Hi everyone, welcome to another amazing
WordPress Wednesday. I’m Kori Ashton here at WebTegrity
and I wanted to talk today
about Child Themes and I know that we’ve talked about it a little bit in the past; but,
today I want to walk you through how to use a plugin to make a Child Theme
and make some changes, more or less, permanent on your website. First of all, I want to thank our sponsors.
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money to spend there and become a lifetime member of their library. Amazing stuff. Alright, guys. Let’s get into it. Child Themes. Y’all make fun of me because
of my Texas accent. I call them “Chil Themes”. We’re gonna talk about “Chil Themes”. If we go into our editor area. A couple weeks ago we were talking about
changing the message on our 404 Page, right? So, whenever you go to your website, let’s
say wpwd.com. Let’s slide this down here a little bit. I want you to take a look at the URL path, here. So, if I’m on here and I go and acidentally
type in something wonky, weird you should get a 404 Page, right? I’m gonna put the link to the video to explain
404s a little bit more. I’ll put that down below in the description box. If you haven’t seen that video yet, I want you to
stop for a second. Pause this, click that link and go watch that video; because, this is going to explain
a little bit further into why I’m even doing this video on how to make a Child Theme. So, let’s say, we want to change that
404 Page permanently, right? Whatever message we decided to put on
there, in that last video, we want to make that affect take place no matter what
happens whenever we update our WordPress website. So, in order to do that, there are two ways
to make that happen. You can either use a plugin to make a
Child Theme. Way to go on plugins. Or, even better yet, you can do it
from scratch; because, a child theme isn’t that difficult to create. So, today, for this WordPress Wednesday,
I’m gonna walk you through how to do it with a plugin; but, next week, I’m gonna
have our lead developer step in and be a guest here on WordPress Wednesday
and he’s going to walk you through how to create one from scratch. It’s really super simple and it’s much, much
better than using a plugin; because, you don’t necessarily need to bring in another
plugin to make something that simple happen. But, for the time being and if you don’t have a
whole lot of plugins happening on your website, I say, go ahead and use a plugin. So, we are going ahead and we’ve installed a
plugin for creating a Child Theme called Child Theme Configurator. Whenever you do install it and activate it, it hides
underneath your tools Child Themes. So, I have not really configured this yet, so
I wanted to walk you through that process. It’s gonna ask you “What is your parent theme?” Sparkling is the name of the free theme that
we use here for WPWD.com. That’s gonna ask you “What do you want
to name your Child Theme?” by default it goes ahead and puts that in
for you. That’s totally fine as long as you recall the
fact that it’s “Sparkling Child”. This is the name of your new theme
that you’re gonna be using now and it’s gonna be referencing “Sparkling”. All this means, this Child Theme is referencing
all the content inside of the Parent Theme, “Sparkling”. So, it’s gonna ask “Do you want to do” all this
fun stuff. I say leave the default settings here. That’s
totally fine. This is gonna say “Copy Parent Theme menus, widget
bar and other options. Note that this will override any other options you may have already set”. Well, we haven’t set any, so we can go ahead and
do that. And then, “additional style sheets.” So, this says, basically you can read these details. It’s so funny, when I’m working with people
they’re always like “What does this do?” Most amazing authors will give you a
little bit of a description, so just pause for a second and actually read what it says. It does say that this will basically add a lot
load time, so you’d only want to check the things that you would actually be making edits
to and we’re not gonna be making any edits to them, so I’m just gonna generate the
Child Theme file. So, it’s gonna take a few seconds, now that
it’s done, fantastic. Finished simple, just like that. What we want to go do here is check out the
“Themes Area” now. Now, we’ve got this Child Theme sitting here. We actually want to activate that one. That’s the one we want to be functioning off of
from now on. So, when we go to the front side of our
website, now and look at it, it should still be working properly. Everything works here, it sits the same. Looks the same. Very, very good. Alright, what we want to do, though, inside
of this area, now, is be able to make any changes that we want to. Note that (Let me slide of the screen, so you can
pay attention to what I’m doing). This is the file that it created for me, ok? Note over here on the side, that it’s
pulling from “Sparkling Child”. If I were to to go “Sparkling”, if you’ve
ever clicked “Appearance” and go to “Editor” we have all these PHP files happening
