Why Creating Child Themes is Bad (and an easier option)

Editing your WordPress themes and preserving appearance edits through updates can be an unnecessary, discouraging pain.

While many experts say we should create Child Themes, in today’s user-friendly web we have other options.

Today, I’ll repost a very recent YouTube question where I explain why I advocate using Custom CSS windows as a 3rd and hopefully easier option as opposed to Child Themes.

This 3rd method has helped me learn and edit countless WordPress themes and jump into many of your projects on the fly, so I obviously recommend it to new WordPress designers.

Do you prefer Child Themes, editing the core WordPress Appearance files (often dubbed “hacking up a theme”), or a 3rd option?

As usual, please do let me know what method you use and why. Enjoy!

YouTube repost, a great question


Why I don’t exactly love child themes

To summarize the above YouTube comment:

  1. can conflict with premium WordPress themes I’ve enjoyed
  2. require knowledge of FTP and file structure which can confuse beginners (did for me)
  3. not sure theme developer always intend on us using them

Why I prefer Custom CSS windows


  1. won’t get removed/erased during updates
  2. more in line with thoughts of many theme developers
  3. have allowed me to learn/edit a variety of themes quickly


While in the end this whole debate may really be a structural question (because either way you are writing the same CSS) it’s a larger picture question when you think about explaining it to a WordPress beginner or applying a strategy over lots of site builds. Speaking of debates, what’s your preference, and why?

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9 Responses to "Why Creating Child Themes is Bad (and an easier option)"

  1. Hey Greg!
    Good to see your next post. But what happened ? You been slowing down these days?

    Greg, I have a bad news. I got rejected by adsense again. And living in India I believe I can only peace out with Adsense. Adsense gives less but we have peace in mind that payments are sequred.

    What tip would you recommend to me to focus currently on to promote my blog? I can’t attract visitors. And also I have to pay Hosting. And, truthfully I am losing my vision in Blogging.

    This feels bad but I don’t know why my aim is getting disturbed seeing no new visitors even after ranking #2 in Google at my area for search term ‘Sandeep Maheshwari wiki’ . What should I do Big Brother?

    Also I have added an Call to Action link at my homepage.

    My Website – http://inspiretherest.com

    Please Help,

    1. nah, just hanging out more here http://youtube.com/narayguy

      your problems are smaller than you think! i’ve read some of your posts and dig the design. you’re good, really.

      try guest posting at pickthebrain.com – they accept if you really put your heart and soul into it.

      don’t stress the traffic numbers either, they will grow when you least expect it and shrink when you watch them.

      keep it up!

      1. Thank You,
        Greg for your suggestions.
        “Don’t stress the traffic numbers either, they will grow when you least expect it and shrink when you watch them” – This is absolutely true man. Thanks.

        And What do you think about my blog design and overall readability? I should move back to Hueman Magazine WordPress Theme or settle with this?

        I can also edit my theme. Actually I am an intermediate Web Designer too.

        Again Thank You Sir.
        You are a Generous Person!

        1. that skill will prove valuable down the road, but stand strong with your design for now. changing too soon or without warning can confuse your readers.

          seriously, focus on guest posting. focus on your appearance off the blog more than your appearance on the blog. it will open doors.


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