Don Burnside

Recipes, technology, personal stuff and a crap load of archives.

My First Child Theme

Big WordPress week here at DonBurnside.com with 2 sites getting brand new themes. One of them I created and the other I created, kinda. Plus a few other neat things that I have picked up and incorporated.

But what is a child theme you ask? Let’s head over to the codex for the answer!
>A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality of another theme, called the parent theme, and allows you to modify, or add to, the functionality of that parent theme.

In other words, it’s a way to modify a theme indirectly. There are many reasons why you would want to do this. The biggest reason is to not lose any modifications to a premium theme or one of the built in WordPress themes if an update comes down the pipe.

Considering this was my first time, I found the experience not unlike creating a theme from scratch. Luckily, the premium theme I was dealing with, Viewport by Themezilla, is fairly well documented and has code that actually makes sense, which made it simple to make modifications. I was able to make the changes the client wanted while still keeping all of the features that drew the client to the theme in the first place. Best of both worlds.

The other site is an update to my current theme (the same one that is powering this site). Updates include enhanced widget areas, featured image support, custom image support for posts and page and better Facebook integration that includes adding Facebook comments. Besides features, the overall appearance has been cleaned up, incorporating more white space and an overall softening of the edges.

This theme is also my first responsive theme. Full support for mobile and tablet sized screens. It’s not perfect yet, but good enough to launch. I will be updating that after taking the site live, hoping to get it fully dialed in shortly.

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