Every time you update your Astra theme in WordPress, the core files associated with your theme are overwritten. As a result, if you’ve made any changes to those files, such as adding code snippets to your Functions.php file, those changes get wiped out during every single update, and you’ll have to redo them. By using an Astra child theme you don’t risk messing up your parent theme file, and if you mess up the child theme you can easily delete it, make the parent theme the active theme in the short term, and reinstall a new child theme to work from. Additionally, none of the changes you make in the Astra child theme will get wiped out during an update. Be aware that in order for the Astra child theme to work you must have the primary Astra theme installed.
Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.
Steps to Create and Set Up Astra Child Theme in WordPress
- Open a web browser and navigate to the Astra Child Theme Generator web page. I’ll include the page link in this video’s description and pinned comment. You’ll land on the Astra Child Theme Generator page.
- Type in a name for you Astra child theme if you want to, and then click “Generate.” Save the Astra child theme ZIP file to your computer.
- Open your WordPress admin panel, click “Appearance” in the menu on the left side of the screen, and then click “Themes” in this menu. The Themes screen is shown.
- Click “Upload” in the menu along the top of the screen. The Upload Theme screen is displayed.
- Click “Choose File.” An Open window is shown. Click to select the ZIP file associated with the Astra Child theme you just downloaded, and then click “Open.” Click “Install Now” on the Upload Theme page. You may have to wait a few minutes while the child theme is installed, but you should eventually see a note that the Astra child theme was installed successfully.
- Click “Go to Themes Page” on this screen. You’ll still see Astra as your active WordPress theme, but you’ll now see your Astra child theme also included on this screen.
- Hold your cursor over your Astra child theme, and then click “Activate.” Your Astra child theme will now be your active WordPress theme. You can make any customizations as you normally would to your Astra child theme through either the Theme File Editor in the Appearance menu, or you can edit the file directly through the Themes subfolder associated with the WP Content folder on the back-end of your WordPress site.
Reasons to Use an Astra Child Theme in WordPress
1. Customization in Child Themes
Child themes facilitate personalizing your website. With child themes, you’re free to tweak layouts, modify CSS, or introduce new features. These modifications are exclusive to the child theme, leaving the parent theme untouched. This lets you mold your site according to your vision without compromising the original theme.
2. Preserving Customizations with Updatability
One major advantage of using a child theme for Astra in WordPress is updatability. Regularly updating the parent theme is crucial for security and feature enhancements. But direct modifications to the parent theme could vanish with updates. A child theme solves this issue. It allows you to update the parent theme without affecting your unique customizations, thus preserving your hard work.
3. Extendibility of Functionality
Extendibility is a pivotal aspect of child themes. They provide a canvas to add new features or tweak existing ones. You can modify functions, add new ones, or even change templates without touching the parent theme. This way, you can adapt your site to changing needs and user preferences.
4. Time and Effort Saving
Using a child theme for WordPress in Astra can save significant time and effort. Instead of starting from ground zero, you utilize the parent theme’s functionality and design. The focus then shifts to your specific changes or additions. This saves valuable time and lets you get your website up and running more quickly.
5. Safe Environment for Testing
Child themes provide a safe sandbox for experimenting. You can trial different styles, features, or functions without risking your live site. If you’re unsatisfied with the changes, simply switch back to the parent theme. This promotes creativity and innovation without fear of irreversible damage.
6. Easy Reversal Mechanism
Child themes offer a safety net. If any customization goes wrong or fails to meet expectations, you can quickly revert to the parent theme. This ensures continuity of your site’s functionality and mitigates the risk of downtime.
7. Enhanced Organization
With numerous modifications, organizing them becomes vital. Child themes aid in keeping these changes neatly structured. Each modification resides within the child theme, simplifying troubleshooting and enhancing maintainability.
8. Learning through Child Themes
Child themes serve as a practical learning tool. For those keen on WordPress development, manipulating and customizing a child theme offers insightful experience. It introduces you to the nuances of WordPress themes, thus fostering a deeper understanding and honing your skills.