over here, right? I’m gonna select and switch back over to the
parent. Look at all these files happening, right here. Wow, it’s a crazy amount of files happening; but,
whenever we’re looking at just our Child Theme (Hit “Select”) Here’s now our CSS area. We can write any
CSS we want. Anything you ever want to overwrite, you can
drop right here and it will overwrite anything inside of the “Parent Theme”, right? So, that any time you have to update the parent
theme, no problem. You’ve got all this content sitting here that will
always perfectly overwrite that. and you can constantly keep that one
up-to-date without any sort of conflict or loss of configuration. So, that’s what Child Theme is
all about. So, if I wanted to go in and make
a change to my 404 file I go back to “Tools”. Go to “Child Theme”. “Parent CSS” there’s the an example of
all of that parent stuff going on. Here are my files. Now, I want to change my 404 file. “Copy selected to Child Theme”, right? Normally, you would have to do all this via
FTP. But, those of us that are a little bit more
learey about jumping into your hosting account and drilling down into all the folders to try
and find the right folder to get into and make changes inside of our specific theme,
that can be a little bit daunting. A little bit overwhelming and you don’t always
want to have to do that, so what you can do is use this plugin and it will create that for you. So now, when I go back to appearance and go to
editor, I should have (On the right side over here) Now, I’ve got a 404 template, so I can come
in here, make any changes I want. So, if I go back here into my front end and
let’s go find that “Whoopsy Woo” file again. “Whoops that file can’t be found”, right? I want to overwrite this and make this say
something else. Let’s say instead of “whoops” it says
“Howdy, we’re sorry. That page can’t be found.” So now, I’m going to update the file. I’m going to come back to the front
side of my website and click “Refresh”. You will break everything. That’s not good.
Don’t break anything. It’s this. You can’t have that right there. So, it’s
got to be this little bit of character; because, any apostrophe inside there will actually break
you’re whole website. That’s true because we’re inside of PHP. Let me go back here for you and try that
one more time. See, even people like me make little
mistakes. That’s ok. There we go, “Howdy, we’re sorry
that page can’t be found.” So, adding in this little apostrophe, right there,
inside of any sort of PHP would actually kill that statement. Whoops. So, you want to add in little bit of nerd code to
make that apostrophe actually happen. Anyway, all that said to say that’s how simple it
can be to actually create a Child Theme using this incredible plugin. You can copy any PHP file that you want to
make changes to, so if you want to widgetize something up in your header
area that’s not a widgetized area, you can copy and go to your “Tools” and
you can go to your Child Themes area You can go to your “Files’ area. Come back on here. and you can go choose your “Header”
file and say “Copy” that. Instantly it will go ahead and create the
file for you. It will go to your Parent Theme. It’ll copy the entire file. Set it here for
you to come in here to your right side-bar underneath our Child Theme appearance
editor. inside your Child Theme. Make any changes you want and now
you’re running perfectly off of your Child Theme. Brilliant, right? Think about the possibilities on this. You could really completely, dynamically change
anything that any author has ever coded inside of their existing theme, all you have
to do is be sure that you’re not too afraid of PHP. Even if you break things like that. Always, always have a backup of what
you’re working on, before you ever go into anything like this, right? That’s what we preach here is back it up. So, be sure that you have a great plugin
installed like Updraft Plus to do a backup or if you’re running on
WP Engine you’re probably gonna be running this inside of your staging
site. Which is amazing. WP Engine has this
capability of giving you a playground basically. An identical example of your existing
website. You can go in and tinker all you want. Click “Update”, no big deal. If you
break anything, it’s no problem. All you have to do is one click and it
will pull down your live website again and bring it over here and let you
play with it. Without your live website ever missing a beat. It’s always active. Always there for your
visitors. It’s a crazy cool environment and
that’s another reason why they’re our choice for hosting. So, if you have any questions on
Child Theme stuff, please shoot us an email. Give us a tweet. I’ll put that information down below
in the description box. But, another thing you can do
is stay-tuned for next WordPress Wednesday when Jason is going to
step in and teach you how to code one of these child themes
from scratch. Alright, hope y’all have a great one. We’ll talk to you soon. Bye bye.

