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How do I create a child theme? Want to customize buddypress; forums, profle page

  • Jerry


    Hello; need help please.

    I’m still new to website development, but ready to work with child themes. I am using WordPress 3.8.1 multisite, and buddypress 1.9.2. I am also using the Weaver-II theme, which I very much like. My website is:

    I was using an older thread to create a child theme for buddypress, where “bp-default” is called in the Template: field. I’ve come to realize this will not work in buddypress 1.9.2 because of the bp-default theme is no longer being used.

    Here is what I tried to do:
    Theme Name: Custom Forums by Jerry
    Them URI:
    Description: A custom child theme for Who’s Got Books?
    Author: Jerry Caldwell
    Author URI:
    Template: bp-legacy
    Version: 1.0.0
    Tags: buddypress, forums, custom

    I am basically trying to achieve the ability to perform full customization of the buddypress portion of my website, from fonts and colors, to forum layout, to profile page layout, or as simple as special wording on the registration page. But obviously I can’t accomplish any of this if I cannot get my first child-theme to work. I did manage to change the wording for the registration page, but in the main register.php file. I would rather have changed this in a child-theme.

    If anyone has some time to get me started I will really appreciate it! Maybe in the future I’ll be good enough to come hear and help others, but I am a ways off from that.


Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • The first thing to do is always check the BP Codex we write guides to try and help people with aspects like this.

    Theme Compatibility & Template Files

    And related pages under ‘Theming’

    Template compatibility just runs under any theme you choose to run (in the majority of cases) you don’t create a child theme based on a parent ‘bp-legacy’ choose or create a theme, then if you need to customise BP templates or CSS you overload (copy) the template files required to the theme or child theme as described in those guides.



    Hi Hugo,

    I did read that link you provided previously, and I have been searching the codex pages. Perhaps this is a case of “the light not coming on” for me. 🙂 It is probably an issue of me not ever having created a child theme.

    If I understand the codex link you sent me correctly, then basically I create a buddypress directory in my personal themes folder (gotbooks_forums), then copy over whatever I want to modify? Like buddypress.php? And then I create a css folder, and copy over the css files that I want to modify?

    Am I on the right track? My apologies for all the questions. I’ve been searching the web for hours and have finally decided to ask for help.

    Thanks much,



    I think I need to include another question. In my personal themes folder, I assume I need to create a style.css file. I have done this, but I don’t know what to put on the “Template:” line.



    > I don’t know what to put on the “Template:” line.

    You put the name of the parent theme there, I guess something about Weaver.

    The link that hnla provided includes a link to

    It’s a lot to take in at first – but you really need to _read_ the docs.



    Okay, I think I see what you mean. I am going back to reading now. Thanks for your help and directing me in the correct direction.

    I guess we can close this thread.


    buddypress.php placed in the root of a newly created directory ‘buddypress/’ or ‘community/’ will act as the main template file for all BP screens whether directory or account screens, group screens, it’s the wrapper as it were that provides the main header, sidebar,footer includes and main markup your chosen theme needs, essentially it is a replica of page.php from your main theme, having buddypress.php means you can make changes to that file that will only affect BP screens e.g get_sidebar(‘buddypress’).

    when your happy with the basics then read the extended guide which explains further means of creating custom bp templates.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • The topic ‘How do I create a child theme? Want to customize buddypress; forums, profle page’ is closed to new replies.
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