Why do I need a child theme? (Also, what’s a child theme?)

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You don’t really neeeeeed a child theme. But trust me, you’re going to want one. What happens is that the developers that made your theme will often send out updates. When you run those updates (as you should!!), then they could override any changes that you’ve made on your website. Do you want your work being erased every time you update your theme? I’m guessing not. So, you need a child theme for your WordPress site!

(If you’re not even sure what a regular theme is yet, that’s fine!! Read this article to learn about WordPress themes and whether or not you should buy one.)

Also, having a child theme is ironically kind of like putting child locks on your medicine cabinet. Tha’s because it prevents you (the child here) from editing your core theme (drinking poison). You don’t want that because if you edit the core theme and make even the tiniest mistake (like adding or leaving out the wrong punctionation mark), you could break your whole site and have to start over. When you have a child theme, you’ll be editing that instead of editing the core theme, keeping you from making any errors that might lead to the ‘blank white screen of death’ (if you know, you know, and I feel your pain).

You can also think of it like this – there’s one theme that the main developers and WordPress people have built and maintain, and then there’s your own customization of those files. Really, you don’t want to mix the two up if it’s at all possible not to. Because, you want to keep your styling and changes separate from the edits that the theme developer made. With a child theme, all your personal website stuff is done in there, and then you aren’t messing around with the bigger, main theme.

Anyway, all of this is a long way of saying that you’re basically adding a second theme, and this is the child theme.

But don’t worry, because the developers at Divi Cake (I know, best name ever) will make it easy for you. Just go to their site, fill in the form, and they’ll drop a free child theme right in your email inbox!

When you’re installing your themes, you have to make sure to install the main parent theme first (in this case, Divi). The child theme will check for the parent when you try to install it. So, you’ll get an error message if you try to do the child first. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes. Upload/ install the main parent theme first. Then, activate it. Once you’ve done that, you can install and activate the child theme. I also recommend to delete any themes you’re not using (especially free ones you can just re-download). That’s important because they can have security flaws or need updates, and it’s best to just get rid of them if you’re not using them.

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