How to set up a child theme?

Community Forums Forums General Discussion How to set up a child theme?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  tomwgf 1 year, 4 months ago.

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    I am also a bit puzzled by Child Themes in genesis.
    Normally with other wordpress systems i have used you have a theme, then you make a new folder with a style sheet in it that refers to the parent theme and thus you have made a child theme.
    Or you have a parent theme that supplies a blank/skeleton of a child theme.
    But there does not seem to be any reference to either of these options.

    How do i set up a child theme in genesis. Do i buy a theme – does a child theme come supplied with it?
    here is just says:
    upload child theme.
    If i can find / buy a child theme – will my changes be overwritten – is it a proper child theme?



    I asked the same questions!

    Genesis takes a different approach and can be confusing at first.
    Purchase Genesis Framework. (After becoming a “member” all future childthemes from studiopress are discounted).

    Options: Purchase a StudioPress Childtheme, purchase a third party childtheme for Genesis Framework, or develop your own Genesis Childtheme from free “starter” childthemes.

    Genesis Childthemes are “different” compared with what you may consider a traditional or “proper” childtheme.

    1. StudioPress childthemes are not updated frequently.
    And from this forum, folks are modifying the childtheme’s css file. (With the recommended backup for the original css file).

    2. A premium plugin like Genesis Extender
    will separately save your custom functions and custom css – “safe” from childtheme updates.

    3. Free Code Snippets saves custom PHP

    4. Free Custom CSS plugins –

    For me, the key to transitioning to Genesis was this series:

    And the Genesis function:


    The Genesis function – genesis(); – automatically includes Genesis wrapper(s) and: header |content | sidebar(s) | footer

    Which is why Genesis tutorials and snippets have remove action(s)/add action(s) needed to customize the output.

    Also why genesis();is at the bottom of all page templates. Everything above that function modifies its output.

    Hope this helps!



    hi kellylise
    thanks for replying so fast.
    i will read that expanation now. but/so a theme from genesis is considered a childthteme, even though it can be overwritten by an update.
    would i use the normal WP method of making a childtheme of a genesis child theme? which could then have a style.css functions.php and template pages?
    i’ll go and make a cup of tea and read that link



    hi kellylise
    i have looked through nick the geeks site and it does have a lot of info on the functions file and it talks about using this with a child theme – but the one thing is does not mention ( that i can find) is how to set up a child theme.

    Ok found this –
    it tells you to set up a child theme in the normal way but also adds some code to the functions file. Seems to work though worried by the general lack of closing php – ?>



    Coolest guides on the planet – are great!

    Genesis Framework is the foundation of all Genesis themes.

    Everything else is a ChildTheme. Whether you purchase the ChildTheme or create one from the Genesis Framework.

    Using Neill Gee’s ChildTheme the “normal” way, you’re simply starting with the core Genesis Framework without modifying the Genesis Framework directly.

    Sounds like that is your preferred approach!

    You need a lot more elbow grease to customize your childtheme, but you will learn a lot about Genesis.

    It’s worth it!



    Ah I see.
    What you were saying is change a genesis theme (which are known as child themes to the genesis framework theme) and edit theme using the functions.php code from nick the geek.

    while i am going the long way round by making a (normal wordpress style) child theme, ie my own theme.

    got you – thanks very much for your help.

    have a good weekend



    You would have the folders for both the framework (“genesis”) and the child theme (“genesis-sample”) in your themes folder, and the “genesis-sample” would be your child theme once you activated it.

    You wouldn’t make a child theme of the child theme, you’re safe to customize the child theme to your heart’s content — child theme updates are never pushed out to sites, but you can have the framework be updated (which is why you never modify the framework files for customizations!).

    You could update a child theme if a new version came out, but typically new minor versions just include CSS cleanup, and are not required for security reasons or anything like that. You can also maintain most of your widgets between different child themes if you switch to a new one.

    The closing tag in PHP has been optional since about 2008 or so, and was adopted as valid in WordPress in version 2.84 (or 2.9?):

    WordPress / Genesis Site Design & Troubleshooting: A Touch of Summer | @SummerWebDesign
    Slice of SciFi | Writers, After Dark



    blimey, this is great. i can’t believe how fast people reply!

    so, who knew you dont need ?> anymore – everyone but me it seems.

    and thanks for explaining about the genesis sample theme – wasn’t sure what that was – its a skeleton child theme!
    and it comes with a google font importer!

    friday afternoon is a big improvement on the hairloss of friday morning.

    thank you so much

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