Categories Video Tutorials

Building WordPress Child Themes with Twenty Twelve – new and updated course on

If you are following my courses on you may have noticed that there is an update for my WordPress 3: Building Child Themes course. But this is more than an update. With all the developments and new features of WordPress, I thought it better to completely revamp the course to incorporate new tips, techniques, functions and features to make your experience building child themes as up to date as possible.

For the all new WordPress 3: Building Child Themes course I also chose to use the new Twenty Twelve theme as the parent theme. Twenty Twelve has been out for a little over a month, but only as an add-on. When WordPress 3.5 comes out in early December however, it will become the new default theme in WordPress. That means if you jump in now, you’ll have a head start on everyone else using Twenty Twelve and building child themes off it.

The course looks at how to build a standard child theme and best practices around how to create new styles, add new functions, and alter the different template files to give the child theme a personal touch and make it do what you want. I’ve also added in some clever new elements towards the end like a dynamic welcome message that only appears on the front page.

The original Building Child Themes course was hugely popular and I am hoping that this new and improved version will be even more so. But don’t take my word for it: Head on over to and check WordPress 3: Building Child Themes out for yourself!

If you don’t already have a account and you want to try it out, go to and get a free 7 day trial.

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Morten Rand-Hendriksen is a Senior Staff Instructor at LinkedIn Learning (formerly specializing in AI, bleeding edge web technologies, and the intersection between technology and humanity. He also occasionally teaches at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is a popular conference and workshop speaker on all things tech ethics, AI, web technologies, and open source.

18 replies on “Building WordPress Child Themes with Twenty Twelve – new and updated course on”

Thank you for answering my question about the course update. I was briefly able to see the new course on, but now the link redirects me to the “allcourses” page. Is the update still in progress?

It seems to be working now and the new course looks great. Twenty twelve looks like a much cleaner starting point — no silly random starting images to clear out, for one thing.

Hej Morten

Thanks for being explaining everything so clearly in your courses. I love wordpress and it has been great to learn it from you. I was halfway through watching when the course was updated so lucky me now I get to review everything again.

I have a client right now whose website I built in Dreamweaver. (Before watching your courses. Now I might have built her site using wordpress) She would like a blog linked to the website and wordpress is the way to go with that. Is there a way to make her wordpress blog look like the dreamweaver pages I designed and then link the blog into her website? Is this sort of thing explained anywhere in your courses? One issue is that there is a drop down nav menu on the left which was created using jquery and I’m not sure how to translate that to wordpress. And I’m not sure how to get the fonts I used in her site to be the fonts used in the wordpress blog.

Mange Tak

Hi Morten,

I built my website thru your courses on Lynda.
They are simple to understand and very useful.
I thank you for such nice works.

I don’t know if you can answer my question.
So, here I jump ๐Ÿ™‚

For now, I am using a child theme with the twenty-ten template, version 1.1
I am using the following plugins (that may be problematic) : Sidebarlogin, Widget Logic, Role Scoper, NetGen Gallery, FancyBox for WordPress, Contact Form 7, …

I have two questions :
– can I change my theme to twentytwelve without major breaks or is it necessary to start from scratch ?
– if I want to stay put with the twentyten theme, the upgrade to version 1.4 can be risky as well ?

Thanks in advance for your answer.
Keep on educating us with WP !
Happy new year (in advance) !

@Guiliguili: Switching to a new theme always has inherent risks, but it is very rare that you run into real problems as long as the theme you are switching to is built properly and your WordPress installation is working properly and up to date. With the new Theme Customizer you can now preview themes without activating them right from Appearance -> Themes by clicking Live Preview. That way you can test to see if the new theme causes any issues before taking it live. As for upgrading your existing theme to the new version I always recommend doing this. Theme updates are usually there to fix errors and security holes.

Hi, Morten,

Thanks for your answer.
I’ll try the switch as soon as I have some time … just in case sometinh goes wrong.

By the way, could you please erase my website address in my profile.
I figured it would not appear in plain text on the page.
I receive connexion attempts since my post.
It’s not pleasant even if WP and the security plugins are rock solid.
Thks in advance.

I just found you through the website. I’m thinking of signing up for lynda to take your course. I’m just switching over from a custom blog that someone else designed for me on a movable type platform to a prophoto theme on wordpress. I’d like to make a couple static pages that have the same look as the blog without being a blog post to use as info pages, including a static home page. It looks like your course covers something close to that but I just wanted to check. Thanks!

