WordPress Child Themes

WordPress Child Themes

2012, Apr 09    

I recently got a subscription to Elegant Themes. Sometimes it’s easier to buy.
It was on the customer’s dime anyways. I originally did this for a subdomain site for GMU for their German Department. It came out pretty well. Hopefully they do a decent job managing the content.

In general, the guys at elegant themes did a great job in designing their themes. Since I had access to all of their themes, I grabbed a bunch of them. I realized the most that they did a decent job when I used one of the templates on my own site. I liked it, but of course I had to customize the crap out of it.

Here was the original LightBright Theme.

Mostly, the things that I needed to tweak were sizes, which is all contained in the CSS. My assumption is that if you are a decent developer, and thus use my site, you are not going to be running on a 640×480 screen. Hardly what I would consider to be unreasonable.

Since they also do a pretty good job on this site at pushing updates to customers, I didn’t want to screw that up by messing with their templates. Low and behold, there’s a little known ability to create a “Child Theme” in WordPress.
I love it!

I looked over a bit of Theme development documentation by reading the article at http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development. Followed by Child Theme development is described at http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes. You can also find a simple example that just modifies the css by following these instructions.

Anyways, there was one minor hickup (the Elegant Themes folks are using some funky “truncate” that also strips out formatting, which I didn’t want), but otherwise, this went really smoothly. This has adjusted the sizes and added additional features to support Facebook and Google+. I posted the code for anyone who wants to learn Child theme development or is extending anything from the Elegant Themes templates at my LightBrightChild github project.