When I rebuilt Kkomp.com – Beyond, following the massive foul-up caused mainly courtesy of fasthosts.co.uk – back in November 2010 – I used the TwentyTen theme by the WordPress Team as the blog’s theme. Being a part-time-professional-blogger though I wasn’t happy to settle with a blog that looked like thousands of others except for the graphic in the header; so in typical Shazzalive style I came alive and hacked it up to make it my own.
That was all well and good, and everything went swimmingly until the next WordPress update: when I found that all the changes I’d made had reverted back to default – because the WordPress update had contained the original TwentyTen files, and had replaced the files that I’d updated with the originals.
Fortunately I’d been prepared for unforseen eventualities such as this one, and I had nine backups of the blog’s files and database going back over the period of about a month. This made it easy to remedy the situation by simply copying the altered TwentyTen files from my backup to the blog via FTP… But WordPress kept updating fairly frequently, and I was getting fed up with the extra effort involved every time a WordPress update was installed.
I spoke to a few friends/acquaintances online about it, and they advised me to create a child-theme and use that instead. The idea of a child-theme is that it is basically a copy of the original, parent theme, but it takes precedence over the parent and any changes made to the child aren’t reflected in the parent theme; therefore the parent theme stays as the original theme, and the child theme has the changes/hacks/improvements which the viewers see.
I’m a lazy cow at heart, and to my mind this was all extra hassle; so I waited for a brainwave – and got one: -
Rather than creating a child-theme: “TwentyTen – child” for instance, I have a better idea: -
After hacking up TwentyTen, copy it. Keep hacking, testing, copying… and when everything appears to be satisfactory to a degree, download the altered theme files to a theme-backup file, and then get to work on renaming the theme-backup.
- Here is how to rename a theme in WordPress:-
Having made your copy of the altered theme, copy it so that you have an original copy and a copy to work on – then find the file style.css in the working – copy of the altered theme and open it with your default HTML editor; Microsoft Front Page, for instance. Literally change the theme name at the top of the page to something that you like: That’s all there is to it. Save the file and close. You just renamed the theme.
Once you’ve renamed your copy of the copied-theme as per the above, you can load it back up to WordPress (…/wp-content/themes/) and WordPress will see it as a new theme and add it to the list of installed themes. All the remains for you to do is to choose that new theme as your default theme.
Now when you install an update to WordPress the original TwentyTen theme files will be replaced, but not the files in the “new” theme you’re using as default. (I named my “new” theme TwentyTen Plus, but I’d rather that you thought up something original as a name, rather than copying that name.)
That’s really all there is to it: rather than bother trying to be uber-geeky and messing about with a child-theme, the objective can be accomplished in a simpler way, as above.
‘Easy really, eh?
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