Implemented WordPress Sub-Themes on the Blog Today

I use a moderately customized version of the Twentythirteen theme for this blog. Every now and then, themes get updates, and I’ve always hesitated to install the updates because they wipe out my customizations. However, some versions ago, WordPress implemented a “child theme1” feature. This allows you to keep your customizations in a child theme, while inheriting all of the other properties from the parent. In short, it makes customizations much easier to manage and it means I don’t have to worry about installing theme updates.

After I finished my writing for the day (3,200 words today so far2, for those keeping score), I created a child theme for the blog, moved over my customizations, and then installed the version 1.1 update for the Twentythirteen theme. It was a surprisingly quick and easy process, and now I’m all up-to-date, theme-wise, and can stay that way without losing my customizations.

  1. This is WordPress’s name, but it sounded a little creepy to say “Child Themes” in the title, so I changed it to “sub-themes” there. Same thing.
  2. I may get some more writing done this evening.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

4 thoughts on “Implemented WordPress Sub-Themes on the Blog Today

  1. Yes, and it definitely makes it easier to upgrade the theme going forward. Also, it is nice to be able to see all of your own customizations in one place. I can then check those files into GitHub for version control.

  2. Jamie,

    I use the same theme for my blog now. I am curious about your dropcaps addition, is this something you figured out on your own, or a plugin? I find that it’s a nice additional for a writer’s blog, mind if I borrow it? 🙂

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