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How to compare a child theme to a parent theme on WordPress

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Child themes have been in use in WordPress for many years and the concept of using them is to extend a parent theme. It is now an established best practice in WordPress theme development. The idea is that changes made in a child theme are not overwritten when updating the parent theme.

Although launched, take a look at our article on 5 Ways to Change the Design of a WordPress Theme

Also, if you have never installed WordPress find out How to Install a WordPress Blog in 7 Steps et How to search, install and activate a WordPress theme on your blog 

Now let's go back to why we are here.

It is generally believed that all changes made in a child theme are update-proof, but this assumes that the authors of the parent themes develop them with the child themes in mind. Changes to markup and CSS selectors can cause compatibility breaks between the parent theme and the child theme.

In a recent article entitled " Theme Updates Should Not Induce Panic Attacks Leland Fiegel reminds WordPress users that child themes are not completely immune to issues with updates.

Children's themes are definitely the safest alternative for parent theme editing "Said Fiegel. But to say that the child themes are " protected While ignoring the risks of irresponsible updates to a parent topic would be negligent.

Fiegel refers to a support request on where a user of the popular Avada WordPress theme fought to fix the changes that took place with the WordPress theme updates. The situation inspired Fiegel's article, as it's especially common to see WordPress themes loaded with features that aren't always useful to customers (and see others disappear).

Child themes are the first line of defense to mitigate update issues. When you use child themes that make large changes to the parent model files, the plugin Child Theme Check can be useful for examining changes to the parent theme after an update to see how it differs from the child theme. Once installed, verification will be available in WordPress tools.

The tool automatically runs all the files of the parent and child theme and tells the user the differences that exist, regarding the composition of the files.

checking different between children's theme and parent theme

The plugin also shows a " Diff " (difference) for each specific file, regarding the composition of the documents (additions & deletions).

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checking the parent theme and child theme files

As many WordPress theme developers do not maintain a " changelog It is not easy to know what has changed in order to prevent compatibility problems. Using this plugin allows you to retrace the different changes between a version of a parent theme and the child theme version.

In the case of a security update, the vulnerabilities may still be present in the files of the child theme, if the authors of the different child themes have not been notified of the different changes in the parent theme. This plugin can also help track down design issues, especially when it comes to class changes.

Read also our 8 myths about the security of WordPress sites: Protect your blog

The Child Theme Check plugin will allow you to directly fill the differences that exist between each child theme and the parent theme.

Remember that this is a plugin available on So you can easily install it on your WordPress blog.

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Widgets and sidebars in themes usually have only one design. Knowing this, some users still buy these WordPress themes. But now, thanks to this revolutionary premium WordPress plugin, you will be able to easily create superb new templates.

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The process is very simple. For edit widget, just add the Widget Customizer before and configure the styling options. It also works with sidebars. Just install this WordPress plugin on any sidebar and change its look.

See also How to change the sidebar side on WordPress

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Here ! That's it for this tutorial, I hope it allows you to compare a child theme to a parent theme on WordPress. Do not hesitate to share with your friends on your favorite social networks

However, you can also consult our resources, if you need more elements to carry out your projects of creation of Internet sites, by consulting our guide on WordPress blog creation.

If you have suggestions or remarks, leave them in our section Comments.


This article features 2 comments

  1. Hello,
    I am brand new to wordpress. I have a hard time understanding the use of the child theme.
    For example I want to create an online store. I buy a well done wordpress theme corresponding to my ambitions.
    I create a child theme for him.
    Is this on this child theme that I will place my extensions and is this on that child themes that my customers will come to buy?
    Enlighten me.
    Thank you

    1. Hello, the child theme is generally used to allow the blog owner to make changes to the parent theme without losing their changes during an update.

      We do not place extensions on a theme, but on the blog (wordpress).

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