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Buddypress Child Theming


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  • #2093

    1a. which style.css am i copying? the one that’s at /bp-themes/bp-default/style.css? or the new style.css that i created that has my adjustments?

    1b. and are you saying i create a styles subfolder in my child theme so that when i paste the style.css file in, it will be residing at /bp-themes/bp-child/style.css?

    2a. by original style.css, do you mean the one that i leave in place in the parent folder at /bp-themes/bp-default/style.css? or do you mean the new one I’m creating at /bp-themes/bp-child/style.css?

    2b. why would i remove the actual css elements from that file? where do i put the new css elements that i want to apply?

    3. got it! i’ll put that code in my /bp-themes/bp-child/functions.php file.

    please advise. thanks!

    Margarete Koenen

    1. Duplicate your child-theme style.css
    2. Create a new folder in your child-theme named ‘styles’. Rename the duplicate stylesheet ‘my-styles.css’. Put it inside the new folder.
    3. Open ‘my-styles.css’ and delete any @import rules refering to default buddypress css files.
    4. Open styles.css and delete all @import and style rules. Only the header remains.
    5. Open the functions file in your child theme and paste the code from into it.
    6. Make sure you enter the path to your style sheet. Mine looks like this:
    wp_enqueue_style( ‘my-style’, get_site_url() . ‘/wp-content/themes/bandora/styles/my-style.css’, array( ‘bp-default-main’ ), $version );

    7. add this right after the closing bracket of the code you just pasted in:
    add_action( ‘wp_print_styles’, ‘bp_dtheme_enqueue_styles’ );

    I hope this works for you.


    Thanks Margaret. I must have misinterpreted something you said because its not working. Maybe you can clarify a couple things.

    Regarding Item:
    When you say “create a new folder in your child-theme, you’re talking about the child theme folder at /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes/bp-child, not the original theme folder at /wp-content/themes/twentytenchild, right?

    3 and 4.
    I deleted ‘@import url(‘../bp-default/style.css’);’ but I should still leave the following, right?
    ‘Template: bp-default
    Tags: buddypress’

    Again, are you referring to the path to the buddypress child theme or in the regular /wp-content/themes folder? in your example above, you pointed to the regular themes folder.

    I’m not so sure i added that line in the proper syntax. here’s a look ( it’s at the very bottom right before ?>. Is that where you mean to put it? please advise.


    Margarete Koenen

    2. Your child-theme can be placed in either /wp-content/themes or in /wp- content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes. The important part is that you make your changes in the child-theme that you have activated by going to Appearance > Themes. Only one child theme can be activated at the same time. In your case – unless someone did something strange – bp-child should
    be the active theme.

    3 and 4. That’s right.

    6. If your child theme is in the bp-themes folder your path should be something like this:
    // My CSS
    wp_enqueue_style( ‘my-style’, get_site_url() . ‘/wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes/bandora/styles/my-style.css’, array( ‘bp-default-main’ ), $version );

    7. Perfect

    Let me know if this helps.


    Hmmm… I’m pretty sure I’ve followed the instructions verbatim at this point but something aint right.

    Here’s the contents of my functions.php file ( which is at /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes/bp-child/functions.php

    Here’s the contents of the style.css file ( which is at /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes/bp-child/style.css

    And here’s the contents of the my-style.css file ( which is at /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes/bp-child/styes/my-style.css

    any idea whats missing/wrong?

    Joly MacFie

    I just can’t tell you how much it is appreciated that you guys are patiently thrashing this out. Keep up the good work!



    1) Is your child theme in the BuddyPress PLUGINS folder?!? Your functions.php is pointing here: /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes/bp-child/styles/my-style.css It should be in the THEMES folder.

    2) /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes/bp-child/style.css should be this:

    3) The last file is fine.


    So I’m very confused now about what goes where.

    At this location, /wp-content/themes/, I currently have nothing.

    My child theme, that’s activated under the APPEARANCE settings, is at this location: /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-themes/bp-child/

    And in that /bp-child/ folder I have:
    – functions.php
    – style.css
    – /styles/ subfolder containing my-style.css

    You’re saying my /bp-child/ folder and its contents should be moved to /wp-content/themes?

    Margarete Koenen

    Steve, I always kept my child themes in ‘themes’, but since Jake had placed it in ‘bp-themes’, I tested it and it actually seems to work.

    It’s better to keep all your themes in one folder and not hidden away within BuddyPress, of course.


    I’m cool with moving it all to the wp-content/themes folder. I just want to do whatever is standard-operating-producedure. I’ll try that now.

    Margarete Koenen

    Jake, I had not seen your comment.

    While keeping your theme in bp-themes seemed to work when I tested it, since you are having trouble, do it the tried and tested way: put it in wp-content > themes. Make sure that you adjust the URL as described earlier.

    Does anyone know how important it is to change the version number so as not to load from cache as you are testing this? Is it enough to hold down shift when reloading?


    Does not seem to be working. You can see the site here:

    I have now moved the whole /bp-child/ theme folder so it now sits at /wp-content/themes/bp-child/, and I have activated this theme.

    In that folder I have:
    style.css (
    functions.php (
    /styles/ subfolder containing my-style.css (

    any idea what’s wroing? i’m thinking it may have to do with the directory location in the wp_enqueue_style section of the functions.php file, though I switched and that didnt work either so I’m not sure????

    on a somewhat related note, i find it odd that my child theme does not need to reside in the same folder as my parent theme which sits at /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/themes/bp-default/???

    Margarete Koenen

    I don’t see a problem with your code at this point. But let me tell you this, after importing content to my own site yesterday, my child theme stopped working. It took me more than an hour to get it to work again and in the end, I don’t know what made the difference.


    it seems to me that there’s nowhere that we state what style sheet to import (that of bp-default). shouldnt there be an import line in either /wp-content/themes/bp-child/style.css or at /wp-content/themes/bp-child/styles/my-style.css?

    i tried adding an import line but it didnt work. maybe i had the syntax wrong. any thoughts on how the system should know that the style files over at /wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-default/style.css are the css elements to load???

    also, if you look at the site right now (, it looks to me like buddypress is not even active. its not recognizing any relationship between my bp-child theme and buddypress…

    Margarete Koenen

    ‘enqueue’ means ‘load them’.

    I assume you have BuddyPress activated. Try to create a menu (in Appearance) and add a BuddyPress item to it (activity, groups etc). It will probably show up in the front? Also, if BuddyPress was not activated, your WordPress default theme would kick in.

    In addition to your child-theme css, the bp-default theme css is also not loading. Your site is not getting any styling at all at the moment. This could be because of an error in your style sheet(s). Validate it to see if something get messed up.

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