Child Theme Configurator – WordPress plugin Free download

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Child Theme Configurator


Child Theme Configurator is a fast and easy to use utility that allows you to analyze any theme for common problems, create a child theme and customize it beyond the options of the Customizer. Designed for WordPress users who want to be able to customize child theme stylesheets directly, Child Theme Configurator lets you easily identify and override the exact CSS attributes you want to customize. The Analyzer scans the rendered theme and automatically configures your child theme. It correctly enqueues theme and font stylesheets for optimum performance and handles vendor-specific syntax, giving you unlimited control over the Child Theme look and feel while leaving your Parent Theme untouched. Learn more about how to create a child theme.

Take Control of Your Child Themes

Child Theme Configurator parses and indexes your stylesheets so that every CSS media query, selector, property and value are at your fingertips. Second, it shows you how each customization you make will look before you commit it to the child theme. Finally, it saves your work so that you can customize styles in your child themes without the risk of losing your edits.

You can create any number of child themes from your existing Parent Themes. Child Theme Configurator lets you choose from your installed themes (even existing child themes) and save the results in your Themes directory.

When you are ready, just activate the Child Theme and your WordPress site takes on the custom styles automatically.

Why create child themes and customize styles using Child Theme Configurator?

Some things cannot be changed using the Customizer.

Unless you use a child theme, you will lose any changes you made to templates and stylesheets when you update.

Child Theme Configurator automatically determines the correct way to set up a child theme based on the theme you are using.

You can find the exact style selectors your theme uses and change properties quickly.

You can locate, copy and edit theme templates from the admin.

Much more:

Update themes without losing customizations
Smart Theme Analyzer determines correct settings to use
Resolve common child theme issues with almost any parent theme
Copy existing widgets, menus and Customizer options to child theme
Use web fonts in your child theme
Enqueue (link) stylesheets instead of using @import
Quickly locate and edit theme CSS.
Customize @media queries for responsive design
Select hex, RGBA (transparent) and named colors using Spectrum color picker
Add fallback styles (multiple values per property)
Save hours of development time
Multisite compatible
Make modifications unavailable to the Customizer
Export child themes as Zip Archive
Identify and override exact selectors from the parent theme
Change specific colors, backgrounds, font styles, etc., without changing other elements
Automatically generate cross-browser and vendor-prefixed properties and CSS gradients
Preview custom styles before committing to them
Uses WP Filesystem API – will not create files you cannot remove

Child Theme Configurator PRO

Apply the CSS customizing power of Child Theme Configurator to any WordPress Plugin installed on your website. Child Theme Configurator PRO scans your plugins and lets you customize their stylesheets. We’ve added more features to make customizing styles quicker and easier with PRO.

Learn more at

Unlimited Widget Content With a Single Plugin

IntelliWidget is a versatile widget manager that does the work of multiple plugins by combining custom page menus, featured posts, sliders and other dynamic content features that can display on a per-page or site-wide basis.

Learn more at

Hook Highlighter

Hook Highlighter provides Administrators insight into the internal program flow of WordPress when activated on any front-facing page of a website.

Display action and filter hooks, program files and backtrace information inline for the current page.

Learn more at

Query/Selector Tab

There are two ways to identify and customize baseline (parent) styles. Child Theme Configurator lets you search styles by CSS selector and by property. If you wish to customize a specific CSS selector (e.g., h1), use the “Query/Selector” tab. If you have a specific CSS value you wish to customize site-wide (e.g., the color of the type), use the “Property/Value” tab.

The Query/Selector tab lets you find specific CSS selectors and edit them. First, find the query that contains the CSS selector you wish to edit by typing in the Query autoselect box. Select by clicking with the mouse or by pressing the “Enter” or “Tab” keys. CSS selectors are in the base query by default.
Next, find the CSS selector by typing in the “Selector” autoselect box. Select by clicking with the mouse or by pressing the “Enter” or “Tab” keys.

This will load all of the properties for that CSS selector with the Original values on the left and the child theme values inputs on the right. Any existing child theme values will be automatically populated. There is also a Sample preview that displays the combination of Parent and Child overrides. Note that the border and background-image get special treatment.

