I’ve been going on and on about how Theme Hybrid themes are meant to have child themes. I even made a few things so hard to alter, that it forces some to make use of this concept.
Before going any further, let me clearly state: Theme Hybrid themes are parent themes. Well, at least Bliss, Options, Structure, and Visionary are (current parent themes).
When is it okay to not use a child theme?
It’s only okay to not use a child theme if you plan on making no modifications to code.
For example, if you plan on modifying the background color of the Visionary theme, then you should create a child theme. Yes, even if that’s the only change you plan on making.
Hey, I need to draw the line somewhere, right?
Options theme users don’t have this problem of deciding when to use or not use a child theme. It has never had a default style (the old system was just a child theme within a theme).
Why must we use child themes?
I get pretty hardcore about this but for good reason — you, the users.
As WordPress and my own personal coding skills advance, there are often major changes between versions of the theme (parent). There were a lot of people just sticking with the beta version of Options, even up to the point of the version 1.2 release because of all the changes.
So, I had to make a decision that would best benefit both me and you, which lets us all easily upgrade the parent theme with all the new features and bug fixes.
This way, I spend less time supporting multiple versions of the theme, confusing users with different versions on how to do things. It keeps everyone on the same page. Plus, you’ll always have the latest and greatest features of each version of WordPress.
How to create a child theme
Well, there are multiple tutorials around the site. The first place you should go is the page of the theme you’re using. Each theme has its own documentation section clearly labeled. There’s usually a section labeled “Modifying your theme” or “Child theme” for you to read through.
Plus, there’s a sticky post in the support forums that explains in even greater detail.
I hope this post gives you a little more insight into the ideas behind the themes here. There’ll be more posts explaining the great uses of child themes.
I’ll be happy to explain in greater detail about how the system works if you have questions.