One of the things that I think many, many young (that is: inexperienced) theme developers do is ship a
custom.css file in WordPress. Years ago, I made the mistake so I’m just as guilty as the next person.
Unfortunately, this is something that’s still happening today - we need to stop including custom CSS in WordPress and use the native facilities to take advantage of the same functionality we’re trying to achieve with this particular file.
Here’s the thing: Normally I wouldn’t bother talking about something like this because the Codex does such a good job of outlining the proper way to introduce customizations into themes, but I recently received a comment (that I’ll paraphrase) in which I was told that:
In the real world not everyone uses child themes.
Odds are, many of us have heard the old cliché that:
The difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference.
And when you’re talking about something like a complex algorithm for traversing, say, the shortest path across a graph over a large network, or when we’re talking about something like properly handling memory in embedded systems, talking about theory and the real world makes sense.
That is, all of those cases are important and are worthy of optimization, but we’re talking about a single CSS file.
We’re not talking about a complex system.
And it concerns me that those who are contributing to the WordPress economy through products aren’t taking the built-in features of the application seriously. It’s seen as some bit of impracticality that they don’t want to pursue.
But this introduces it’s own set of challenges that negatively affect theme development from both a developer and a customer standpoint.