The “Order” field contains the original sequence of the CSS selector in the parent theme stylesheet. You can change the CSS selector order sequence by entering a lower or higher number in the “Order” field. You can also force style overrides (so called “!important” flag) by checking the “!” box next to each input. Please use judiciously.

Click “Save” to update the child theme stylesheet and save your changes to the WordPress admin.

Adding Raw CSS

If you wish to add additional properties to a given CSS selector, first load the selector using the Query/Selector tab. Then find the property you wish to override by typing in the New Property autoselect box. Select by clicking with the mouse or by pressing the “Enter” or “Tab” keys. This will add a new input row to the selector inputs.

If you wish to add completely new CSS selectors, or even new @media queries, you can enter free-form CSS in the “Raw CSS” textarea. Be aware that your syntax must be correct (i.e., balanced curly braces, etc.) for the parser to load the new custom styles. You will know it is invalid because a red “X” will appear next to the save button.

If you prefer to use shorthand syntax for properties and values instead of the inputs provided by Child Theme Configurator, you can enter them here as well. The parser will convert your input into normalized CSS code automatically.

Property/Value Tab

The Property/Value tab lets you find specific values for a given property and then edit that value for individual CSS selectors that use that property/value combination. First, find the property you wish to override by typing in the Property autoselect box. Select by clicking with the mouse or by pressing the “Enter” or “Tab” keys.

This will load all of the unique values that exist for that property in the parent theme stylesheet with a Sample preview for that value. If there are values that exist in the child theme stylesheet that do not exist in the parent stylesheet, they will be displayed as well.

For each unique value, click the “Selectors” link to view a list of CSS selectors that use that property/value combination, grouped by query with a Sample preview of the value and inputs for the child theme value. Any existing child theme values will be automatically populated.

Click “Save” to update the child theme stylesheet and save your changes to the WordPress admin.

If you want to edit all of the properties for the CSS selector you can click the “Edit” link and the CSS selector will automatically load in the Query/Selector Tab.

Web Fonts Tab

You can add additional stylesheets and web fonts by typing @import rules into the textarea on the Web Fonts tab. Important: do not import the parent theme stylesheet here. Use the “Parent stylesheet handling” option from the Parent/Child tab.

Files Tab

Parent Templates

You can copy PHP template files from the parent theme by checking the boxes. Click “Copy Selected to Child Theme” and the templates will be added to the child theme’s directory.

CAUTION: If your child theme is active, the child theme’s version of the file will be used instead of the parent immediately after it is copied. The functions.php file is generated separately and cannot be copied here.

Child Theme Files

Templates copied from the parent are listed here. These can be edited using the Theme Editor in the Appearance Menu. Remove child theme images by checking the boxes and clicking “Delete Selected.”

Child Theme Images

Theme images reside under the images directory in your child theme and are meant for stylesheet use only. Use the media gallery for content images. You can upload new images using the image upload form.

Child Theme Screenshot

You can upload a custom screenshot for the child theme here. The theme screenshot should be a 4:3 ratio (eg., 880px x 660px) JPG, PNG or GIF. It will be renamed “screenshot”.

Export Child Theme as Zip Archive

You can download your child theme for use on another WordPress site by clicking “Export”.

Preview and Activate

IMPORTANT: Test child themes before activating!

Some themes (particularly commercial themes) do not correctly load parent template files or automatically load child theme stylesheets or php files.

In the worst cases they will break your website when you activate the child theme.

Navigate to Appearance > Themes in the WordPress Admin. You will now see the new Child Theme as one of the installed Themes.
Click “Live Preview” (theme customizer) below the new Child Theme to see it in action.
When you are ready to take the Child Theme live, click “Activate.”

MULTISITE USERS: You must Network Enable your child theme before you can use Live Preview. Go to “Themes” in the Network Admin.


