I'm working on a child theme for a base theme that mixes equal parts of <link> CSS and wp_enqueue_style() CSS. This base theme has me thinking - I don't see any advantages to using <link>, other than that it may it's a simpler solution for very simple themes. (for example, using <link> can be done without a functions.php file)

As far as I can tell, <link> is less flexible than wp_enqueue_style(), and using a combination of <link> and wp_enqueue_style() just makes things downright convoluted. Am I missing something?

  • Note: I'm aware of the questions about advantages of wp_enqueue_style() over <link>, but as you can see, this question is a little different than that. Thanks for stopping by!
    – rinogo
    Sep 27, 2017 at 3:06
  • Also, I discovered another potential niche/advantage: inclusion of CSS via conditional comments (e.g. <!--[if lt IE 9]><link ... /><![endif]-->)
    – rinogo
    Sep 27, 2017 at 3:11
  • 1
    you are trying to compare an html elelement to an API. I am not sure how exactly this can be compared at all. Sep 27, 2017 at 3:29

1 Answer 1


First of all, you must need a functions.php to create a theme whether it's a parent theme or child theme. Now if you are gonna need a functions.php must then why don't you also use it for enqueuing styles and scripts ! Besides when it is the best practice.

Now if your base theme or parent theme uses <link> or combination of <link> and wp_enqueue_style() then they are doing it wrong. Or they are not aware of or don't care of anything in future can happen. As I already said this a very bad practice and it can be a pain in future if you are gonna maintain the theme for a long time. Also it's not child theme friendly. For your case I think this can be such a pain to create a child theme form this kinda parent theme.

And for your IE related comment please have a look here.

Hope this will help.

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