I am a regular visitor to the WordPress forum and there are a lot of questions about editing the WordPress Twenty Ten theme, it looks like a lot of privateers or novice developers are editing the core theme files.
Should it be handshakes all around, and a pat on the back as that has solved the problem, or has it just caused a bigger problem for later?
The Wrong Advice
As much as there is good sound information on the forums there is equally as much rushed and ill thought out advice, I know myself that I will often do several edits to a topic reply, as I rethink the answer I have given.
A lot of proposals suggest hacking the code, “just edit”, “just add” and “just delete”, not many will have backed up the file or documented the “on the fly changes”, some of us will suggest that the topic author looks at child themes, and it is good to see that many are following the advice.
WordPress 3.1Beta 1
WordPress 3.1 Beta 1 was released for non production testing on the 25th of November 2010, so what will be the impact to anyone that has edited the Twenty ten theme?
When the WordPress 3.1 is fully released a message will appear on the admin page saying “WordPress 3.1 Recommended Upgrade”, most will trust WordPress and ignore the advice to backup the database, and many that tweaked their theme from Appearance Editor will not realise how this is just about to undo all their work.
Looking at the changes coming in the next WordPress some of these could be changes to the Twenty Ten theme, the style.css in the beta download is 1.3 compared to 1.1 now, so the theme will either be overwritten on upgrade or offered as an upgrade option, the potential to loose all changes done to the default theme is clear.
Protecting your Work
I am no expert with WordPress but I have been coding for some 20 years from basic to dot.net, my advice would be not to wait for disaster to strike, backup your work, document your changes, look at moving the changes to a child theme, our “2010 Tutorial ” has a getting started with child themes post, and works right through to “2010 Tutorial Two” , this is a safe way to work without the risk of loosing your changes.
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