This tutorial will teach you how to install a theme (as a parent), create a child theme, and upgrade your theme.
All IPS themes are in .xml format. If you have downloaded a .zip file, extract the file first and you’ll find the .xml file inside.
Installing the Parent theme and creating a child
First, we’ll be installing the theme as a Parent theme. Parent themes should never be edited and should generally be hidden from all users. Once it has been installed, we’ll create a Child theme which can be edited via theme settings (to change colours, logos, etc), and it’ll be shown as the default front-end theme to all of your visitors.
1. To install the Parent theme, go to Admin Cpanel > Customization > Themes. At the top right, click the + Create New button.
2. From the popup box, click the manual upload link at the top right and select the .xml file from your computer. This tutorial will use the Dimension theme as an example. Press Next.
3. Once it has been processed, you’ll be returned to the Theme list. Click the pencil icon (aka, the Edit button) to the very right of your theme and deselect all settings and user groups, like so:
This will hide the Parent theme for all visitors. The Parent theme should never be edited beyond this, so press the Save button at the bottom and proceed to creating the Child theme.
4. Click the + Create New button again, but this time select Manual Mode and press Next. Enter a Name for your theme (I’ll use “My new theme” for this example). In the Parent field, un-check the box and select your Parent theme (from the above step). If you would like to set this theme as your Default theme, make sure to enable that setting. Your page should now look like this:
Press Save and you’re done! Your theme page will look something like this:
Clicking the theme name will expand a list, showing your Child theme:
A quick summary: The Parent theme which we installed is hidden from all members, and your site will be using the Child theme, named “My new theme”. The Child theme inherits everything from the Parent theme. If you need to edit the theme, make sure you only edit the Child theme. The Parent theme should never be edited and should stay untouched.
Upgrading your theme
When new theme updates are released, browse to Admin Cpanel > Customization > Themes. Click the arrow icon to the very right of your Parent theme and select Upload a new version from the list. Browse for the updated .xml file, press Upload and your theme will be updated!
Upgrading between major versions, such as 4.4 to 4.7 will likely require a fresh theme installation. The above instructions for upgrades will apply to minor upgrades, such as 4.5.0 to 4.5.1.