What is a child theme?
A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality of another theme, called the parent theme, and allows you to modify or add to the functionality of that parent theme. A child theme is the safest and easiest way to modify an existing theme, whether you want to make a few tiny changes or extensive changes. Instead of modifying the theme files directly, you can create a child theme. A child theme inherits all of the templates and functionality from its parent theme, but allows you to make changes to the parent theme because code in the child theme overwrites code in the parent theme.
Why use a child theme?
If you want to modify an existing theme, it is better to do it by creating a child theme than by modifying the parent theme directly. There are several reasons to use child themes:
- If you modify an existing theme and it is updated, your changes will be lost. With a child theme, you can update the parent theme (which might be important for security or functionality) and still keep your changes.
- It can speed up development time.
- It’s a great way to get started if you are just learning WordPress theme development.