Migrating Parent to Child Theme Customizer Settings

A child theme ensures that your code-level customizations are kept safe and not overwritten during the theme update process. If you think you might need to make code-level customizations in the future, it’s best to make use of a child theme from the beginning of your WordPress site’s development. In this tutorial, we’ll look at what happens to your Customizer settings when switching to a child theme late in the development process and how to quickly resolve the problem using Customizer Export/Import.

Customizer Settings and Your Activated Theme

Customizer settings are safely stored in the database with each theme storing its own collection of settings. Just as with any other theme, a child theme has its own collection of settings stored in the database. When switching from your parent theme to a child theme for the first time, your Customizer settings will reset to their default values. This is no problem if you’re installing a child theme at the start of your site’s development. However, if you’ve already set up menus, backgrounds and a long list of theme settings, this is a big time waster.

Migrating Customizer Settings from the Parent to a Child Theme

Go to PluginsAdd New, search for and install Customizer Export/Import plugin.

With your parent theme activated go to CustomizeExport/Import. Click the Export button which will download a .dat file to your desktop or downloads folder.

Assuming your child theme has already been installed, go to AppearanceThemes or AppearanceCustomize and activate it.

With your child theme activated, go to CustomizeExport/Import, under the Import heading, click the Choose File button, select the .dat file you downloaded in step two, enable the import images option and click Import.

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