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Child Themes: Why Should I Bother?

Reasons for Child Themes

Why all wordpress users should use a Child Theme No matter if you have a free theme or purchased a premium theme child themes are important. Child themes are a built in way of safely customizing your parent theme by using all the power and security of the WordPress engine. Ensuring you use this best practice you will help tighten the safety of your content and security of any sensitive information.  

Keep Your Content Secure

You work hard on your website. Peer marketers and Google’s algorithm alterations has challenged the webmasters and members of the web community to create more thoughtful and engaging content than ever before. A lot of hours and maybe even a lot of hands go into your site. You owe it to yourself to do everything you can to ensure the safety of that from data corruption or deletion.
A Child Theme is a way to ensure your custom information isn’t lost or overwritten by updating plugins, themes or even wordpress itself. By simple putting your customized files or styles you can feel rest assured that your changes remain intact and that your site doesn’t suddenly behave irregularly.  

Safe Updating

Themes have a lot of moving parts. Most developers strive to improve their products continually by fixing bugs, optimizing code and increasing the user experience. With all of the themes and plugins that exist in the plentiful WordPress community there can be a lot of code working on the back end and the opportunity for things to go wrong increase.  By having a Child Theme in place you are removing your content from the already complex equation developers face when pushing out new updates.  

Theme Customization

One of the best reasons to have a child theme for your marketing is the ability to customize your website to the look and feel of your brand. WordPress automatically checks your child theme folder for files, these files will be used to override any corresponding parent theme files.
There some premium themes in the market that are being continually refined and secured. By having a child theme you can alter every facet and look of your site on top of the foundation of your theme. This means you won’t lose functionality of the theme as it improves over time, the security of your site won’t be compromised by a unpatched flaw and importantly you won’t worry about future updates.
Even better some premium themes include child themes. When installing your theme ensure to check if it does have a child theme. If your theme does happen to have a child theme don’t forget install it and ensure its activation.
A child theme begins simply as a single css file. All you need to have a child theme is a style sheet with the proper commented heading. So even if your theme doesn’t include a child theme  you can easily create one yourself.
Next week I’ll talk about FTP, what it is and how to use it to create your own child theme. ]]>