Categories Tutorials

WordPress 3: Building Child Themes – new course at

LEGOs used as illustration for the WordPress 3: Building Child Themes course on lynda.comChild 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 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 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.

I’m very excited to announce this new course and I hope you like it too. If you’re not already a member of you can get a 7 day trial membership by visiting

Go forth and start child theming!


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.

20 replies on “WordPress 3: Building Child Themes – new course at”

I am a member of and I think it is a worthwhile investment for anyone who uses a computer to do things that are productive and/or creative.

Your training videos on building child themes are a perfect example of how useful my Lynda membership is. Not only did this series provide me with some great ideas and point me in directions I hadn’t yet considered (like using twentyten as a parent theme) your step by step directions were perfect for getting me from A to B while also providing enough theory to comfortably stretch beyond the example you taught with. Your series gave me to the tools to do that.

I hope you have more training videos on the way.

Hi Morten,

With WordPress 3.2 out now and the new Twenty Eleven theme officially released, do you recommend building child themes based on the new theme, or do you think we’ll still be fine building themes based around Twenty Ten.

Just curious to know what your thoughts are.

The reason we chose Twenty Ten as the parent theme for the course is that Twenty Ten is designed specifically to be a parent theme. As such is carries with it all the core functions of WordPress and has a fairly lean and effective core. Twenty Eleven in contrast has a lot of extra bells and whistles that move outside of these default parameters. That said the techniques and code examples in the course apply to all parent themes, not just Twenty Ten.

My suggestion is to follow the course using Twenty Ten as the base and then once you’re done try to implement the same techniques on a different theme. The whole idea of the course is to give you a best practice method for building child themes off any theme and all the principles are universal.

Really I enjoy this course. Talent Presentation I ever seen….

Especially removing default function for


Its a very code full and seem very usefull course for all who love wordpress

I took both of your courses on You have a great way of presenting information (detailed, organized and easy to follow). Thank you.

I am hoping though you might be able to answer a question. When I took the Essentials course I followed your instructions to load wordpress locally through bitnami. Is there a way to create multiple wordpress areas on my computer to build other websites. I tried deleting the bitnami folder but I get a message saying I can not delete the folder. I tried reinstalling bitnami to a new folder but there are problems with this too. What I really want to do is just start with a fresh install of wordpress. Thanks for any help you can give.

Will look forward to any other courses you create in the future.

I recently watched the Create an Online Portfolio with
WordPress and WordPress 3: Building Child Themes classes on I found
both extremely

beneficial and worthwhile.

I’m in the middle of this course right now. I used elements from it, mostly the additional menus, to help create a site I was designing for work. It turned out great. I have never before worked on a site with 4 menu areas.

Thanks for the great instruction. Looking forward to finishing the course.


Love your courses on I watch them like a toddler watches disney DVDs.

I am having the strangest glitch though… When I created the related.php file from the child theme course. It works fine except, the excerpt from story1 also appears in story2. I don’t understand it, it’s in the for each loop so I don’t know why the title gets updated but not the excerpt. Any ideas?

Hi Morten, I followed your course on Lynda, and took great advantage of it.
It is great stuff!
But I had 2 problems; the tab of de hide and show box is sometimes very high (depends on how many text is put on a post). I solved it bij putting a div with a Clear before the Hidecontainer comes up, in loop-single.
I didn’t put any story in my biografy; and now I see that the Hidecontainer isn’t going away, even if there isn’t anything to show.
What did I do wrong? Can you help me?

@Dave: I revamped the course last month and the new version went live a couple of hours ago. The course has been completely reworked and updated to use the new Twenty Twelve theme as the parent theme. In addition the new course has tons of new tips, tricks, techniques and functions to help you build better child themes. In other words, like they say on TV, it’s “all new”.

Hi Morten, I am almost done with the course Building Child Themes in WordPress and I am having a little issue with the hide javascript tab.
It is working alright to hide, but once it is hidden it won´t show… I have deleted all content and restarded from the beginning but it won´t work… Do you have an idea of what it can be?
Thank you so much 🙂

Hi Morten, thanks for your reply. Yes it is not active.
I have listed the site here. If you click on my name you will get directly to the website I am talking about 🙂
Thanks again 🙂

Comments are closed.