Small Business Owners Can Learn WordPress Through Editing a Child Theme

by / Thursday, 14 August 2014 / Published in Technology For Business

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A child theme in WordPress refers to a theme that is able to be edited by a user that takes its core code from an already written theme, the “parent”. The benefits of a child theme include retaining customization even should a parent theme be updated, which would reset any custom coding that was done directly to the parent theme. An additional benefit is that business owners can create child themes and edit them without the risk that they will fundamentally break a part of their parent theme. Backing up their themes before they edit them is one way to safeguard against catastrophic errors, but for someone who is just beginning in WordPress, having a safe place to play around and get a sense of how the code works without the need to back up constantly is a major boon.

How easy is installing a child theme? Really easy! In fact, like so many things related to WordPress, there is a plugin for that. One click child theme is exactly as it sounds- a plugin that can create a child theme for you to use in a few easy steps. The child theme can then be edited using the customization tabs that you would normally use to edit your WordPress themes, or if you are planning on making changes outside the scope of the simple visual editor, you can cut right to the source, editing directly into the Style.css sheet that controls much of the visual layout of your website or blog.

Learn where each section of code is within the style sheet, then try tweaking each one. There is no way to realign your content within the basic layout editor available through your dashboard, but through editing your stylesheets, you can achieve a bunch of great effects, from realigning your content to adding eye catching full width headers. The sky is the limit, and a child theme will allow you not only the assurance that your tweaks won’t go away when your theme is updated, but also the comfort of not being afraid you will bring your site crashing down when you edit it.

Photo Credit to Paul Inkles on Flickr

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