WordPress themes is a collection of templates and stylesheets which are used to define the appearance and display of a website which runs on WordPress website.
The most important and useful feature of WordPress themes is customization—it enables you to change themes according to your requirements. Various themes in the WordPress library can be customized.
These themes help us to create a stunning website in few minutes.
How a WordPress theme is useful in building a website?
Each theme has a different design, layout, and features. The user who needs to choose the theme can use filters and pick the one that is best suited. These filters can be a type of website, theme creator, and many others.
Many professional websites are made on WordPress using such themes, for an instance — WordPress Photography. Themes are designed for photographers and photography websites. Many developers create themes focusing on a single type of website template.
How to customize a WordPress Theme?
WordPress provides you enough options to customize the website as per your requirements. This can be done in various ways, i.e.
1. Adding Plugins
2. Adding or modifying codes in functions.php
3. By making a child theme.
A WordPress theme is based on three parts.
1. style.css file,
2. WordPress template files,
3. Optional functions.php
The changes are generally made on the child theme. These three crucial aspects are used to customize a WordPress theme.
The theme always has a style.css file. Style.css needs to be different; otherwise, there can be a problem while installation. Moreover, if it is not a child theme, then you can do at least an index.php template file to control the display of content.
What is a Child Theme?
A child theme is a sub-theme in WordPress that inherit all the features and functionalities and style from the parent theme. The safest way to modify a WordPress theme is to create a child theme and then experiment your section of codes on it.
When the parent theme is updated, then the child theme is preserved and applies on the updated version as well.
So, this is a reason why child theme is the safest and best way to make changes to an existing theme. You can override the template in the child theme without modifying files directly.
To create a child theme, you have to create a folder in your themes directory for the new theme. Here we need style.css. In the header of style.css, you can specify the parent theme and adding the template into comment code where the theme name is written. As this stylesheet is included, the parent will override it in the parent theme’s style.css file.
To apply to all the updates, the child theme needs to be activated. The parent theme still includes functionality that overrides by the child theme.
Create a new customized WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme framework is often referred to as a code library that is used to facilitate the development of a theme. The old days of WordPress had a crucial problem with theme development and maintenance.
There was no right way to upgrade a WordPress theme without loss of all custom style options. There was no way of preventing the copying and pasting of the same functionality code in all themes. The two issues are not a problem for an average user, but it can be a disaster to novice users.
What if you found that the same code you used in all your themes has a security exploit? Moreover, think, when you have placed the code on GitHub for others to use as well. Now there will be some chaos happening in the technological world. The core team of the community decided to fix such issues by introducing the concept of Parent Theme and Child Theme.
Fixing Security Updates
WordPress theme frameworks are created as intent for used as a parent theme which gives all the functions. The developers can create a child theme to add custom styling while leaving all the functional aspects of the framework.
This allows a centralized location where all the functions are hosted. The core development team decides to depreciate a WordPress function and a bug which is found in a theme framework. Then it is easy to push out an update without modifying anything a child theme has.