Arbitrary comments are not supported. Providing a high level of flexibility for previewing and modifying custom styles requires a sophisticated parsing system. Maintaining comments that are bound to any particular element in the stylesheet is prohibitively expensive compared to the value it would add. Although we are working to include this as an option in the future, currently all comments are stripped from the child theme stylesheet code.
No @keyframes or @font-face rules. Child Theme Configurator only supports @media and @import. If you need other @rules, put them in a separate stylesheet and import them into the Child Theme stylesheet.
Only two-color gradients. Child Theme Configurator is powerful, but we have simplified the gradient interface. You can use any gradient you want as long as it has two colors and no intermediate stops.
CSS properties are auto-discovered. Child Theme Configurator loads the properties that exist in the Parent stylesheet. You can always add new properties using the “Raw CSS” text area.
Legacy gradient syntax is not supported. Child Theme Configurator does not support the MS filter gradient or legacy webkit gradient. These will continue to work if they are used in the parent theme, but will not be written to the child theme stylesheet. If there is a demand, we may add it in a future release, but most users should have upgraded by now.


Go to

Serbo-Croatian translation courtesy of Borisa Djuraskovic

Copyright: (C) 2014-2018 Lilaea Media


Parent/Child tab
Parent/Child tab with parent theme menu open
Query/Selector tab
Property/Value tab
Web Fonts tab
Parent CSS tab
Files tab


To install from the Plugins repository:

In the WordPress Admin, go to “Plugins > Add New.”
Type “child theme” in the “Search” box and click “Search Plugins.”
Locate “Child Theme Configurator” in the list and click “Install Now.”

To install manually:

Click to Download the Child Theme Configurator from
In the WordPress Admin, go to “Plugins > Add New.”
Click the “Upload” link at the top of the page.
Browse for the zip file, select and click “Install.”

In the WordPress Admin, go to “Plugins > Installed Plugins.” Locate “Child Theme Configurator” in the list and click “Activate.”

Navigate to Tools > Child Themes (multisite users go to Network Admin > Themes > Child Themes).

The Parent/Child Tab: 10 Easy Steps to Create a Child Theme

Select an action:

CREATE a new Child Theme – Install a new customizable child theme using an installed theme as a parent.
CONFIGURE an existing Child Theme – Set up a previously installed child theme for use with the Configurator or to modify current settings.
DUPLICATE an existing Child Theme – Make a complete copy of an existing Child Theme in a new directory, including any menus, widgets and other Customizer settings. The option to copy the Parent Theme settings (step 8, below) is disabled with this action.
RESET an existing Child Theme (this will destroy any work you have done in the Configurator) – Revert the Child theme stylesheet and functions files to their state before the initial configuration or last reset.

Select a Parent Theme if creating a new Child Theme; select a Child Theme if configuring, duplicating or resetting.

Analyze Child Theme – Click “Analyze” to determine stylesheet dependencies and other potential issues.

If creating a new Child Theme, name the new theme directory; otherwise verify it the directory is correct. – This is NOT the name of the Child Theme. You can customize the name, description, etc. in step 7, below.

Select where to save new styles:

Primary Stylesheet (style.css) – Save new custom styles directly to the Child Theme primary stylesheet, replacing the existing values. The primary stylesheet will load in the order set by the theme.
Separate Stylesheet – Save new custom styles to a separate stylesheet and use any existing child theme styles as a baseline. Select this option if you want to preserve the original child theme styles instead of overwriting them. This option also allows you to customize stylesheets that load after the primary stylesheet.

Select Parent Theme stylesheet handling:

Use the WordPress style queue. – Let the Configurator determine the appropriate actions and dependencies and update the functions file automatically.
Use @import in the child theme stylesheet. – Only use this option if the parent stylesheet cannot be loaded using the WordPress style queue. Using @import is not recommended.
Do not add any parent stylesheet handling. – Select this option if this theme already handles the parent theme stylesheet or if the parent theme’s style.css file is not used for its appearance.

Customize the Child Theme Name, Description, Author, Version, etc.: (Click to toggle form)

Copy Parent Theme Menus, Widgets and other Customizer Settings to Child Theme: – NOTE: This will overwrite any child theme options you may have already set.

Click the button to run the Configurator.

IMPORTANT: Always test child themes with Live Preview (theme customizer) before activating!


How do I move changes I have already made to my theme into a Child Theme?

Follow these steps:

When I run the analyzer I get “Constants Already Defined” notice in PHP Debug Output

This is a misconfiguration created by the Bluehost auto-installer.” class=”scroll-to”>How to fix.

