The power of child themes

I’ve been talking a lot on the support forums about how we should be using child themes to modify the look and feel of our blogs.

Heck, I’ve based my entire business model off this idea.

I figured I’m not going to get anywhere without practicing what I’ve been preaching when it comes to getting you all on board with this idea.

So, I present to you — Theme Hybrid version 0.2!

What? Nothing looks different, does it? Nope.

I’m running this site completely off a child theme. And, just to prove to you the power behind it, I set up a demo of my latest development theme: Hybrid.

Yes, that’s about as simple as it gets. Now, compare this site and the demo.

I’m not writing a lot of advanced functions to make this thing work either. This is something you can do with a little work and not a lot of PHP knowledge.

The great thing about this is that I can easily update the parent theme, Hybrid, without breaking any customizations I’ve made.

What you’ll be getting out of this

Other than the obvious showcase of this site running off a basic theme, I’ll be publicly releasing the Hybrid theme at some point in the future. I’ll also be putting together some child themes for it.

Yes, I’m giving away the theme that runs Well, maybe not the child theme, but at least the parent theme.

I just need to run the code through a gazillion tests and try to get it as close to perfection as possible. Then, I need to come up with a decent stylesheet for the default install.

Now, tell me what you think of child themes?


  1. This is an interesting application. I look forward to seeing how this develops and changes the way folks develop for WP

  2. Very nice work Justin. I’m liking the child theme idea a lot 😉

  3. Very cool stuff Justin. I’m really trying to embrace the child theme concept and stuff like this really reinforces it. I’ve been doing a lot of testing with a child theme working off Structure and trying to minimize changes directly to the theme. Hopefully, WP2.7 will have additional support for child themes as well.

  4. Fabulous job, man. I can say this is a revolution to the right direction, because many users already get tired redoing their job after upgrading their themes.

    I was lately testing WordPreciousss Plugin to add some PHP code in to the child theme so all the modifications can run from the child theme. However, I heard WP2.7 will do that job instead of WordPreciousss.

    Your tuts help a lot man!

  5. Zac
    There’s a few developers on board with this idea, so I’m thinking we’re going to see a major shift in the coming months, especially so when WP 2.7 comes out, with how we create themes.

    Lika Starr
    All it really takes is a well-planned and solidly coded base theme to work with, and we get a lot more power with child themes. Plus, it’ll let me roll out updates and bug fixes a lot quicker.

    I’m using WordPress 2.7 right now on my local setup, and I can say that it full supports child themes. It’s very cool.

    J Mehmett
    Yes, WP 2.7 will do that job for us. It makes things so much easier when we can easily update our parent themes and not have to change much or anything at all.

    With the Hybrid theme I’m developing, it’ll be even more powerful than any other theme I’ve made because I’ve been building it from the start with child themes in mind. The final test will be to run my personal blog off the Hybrid theme. You’ll get to see the use of the theme on two very different sites in terms of layout and functionality.

  6. first I congratulate for your site, I have enjoyed your site in a general look. I wish for continuance of your success

  7. Thanks…

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