So a quick explanation:

I started messing with Wordpress a couple of years ago, having experience with HTML, CSS and some PHP. At that time I was paid a few hundred bucks to whip together a customized site for someone, which I had done by really manipulating (basically redoing everything but the functional side of things and the basics of the layout).

Fast-forward to today and the same guy wants to pay me to rework his old site a bit, however it has some layout issues (the mobile layout has shifted to the left from center etc. things that I believe will be fixed by a theme update or some tweaking on my part). Now today I would never work on anything without creating a child theme, but now I must redeem myself for my noob mistakes.

My question is: what should I know/do before embarking on safety-proofing everything as I migrate the changes to a child theme? I know that once I do this my layout will look wonky until I re-add widgets, menus etc. Is there anything I may not expect?

I have edited so many different PHP files in this theme that I am going to have to run some sort of scan over the directory to look for changes/differences in the new files as not to lose any of my work.

Any advice is appreciated, thank you.

  • 1
    No, writing a code that scans the differences would be too complicated. You have 2 options: 1. compare each file for differences 2. Start from clean install and add all the whistles back (recommended)
    – N00b
    Feb 24, 2016 at 4:59

1 Answer 1


If I were you...

  1. download original theme. caution: same version
  2. install git from https://git-scm.com/downloads [*]
  3. do Git Init in original theme, git add && git commit
  4. move .git folder (hidden) to your edited theme use git status, git diff... etc
  5. Be happy

[*]Git detects all the diferences in your work directory.


  • This is definitely your best option. If you have something like this where there's only one or two files that need checking you can use DiffChecker instead of making the whole project a git repo
    – mrben522
    Feb 19, 2019 at 19:10

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