I absolutely must share my excitement for a great development tool that I recently discovered. If you’re into the Genesis framework, you’re probably well aware that themes built for it are child themes, which only makes sense. For many years I’ve been enjoyed using the Genesis framework for WordPress websites. Beautiful Studiopress themes built especially for the framework (they are the developers of Genesis and offer a whole slough of modern child themes) allow for a good design base when designing a website.
It’s worth mentioning that even if you do not use the Genesis framework, you can still utilize WP Clips.
Child theme limitations
There was one thought that kept going through my head, and that was, “Why should I have to change an already established child theme to make customizations?” Why not just make a child of a child theme? Unfortunately there’s no easy way to create and make customizations in a “grandchild” theme when it comes to Genesis child themes. I was concerned that any update to the theme would wipe out my customizations.
One solution I used was to duplicate the theme, rename it and then make customizations. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, and this is common practice. However, since I renamed the theme and changed it, it would not get any automatic theme updates. Sure, if the original child theme was updated, I could manually update the new theme, but I couldn’t help that a “grandchild theme” was really the ideal situation. The real child theme would keep all existing functionality and styling and the “grandchild” theme would build on top of that.
WP Clips to the rescue
Although I absolutely love all of the Studiopress themes (Digital Pro from Studiopress especially), I find myself wanting to modify it quite a bit. Safe customization of WordPress child themes and plugins is what WP Clips provides. It’s not quite a “grandchild theme” like I originally thought would be ideal. It does check all the boxes for what I was looking for. Especially because it allows you to keep all customizations in one place and the child theme is not affected in anyway. If the child theme needs an update, there’s no risk of overrides.
WP Clips solution
I starting using this plugin during the long redesign process of my website. At that time it was newer and Word Clips v1.3.4 was the version I started with. Word Clips v2 is now available and updating it from v1 was no problem. I kept a backup of all the customized files from v1.3.4 just in case.
With the new release, there is now a more Genesis specific option called WP Clips for Genesis. If you are starting fresh and are using Genesis, you’ll want to work directly with WP Clips for Genesis. However, it was suggested that even when working with Genesis and updating from the previous version of Word Clips, sticking with WP Clips and making a slight modification to the vitals.php file was a better option.
I’ve had only positive things to say about WP Clips and think WP Clips V2 (at the time of this article it was v2.0.2) has some great improvements. Watching the video above really helped me understand what is going on under the hood and why it is that way.