How to Create an Astra Child Theme

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In this post I’ll show you how to create an Astra Child Theme and why it’s important to do so.

Why Create an Astra Child Theme

If you plan on customizing the Astra theme (or any WordPress theme for that matter), it’s best practice to install a child theme.

The child theme will retain any of your customizations so that any future updates won’t break your site or overwrite your changes.

Parent Theme Holds Design Rules

The parent theme holds all of the design elements in a file named “style.css.” This file contains design styles such as colors, header styles, paragraph fonts and more.

The parent theme also contains your theme’s functions.php file. This file contains PHP code that allows you to add unique features to your WordPress theme using WordPress hooks to add code snippets and more.

You may never need to modify your functions.php file, but as your site grows and needs change, having a child theme will allow you to easily make these modifications.

Your design choices will need to be preserved somewhere so that the next release of the parent theme doesn’t overwrite your changes.

And that’s where a child theme comes in!

Child Theme Inherits Design Rules

Just like a child inherits his or her parents’ features, the child theme inherits the parent theme’s features and appearance.

But with a child theme, you can completely customize the look of the parent theme.

This is the perfect solution for site owners who don’t have the time or interest to learn how to code a child theme from scratch.

So let’s see how this is done!

How to Create an Astra Child Theme

Astra has a child theme generator here.

There are two options: Simple or Advanced.

Astra Child Theme Simple Option

The Simple Option requires just a name to generate your child theme.

It’s OK to keep the default name provided (Astra Child), but you might want to enter a name that is associated with your company or brand. So decide the name for your Astra Child Theme and then click Generate.

Screenshot of Astra Child Theme Simple Options
Astra Child Theme Simple Options

Astra Child Theme Advanced Option

The Advanced Option gives you the opportunity to tailor the child theme in greater detail for your company brand.

Simply replace the default values in the online form in order to personalize it for your brand.

Here’s what the Advanced Option online form looks like:

Astra Child Theme Advanced Options

This information will be associated with your child theme and will display in the dashboard under Appearance > Themes once the theme is activated.

Once you click the generate button, a child theme zip file will be created. At that point, you’ll download the zip file.

Then you can install and activate it on your site just like any other theme zip file.

Your child theme will inherit all of the parent theme’s functionality and style. And when the parent theme gets updated, the child theme will preserve and protect your changes.

Create a Custom Screenshot

When you use the Astra Child Theme generator, you can upload a custom screenshot for your child theme.

The recommended dimensions for that screenshot is 1200×900.

This displays in the dashboard when you click Appearance > Themes.

Sample Child Theme Screenshot

I typically grab a screenshot of the website’s home page and then place the words “CHILD THEME” over the screenshot like so:

Astra Child Theme Screenshot: This is a screenshot of Codefetti's home page with the words "Child Theme" superimposed on it.

Sample Screenshot for Child Theme

What to Name Your Screenshot

The naming convention for any WordPress child theme screenshot is screenshot.jpg.

Where to Place Your Screenshot

If you uploaded your screenshot when you used the Astra child theme generator, it will be automatically placed in wp-content/themes/your-child-theme.

But if you create the screenshot after the fact, simply FTP into your site.

Then upload the screenshot to the following folder on your server: wp-content/themes/your-child-theme.

Make sure you change the sample text “your-child-theme” to your actual child theme name.

So you see how simple it can be to create an Astra Child theme. And by now you should see why it’s so important to have one.

Astra makes it simple with their child theme generator!

Astra Child Theme Video Tutorial

Here’s a quick video tutorial that shows you step-by-step how to create an Astra Child Theme.

Again, it’s a simple process and will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Make it a good habit to create a child theme for any of your WordPress sites.

And don’t forget to add Google Analytics to the child theme and track your website visitors.

Over to You

So by now you should have a better understanding of how to create an Astra Child Theme and why it’s so important to have one.

Simply use the online generator and fill out the information for your company brand.

Download that file and install and activate it on your WordPress site.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

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2 years ago

Hi Michelle…thanks so much for this helpful series of posts on Astra. I’m planning to switch over to Astra soon and am currently customizing one of their starter themes on a clone version of my site. I do have a question about using a child theme when I switch my live site over to Astra…do I install the parent Astra theme, then install the Astra Child theme, and then install the starter sites plugin? I just want to make sure I do everything in the right order 🙂

Thanks again!

2 years ago

Thanks for responding! Now I’m more confident in putting Astra on my live site 🙂

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