I was wondering if ExpressionEngine support child / sub themes similar to the way other CMSs have implemented template / theme inheritance?


  • Can you explain what you are trying to do? That would help me figure out how to answer in EE terms vs. trying to read up on other CMS and figure out the translation. My suspicion is the quick answer is "no", since EE doesn't really think about themes the way other CMS do. But there are plenty of ways to share centralized code and then have it be context sensitive where need be. – Michael Boyink Feb 26 '13 at 19:39
  • Sure! for instance, let's say someone has a theme that they are buying off the shelf, but they want some customizations done to it, you'd like to customize it without affecting the original. This way the template/theme can be upgraded and your customizations are not destroyed. Basically, you can override any file in the theme, so your sub/child theme might only have one or two files in it, and the rest of the theme files are inherited from the parent theme, does that make sense? – David Barratt Feb 26 '13 at 19:48
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    EE doesn't work with the root themes in that manner so the whole idea of sub-themes is rather moot..;) Themeforest sells EE Themes but they are really just default site that load during the overall EE installation process. Customizations would be one off in a specific install. I suppose your original downloaded theme would be untouched in that regard however. – Michael Boyink Feb 26 '13 at 19:58
  • ooo! so you can install a theme (from theme forrest or wherever) after you've already built your site? – David Barratt Feb 26 '13 at 20:01
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    Please see this answer on a similar question. I believe it will clarify a lot for you. – Yuri Salimovskiy Feb 27 '13 at 11:39

No, it does not. In fact, EE does not really use "themes", per se. it uses templates, which are in no way bundled together as "themes". It's very difficult to "theme" EE, because every EE install is completely different with different channels, custom fields, etc.

EE is really about bespoke, custom sites. If you go in thinking of it as a "theme-able" CMS, you are in for a world of confusion and hurt.


EE is independent of any preset theme. It exists as a CMS that works within any theme you choose - you could pick any HTML theme up from ThemeForest, replace the default text with EE tags, and boom - instant theme with CMS. that said, it's not wordpress where you just install the theme and off you go, but on the other hand, it's not limited to preset locations for content - your site doesn't have to resemble 1000 other ones. Unless that's what you had in mind..

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