be used to translate all strings within the little one theme.
  • Use GetText features so as to add i18n help on your strings.

Instance: textdomain

 * Setup My Little one Theme's textdomain.
 * Declare textdomain for this little one theme.
 * Translations might be filed within the /languages/ listing.
operate my_child_theme_setup() 
add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'my_child_theme_setup' );

Instance: gettext features

_e( 'Code is Poetry', 'my-child-theme' );

To sum up, all strings that use “my-child-theme” textdomain can be translatable. The interpretation recordsdata should reside in “/languages/” listing.


Remember that a few of these sources advocate utilizing @import out of your little one theme’s stylesheet as the strategy of importing the mum or dad theme stylesheet. Please use the methodology described above.