When should you create a child theme in WordPress?

When should you create a child theme in WordPress?

14 September 2020

What is WordPress’ parent theme?

Parent theme’s are developed by web developers by setting some objectives and similar business needs which can be fulfilled in one theme package. So WordPress users can easily use the theme as per their business requirements.

These themes are mostly downloaded from the wordpress.org theme directory. Also some vendors like themeforest, templatemonster who have created a platform to buy and sell the themes to the community.

What is WordPress’ child theme?

Child theme allows web developers to customize the WordPress website without touching the WordPress core files or parent theme files. It helps web developers to keep customized changes apart from the core files which helps to manage during WordPress or theme updates.

Child theme features:

  • Customizing parent theme functions
  • Adding new functionality which is unavailble in parent theme
  • Adding new page templates which is unavailble in parent theme
  • Overriding CSS of the parent theme
  • Keep web developer made changes differ from the parent theme so easy to manage changes during future updates

When you should create a child theme in WordPress?

WordPress is a widely used CMS to create websites in the World. As per the Kinsta survey, 35% websites in the world are created by using WordPress CMS in the year 2019. Most of the users download themes from wordpress.org or some users purchase themes from the vendors available in the online market. After the theme installation the user proceeds the configuration of the theme options made available by the theme developer. It’s best if you are happy with and your business needs fulfill by making the configuration of the theme options.

“There is NO need to create a child theme if your business website needs fulfillment by making configuration of theme options, adding custom CSS and using limited plugins.”

Users engagement on the website consists after some days of launching the website and depends on services in some scenarios. So to keep user engagement on websites there should be some new functionality or features that need to be implemented on the website over a period of time. In this scenario we need to check if the existing theme fulfils the requirements?  if NOT then web developer needs to make changes in the core files of existing used themes. If web developers make changes in the core files of the parent theme then when theme updates receive from theme developer then custom changes made by web developer gets deleted during the updates. There is an option to avoid the parent theme updates but if we do this we have to miss with new features provided by the parent theme developer over a period of time.


“It is recommended to create a child theme if web developers have to add new features in the website which are NOT supported by parent theme and parent theme updates are required to get new features and support from theme providers.”

You can refer the theme handbook link below to know the procedure to create a child theme and customize it:


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