Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am about to create my first ever WordPress theme, based on the excellent tips provided in this answer.

Initially, all I want to do is to modify the CSS only, changing nothing in the .php or other files.

A straightforward approach is to simply ZIP the entire directory structure of wp-content/themes/twentyeleven, rename it, modify the CSS files only, then upload the entire thing as a new theme.

It should work, but it looks to me as very wasteful, since I am essentially duplicating all theme files for a handful of .css files.

Is there a better way to create a theme that is based on an existing theme (e.g. twentyeleven)?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by paulmorriss, John Conde Sep 27 '12 at 1:14

Questions on Webmasters Stack Exchange are expected to relate to webmastering within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Great question. You should create a child theme - this allows you to modify only the parts of the parent theme you need to and avoids conflicts when upgrading the theme further down the line (if you're using 2011, watch your dashboard for update notifications).

I would also reccommend you take a look at theme frameworks before you begin.

share|improve this answer
Thank you. I knew the great WP team would have something so elegant in place. I just tried it, but the admin panel doesn't seem to "see" that I created a new theme directory with that single style.css file in it. What am I doing wrong? – ef2011 Jan 31 '12 at 21:20
My problem seems very similar to this one. Continuing to research.... – ef2011 Jan 31 '12 at 21:29
Have you named them the same? – toomanyairmiles Jan 31 '12 at 22:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.