Note: This post is part my leaning efforts to understand and use full site editing (FSE) and block-based themes. This learning post is still in active development and updated regularly.
Experimental block themes have different structure than the traditional or “classic” themes that most us are used to, creating child themes for block themes is not documented yet. At the time of writing this post, there are currently three child themes of Blockbase, a universal theme developed by the Automattic theme team. The concept of universal theme is still evolving and the Automattic theme team already testing their concept in this Quadrat theme, a child theme of Blockbase.
Building a Universal Child Theme
According to the documentation available in Blockbase GitHub repository the concepts is still being explored and instructions to create a universal child theme is not available yet.
A Universal theme is a theme that works in Full Site Editing and in the Customizer. This is a concept that’s still being explored so we don’t have instructions to provide yet. If you are curious, you can visit the project where we are developing Quadrat as a Universal Theme. From Blockbase readme file
After the release of the WordPress 5.8 with optional full site editing and global styling with
theme.json features, it’s essential for theme authors to get started with block based theme and creating their child themes.
However, it’s little early because instructions to create child themes is still being discussed (see resources below). The following resource list is prepared for my easy to track GitHub discussion.
The State of Child Theme
Carolina has documented her experience in a recent article the state of child themes and describes step-by-step how she created a block-based child theme and what works and what doesn’t work. Very useful resource until other documention are available.
Some Useful Resources
The following is list of references link that I gathered during my brief research. While preparing this post, I have also referred some of the following references extensively.
- Blockbase: A parent theme for block themes | ThemeShaper
- Child theme templates’ overwriting not working #32846 | GitHub
- FSE: support for child themes #25612 | GitHub
- A theme.json from child theme is not merged with the one in parent theme #33512 | GitHub
- Universal themes: Some ideas | ThemeShaper
- Help shape the future of theme design | Make WordPress Test
- The state of child themes | Full Site Editing