How to Install a WordPress Child Theme

With so many frameworks like Genesis, Headway, and others, developers are now releasing more free/paid child themes rather than stand alone themes. A WordPress child theme functions as a “skin” of a framework also called the parent theme. The child theme inherits the functionality of the parent theme, and allows the developer to pick and choose between tons of functionality that the parent theme has to offer. In this article, we want to show you how you can install a WordPress Child Theme.

Installing a WordPress Child Theme

Installing a Child Theme is almost the same as installing any other WordPress theme. The only difference is that you need both the parent theme, and the child theme uploaded to your WordPress theme directory. First lets upload our Parent Theme:

Uploading the Parent Theme

Lets use Genesis framework as our parent theme. First, you will need to download the framework in .zip format. Now you can either use FTP to upload the files to your /wp-content/themes/ directory, or you can use the WordPress upload method.

FTP Method:

  • Extract Genesis Zip folder
  • Upload the ‘genesis’ folder into your theme directory, so it looks like this: /wp-content/themes/genesis/

If you don’t know much about FTP, then use the WordPress upload method. Login to your WP-admin Panel, and click on Appearance » Themes. Then click on the “Install Themes” tab, and click Upload (Just as shown below in the screenshot)

Upload a Theme in WordPress through the Dashboard

Select the .zip file that you downloaded, and click Install Now.

Note: Do NOT activate the parent theme once uploaded.

Uploading the Child Theme

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Lets use the Persevero Theme as our Child Theme in this example because it is created for the Genesis framework which is our parent theme in this example. First, you will need to download the theme in .zip format. Now you can either use FTP to upload the files to your /wp-content/themes/ directory, or you can use the WordPress upload method.

FTP Method:

  • Extract Genesis Zip folder
  • Upload the ‘persevero’ folder into your theme directory, so it looks like this: /wp-content/themes/persevero/

If you don’t know much about FTP, then use the WordPress upload method. Login to your WP-admin Panel, and click on Appearance » Themes. Then click on the “Install Themes” tab, and click Upload (Just as shown below in the screenshot)

Upload a Theme in WordPress through the Dashboard

Select the .zip file that you downloaded, and click Install Now.

Activating the Child Theme

Once you have uploaded both the parent and the child theme, now you can go ahead and activate the Child Theme. You can do so by going to Appearance » Themes and activating the Child theme which is Persevero in this case.

Activate a Theme in WordPress through the Dashboard

Other Tips

Because Twenty Ten is the default WordPress theme, it comes with every WordPress Installation. So if you want to use a child theme for Twenty Ten like our Speaky Theme, then you can skip the step of Uploading the parent theme, and move right along with the second step.