What is a Child Theme?
This is what the folks at StudioPress have to say:
A child theme is a layer of code that sits on top of the Genesis Framework and is comprised mainly of the design elements of your site. It can also extend and modify the functionality of the Genesis Framework's default functions. The Framework + Child Theme structure of site building is great. It separates the performance issues of your site from the design issues. So, if you use a child theme, you can design all day long without ever touching the critical, underlying code that makes Genesis sites so powerful. Very Important!
A Genesis child theme will generally be comprised, in part, of the following elements: An image of the design that the theme will create around your content. An example of a child theme is DQ's WebSolutions. I use the child theme Smart Passive Income Pro Theme
• Style sheet (style.css) (required): The CSS code that determines the look of the site based on the HTML generated by Genesis and WordPress.
• Functions file (functions.php) (required): Connects the child theme to the framework. Can also be used to add, remove, and modify elements from the framework defaults.
• Front Page file (front-page.php) (optional): Generally used to create a widgetized or custom home page. • Other template files (optional). • Images (optional): Used by the Stylesheet as a part of the site design. These elements are grouped together in what’s
• Other template files (optional). • Images (optional): Used by the Stylesheet as a part of the site design. These elements are grouped together in what’s known as a child theme directory or folder and can be activated just like any other WordPress Theme!
Here are some of my most used and favorite themes: