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WordPress 3: Building Child Themes

Updating parent and child themes


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WordPress 3: Building Child Themes

with Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Video: Updating parent and child themes

By following this course, you've now created an advanced child theme based on the Twenty Twelve theme, and added lots of interesting functionality. And I also hope you've walked away with some information about how you can use the same techniques to alter other themes if you want to use them. Before we wrap up, I want to impart on you some very important information about updates. And this is something I tell everyone who works with WordPress. When you have a WordPress site, it's extremely important that you always keep it up-to-date.
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  1. 6m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 34s
    3. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 29s
    4. Getting the right tools for theme creation
      2m 50s
  2. 17m 2s
    1. What is a WordPress child theme and when should you use it?
      2m 38s
    2. Picking a parent theme
      3m 55s
    3. Making sure you have the Twenty Twelve parent theme
      1m 50s
    4. Creating and activating a basic child theme
      4m 20s
    5. Importing parent theme styles
      4m 19s
  3. 16m 2s
    1. Using the developer tools
      3m 53s
    2. Modifying existing styles
      4m 24s
    3. Adding space between paragraphs
      4m 7s
    4. Changing font family styles
      3m 38s
  4. 31m 47s
    1. Understanding the WordPress template hierarchy
      3m 12s
    2. Modifying existing templates
      2m 33s
    3. Moving the header image
      4m 29s
    4. Adding Related Posts feature to posts
      6m 26s
    5. Creating custom page templates
      5m 43s
    6. Using conditional statements for customized effects
      5m 41s
    7. Creating custom header, footer, and sidebar templates
      3m 43s
  5. 17m 5s
    1. Understanding the different index pages and what they do
      4m 6s
    2. Adding author, date, and time information to the index loop
      7m 15s
    3. Changing the appearance of category index pages
      5m 44s
  6. 43m 5s
    1. Introducing functions.php
      3m 24s
    2. Overriding existing functions
      3m 23s
    3. Adding pagination to index pages
      5m 49s
    4. Adding to existing functions
      3m 21s
    5. Adding a new footer menu to Twenty Twelve
      6m 24s
    6. Adding a new widgetized area to pages
      4m 9s
    7. Adding static content to the sidebar
      7m 44s
    8. Replacing existing functions
      2m 36s
    9. Adding a Google font through a function
      6m 15s
  7. 10m 24s
    1. Adding new featured image sizes
      5m 41s
    2. Adding featured images to posts and pages
      4m 43s
  8. 31m 1s
    1. Adding a welcome message to the front page
      1m 22s
    2. Displaying page content in an index page
      7m 42s
    3. Hooking in a featured image
      4m 34s
    4. Making the welcome message responsive
      6m 27s
    5. Restricting content to the first page of the blog
      4m 22s
    6. Adding a jQuery function to show or hide the welcome message
      6m 34s
  9. 10m 23s
    1. Adding a custom favicon
      3m 58s
    2. Adding a custom screenshot
      2m 29s
    3. Adding footer information
      3m 56s
  10. 7m 14s
    1. What to do when a child theme crashes your website
      4m 38s
    2. Updating parent and child themes
      2m 36s

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WordPress 3: Building Child Themes
3h 11m Intermediate Jun 23, 2011 Updated Nov 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Create a child theme based on an existing parent theme in WordPress and change the functionality, presentation, or styling of your website. In this course, author Morten Rand-Hendriksen shows how to use the default WordPress theme, Twenty Twelve, as a basis for a new child theme and add custom menus; new headers, sidebars, and footers; and index pages with widgets and pagination to your site. The course also demonstrates how to add a responsive welcome message to your front page using PHP and jQuery, and how to edit the many templates found in a WordPress theme. Morten explains how to perform these changes using any code editor, the developer tools in the Chrome browser, and WordPress.

Topics include:
  • Picking a parent theme
  • Creating and activating a basic WordPress child theme
  • Using the developer tools
  • Changing the header image size
  • Using conditional statements for customized effects
  • Adding custom menus to the child theme and/or a template
  • Changing the default footer content
  • Adding featured images to posts
  • Changing the display of meta content (such as date, author, category, etc.)
  • Excluding categories from the front page with custom queries
  • Including functions from external files
  • Identifying and fixing common mistakes
Subjects:
Web CMS
Software:
WordPress
Author:
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Updating parent and child themes

By following this course, you've now created an advanced child theme based on the Twenty Twelve theme, and added lots of interesting functionality. And I also hope you've walked away with some information about how you can use the same techniques to alter other themes if you want to use them. Before we wrap up, I want to impart on you some very important information about updates. And this is something I tell everyone who works with WordPress. When you have a WordPress site, it's extremely important that you always keep it up-to-date.

If you don't keep updating your site, you run the risk of either missing out on important updates and features, or even worse, you might leave your site open for attacks. It's very easy to update both WordPress and also update themes and plug-ins. You just have to remember to keep in mind that you need to check if they need to be updated. And because you're working with a child theme, it's actually completely safe to update the parent theme for your child theme, because as I've said several times throughout this course, if you update the parent theme, nothing really happens to the child theme.

You just add a new functionality and new security features. So how do you know what needs to be updated? Well, WordPress makes it very easy for you. Once you're logged in, if you're on the front page, you'll actually see this recycling sign up here, and it will tell you if you need updates. Right now, I need to update one plug-in and one theme. If I am on the back end and I go to the Dashboard, you'll see, under Dashboard, we have a link that says Updates and it will tell you how many items need to be updated.

If I go to the Updates link, I'll get all the information about the different versions I have installed. Here you see I'm currently running the latest version of WordPress. There's one plug-in that needs to be updated, and I also have one theme that needs to be updated. Updating WordPress, updating plug-ins, and updating themes is very easy. All you have to do is select them and click Update, and WordPress pretty much does it for you. In some cases, the server will prevent you from doing this automatically. And in those very rare cases, you need to do the update manually.

But in almost every case, the update is automatic. If you see that there is an update to WordPress or to a plug-in or to a theme, apply the update right away. Chances are you'll add a new feature that will make your site even better. Now you have a fully built-out child theme that you can play with, you can augment, and you can change into anything you want. Thank you for taking part in this journey through child themes with me. This is Morten signing out!

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about WordPress 3: Building Child Themes.


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Q: The 2010 version of this course no longer covers installing BitNami. Can you provide directions?
A: Instructions on how to install WordPress using BitNami can be found at
 http://bitnami.org/stack/wordpress. Use the "Installer" option. 
It is pretty straight forward and almost impossible to mess up.

lynda.com also has a dedicated course on WAMP and MAMP (Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP) that is relevant and you might find helpful.
Q:When looking to download PHP development tool at www.eclipse.org/pdt/, as advised by Morten, but when accessing the site via this link, the screenshot in the movie is very different from what it takes you to on the website.
A: Eclipse has a very active developer cycle and updates quite frequently. The interface changes all the time. I recommend using Notepad++ (Windows) or TextWrangler (Mac) instead. They perform the same function but are far less cumbersome to deal with.
Q: This course was updated on 11/27/2012. What changed?
A: This course was heavily revised to reflect changes to the default WordPress parent theme, Twenty Twelve, and updates to WordPress's functionality. The entire course was re-recorded to reflect changes to the interface. Then we added new movies on text styling, the Related Posts feature, and the welcome message features. There are also two brand new chapters, "Modifying and Adding Functions" and "Working with Featured Images." We recommend that members who have seen the whole course start again from the beginning to get the most benefit from this update.
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