- Note: Do not EVER edit the Genesis theme files!
- We strongly advise against making changes to your child theme files
- If you feel you have to make a change, use the Feast Customizations Plugin
Best Way: Feast Customizations Plugin
We have created the Feast Customizations Plugin, where all of your PHP customizations can be made without editing the child theme files. Best of all, most of these customizations will be maintained when switching between our themes.
Anywhere you see “functions.php” in a tutorial, head over instead to the Feast Customizations Plugin and put the changes in there.
Then go to your Admin -> Plugins -> Add New -> Upload Plugin and upload and install the plugin. You’ll find it listed in the plugins section like this:
Clicking the ->Save your site’s customizations here<- link, or navigating to Admin -> Plugins -> Editor and selecting the “Feast Customizations Plugin” in the top-right will take you to the following familiar WordPress editor screen, but for plugins rather than theme files.
Follow the instructions and place your code into the space provided between the commented code.
Putting the customizations into a plugin provides a simple way to check if your customization is causing the problem: simply disable the plugin and clear all your caches to see if the problem resolves itself.
Safety First: Backups
You should be using a hosting provider that backs up your website daily, so that any changes (including plugin updates) can be rolled-back to yesterday’s version.
You can also do this manually each time you’re making a change, but this becomes tedious, and you risk not having a recent backup if something goes wrong.
If making changes, we recommend doing this first thing in the morning to avoid losing the days’ work if a restore is needed.
Use a Cloned Site
Your hosting provider should provide a way to clone your website so that you can make major changes to the non-live cloned site before pushing them to your live site.
Editing your Food Blog Child Theme Files
You can access the theme files in the WordPress editor (Appearance -> Editor) or your hosting cpanel’s file manager to make the changes.
We recommend using the Feast Customizations Plugin method above!
If you are planning to make edits to your theme files (especially php) we strongly suggest you learn how to do so using FTP or via your hosting cpanel. This will ensure that if you commit a coding error you’ll be able to easily and quickly restore your website from the backup you should have of any files you plan to edit.
If you make a critical error (easy to do in your functions.php file) then you will get what’s known as the white scree of death and you’ll be locked out of your site so it’s very important to keep a backup of files you plan to edit.
If updating by FTP:
- Download the most recent file from your server via FTP
- Edit the file using a program like Notepad ++ on your computer
- Upload the file back up to your server
Adobe Dreamweaver is an all-in-one FTP program and file editor, but comes at a steep price of about $30/month.
Filezilla is a common free FTP program, and Notepad++ is a good basic text editor.
Google is your friend if you need a more comprehensive guide than this, or FTP software recommendations.
Any customizations you make to your child theme files will be lost during an update. Note that theme updates are full re-installations.
Again: Back up your files
No matter which method you choose, always make sure you have a backup of your files to fall back on, and that you know how to restore your site via FTP or your hosting cpanel in the event of a coding error.
Ideally, your hosting company will have automatic daily backups, making reverting back to a working copy of yesterday a breeze.