Creating a Child Theme in WordPress

If you have chosen an open-source WordPress theme for your new WordPress blog, it’s a good idea to create a “child theme” based on the template you have chosen, so that when you update your WordPress version, your theme will remain intact — otherwise, whenever you update your WordPress blog (and updates to WordPress are happening all the time!), your style sheet and php files will be replaced by that particular WordPress theme defaults.

Commonly referred to as a child theme, your new WordPress template will be based on the changes that you made to the original WordPress theme that you chose when you developed your WordPress blog. provides documentation on how a child theme works and what you can do to set up your own WordPress child theme.

Whenever you update your WordPress release, it is highly recommended that you back up all of your WordPress files, including your child theme, as well as the database you have created for your WordPress blog. WordPress blogs commonly use MySQL databases — consult your hosting provider on how to download and backup your database.

Consider creating backups on multiple drives or use a file-saving vendor — you can also backup your files onto disks and store the disk(s) in a safe deposit box.

About Christopher Merrill

Christopher Merrill is a Chicago freelance website designer, doing business since 1999. Specializing in website design for small- to mid- sized businesses and individuals, Christopher Merrill works closely with his clients to provide high-quality website design at an affordable price. Mr. Merrill has designed over 200 websites for his clients in Chicago and nationwide during the past decade. Christopher Merrill prides himself on providing an honest, hands-on approach with each individual client, in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Turnaround and response time are kept to a strict minimum, and Christopher Merrill is always ready to respond to all of your questions, whether you are looking for a Web design solution, or working closely with him to update your already-existing site.
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