WordPress Custom CSS

I have had instances where I have had to modify the CSS of a WordPress Theme to make some things work the way I want.

To accomplish this I have been customizing the Theme style sheet. In the Theme I'm using now it is called style.css.

I need to upgrade WP to the newest version. I suspect that when I do that my custom CSS will go away.

I recall there is a technique to have your own custom style sheet that OVERRIDES the theme style settings & it not changes by upgrading WordPress or the Theme.

I need a reference on how to create that & use it in a specific site.

Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAsked:
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Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
I need to upgrade WP to the newest version

Which doesn't affect your theme at all.  Unless you update the THEME, the CSS will not change as the WordPress core updates itself.

I recall there is a technique to have your own custom style sheet that OVERRIDES the theme style settings & it not changes by upgrading WordPress or the Theme.

There's a few ways to do it but the problem you're going to have is making sure you pull out your CSS changes from the original styles.css file.  Can you do that (e.g. are all edits commented)?
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Yes, I know where the changes are. I put them all at the end of the css file.

Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
Okay, so there are three ways to go from here.

The first method is to create a child theme based on your current theme. The instructions to do that are here:


Basically, you create a new theme folder with a new style.css and functions.php file.  The style.css file in the child needs to reference the parent theme (instructions/sample in the link above) and then you can import the CSS from the parent theme by adding the following to the child functions.php:

add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'theme_enqueue_styles' );
function theme_enqueue_styles() {
    wp_enqueue_style( 'parent-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/style.css' );


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If your parent theme is complex and adds in a billion external scripts and styles, you may need to account for those too.  Once you have a clone of the parent theme working as a child theme simply add your desired CSS changes to the child style.css.


The second method is to use a plugin that provides custom CSS capability.  Jetpack does this very, very well and comes with a bunch of other features that may be beneficial.  There are other plugins, though...just search for "WordPress Plugin Custom CSS" and you will get a ton of hits.


The third method is to enqueue a new stylesheet and just add your modifications to that stylesheet.  This is essentially the second solution without the plugin and you need to know how to use wp_enqueue_style() to pull it off.

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