I have the question of whether a child theme is required to use?

A site now uses a purchased theme from themeforest performed here are adaptations. For this issue, there is no child theme used.

The customer now claimed that this is always compulsory to my knowledge is a Child Theme advisable but absolutely no obligation.

Also, nowhere agreed that there is a Child Theme used just had to be.

Steven de Jong

3 Answers 3


If you need any changes done to a theme that you did not author, a child theme is a must (if the changes involves direct changes to the functionality and look of the theme itself), otherwise, if you need changes to the site, you would rather use a plugin instead of child theme. In such a cse, a child theme is not needed.

It really does not matter one way or the other, it all boils down to that you should never make changes to a theme or plugin you did not author, this goes for core files as well, always use a plugin and/or a child theme to apply changes or to add or remove features.

If you do not need any changes, it is obvious that you do not need a custom plugin or child theme


A child theme is basically a layer a you could put to separate out your modifications of the theme. This way if the theme gets updated your modifications won't get undone.

For sites where only some little CSS modifications are required I use Jetpacks Custom CSS or Simple Custom CSS Plugin, instead of creating a Child theme.

Now coming to your issue of this not being agreed prior and now the client insisting it's complusory, you need to explain why separating your modifications from the core theme is going to help him get continued upgrades and support from the original theme developers, which as the previous answer said isn't a guarantee given the nature of the developers that are on Theme Forest. And then go ahead and create the child theme for him, because that's the better practice and in this case will lead to Customer Satisfaction.


Child themes are not required.

A Child theme is a very nice to have, and in many places that describe proper theme development and modification strongly recommend that you use one. Therefor it is not surprising that people that do a shallow research on the topic get the impression they are required.

But child themes is one of the cases where core developers forgot that they are smarter than most wordpress developers. At the base of the concept stands the assumption that not only it possible to override aspects of the theme by using a child theme, but also that any future update of the theme will be backward compatible and will not break the child.

But only few themes stand by this high standard and most themes especially on themeforest will change on upgrade the html or api in a meaningful enough way to break child themes, making the point of doing achild theme in the first place null.

So in theory child theme is a must, in practice is a waste of time most of the time.

But it sounds like a legal disagreement you have with the client, so maybe for future projects it will be better to ask first if a client wants a child theme (why should you care if it is a waste of time as long as he pays).

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