I know that the best way to customise a theme is to make a child theme. In this instance I am helping someone make changes to an existing 3rd party child theme, can I make a child theme of a child theme?


No, for better or worse WordPress only support single level of theme inheritance. You would need to either apply modifications without modifying it via hooks (if possible at all) or fork it.

If specific child theme receives updates be careful to disable them - explicitly by excluding from update checks or implicitly by changing its information details. Otherwise update will wipe out customization.

  • Can a child theme receive updates? I mean, the developer of the child theme would be the same person developing the updates for that child theme - am I confused here? Thanks. – Sabuncu Mar 11 '16 at 11:24
  • Yes, if you install a third party child theme it can receive updates like any other. This is essentially nature of the question — if you use third party theme then child theme is place for modifications, but if both parent and child theme are third party then you have no "good" place for changes since inheritance only goes single level. – Rarst Mar 11 '16 at 11:29
  • "A third party child theme" - didn't know this was a thing. As far as the website using the theme is concerned, a third party child theme is still another parent theme, isn't it? Why can't they make a child theme out of it? Thanks. – Sabuncu Mar 11 '16 at 11:58
  • No, the third party child theme is still a such for specific parent theme. See Ex Astris for example. It's a child theme for Stargazer theme. They aren't even by same developer, but they are parent/child and both will receive updates when new versions are released. – Rarst Mar 11 '16 at 12:35
  • Many thanks for taking the time to provide a concrete example, much appreciated. – Sabuncu Mar 11 '16 at 12:36

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