Don’t lose your WordPress theme modifications by making this dreadful mistake. Here is the safe and correct way to customize your WordPress theme.
The Classic WordPress Theme Mistake
The biggest mistake people make with WordPress Theme modifications is to modify the theme they are using instead of creating a Child Theme and modifying that instead.
You see, customizing the original theme will lead to all your alterations being lost next time the theme gets updated because all the theme files will be overwritten.
I’ve made this error myself, and after updating my theme found that my whole web site design was wrecked. I had to administer all the customizations again. Apart from having no chance whatsoever recollecting all that CSS I wrote on-the-fly, I had to remember where exactly I stumbled on all of those necessary code snippets that went into the functions.php file. But let’s not forget all that custom made HTML that I produced for the footer and single page posts. It was an absolute nightmare!
I know there are first-timer web page designers out there making this particular blunder, so I could only imagine the migraines while they are trying to repair all their clients web pages.
The Best Practice Solution
- Put together a WordPress Child theme for the Theme you are working with
- Make the Child Theme the Active Theme
- Make all modifications/edits to the Child Theme.
The active Child theme now utilizes the Parent Theme (your original theme) as the website design but also recognizes your customized modifications. Your modifications are now safeguarded because during a Theme Update, only the Parent Theme will get updated.
Instructions for setting up a Child Theme can be found at: https://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes
Putting together a WordPress Child Theme is the absolute best way to protect your custom theme adjustments.