This plugin allows you to child theme from within wp-admin.
In the current version of WordPress, you shouldn’t modify CSS of any downloaded themes because if you update the theme, your changes will be destroyed. What you should instead do is create a child theme and edit the CSS of the child theme. If done this way, updates to the parent theme will be inherited instead of destroy your changes.
The problem is that currently the only way to child theme something is edit files on the filesystem. This is non-intuitive for shared-hosting sites with one-click WordPress installs (it usually involves a “shell account” or learning how to use “FTP”).
This plugin attempts to get around that issue, by adding a button to the themes page to allow you to child theme the currently selected theme. (It’s not really one-click, though.)
- Install the plugin.
- Log in to your /wp-admin
- Click on “Appearance” on the menu
- Click on “Child Theme” (sub-menu or on the page).
- Give your new theme a name and description and click “Create Child”
- Your child should be created, edit the new theme style.css, and go wild!
- Doesn’t play perfectly with grandchildren themes (Not my problem, this is an issue with the way templates and stylesheets are handled in WordPress. I have ideas though)
- Pages have terrible UX
- Doesn’t like multiple theme directories (I don’t know how these work, yet)
- No error handling if something goes wrong during the shell commands. (Shouldn’t happen if you can install themes in the first place)
- Needs an “Add File” button to the editor to allow you to edit any file
- “add file” should be able to include files from the parent
Also thanks to Chris Robinson for the screenshot copying code (see comments).
I Screenshot the sheriff
Hey Terry, I already modified my CSS. What do I do now?
Well, you can wait for the theme to get updated and it to break your s—t, or you can do something about it now while you still (may) remember what changes you made.
- Go through the steps for installing and running the plugin above.
- Click on the Appearance > Editor in your admin dashboard menu (or network admin menu if multi-site).
- Select the parent theme in the drop down on the right, click “Select” and make sure you are editing the file “style.css” (select on the right).
- Copy the changes you made, if you managed to remember them.
- Select the child theme you created to the drop down in the left (you should be editing “style.css”).
- Paste your changes to the end of the file.
(I wish I could automate this process, but WP_Upgrader is undocumented, and I’d need it to figure out what parts of the style.css you trashed. So you’re just going to have to deal.)