How to Create an OceanWP Child Theme: Step-by-Step Tutorial

How to Create an OceanWP Child Theme: Step-by-Step Tutorial

John started his new WordPress website two months ago.

Until yesterday, John spent every available moment attending to his precious project. Although he’s not a web designer, he’s an enthusiast and loves learning new stuff.

Plus, a personal website was something he had been dreaming about for quite some time, so he wanted to do all of it by himself. John wanted everything to be perfect.

He customized his WordPress theme, added custom CSS and JS codes and styles. Finally, his website appeared like it came from another planet. It was outstanding!

Most importantly, it made John proud of what he accomplished.

Yesterday, John got an update notification.

The theme he was using for his website released an improved version, containing enhancements and minor bug fixes.

Just like the rest of us would do, John updated his theme without a second thought. Afterwards, he glance at his site to check if he could raise it to another level.

Ever since yesterday, John hasn’t stopped crying.

His two-months of hard work was gone, and he was left at the same spot where his adventure began. Only this time, John wasn’t as nearly as happy or excited. He blamed the update for this disaster and contacted the theme developers to share his frustration, demanding them to fix his website.

But it wasn’t the developers’ fault. It was John’s.

John didn’t use a WordPress child theme.

What is a WordPress Child Theme?

Developers behind WordPress blogging platform created the ability for users to make a child theme.

A child theme is nothing more than a copy of the master (parent) theme. It allows you to change every aspect (no matter how big or small) of your website’s appearance, while preserving the looks and functionality.

We know what you’re thinking.

If it’s just a copy, what’s the use of it?

A child theme is always connected to the parent (master) theme. In order for their relationship to function, you need both themes installed on your WordPress website. However, the child theme is the one that is active.

Child themes receive settings, codes, and scripts from parent themes by automation. Hence, you’ll never receive an update for the child theme. At the same time, when you upgrade a parent theme, the child theme will inherit all improvements while preserving your customization.

In this way, there isn’t even the slightest chance for you to experience John’s misfortune.

Haven’t set up your blog yet? We have a complete guide on how to start a WordPress blog the wise way from the start.

But, child themes offer more benefits other than a safe theme upgrade.

What is the Purpose of a Child Theme?

Serious and committed theme developers care about their products and performance.

Thereby, regular and often theme updates are no surprise. Outdated themes are no use to users if WordPress releases upgrades to its platform, or newer and better plugins emerge.

Technology evolves.

That’s why it is important for all of those whose products and their functions rely on each other to follow the newest trends and respond with improvements to own outputs. Without doubt, there are more advantages to the use of a WordPress child theme than it appears at first.

Child themes enable the following:

  • Safe parent theme updates without compromising or destroying your existing customization.
  • Replicable and portable customizations.
  • Separated customization from master theme functions.
  • Timesaving, since you’ll never be forced to recreate everything from scratch.
  • Learning about WordPress theme development and operating.

Without further ado, let’s prep you up for a child theme installment.

This tutorial covers the following topics:

  1. How to create an OceanWP child theme on a clean WordPress website.
  2. How to add an OceanWP child theme to an already customized site.

Why Use an OceanWP Child Theme?

Besides being one of the best, fastest and user-friendly WordPress themes available, the free OceanWP theme and the team behind it are known for their attention to details.

The usual child theme creation requires website owners to have access to a cPanel. Furthermore, it also demands advanced WordPress knowledge. Except, what about the users whose hosting plans don’t include cPanel or an entry to file directories? Or beginners who struggle even with the basic WP setups? What are they supposed to do to protect their sites and work?

Well, they should install the OceanWP theme.

Square banner of the OceanWP free WordPress theme

OceanWP provides a simple, hassle-free and rapid child theme installment. Most importantly, even site owners and bloggers without a cPanel can add it.

And that’s what you’ll learn how to do.

How to Create an OceanWP Child Theme on a Clean WordPress Website

Step #1: Install the OceanWP Parent Theme

If you already have OceanWP installed, skip to the next step.

There are two ways to install a WordPress theme:

  1. Add a theme through the library.
  2. Upload a theme manually.

Note: Some WordPress hosting plans don’t allow custom theme uploads. Ergo, those users are stuck with themes presented to them by their provider. Even worse, not all hosting providers include the OceanWP or other free themes in their libraries. If you happen to be the one who’s paying serious money for a lousy hosting, check out our 2019 WordPress hosting recommendation.

How to Install OceanWP Theme Through the WordPress Library

#1: Login to your WordPress website.

#2: From the side menu, choose: Appearance >> Themes.

#3: Select the Add New button.

screenshot on how to add new WordPress theme though repository (library)

#4: Enter OceanWP in the search bar.

Screenshot on how to search for the OceanWP WordPress theme through the repository search bar

#5: Hover over the theme thumbnail with the mouse cursor and click Install.

#6: After installation, activate the OceanWP theme by selecting the Activate button.

Screenshot on how to activate the OceanWP WordPress theme

Congratulations!

You overcame the first obstacle by installing a parent theme. Now let’s add the OceanWP child theme.

How to Add a Custom WordPress Theme

OceanWP WordPress theme horizontal banner

#1: Head over to the OceanWP official website and download the free OceanWP WordPress theme to your PC.

IMPORTANT: All themes come in a .zip format. DO NOT unzip them.