How to Make a WordPress Child Theme using a Plugin
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26 thoughts on “How to Make a WordPress Child Theme using a Plugin

  • May 11, 2015 at 5:53 pm
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    Great Vid, very helpful I was able to create my child theme thanks to you. thank you.

    I have a question, Im using a Theme not from WordPress and it works great but on my blog posts it does not reflect the timestamp of when I wrote it, do you have any idea under which file I need to update this and what coding to put? thank you.

    Reply
  • June 23, 2015 at 2:44 pm
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    you are a genius. Love the texan accent.

    Reply
  • June 30, 2015 at 12:34 am
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    Hey hey hey you are amazing your video was very helpful for me as a WordPress beginner i didn't know about child theme and how god to have it in order to avoid any override your parent theme again thank you very much well explained well done video i love your accent as my English is not that great but I could understand everything without problem great great great thanks I will subscribe

    Reply
  • July 27, 2015 at 8:28 am
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    Thank you for the video it was really informative, I just have a question on something you mentioned on the video on 'adobe P engine' firstly was that the correct spelling, and is this a software used for editing web pages ? Thank you

    Reply
  • August 9, 2015 at 10:10 am
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    How about editing the footer once you have a child theme installed?

    Reply
  • September 17, 2015 at 8:00 am
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    Your The Best!
    Thank you for taking your time to make these videos.
    You make my life easier 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Reply
  • October 10, 2015 at 9:38 pm
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    Thanks very much ! You made my day !
    Super explanation !

    Reply
  • October 11, 2015 at 11:47 am
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    Can I just say how amazing you are?! I love your videos! Thanks for all help! Lots of love from Brazil!

    Reply
  • October 12, 2015 at 5:15 am
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    Thanks a lot!!

    Reply
  • October 29, 2015 at 8:13 pm
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    I love you. thanks so much

    Reply
  • October 31, 2015 at 3:42 pm
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    Quick question: Is making a child theme necessary if you're using a Custom CSS plugin to store your changes?

    Reply
  • November 15, 2015 at 9:49 am
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    Hi, I have a question. So when you setup a child theme and activate it, is the child theme then live instead of your actual theme? what will everyone see if I activate the child theme? I want to try a different theme for my website, but I do not want to make the new theme live until I have finished customizing it. Does this plugin help me do that?

    Reply
  • November 20, 2015 at 1:46 am
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    Thanks, you made so easy for me! Love

    Reply
  • December 8, 2015 at 9:20 am
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    Hi I just went through this step by step over and over and I keep getting this message: WARNING: file_get_contents(home1/almusik/public_html/wp-content/themes/TESSERACT-child/css/typicsons.css):failed to open stream: No such file or directory in/home1/almusik/public_html/wp-content/themes/TESSERACT/inc/beaver-builder-modules/link-button-module.php on line 44.

    I don't write code so Im not sure what this means and how to fix it.It pops up in the header of the Child theme every time I try to generate it. Any help with this would be great.

    Reply
  • January 30, 2016 at 2:03 pm
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    firefox will not open your 404 page link. it gives a not secure error message. odd eh?

    Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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    Really well done video. Thanks so much for sharing this. I'm a newbie and this just really helps out tremendously.

    Reply
  • April 10, 2016 at 10:45 am
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    This was sooooo helpful! You're so cool Kory, love your step-by-step, easy instructions. You're one of my top Youtube videos to look for on WordPress!

    Reply
  • April 20, 2016 at 6:07 pm
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    Hey Kori,

    I love your videos.Thank you for all the clarification. I have a question though: I have created the child theme using child theme configurator plugin as you explained. However I see that my customization on the parent theme are not copied to the child theme. Therefore, I copied the files as you showed on the video. Some of the things (like the logo) showed up in the child theme but not all of the other customization. Plus the site is bilingual and the settings on the Dutch version are completly wiped out even after I copied the files. So, how can I exactly transfer the parent theme settings/customization to the child theme? Btw I'm using Enfold Theme.

    Thank you very much in advance

    Reply
  • May 18, 2016 at 2:21 pm
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    thanks a lot…. Really help full video.

    Reply
  • June 14, 2016 at 1:37 pm
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    Thanks mam….query solved here……

    Reply
  • September 8, 2016 at 8:21 am
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    Excellent Instructions and so much excitement from you. You gotta love it.

    Reply
  • December 15, 2016 at 11:50 pm
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    Can I use Child Theme Configurator to just copy the whole theme as is, and then use plugins to customize it? I have FINALLY discovered a way to get what I want. I start w/ the ColorMag theme, then use Site Origin Widgets Bundle to create a slider and do other layout, and use Theme Tweaker to get the colors I want. It took me over a year to find this particular combination of theme and plugins that gave me what I wanted. Ironically, I had just decided to create a child theme, and had just activated "Child Themify" when it broke my site!! SO, I would like to be able to use the Site Origin and Theme Tweaker plugins to customize my child theme.

    Reply
  • February 14, 2017 at 10:59 am
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    Nice Tutorial for making a child them lots of thanks , Mam Please Can you make a one video also How To create a child plugging without losing exiting plugins functionality .. Plz mam make it 's Video … Thank you

    Reply
  • March 4, 2018 at 2:57 pm
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    Thank you! Really helpful video. Subscribed!

    Reply
  • August 9, 2018 at 8:33 am
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    HI Kori, I'm using the Generate Press theme. Ive already built most of my website using layslider6 and the GP premium plugin in. Is it possible to change it to a child theme without losing the work I've done? Im just concerned that I will lose everything when there is a Generate Press update! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • March 5, 2019 at 11:57 pm
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    Can I make the child theme AFTER customizing the theme through its customizer? Will it still work?

    Reply

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