Is there a tutorial?

There are videos under the “Help” tab at the top right of the page. You can also view them at

If the parent theme changes (e.g., upgrade), do I have to update the child theme?

No. This is the point of using child themes. Changes to the parent theme are automatically inherited by the child theme.

A child theme is not a “copy” of the parent theme. It is a special feature of WordPress that let’s you override specific styles and functions leaving the rest of the theme intact. Quality themes should identify any deprecated functions or styles in the upgrade notes so that child theme users can make adjustments accordingly.

If I uninstall Child Theme Configurator are child themes affected?

No. Child Theme Configurator is designed to work independently of themes and plugins. Just remember that if you re-install, you must rebuild the configuration data using the Parent/Child tab.

How do I add comments?

Arbitrary comments are not supported. Providing a high level of flexibility for previewing and modifying custom styles requires sophisticated parsing and data structures. Maintaining comments that are bound to any particular element in the stylesheet is prohibitively expensive compared to the value it would add. Although we are working to include this as an option in the future, currently all comments are stripped from the child theme stylesheet code.

Does it work with Multisite?

Yes. Go to “Network Admin > Themes > Child Themes.” Child themes must be “Network enabled” to preview and activate for Network sites.

Does it work with plugins?

Child Theme Configurator PRO brings the CSS editing power of Child Theme Configurator to any WordPress Plugin installed on your website by scanning your plugins and creating custom CSS in your Child Themes. Learn more at

Why doesn’t this work with my [insert vendor here] theme?

Some themes (particularly commercial themes) do not correctly load parent template files or automatically load child theme stylesheets or php files.

This is unfortunate, because in the best case they effectively prohibit the webmaster from adding any customizations (other than those made through the admin theme options) that will survive past an upgrade. In the worst case they will break your website when you activate the child theme.

Contact the vendor directly to ask for this core functionality. It is our opinion that ALL themes (especially commercial ones) must pass the Theme Unit Tests outlined by and ALWAYS TEST CHILD THEMES BEFORE ACTIVATING (See “Preview and Activate”).

Will this slow down my site?

Child Theme Configurator is designed to add the minimum amount of additional overhead possible and can actually improve performance. For example:

Child Theme Configurator creates or updates files that are already being read by the system. On the front-end, there are no database calls so WordPress can run independent of the plugin. In fact, you can remove Child Theme Configurator when you are finished setting up your child themes.
Custom styles are applied to a stylesheet file that can be cached by the browser and/or cached and minimized by a performance caching plugin. Because the editor creates mostly “overrides” to existing styles, the file is typically smaller than other stylesheets.
The code that drives the editor interface only loads when the tool is being used from the WordPress Admin, including Javascript and CSS. This means that it will not get in the way of other admin pages.
The biggest performance hit occurs when you generate the Child Theme files from the Parent/Child tab, but this is a one-time event and only occurs from the WordPress Admin.

HELP! I changed a file and now I am unable to access my website or login to wp-admin to fix it!

To back out of a broken child theme you have to manually rename the offending theme directory name (via FTP, SSH or your web host control panel file manager) so that WordPress can’t find it. WordPress will then throw an error and revert back to the default theme (currently twenty-fifteen).

The child theme is in your themes folder, usually


To prevent this in the future, always test child themes with Live Preview (theme customizer) before activating.

Why are my menus displaying incorrectly when I activate new child themes?


Why is my custom header missing when I activate new child themes?


Why does my custom background go back to the default when I activate new child themes?


Why do my theme options disappear when I activate new child themes?

These options are specific to each theme and are saved separately in the database. When you create new child themes, their options are blank.

Many of these options can be copied over to the child theme by checking “Copy Parent Theme Menus, Widgets and other Options” when you generate the child theme files on the Parent/Child tab.

If you want to set different options you can either apply them after you activate the child theme using the theme customizer, or by using the “Live Preview” under Appearance > Themes.

Every theme handles options in its own way. Most often, they will create a set of options and store them in the WordPress database. Some options are specific to the active theme (or child theme), and some are specific to the parent theme only (meaning the child theme CANNOT customize them). You will have to find out from the theme author which are which.

