Main Stylesheet (style.css)

The style.css is a stylesheet (CSS) file required for every WordPress theme. It controls the presentation (visual design and layout) of the website pages.

Location Location

In order for WordPress to recognize the set of theme template files as a valid theme, the style.css file needs to be located in the root directory of your theme, not a subdirectory.

For more detailed explanation on how to include the style.css file in a theme, see the “Stylesheets” section of Enqueuing Scripts and Styles.

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Basic Structure Basic Structure

WordPress uses the header comment section of a style.css to display information about the theme in the Appearance (Themes) dashboard panel.

Example Example

Here is an example of the header part of style.css.

Theme Name: Twenty Seventeen
Theme URI:
Author: the WordPress team
Author URI:
Description: Twenty Seventeen brings your site to life with immersive featured images and subtle animations. With a focus on business sites, it features multiple sections on the front page as well as widgets, navigation and social menus, a logo, and more. Personalize its asymmetrical grid with a custom color scheme and showcase your multimedia content with post formats. Our default theme for 2017 works great in many languages, for any abilities, and on any device.
Version: 1.0
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI:
Text Domain: twentyseventeen
Tags: one-column, two-columns, right-sidebar, flexible-header, accessibility-ready, custom-colors, custom-header, custom-menu, custom-logo, editor-style, featured-images, footer-widgets, post-formats, rtl-language-support, sticky-post, theme-options, threaded-comments, translation-ready
This theme, like WordPress, is licensed under the GPL.
Use it to make something cool, have fun, and share what you've learned with others.

Items indicated with (*) are required for a theme in the WordPress Theme Repository.

Note: WordPress Theme Repository uses the number after “Version” in this file to determine if the theme has a new version available.

  • Theme Name (*): Name of the theme.
  • Theme URI: The URL of a public web page where users can find more information about the theme.
  • Author (*): The name of the individual or organization who developed the theme. Using the Theme Author’s username is recommended.
  • Author URI: The URL of the authoring individual or organization.
  • Description (*): A short description of the theme.
  • Version (*): The version, written in X.X or X.X.X format.
  • License (*): The license of the theme.
  • License URI (*): The URL of the theme license.
  • Text Domain (*): The string used for textdomain for translation.
  • Tags: Words or phrases that allow users to find the theme using the tag filter. A full list of tags is in the Theme Review Handbook.
  • Domain Path: Used so that WordPress knows where to find the translation when the theme is disabled. Defaults to /languages.

After the required header section, style.css can contain anything a regular CSS file has.

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Style.css for a Child Theme Style.css for a Child Theme

If your theme is a Child Theme, the Template line is required in style.css header.

Theme Name: My Child Theme
Template: Twenty Seventeen

For more information on creating a Child Theme, visit the Child Themes page.