WordPress Child Themes: It’s a bit like that.

WordPress Development

Creating a child theme has nothing whatsoever to do with actual children. It is a WordPress term that basically means the same as extends does in PHP.

For those of you reading this that are not PHP geeks, a child theme is like creating modifications without modifying the theme itself. You create a separate folder and basically tell WordPress “like that one but with these changes”.

We’ve been doing a lot of work with that lately for Author Buzz. The result is that, while this is cool, if the theme you are messing about with is insanely complicated the work is slow going. That’s the downside. the upside is that the theme we are messing about with can be updated without wiping out all that hard work.

The WordPress codex probably puts it better, but that is the gist. WPBeginner, a resource I am starting to develop a lot of respect for, also has a lot to say about Child Themes. It seems everyone and his brother has written a tutorial about how to create a Child Theme. Just Google it if you don’t believe me. There are hundreds (or at least a lot) of nearly identical tutorials and there is no way that we have anything new to add at this stage.

It seems everyone and his brother has written a tutorial about how to create a Child Theme. Just Google it if you don’t believe me. There are hundreds (or at least a lot) of nearly identical tutorials and there is no way that we have anything new to add at this stage.

While the basics are well documented my biggest gripe is that the specifics and details are far less well documented. I am almost tempted to start writing tutorials just to showcase what I have been forced to research for myself which, if you ask me, should have been well covered already.

WordPress is not the first juggernaut of a platform where the howto has a high barrier to entry. It seems that if any platform gets big enough that people make money doing things for other people with that platform the documentation suddenly becomes… Well, missing. No one has any vested interest in helping the competition get a leg up into this space.

Sadly, right now I have neither the vested interest nor the insight to fix that but watch this space I may well end up doing that.

Maybe.

Anyway, back to the grindstone for me.

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