Child Themes are by far the easiest way of creating a new look and introduce new functionality to a WordPress powered site. By creating a WordPress child theme you get all the benefits of the parent theme while gaining the ability to create custom styles, custom layouts and custom functions just for you.
In May 2011 I went to Ventura, California to record my new course WordPress 3: Building Child Themes for lynda.com. The course takes you through the entire child theme building process – from picking a parent theme to creating new styles and layouts, customizing and adding menus, sidebars and footers, integrating the Featured Image (post thumbnail) functionality throughout the theme and even adding custom jQuery functions. Here’s a sneak preview:
The course and its materials were created to make it easy for everyone to get started customizing WordPress sites and comes as a direct extension to my WordPress 3 Essential Training course (also available from lynda.com). Although the course uses the Twenty Ten theme as the parent theme all the code samples and techniques demonstrated can be used to build child themes from any other theme.
Go forth and start child theming!