Finding the perfect stock WordPress theme to fit your specific needs is rare. More often, web designers will find a theme that is packed with cutting-edge functionality but its design is often less than unique. In situations like this, understanding how to use WordPress parent and child themes can allow you to have the best of both worlds – inspiring functionality and a custom design.
What is a WordPress parent theme?
A parent WordPress theme provides the basic functionality and design of your WordPress website. For example, purchasing and installing a stock theme will give your website a framework, design, special functionality and an administrative panel to change the theme within its parameters.
Today’s premium WordPress themes allow for more design and functionality options than their predecessors. These options allow many web designers to achieve a customized site by working within the theme’s parameters; however, a theme’s options are often too limiting to meet the needs of a project. Customizing a theme beyond its parameters is when using a WordPress child theme is necessary.
Are you looking to create a new WordPress website or reevaluating your current site’s theme? If you are, understanding the pros and cons of both stock and custom WordPress themes can help you start your project off on the right foot.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a WordPress theme?
In short, a WordPress theme is a file package that defines the design and functionality of a WordPress website.
Full-service PR firm Pivot Communication created a new website for local fine-dining establishment the Boulder Cork. The new web design showcases the restaurant’s dynamic and delicious menu options. It also enables visitors to learn about specials and events, and features the Cork’s wide selection of banquet menus and dining spaces for private parties.
The Boulder Cork is owned and operated by Alan Teran of Boulder, and its chefs and management staff together have over 100 years of restaurant industry experience. The Boulder Cork experience focuses on excellent service, and tasty and creative preparations of the absolute highest-quality ingredients. Head Chef Jim Smailer was a local pioneer in using humanely raised and local products.
Pivot designed and created a website for Loveland-based Mirasol Senior Living Community. The website has a custom web design and uses a WordPress platform, which is an easy-to-update content management system, allowing Mirasol to highlight the affordable housing options available for seniors 55 and older. To visit the site, go to www.mirasolseniorliving.com.
This is the last of a three part guide to using WordPress. In this volume, I will show you how to insert media into your WordPress website. This could mean adding a photo to a blog post or embedding a YouTube video to a page. Lastly, I will also point you to a couple resources where you can learn more about using and customizing any WordPress website.
If you missed the first two volumes of “Guide to using WordPress” please click on the links below for a comprehensive beginners guide.