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I know about using child themes and the reason behind using them.

But how is it really different from building you theme on _s? Automattic update _s too, don't they? Obviously if I download the newest version, it will overwrite everything in my theme so I am not going to do that.

So how is _s different that it doesn't need updating (even when a newer version becomes available) from normal parent themes, that need updating?

Thank you.

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'Underscores' (_s) isn't a theme. Not really. It's the starting point for a new theme. When you used it to create a theme you just created a brand new theme using Underscores as a head start.

I'm a theme meant for hacking so don't use me as a Parent Theme. Instead try turning me into the next, most awesome, WordPress theme out there. That's what I'm here for.

https://underscores.me

So no, you're not supposed to update Underscores. There isn't really even anything to update. At this point it has become your theme and doesn't exist on its own.

But as you say, Automattic does update Underscores. They would do this to make improvements & tweaks, and add features, but these updates are intended to improve future projects based on Underscores, not exiting Underscores based themes.

If you see an update to Underscores that you would like to implement on your own Underscores based theme, then you will need to inspect the change and figure out how to manually implement it on your own theme, and you'll need to approach these changes case by case.

  • Forking _s from GitHub is a good way to inspect and keep up to date with the upsteam changes. Initially, your theme could be a new branch of that fork. – Jim Frenette Aug 11 '18 at 14:18
  • "If you see an update to Underscores that you would like to implement on your own Underscores based theme, then you will need to inspect the change and figure out how to manually implement it on your own theme, and you'll need to approach these changes case by case." << ---- So wouldn't creating a child theme for the underscore_s barebone theme help solve this since we can retain our custom changes while updating the main underscore_s theme? – AndrewL64 Jan 22 at 6:27
  • That’s not what underscores is for. The whole point of underscores is as a starting point for your own themes. It’s not a parent theme, and because it’s not a parent theme, any future changes to underscores are probably not going to be backwards compatible. – Jacob Peattie Jan 22 at 6:36

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