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Easy Customization via Child Themes and Plans for 2013

We'll start off the evening with a review of the results of our 2012 survey along with our plans and some exciting announcements for 2013. This is going to be a great year for our meetup group! After that short presentation, we'll dive into our main topic for the evening, presented by Joe Chellman:

Easy Customization via Child Themes

Most WordPress themes come with helpful options for changing colors, fonts, and other visual bits in the administrative dashboard. That said, let's face it, no theme is 100% perfect. In this talk, I'll show an approach (what I think is the best one) for dealing with this problem: making a child theme. We're going to use the newly-released Twenty Twelve theme as the example, but this process will work on any theme, even commercial ones from Themeforest or the like. Making a child theme is kind of like having your cake and eating it too: you get all the advantages (and hard work) the original theme authors put into your theme, but you can make your customizations in an upgrade-safe manner.

Who Is This For?

This talk is intended for people who have worked with WordPress before. I assume you've installed themes before, but I do not assume you know anything about how to make theme yourself. We're going to start with a fresh WordPress installation, show how to make a child theme from scratch, and make a couple of basic changes we could not otherwise have made. There will be some CSS and other acronyms demonstrated, but you don't have to know any of that in advance.

Who Is This Guy?

Joe Chellman is a web designer, developer, and trainer (and drummer) based in Los Angeles. He has been working on the web since the mid-90s, and using WordPress since before version 1.0. You can see some of his work on the web at and follow him on twitter @shooflydesign.



Thanks to some assistance from our presenter, we will be making a video of the Child Themes presentation available after the event.



Thanks to our generous sponsors, this meetup is free for all to attend.




Thank you to WooThemes for stepping up as a sponsor for our group for all of 2013. We're so excited about this partnership and the benefits it will bring for our members. Please thank them - @woothemes

SPECIAL OFFER just for members of our meetup group! Coupon code MEETUP-SOCAL25 will get you a 25% discount off your entire order at WooThemes. Please note that each member can only use it once, so fill your cart up!

Kleverdog Coworking

Thank you to Kleverdog Coworking for hosting us at their cozy, gorgeous space. Please thank them - @kleverdogcowork


Parking and Location

Metered street parking is available on Hill and Broadway Streets. There is also a paid parking lot at 420 Bernard in Bamboo Plaza with reasonable rates, or another lot on Broadway. For public transit, we are a couple of blocks from the Chinatown Gold Line station, and multiple bus routes go up and down Hill and Broadway.

Map to help you find us kleverdog coworking is located in an alleyway between Hill and Broadway; just a couple doors down from Phoenix Bakery on Broadway. Look for the bright red door with the 418 address -- we're on the second floor.

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  • Megan J. W.

    The speaker and presentation were great - I definitely learned some usable information and it was well presented.

    January 21, 2013

  • Joe B.

    Thanks for all the great tips!! Can anyone recommend there favorite backup solution for use with client websites???? Thanks. JOe

    January 19, 2013

    • Natalie M.

      If you're dealing with WordPress sites for clients, I'd recommend taking a look at Backup Buddy.

      1 · January 20, 2013

  • Joe B.

    Very interesting group of people. Very approachable and a well organized event

    January 19, 2013

  • Joe C.

    Hi everyone! Thanks so much for the attention and great questions last night. As a few of you heard, I had my screencast recording in pause the entire time (BLARG), but I wanted to make sure there was a recording, so I made a new one at home. You can see that, along with the slides and links to everything I could remember from the Q&A, here at my site:

    January 16, 2013

    • Natalie M.

      Holy cow! I didn't expect you to be so quick with the re-record! Thank you so much!

      January 16, 2013

  • Stephen S.

    Joe did a really great job on introducing Child Themes in WP and Natalie you're leadership of the group is amazing. Thank you both!

    January 16, 2013

  • Susie K

    Great Presentation for both Topics! This is a great meetup!

    January 16, 2013

  • Graeme

    Fantastic meetup, lots of great information, I filled two pages of notes. And the sweetest smartest people too.

    January 16, 2013

  • Natalie M.

    Thanks so much to Joe for the great presentation on Child Themes.

    January 16, 2013

  • Beau D.

    Excellent presentation. 2013 is sure to rock!

    January 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to this, by the way Im looking for a WordPress Developer/ Partner to work closely on some backend projects in the Venice Beach area. This is a short -term contract (1-3 months). Must have ninja skills on the backend.

    January 11, 2013

  • Karen M.

    So disappointed I'll be out of town for this meeting...Any chance we can get a recap of the survey results/2013 plans via email after the meetup?
    Also interested in the video of the presentation...How can I get a copy?

    January 9, 2013

    • Natalie M.

      Hey Karen! We'll definitely be sharing the slides from the survey results and plans for the upcoming year after the event. And we'll post the video here and email the link to the group as well.

      1 · January 9, 2013

    • Karen M.

      Hey Natalie! That's terrific! Can't wait to see both! :-)

      January 10, 2013

  • Peter K.

    I may change my mind, but there is a conflicting presentation on Zend at Coloft this very same evening. I probably need to be at the WordPress meetings more, but I am also a PHP group member and the Zend meeting is being hosted by them . . . and is closer to home. I'll have to think about it more.

    January 8, 2013

  • sal s.

    Hello and Namaste all,

    I hope to learn more from our group

    Thanks all


    January 8, 2013

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