I use a moderately customized version of the Twentythirteen theme for this blog. Every now and then, themes get updates, and I’ve always hesitated to install the updates because they wipe out my customizations. However, some versions ago, WordPress implemented a “child theme1” feature. This allows you to keep your customizations in a child theme, while inheriting all of the other properties from the parent. In short, it makes customizations much easier to manage and it means I don’t have to worry about installing theme updates.
After I finished my writing for the day (3,200 words today so far2, for those keeping score), I created a child theme for the blog, moved over my customizations, and then installed the version 1.1 update for the Twentythirteen theme. It was a surprisingly quick and easy process, and now I’m all up-to-date, theme-wise, and can stay that way without losing my customizations.