Where is Child Theme Configurator in the Admin?

For most users Child Theme Configurator can be found under “Tools > Child Themes.”

WordPress Multisite (Network) users go to “Network Admin > Themes > Child Themes.”

NOTE: Only users with “install_themes” capability will have access to Child Theme Configurator.

Click the “Help” tab at the top right for a quick reference.

How do I add Web Fonts?

The easiest method is to paste the @import code provided by Google, Font Squirrel or any other Web Font site into the Web Fonts tab. The fonts will then be available to use as a value of the font-family property. Be sure you understand the license for any embedded fonts.

You can also create a secondary stylesheet that contains @font-face rules and import it using the Web Fonts tab.

Why doesn’t the Parent Theme have any styles when I “View Parent CSS”?

Check the appropriate additional stylesheets under “Parse additional stylesheets” on the Parent/Child tab and load the Child Theme again. CTC tries to identify these files by fetching a page from the parent theme, but you may need to set them manually.

Where are the styles? The configurator doesn’t show anything!

All of the styles are loaded dynamically. You must start typing in the text boxes to select styles to edit.
“Base” is the query group that contains styles that are not associated with any particular “At-rule.”

Start by clicking the “Query/Selector” tab and typing “base” in the first box. You can then start typing in the second box to retrieve the style selectors to edit.

Why do the preview tabs return “Stylesheet could not be displayed”?

You have to load a child theme from the Parent/Child tab for the preview to display. This can also happen when your WP_CONTENT_URL is different than $bloginfo(‘site_url’). Ajax cannot make cross-domain requests by default. Check that your Settings > General > “WordPress Address (URL)” value is correct. (Often caused by missing “www” in the domain.)

Can I edit the Child Theme stylesheet manually offline or by using the Editor or do I have to use the Configurator?

You can make any manual customizations you wish to the stylesheet. Just make sure you import the revised stylesheet using the Parent/Child panel or the Configurator will overwrite your customizations the next time you use it. Just follow the steps as usual but select the “Use Existing Child Theme” radio button as the “Child Theme” option. The Configurator will automatically update its internal data from the new stylesheet.

Where are the child theme .php files?

Child Theme Configurator automatically adds a blank functions.php file to the child theme’s directory. You can copy parent theme template files using the Files tab. If you want to create new templates and directories you will have to create/upload them manually via FTP or SSH. Remember that a child theme will automatically inherit the parent theme’s templates unless they also exist in the child theme’s directory. Only copy templates that you intend to customize.

How do I customize a specific color/font style/background?

You can override a specific CSS value globally using the Property/Value tab. See Property/Value, above.

How do I add custom styles that aren’t in the Parent Theme?

You can add queries and selectors using the “Raw CSS” textarea on the Query/Selector tab. See Query/Selector, above.

How do I remove a style from the Parent Theme?

You shouldn’t really “remove” a style from the Parent. You can, however, set the property to “inherit,” “none,” or zero (depending on the property). This will negate the Original value. Some experimentation may be necessary.

How do I remove a style from the Child Theme?

Delete the value from the input for the property you wish to remove. Child Theme Configurator only adds overrides for properties that contain values.

How do I set the !important flag?

We always recommend relying on good cascading design over global overrides. To that end, you have ability to change the load order of child theme custom styles by entering a value in the “Order” field. And yes, you can now set properties as important by checking the “!” box next to each input. Please use judiciously.

How do I create cross-browser gradients?

Child Theme Configurator uses a standardized syntax for gradients and only supports two-color gradients without intermediate stops. The inputs consist of origin (e.g., top, left, 135deg, etc.), start color and end color. The browser-specific syntax is generated automatically when you save these values. See Caveats, below, for more information.

How do I make my Theme responsive?

The short answer is to use a responsive Parent Theme. Some common characteristics of responsive design are:

Avoiding fixed width and height values. Using max- and min-height values and percentages are ways to make your designs respond to the viewer’s browser size.
Combining floats and clears with inline and relative positions allow the elements to adjust gracefully to their container’s width.
Showing and hiding content with Javascript.

For more information view “Make a Theme Responsive”:


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