Child Theme

WordPress child theme allows you change the functionality of the theme without having to edit the original/parent theme template files. If you need to modify any template file, we recommend to create a child theme instead of editing the theme template files. Since the child theme is stored separately, you don't need to redo the changes next time you upgrade the theme. Coding child themes requires some basic computer skills (ie. creating PHP files, uploading files, and modifying code).

How Child Theme Works

Basically once the child theme is activated, WordPress will look for the template files in the child theme folder first. If the file doesn't exist in the child theme, it will fallback to the parent theme folder. In other words, if there is a "header.php" in the child theme, WordPress will use that "header.php", else it will use the "header.php" file in the parent theme.

Creating a Child Theme

Step 1: Create a new child theme folder

  • To start a child theme: on your computer desktop, create a new folder (eg. "themify-ultra-child")

Step 2: Create the child theme style.css

  • In the child theme folder, create a new CSS file in the child theme folder and name it style.css.
  • Paste the sample code below in the style.css file and change the theme name and template name as instructed below.
Theme Name: Themify Ultra Child
Description: Child theme for Ultra theme
Author: Themify
Template: themify-ultra

/* write custom css below */
  • Theme Name (required) = use the parent theme name + child to make it easy to identify (eg. "Themify Ultra Child")
  • Description  (optional)= you may enter any text here
  • Author  (optional) = your name
  • Template  (required) = name of the parent theme folder (in this case, it is "themify-ultra")
  • Then you may add any additional custom CSS as you want in the child theme style.css (optional).

Step 3) Create the child theme functions.php file

  • In the child theme folder, create a PHP file named functions.php, and paste the code below:
* Enqueues child theme stylesheet, loading first the parent theme stylesheet.
function themify_custom_enqueue_child_theme_styles() {
    wp_enqueue_style( 'parent-theme-css', get_template_directory_uri() . '/style.css' );
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'themify_custom_enqueue_child_theme_styles', 11 );

Final Step) Installing/activating The child theme

  • Once you have the child theme done, zip it (eg. it should be compressed as "")
  • Login to your WP Admin, then go to Appearance > Theme, install the child theme zip (the same way as installing a WordPress theme), and then activate it.
  • NOTE: Make sure the parent theme is installed (ie. if the parent theme is "Themify Ultra", make sure it is installed in your WordPress site).

Download Sample Child Theme

You may download a sample theme as a child theme starter. If your parent theme is not Ultra, then extract the child theme zip and change the "Theme Name" and "Template" in the style.css file.

Advanced/Optional: Overriding Parent Theme Template Files

Overriding template files is intended for developers who have PHP and WordPress coding knowledge. It is only required if you need to override the parent theme template files. If you are not sure how to do this, consult a developer.

To override the template files in the parent theme, open the original template file and save a copy to the child theme folder with same file name and folder structure. Basically, the file structure has to match with the parent theme.

For example:

  • let's say you want to edit the loop.php file in the parent theme and it is stored in the "includes" folder
  • open the loop.php file and save a copy in the "includes" folder of the child theme
  • edit and save the loop.php in the child theme

For another example:

  • let's say you want to edit the page.php
  • open the page.php file and save a copy in the child theme
  • edit and save the page.php in the child theme

Here are some of the template files that you can override:

  • header.php
  • footer.php
  • index.php
  • single.php
  • page.php
  • sidebar.php
  • includes/loop.php
  • includes/slider.php

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