The simplest Theme possible is a child theme which includes only a style.css file, plus any images. This is possible because it is a child of another theme which acts as its parent. A child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality and styling of another theme, called the parent theme. Child themes are the recommended way of modifying an existing theme.
Why use a Child Theme?
There are a few reasons why you would want to use a child theme:
- If you modify a theme directly and it is updated, then your modifications may be lost. By using a child theme you will ensure that your modifications are preserved.
- Using a child theme can speed up development time.
- Using a child theme is a great way to learn about WordPress theme development.
For a detailed guide to child themes, see Child Themes.