A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the look and functionality of the parent (main) theme while providing you the flexibility of changing the aspect of your site’s appearance. The parent theme is the complete theme that has in it all of the mandatory WordPress template files and assets for a theme to work, while a child theme is a sub-theme that enables you to make modifications to the main theme without touching the core files.
If the main theme is updated at any point, the changes you’ve made to the child theme remain intact.
How to Create a Child Theme if One Isn’t Included
Creating a child theme is as simple as creating a new folder in the themes directory and adding a style.css stylesheet that features a few required pieces of information. The final step is the enqueuing part (loading the file); a process that’s well described in the WordPress Child Themes almanac.
Rachel McCollin has also covered the process thoroughly for beginners in this guide:
You’ll want to use a child theme when you plan on making bigger changes to your design, and most premium WordPress themes will provide a blank starting point to help you do that.
Child Themes and Frameworks
Some themes are developed as child themes themselves, built off a third-party framework as the parent. The framework serves all the main styles and the basis to build from, then the child theme provides the stylistic changes for the theme itself.
Layers WP is an example of a framework like this, and many of the themes we feature today use it as a starting point.
“Child themes are for presentation, whereas extensions are for extending functionality.” – Layers WP docs
Main Reasons for Using a Child Theme
The main reasons to use a child theme with WordPress are:
- To make any applied changes replicable and portable.
- To make changes to a theme beyond what the WordPress customizer allows you to do.
- Save on development time by using the parent theme (or framework) as a separate foundation, simplifying the customization process.
- Permit parent themes to be updated without destroying the applied modifications.
- To learn WordPress development through experimentation and testing by using frameworks and child themes as your playground.
Best Premium WordPress Child Themes
There are plenty of premium WordPress themes available right now on Themeforest built as child themes on the back of popular frameworks (like Layers WP). We’ve listed some of our favorites below.
Note: Besides these, most other WordPress themes on Themeforest come child theme ready–all set for you to download and start customizing!
Travelador is a customizable, beautiful and responsive premium WordPress child theme for the LayersWP framework and the SiteOrigin site builder. Coming with a fully responsive design, multi-purpose layout and several header styles - this theme will fit a wide range of website niches, beyond travel.
The developers have also provided import files to make the set up even easier, and with the available page builder, customizable widgets and the possibility to add custom CSS, you can hardly go wrong with this theme.
Axiom is a modern-looking, portfolio-themed premium WordPress child theme that’s also build the for the LayersWP framework. With an emphasis on typography and a pixel-perfect design, the theme lets you show off your latest photos and videos by using a responsive portfolio grid.
With WooCommerce support, a 1 click demo install feature and commercial plugins that come packed with the theme, this will surely let you supercharge your website and take it to the next level.
This is another premium child WordPress theme in our showcase, built using the free WordPress site builder called Layers. Outfit is a theme that would well suit an agency or business/corporate website.
Built with the best practices in mind, the theme features a clean code, multiple layout styles including an e-commerce layout. With an easy to customize structure, truly unlimited colors and a fully responsive layout, the theme proves to be a great solution when it comes to picking a premium WordPress child theme.
Enaa, is a premium corporate WordPress theme that features 5 homepage variations, multiple color styles for its layout and a creative layout.
With fully responsive layouts, a clean and simple design and an advanced composer, this theme is another great pick amongst our choice of premium WordPress child themes.
Dawg is another LayersWP premium child WordPress theme that is tailored for your and your clients’ needs. With all of the pages being built on the Elementor plugin, you will be able to fully edit all of the theme’s pages and their styles.
With a one-click install demo, a fully responsive layout and a simple and lightweight structure- Dawg is a great niche theme that you could use for your next website.
Dosa is a premium WordPress child theme based on the LayersWP framework that is oriented towards restaurants, cafes and food-related websites. Coming with a powerful reservation system that will permit for easy management of reservations, cancellations, confirmations and custom email messages for customers - this theme truly raises the bar in the niche.
The theme comes packed with an additional food menu list that lets you create food categories, add multiple prices for food items and highlights. Add to that a fully responsive design, Google web fonts and PSD templates, the theme also features the premium Slider Revolution plugin and the Business Hours Pro plugin that helps displaying the business hours of your restaurant or cafe.
Nooma is a beautiful, clean and modern premium WordPress theme that is a Layers child theme as well. It is packed with everything you need to set up a beautiful blog and photo gallery, its modern minimalistic design will be easy to maintain and polish in every detail with the friendly support it comes with.
The theme supports the latest version of WordPress, has a clean modern and minimalist design, features compatibility with all of the major browsers and 100% retina ready designs - this theme will surprise you with its impeccable attention to details and friendly support.
Mist is a multipurpose premium WordPress child theme for the Layers WP framework. The theme features a modern and clean design, with a lightweight and well-written code that calls itself an ideal solution for business, portfolio or marketing websites.
The Mist WordPress theme comes with loads of flexible custom page builder elements. Having been built with the Layers WP framework in mind, the theme also features WooCommerce integration. Easy color and image selection, a theme options panel and single & multi page designs,and extensive documentation are only a couple of this theme’s features that make it a great choice amongst the bunch.
Cross is a premium WordPress child theme for the LayersWP framework that comes packed with a wide range of features and functionality. With WooCommerce integration by default, easy color and image selection and a variety of pre-made designs - the theme will let you transform your website into a business selling tool in no time.
With the possibility of designing any kind of personal or professional-looking, fully responsive layouts and easy customization options, the design of the theme takes into account the best UI/UX practices which will considerably improve your readership’s experience navigating and browsing your website.
Jiro is a multipurpose premium WordPress child theme. With a clean and minimal layout, the design harnesses the customization power of the Layers WP framework. With its modern and visually appealing style, the theme lets you build widgets and control your website even easier due to increased layout control.
With pre-made demo content, 3 premium WordPress plugins included and SEO-optimization, the theme will serve as a great option when it comes to picking a theme that is a blend of good performance, beautiful design and theme options control.
That’s it for Today!
This concludes our showcase of premium WordPress child themes. We hope that the list we have put together combines both beautiful and functional website themes which you will find useful. We are curious to know what are your favorite choices in the comment section below!
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