How to Make a Child Theme for Your WordPress Site

by

Hey there! Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a child theme for your WordPress websites regardless of what theme you are using. To do this, you essentially have to create a folder with two files in it, and that’s it!

Please note that you will need access to your website server files, whether that’s via FTP or SSH.

WordPress Child Theme Tutorial

The fundamental parts of a child theme in WordPress is a directory with the following two files inside of it.

  • style.css
  • functions.php

Let’s first start by making a directory for your child theme. In my case, I want to make a child theme for the Twenty Twenty theme. Inside of the wp-content/themes directory, there is a folder for the Twenty Twenty theme called twentytwenty, so I will make another folder at this same level called twentytwenty-child. If you are logged in to your sever via SSH, the following commands will do this for you.

cd /var/www/html/wp-content/
mkdir twentytwenty-child
cd twentytwenty-child/

Next, make the style.css file with the following content.

/*
Theme Name: Twenty Twenty Child
Text Domain: twentytwenty-child
Version: 1.0
Template: twentytwenty
Author: Tony Teaches Tech
Author URI: https://tonyteaches.tech
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
*/

Make another file called functions.php.

<?php

// incherit parent theme styles
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'enqueue_parent_styles' );
function enqueue_parent_styles() {
   wp_enqueue_style( 'parent-style', get_template_directory_uri().'/style.css' );
}

The above code inherits the parent theme styles.

For good measure, change ownership of the directory and files to the www-data user and group.

cd ..
chown -R www-data:www-data twentytwenty-child/

Back in WordPress under the Appearance > Themes section, you can now activate your new child theme.

YouTube video


Meet Tony

With a strong software engineering background, Tony is determined to demystify the web. Discover why Tony quit his job to pursue this mission. You can join the Tony Teaches Tech community here.

Leave a Comment