How to Properly Modify a Child Theme?

Community Forums Forums General Discussion How to Properly Modify a Child Theme?

This topic is: not resolved

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  TerryB 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #88375

    scoutdigital
    Member

    This might be a terribly dumb question, but I just can’t seem to find the answer anywhere.

    I am creating a site using Genesis & the eleven40 Pro child theme. I need to make some further modifications to this theme.

    What is the best way to do this? I tried creating a child of the child theme, but I get the error that eleven40-pro theme is not a valid parent theme.

    Am I OK to just modify eleven40 directly? I’m not sure if these child themes update or just the framework updates?

    Thanks much in advance!
    Anne

    #97889

    Susan
    Moderator
    Post count: 7991

    Anne:

    You can make updates directly to your child theme. Any updates to the child theme will over-write what you have done, but child themes rarely get updated, and if they do, it’s not an automatic update, so you can chose to not update your child theme.


    Susan @ Graphically Designing I’d love to customize your website! I tweet!
    I’ve taken up the challenge! – help me answer some of the unanswered posts

    #108452

    DanielSchoenmaker
    Member
    Post count: 8

    Is it possible to make changes to a child theme that won’t get overwritten when it gets updated? Making a child theme for a child theme?

    #108457

    TerryB
    Member
    Post count: 3

    I came to the forum to ask the same question and so will try tagging onto this thread.

    Do people making modifications to style.css and functions.php keep track of their edits (or a comparison of the child theme they started with and their edited files) in order to put those changes into the new files provided in an updated child theme?

    Terry

    #108502

    Tom
    Participant
    Post count: 712

    @DanielSchoenmaker StudioPress child themes are not automatically updated; I’ve not known a Genesis theme to have this capability. When StudioPress publishes a theme update – remember the theme is Genesis – you can update your site via the dashboard or automatically and your child theme is unaffected. StudioPress describes parent and child themes here. Creating “grandchild” themes is not supported in WordPress, even if possible.

    @TerryB In order to put those changes into the new files provided in an updated child theme?
    There are several ways of tracking changes you make to a child theme such as version control, written logs and orderly code modifications. But you should perhaps first ask why you might do this, and when. It might also depend on what you mean by ‘update’ and how you would make use of the update.

    When StudioPress published, for example, the latest “Enterprise” child theme, it was actually “Enterprise Pro”, an upgrade, complete redesign and required Genesis 2.0. There is no update path and there should be no expectation of one. When StudioPress does a minor version update for a child theme (e.g. 2.0 > 2.0.1), it doesn’t change the core capabilities or design, and there is not usually (ever?) an announcement. Something may have been tweaked, but you might not notice it at all. And again, no update path, but no need for one either. It’s the same for any theme, really: the theme is updated but there is no update for your child theme with its modifications.

    So, I think, very few people attempt to update their child theme from an author’s update. But it is still good practice to maintain orderly code and process updated methodically.


    Choose your next site design from over 300 Genesis themes.
    Updates via GenesisThemes.ca | Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr

    #108522

    TerryB
    Member
    Post count: 3

    Tom, thank you very much for your reply. This helps me see how to deal with the possible future events.

    In following links to GenesisThemes.ca and subsequently Yoast, I do note the following from his website:

    “Yoast will make sure that themes will be updated after each major update of WordPress. If and when Google does major updates that change how your site should be optimized, Yoast will also update the themes based on that. Finally, all themes will be updated when new functionality becomes available in WordPress core.”

    Terry

    #108580

    Tom
    Participant
    Post count: 712

    David Chu wrote a brief note on how he keeps his customizations out of the child theme files in this forum post.


    Choose your next site design from over 300 Genesis themes.
    Updates via GenesisThemes.ca | Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr

    #108686

    TerryB
    Member
    Post count: 3

    Tom:
    Thank you again. This seems like a topic that could be an FAQ, but I guess the hesitation would be to save worrying people about a problem that is manageable….. if you are not making too many changes AND the child theme is not going to be updated (very often).

    David’s solution is clever but has its own downsides.

    I think I will plan on making edits in the child theme, but with documented with comments and if an important change to the child theme comes to plan on using file-compare to identify all of the updates in style.css and functions.php.

    Terry

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.