@Jenn: Between the WordPress Essential Training course, the WordPress: Building Child Themes course and the WordPress: Building Responsive Themes course you should get all the info you need to get to where you want to go and more. If you don’t already have a account you can get a free 7 day trial by visiting

@mor10,I am a big fan of your tutorials. I recently watched your earlier version of Building Child Themes course. I was so excited to watch the new one, but unfortunately can’t purchase it, or signup for the trial version, so instead, I am following the course, just with help of the transcripts… ๐Ÿ˜€ Funny?? I know… but i couldn’t wait… ๐Ÿ˜€

I was having one issue with the “Adding pagination to index pages” tutorial. I copied and pasted the code from the code snippets file, but the NEXT and PREVIOUS LINKS do not show up…I have 7 posts on my test site, and viewing one post per page, i can only see 7 links, numbered 1 to 7… No next and previous, as described in the transcripts. I am using the latest version of WordPress and Twenty Twelve. Please help… ๐Ÿ™‚

Hi Morten, I did the word press series on, very nice job, it got me far!
I have put together some fun sites and switched some flash users over to WP. I am working on a site now, and some strange things are happening. I tried loading another theme to see if it would go away, but the following message appears on my dashboard page down in plug-ins, Incoming Links, and Word press Blog….. have you ever seen this. The site is not operating correctly, like the fancybox plugin is not working, neither is wptouch….
do have any thoughts on this and what it could be.
Thanks… I’m a new fan indeed!

this appears in all three of those boxes on my dashboard page…. ???

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 41943040 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 30720 bytes) in /data/26/2/121/0/2936652/user/3254710/htdocs/wp-includes/SimplePie/Item.php on line 559

@Jim: When you get those “Fatal error: Allowed memory size of XXXXXXXX bytes exhausted…” it means WordPress is trying to use more RAM than has been allocated for you on the server. In some cases you can get the server to allocate more RAM, but in most cases you have to be more frugal with your use of plugins to avoid this message. Every time you activate a plugin you take up more resources on the server, and eventually you run out. That’s why I’m very reluctant to activate plugins unless I absolutely need them. Try deactivating a couple of your plugins and you’ll see the message disappear. You can also contact your host and ask if there is a way of either allocating more RAM or tricking WordPress into thinking it has more RAM.

Hello Morten,
I am also a big fan of your tutorials and I want first of all to thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Like CHAITANYA, I am having some issue with the โ€œAdding pagination to index pagesโ€ tutorial. Unlike her, though, I don’t get any result from copying and pasting the code from the snippets file. I also tried to use the original code proposed by kriesi, but wp still gets the function from the functions.php in the parent theme, and doesn’t read the new functions file I created in the child theme.

I noticed that in the parent theme, the pagination seats inside a nav tag in the single.php file, and that this div is missing from the single.php file in the exercise files you provided (you actually erase that div in a movie somewhere in chapter 3 in order to relocate the ‘related posts’). If I erase that div, I don’t see any pagination at all (not even the one that comes with twentytwelve – therefore, I re-inserted it, but then I can’t modify the default pagination system).

I was wondering if you knew of any change in wp that may have affected the results of the actions you suggest in this tutorial. I am using wp 3.5.


Hi Morten,

I would like to thank you for doing such a great job on this tutorial(Building Child Themes), as well as your others I’ve watched on the website. I still feel like I have a long way to go, but am MILES ahead of where I was before viewing your courses.

In the course, I was surprised how easy you made it to implement the JavaScript and have the welcome section of the index page collapse. I am actually having an issue with a site (that I didn’t develop, but have inherited) that uses a similar script to open and close a small section where social icons are presented to “share” the specific post on the respective site. After I updated the site to 3.5 – this feature stopped working correctly (but only on the posts with the “review” template… posts using an “article” template call the same code, but it works fine) – The entire page is being generated from within the area that should be “collapsed” until the small triangle button is pressed to “open”.

Have you ever seen this happen before? I’m not sure what could cause the page to “double up” like that… or how to fix the issue. Any push in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Keep up the good work on the courses, I can’t wait for the next one.


There is a chance the plugin or theme that makes the effect you are talking about is using an old version of a JavaScript library that is no longer supported in 3.5 or that is being overridden by another library in 3.5. I have encountered some situations where things get really messed up with the 3.5 transition. The usual cause of this is incorrectly implemented JavaScripts. Try deactivating all your plugins and see if things return to normal. If they do, activate one at a time to identify the culprit. If things are still messed up with all the plugins deactivated you need to dig into the theme and find out what’s up.

Comments are closed.