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Introduction to Creating Child Themes for Genesis 2.0 – Part 1 – Introduction

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Good morning everybody and welcome to this special seminar an Introduction to Creating Child Themes for Genesis.

I recently taught a seminar where I was talking about the differences between Thesis and Genesis to help end users try to make a decision about which theme they should use for building their next website.

Customizing Genesis Through Child Themes

And the fundamental difference between Thesis and Genesis is that Genesis is not designed to be customize by the end user and Thesis is. So, what we’re going to talk about today is the mechanism that Genesis intend for the end user to use or for web designers to use to customize or to build a customized site. And that’s through this process of creating a child theme.

Who is this Seminar For?

This seminar is directed primarily at either DIY website builders who have some experience playing around with HTML and PHP and CSS or for web designers who have a good understanding of those things.

Code Intensive Work

The reason that’s the case is because we’re going to spend the entire time today talking about the Genesis code tools for developing a child theme and it’s all code intensive. So if you came to this hoping that you were going to learn how to do something like this without code, I’m afraid that you are going to be unpleasantly surprised. There’s just no way to do a child theme system like this without becoming comfortable with a certain amount of code.

How WordPress Originally Envisioned Parent-Child Themes

Now, you probably already know that a child theme is dependent upon the parent theme for some amount of its functionality and when WordPress originally imagined the idea of child themes, it imagined that the way you would create a child theme would essentially be another stylesheet, another CSS file. And that CSS file would reference the parent CSS file but virtually all of the functionality would still reside with the parent theme.

Restyling rather than Altering Functionality

What you would be doing with your CSS file would be changing colors or changing backgrounds or changing fonts or whatever. But originally when WordPress imagined child themes, it was not a mechanism for altering the functionality or changing the functionality of a theme.

It was simply a way of restyling it and as time progressed it became clearer and clearer that people wanted to use some of the underlying functionality of the existing theme over the parent theme but wanted to add additional functionality to it.

How Genesis Uses Parent-Child Themes

Genesis has really taken that one step further and has provided an entire system of functionality that is built-in to the parent theme that can be accessed from a child theme. So the Genesis framework is sort of a parent theme on steroids and it is specifically designed to be used by a child theme where a child theme picks and chooses its special functions that it wants to use.

The upside of that is that Genesis programming is quite a bit simpler than the same WordPress programming is. It expedites some things, it makes implementation of standard WordPress coding quite a bit simpler than WordPress is by itself. So there’s less code, there’s less stuff you have to manage when you’re creating a Genesis child theme than you would, say if you were creating a theme from scratch.

So what we’re going to be working on today is an introduction of some of the tools that Genesis has built into it for adding functionality, changing functionality, rearranging functionality of a child theme.

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