Learning About WordPress and Child Themes

I spent a lot of time last night digging through WordPress, and learning a bit about customizing a theme. I’ve worked with WP only a little bit before this, but primarily tweaked existing themes slightly. This time around though, I’m starting with more of a blank slate and then building up from there. Lots more to learn and to tinker with.

I’m currently using the Thematic theme, which I found after looking over an article entitled 5 Awesome Bare-bones WordPress Themes. It fits the bill nicely, and is incredibly clean and straightforward: perfect for me to dissect and tweak.

In the past, I used to go in and edit each theme’s .css files whenever I needed to customize things. This time around, I’m trying to use child themes – a concept I had just read about, but don’t quite fully grok yet. My layman’s understanding at this point is that the child theme’s css file ends up winning over any conflicts, as all other .css files are imported.

I’m also playing around with customizing functions for the first time. I’m trying to add/remove structural elements to a theme, and I *think* the approach of tweaking the child theme’s function page is what I’m after. I’m inserting new elements and trying to hide or remove existing ones – something I’ve not done before with a WP theme. I’ve only ever tweaked things slightly through CSS, so this project has me stretching a lot more.

Though I don’t have a ton to show for it, I spent a long time last night tinkering around and learning lots. I’m working with CSS, WordPress’ structure, and even dabbling a bit in PHP. Feels good to be in build mode again.

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