#2: Login into your WP site.

#3: From the side menu choose: Appearance >> Themes.

#4: Select Add New.

Screenshot on how to upload custom theme to a WordPress website

#5: Press Upload New Theme.

Screenshot on how to upload a custom WordPress theme

#6: Find the file on your PC, select the theme in a .zip and click Install.

Screenshot on how to install a custom WordPress theme in a .zip file format

#7: Upon theme installment, press the Activate button, and that’s it.

Screenshot on how to activate the custom uploaded WordPress theme

Congratulations, fellow writer!

So, let’s move forward to the next step.

Step #2: Add OceanWP Child Theme

#1: Download the OceanWP child theme and save it to your computer. (Again, do not unzip the file.)

Screenshot on how to download the OceanWP child theme for WordPress websites or blogs

#2: Repeat steps #2 – #7 from the previous section on How to Add a Custom WordPress Theme.

You’ve successfully created your OceanWP child theme and are now ready to customize your website any way you want.

Add the free Ocean Extra WordPress plugin for additional functions, such as meta boxes, custom titles, subtitles, individual page/post settings and much, much more.

The Ocean Extra extension is mandatory if you want to install the Ocean Core Extensions Bundle premium plugin (affiliate).

The Ocean Core Bundle offers an array of powerful and useful functions to your website, like:

  • Sticky Header. (The one we’re using here on Titan Writer.)
  • Footer Callout. (Amazing feature we absolutely love and use.)
  • Cookie notice. (Mandatory for GDPR compliance.)
  • Posts Slider.
  • Ocean Hooks.
  • Access to 60 Pro Demos. (Pre-made website themes that fit every need.)
  • Plus a ton of other brilliant extensions, including Elementor elements even the Elementor Pro version doesn’t cover.

Not only will you impress your friends and clients with the site’s looks and functionality, but you’ll leave all your website visitors stand in awe.

NOTE: If you find our tutorials useful and apply our affiliate links to buy related products or services, we may earn a commission. Using our referral links doesn’t influence the price and you will keep special discounts, offers, or deals if such are active in the moment of your purchase. Moreover, you will help us run Titan Writer so we can continue to share free articles, tutorials and resources useful to you and others. Thank you for supporting Titan Writer and our mission. For detailed information on referrals, see our full Affiliate Disclosure.

IMPORTANT: Do not remove the OceanWP parent theme. You need both themes (parent and child) installed at all times, although only the OceanWP child theme remains active.

How to Create an OceanWP Child Theme if You Have Already Customized Your WordPress Website

Adding OceanWP child theme (or any other WordPress child theme) to a website you’ve already modified can be tricky. In short, you risk losing all your custom settings and customizations.

To avoid ending up like our friend John, losing your work and having to start all over, you need to take safety precautions.

Don’t worry upfront. It’s one the silliest things you’ll ever do.

First, you must save your existing theme settings and download them to your PC.

How to Export OceanWP Theme Settings

#1: Login into your WordPress website.

#2: From the side panel, choose: Theme Panel >> Import/Export.

Screenshot on how to export OceanWP parent theme settings

#3: Go to the Export Settings section and select the Export Settings button.

Screenshot on how to export OceanWP parent theme settings from the Import/Export section

#4: Do not rename the export file. Choose the location to store the .dat file on your computer and click the Save button.

Screenshot on how to save exported OceanWP parent theme settings in a .dat file format to your computer

#5: Make sure the file was saved by checking your destination folder.

Once you’ve performed the check, it’s time to add the OceanWP child theme to your website.

How to Add an OceanWP Child Theme to a WordPress Website

#1: Download the OceanWP child theme and save it to your computer. (Do not unzip the file.)

Screenshot on how to download the OceanWP child theme from GitHub and save it to your computer

#2: Login into your WP site.

#3: From the side menu choose: Appearance >> Themes.

#4: Select Add New.

Screenshot on how to add the OceanWP child theme to your computer

#5: Press Upload New Theme.

Screenshot on how to upload the OceanWP child theme to your WordPress website

#6: Find the file on your PC, select the theme in a .zip format and click Install.

Screenshot on how to install OceanWP child theme to a your WordPress website or blog

#7: Upon theme installment, press the Activate button. (Hover over theme thumbnail for options to appear.)

The next step is to import your previous theme settings.

How to Import OceanWP Theme Settings

#1: Go the side panel once again and choose: Theme Panel >> Import/Export.

Screenshot on How to import OceanWP child theme settings

#2: From the Import Settings section, select the Choose File button.

#3: Find the .dat file you’ve exported a few moments ago and select.

Screenshot on how to import OceanWP child theme settings from an already customized parent theme

#4: Click the Import Settings button.

Voila, you’re all set and can continue with further website modifications or you can write a new WordPress blog post.

Final Thoughts

Using a child theme isn’t mandatory, although it’s recommended.

Apart from offering nothing but benefits, safety remains the main purpose of a child theme.

It is also an opportunity to develop a fresh and original site project based on the parent theme’s variables.

Adding an OceanWP child theme to your WordPress website is effortless, swift, and requires only a few minutes of your time and attention.

When in doubt, always go for a child theme and protect your work.


What is your opinion on child and parent themes? Is your website running on a child theme? If yes, tell us your experience. If not, share your reasons and thoughts in the comment section.

Leave a Reply

Close Panel