So I have got a base theme that is being used across multiple sites, but am wanting to add subtle tweaks to certain sites and was wondering what would be the best way to go about it.

I have created a sub-theme, which works fine. But, in order for it to work I need to bring all the files over from the parent theme, although I'm only changing the CSS. I thought it would use the files in the sub-theme and any files not in that folder just use the parent themes files.

  • 1
    Could you please state your question clearly. Do you want to know which files to bring forward or how to override the CSS files?
    – Wtower
    Feb 11, 2014 at 14:56
  • Hopefully that's more clear :) Feb 11, 2014 at 14:59
  • 1
    "in order for it to work I need to bring all the files over from the parent theme" this statement is simply untrue. Have you read sub-theming manual?
    – Mołot
    Feb 11, 2014 at 15:01
  • Not in my case I have tried without, so its not "simply untrue". Feb 11, 2014 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


To create a new subtheme, briefly:

  • Create a new sub-directory in sites/all/themes with the machine name of the new theme.
  • Create a new file in the new subdirectory with the machine name and extention .info:

name = The human name of the new subtheme

description = ...

core = 7.x

base theme = the-machine-name-of-base-theme

stylesheets[all][] = css/subtheme-new-file-name.css

  • Regions are not inherited and should explicitly declared again, so copy over from base file theme info file.
  • Color module file colors.css needs to be copied and added too, if the base theme supports it, otherwise a nasty error occurs.
  • Favicon is not inherited
  • Settings are not inherited

All the rest stay at base theme.

More about sub-theming: Creating a sub-theme


That is the "Drupal way". Sub-theming is made exactly for that.

If you want to do it differently, and load only CSS, you could do it in any number of ways. Perhaps creating custom CSS files that match the domain name, loading the appropriate one for each domain.

  • Thanks for getting back to, was afraid that would be the case, just a shame we have to bring over all the files for it to work properly even though I'm only editing the CSS. Feb 11, 2014 at 14:56

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