Social Profit Institute — Home Forums SPI Office New Theme: Astra Child

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    My experience is that sooner or later we will want to modify a little or a lot of the code of the WordPress theme we are using. The theme is Astra. It is wonderfully flexible, but it does have its limits. The tiny appearance of the font in the forum is the current issue. BBPress did employ the fonts I chose for the main site, but enlarging the size of the font in the main site did not increase the font size in the forum.

    Any changes we make to the theme’s code will vanish when the authors of the theme provide an upgrade. Of course, I can keep track of my alterations to the code, and after a theme-upgrade, go back and redo those changes. Once, that is exactly how I managed this situation. WordPress created a better solution: it is called a ‘child theme.’

    So, the active theme here (you are seeing it now) is called Astra Child. Its special feature is that it displays the main theme and also adds any code changes I’d like to make. So far, there are none, so what you are seeing is identical to the original Astra.

    To create Astra Child, I used a plugin from Lilea. I followed the tutorial by the plugin’s senior developer, Jay Flemming at

    I took screenshots of the installation process to record the decisions I made.

    Sometime soon I’ll get around to increasing the font size in the forum.


    I discovered something I didn’t know. A child theme is for only the theme, and not for the plugins. So, I cannot just modify the child theme to change the font size of the bbPress plugin. Phooey.

    There seem to be 3 alternatives.

    1. As suggested at which suggests creating a a functionality plugin that will run alongside ppPress. The advice is, “[The] mantra of never editing core WordPress files should be observed for plugins and themes. The goal is to extend or remove functionality without having those changes disappear after an upgrade.” Okay, but I know how to modify some code. Creating a new plugin is likely beyond me. At least for now. If this is something that might work, this seems to be a good place to start, How to Create a Custom Functionality Plugin (And Why You Need One)
    2. There there is this enticing article, How to customize and enhance your bbPress forum easily. That is from the CSS-Hero site where they are selling a plugin called CSS Hero for $19/year. What exactly does that annual fee buy? They explain, “Each plan expires after 365 days from the purchase date. At the end of that period CSS Hero will continue working, but you will not be able to install CSS Hero on NEW (other) sites. At the end of your CSS Hero annual plan, your plan will NOT automatically renew.” That $19 is a discounted fee, so renewal is likely higher. Although it is not expensive, it is a subscription, and I’d rather explore what we can do ourselves. Why not use it and not renew? If a new version of Astra or bbPress breaks the connection with CSS Hero, we’d need the Hero upgrade to match the updates.
    3. Go into the bbPress plugin and see if I can find the CSS that specifies the font size and change that. Every time I upgrade the version of the plugin, I’ll have to go and repeat that modification.

    For now, I’m not doing more until I hear that you really dislike using the forum as it is and something should be done. Or, we decide to use the forum with our clients and modification is necessary. Maybe I can find someone who wrote a functionality plugin to just change font-size and I can buy or copy that.

    It is something we can discuss.

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