Before understanding the WordPress child theme it is required to understand parent theme. After that is will be easier for us to understand child theme.

This post includes a detailed description of child theme, parent theme and how you can easily create a child theme.

WordPress Child Theme

Parent theme in WordPress

Parent theme is a complete theme that contains all required files for a theme to run. Including functionality files, design files, and any required pictures/assets/icons.


Child Theme in WordPress

Child theme as its name suggests is child of a parent theme that inherits the functionality of parent theme. Often named by adding “-child” as postfix to parent theme name.

Example:

Parent theme name: Avada

Child theme name: Avada-child

As we all know, we can make any feasible customization to WordPress because WordPress is an open source CMS.

Hence, we can customize WordPress themes, core files and/or plugins. It is always recommended to create a child theme and do customization on it.

If we make customizations directly to the parent theme, Customization can be lost during the theme updates by the theme provider.

Child theme helps us to keep customizations even when there is a theme update from the theme provider.

Customizations can be lost if directly made in the parent theme.

How to create a child, install and activate theme?

If you want to make changes to the theme code then you need a child theme

If you are making changes that don’t involve code changes to the theme directly then you don’t need a child theme.

No, a child theme doesn’t reduce the functionality of the website.

Yes, if the child theme is properly created. Follow the following tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs2_OhoXpb8 for creating, installing and activating theme without any technical knowledge.