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Jeremy Frimond14,470 Points
Is a Child Theme Needed?
If I take an existing theme and make significant changes to the CSS in the editor section will I lose my work when the theme is updated? Therefore, is it good practice or not necessary to crete a child theme and do all my changes to the CSS in the editor of that one?
Samuel Johnson9,152 Points
If you are using an existing theme and editing the files i would strongly advice to create a child theme, you may get lucky but chances are once an update happens if will ruin your theme. I believe this is always the recommended way.
From experiences myself of creating a theme!
Matt Campbell9,767 Points
Any theme or plugin that updates, overwrites all the files regardless of whether or not they're files that are being changed so, if you edit anything in something you download, if and when it updates, you'll lose the changes.
When making ANY changes to a downloaded theme, ALWAYS use a child theme.
James GillCourses Plus Student 34,935 Points
Yes, theme updates will overwrite your changes. Either create a child theme, or make a copy of your CSS file before updating, then drop it back into the theme directory. Best practice: make a child theme.