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The importance of getting the parent theme information

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So you came to our site WPThemeDetector.com trying to find what particular WordPress theme is an awesome site using.

But let´s suppose that your favorite site is actually using a child theme created by the site´s author to just slightly adapt his or her preferred theme to the needs of that site. Even worse, imagine that we are talking about one of those “clone” themes that I mentioned in my previous post What is a Child Theme?, or at least about an “almost twin” theme.

Now imagine that our WordPress Theme Detector did not check for the child and parent theme situation, as it happens with other theme detection tools, and take a minute to think about what kind of information would you get in that case.

You might end up reading that the theme name is “The Perfect Theme”, that its author is some Bob Smith available at www.bobsmiththedude.com, that the theme is described as “The best Child Theme on Earth”, and so on. In such a case, your search would finish here, having found no valuable information at all.

what you liked about that site was really due to its parent theme, and you won´t even know it did exist at all!

You might even think that “The Perfect Theme” is a proprietary theme developed from scratch by this Bob Smith for his website only and that the theme is not available to you, while the truth may be quite other (for example that the parent theme is commercially available, or even free for you to download). In other words, what you liked about that site was really due to its parent theme, and you won´t even know it did exist at all!

Even if the child theme´s author cared to write for the theme description something of the sort of  “Child Theme based on Greatness”, you would still need to do a Google search for “Greatness WordPress Theme” or something like that, and hope that you will be finally able to get the right information you were looking for.

You must be aware that there are even some cases where the basic information about the child theme is simply missing, since it is not necessary to include the description, author, etc. for a child theme to work, as long as WordPress knows what its template or parent theme is.

That´s why if you are interested in a theme and it happens to be a child theme, most of the times it won´t be of any use for you to just get the information about that child theme and nothing else. First of all, you need to be informed that it is a child theme, then you need to know what other theme is its parent, and finally you would like to get as much  information about that parent theme as possible (which is what you were looking for in the first place, even if you didn´t know).

Otherwise, besides coming back from your search with useless information, you will never get to know that what you really liked about that theme (and what made you investigate it) was really its parent theme, unless you are told of its existence and are provided with its relevant information.

There are thousand of sites where our WordPress Theme Detector will help you find the information that you are looking for, while other tools will not. Just to give you some examples with different parent theme providers, here is a short list of sites that you may try in our detector and in other tools to illustrate this:

  • www.simplemom.net
  • www.illinoislifespan.org
  • www.wpsecuritylock.com
  • www.debtheweb.co.uk
  • www.thedollshouseliverpool.co.uk
  • www.marvinbowen.com
  • Or, why don´t you try our own site address www.wpthemedetector.com in other tools? See what I mean? Doesn´t this appear to you to be a WordPress site? Of course it does, because it is.

By the way and speaking of parents, you may also try the personal site of Matt Mullenweg, father of WordPress: http://ma.tt/. Or his blog in WordPress.com: http://matt.wordpress.com. Those are not child themes, but you won´t be able to find the theme information about them with other online tools!

P.S.: Sorry if any of our visitors happens to be called Bob Smith… nothing personal, Bob! 😉

November 16th, 2012 Update: After we launched this website, another existing online tool has followed us and added the parent theme detection feature, and shows the screenshots now as well . We believe that this is good for the WordPress community, as we all try to improve our services one step ahead. However, our WordPress Theme Detector still reaches the information in more cases, even for sites with a non-standard WP configuration. And in many cases you´ll get more detailed information through our tool (test for instance our own domain in it).

Luis Alejandre

Luis is the creator of the WPThemeDetector tool and the chief editor of this blog. You can read more about Luis in our About page.
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