For website development, there are a lot of things you should know. Especially if you are making your own website or clients. As you create you hear things like, “keywords” “SEO Ranking” and “Child and Parent Theme”. But what exactly is the difference between a Child and Parent theme and why is it important to have both on your website.
What is a Parent Theme?
A parent theme is a theme that is declared a parent by another theme (i.e child theme). A parent theme passes along all its functionality, features and style to the child theme. The child theme can selectively make changes into the functionality of the parent theme without ever modifying the parent theme.
What is a Child Theme?
A child theme is a theme that inherits its functionality from the parent theme. Child themes are often used when you want to customise or tweak an existing theme without losing the ability to upgrade the theme.
Why is Important to have a Child and Parent Theme?
By having both of these two themes it would mean you won’t be able to lose all of the custom codings you have done on your theme. Before the child theme was introduced, you would only have one theme. If that theme had an update then that would remove all of the codings you did for that specific theme.
By having the child theme on your website, this would save the headache of trying to remember all of the specific CSS, HTML, etc. code you added to your website everytime the theme or plugin has an update.
If you are still confused about what each of the different themes is. Here is an example to try and explain it.
Imagine your website theme as a picture of a cat, this will be the parent theme. For the child theme, this of it as a bit of tracing paper to copy the cat image. After copying the image, you notice you want to add some colour (CSS code) to the cat. This is when you edit the traced image of the cat and start to add colour to it.
However, a new image of the same cat has been released. In this image, the cat has been added strips. To update the cat image, you remove the traced image (child) to add the strips to the cat image (parent). Once everything is done, you then put the traced image back on top of the original image then carry on making changes to the traced cat image without changing it further.
Written by: Amy Massey
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