Who Needs Parents?!
When we build a website at Spectrum Group Online we typically use the Genesis framework and then a child theme on top of that. We do this because we think it protects your site and also gives you more flexibility.
Find out what a wordpress framework is, what child themes are and why you should be running both to make maintaining your website as headache free as possible.
What is a WordPress Framework?
A WordPress framework is kind of like underwear. You put your underwear on, then your pants on top. A framework is a code library that is aids the development of a theme. Previously with WordPress when an update was rolled out you were often liable to lose some custom styling options. Which would lead to a frantic rush to fix everything and get the site back up and running again.
So, as a result of this the idea of parent and child themes were introduced. That way if the child theme was updated you had an extra player of protection. The functions live in the parent theme, but the looks live in the child theme. Just like your underwear keeps everything in place and your pants add style! So if the functions, and this is where most of the changes to security and other important features are made, need to be updated, that can be done without changing the public face of your website.
As well as protecting the site’s design from changes, running a child theme also gives you 100% customization of the child’s CSS. This means you can adjust any aspect of your child theme’s design without fear of compromising the security or structure of your website. Which is great if you know how to code, or are planning on using a professional developer to help build your site exactly how you want it.
A Child Without Parents
Recently however we have noticed a number of different clients running Genesis (our WordPress framework of choice) without a child theme. This worries us because it exposes their website to many of the issues mentioned above and, as the parent>child routine has become more popular, it may pose an even more disruptive risk.
How Can You Tell If You’re Running Child Themes?
Well, if you’re running Genesis 2.3 or newer it should be pretty obvious when you log into your WordPress back end. You should see an alert at the top of your screen telling you need to be running a child theme. Ignore that alert at your peril!
Do you run a just a parent theme? Do you think it has benefits for your website? If you do we’d love to hear your opinions on why you think it’s better than the parent>child relationship.
How can we help?
Does your WordPress use child themes? Do you think your site is at risk?
We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.