Even though Darren Hoyt talked about it in his Exploring WordPress Frameworks and Child Themes post, I missed the point that you can override more than the CSS file using Child Themes. According to WordPresss.com’s Theme Development article you can go to your parent theme’s folder (at /wp-content/themes/yourparenttheme/) and copy any of those template files into your Child Theme’s folder and edit it, and that will override the parent theme’s file.
Additionally (as of WordPress 2.7), the child theme may contain template files, which can be selected in the admin panel as normal, and will override the parent’s template files where those possess the same name.
For example, if you want to edit the header and you are using Thematic (folder = /thematic) and your Child Theme is called My Theme (folder = /mytheme) you can copy /wp-content/themes/thematic/header.php to /wp-content/themes/mytheme/header.php and any edits you make will show up on your blog because WordPress (as of v2.7) will check for template files in your Child Theme folder before looking for your Parent Theme’s template files.
With WordPress Child Themes you can…
- build websites more quickly with more flexibility than “traditional” sites
- use WordPress as a CMS
- gives your clients the capability to edit their own sites
- more easily develop websites that are HTML and CSS compliant with less work than custom “traditional” sites
- re-design, skin or add different functionality to themes you like but are missing “something”
- make your own WordPress theme without starting from scratch