A Child Theme is the best way to make minor customizations to an existing WordPress theme. This way, whenever the parent theme is updated, your custom changes will be preserved.
In other words, your Child Theme will override any changes made by the parent theme. So you can tweak a particular style or layout setting without having to worry about losing those tweaks when you upgrade the parent theme.
Additionally Read: WordPress: How Many Plugins Is Too Many?
What Is A Parent Theme In WordPress?
A Parent Theme is a theme that you will customize with a Child Theme. It’s the theme that you are currently running your website off of.
For example, if you were using the popular WordPress theme called ‘Twenty Seventeen‘, then this would be what we would call the Parent Theme.
And any changes that you make to it with a Child Theme will not affect Twenty Seventeen when it is updated. Instead, they will only change how your site looks on top of Twenty Seventeen.
Additionally Read: Things To Look For In Your WordPress Theme
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Child Theme?
The main benefit of using a child theme over editing the parent theme’s files directly is that when you update your parent theme, your changes won’t be lost.
This means that you only need to make any customizations once and they will be preserved even if you upgrade or change themes in the future. It can also help to improve security by keeping sensitive information out of your WordPress install directory (since all customizations are stored within the child theme).
When Should I Use A Child Theme?
The answer to this question is pretty simple. If you want to make changes to your WordPress theme, then it’s a good idea to use a child theme.
In fact, most themes on Envato Market will come with documentation about how and when you should use a child theme in order for your customizations to be preserved. And even if they don’t have any documentation, the WordPress Codex has a great guide on using child themes which we highly recommend reading through.