47 Responses

  1. dinu
    dinu Published |

    Okay, right place, right person and the right right time 🙂 I am playing with themes now, and trying to learn more about 🙂 and as you know, concentrating on child themes as first step before making an actual theme .. so, Justin, you be my Guru 🙂

  2. ...paul
    ...paul Published |

    Tag Cloud — A page to display your full Tag Cloud, not just the popular ones that are displayed in the sidebar widgets.

    404 — With things like search and archives already built in, which would just leave some personalisation to add. The 404 page gets ignored by so many people because usually it will mean delving into code, whereas a template would mean people could work on it easier.

    Would need a way to be able to exclude, especially 404, pages from main navigation.

  3. Stu McLaren
    Stu McLaren Published |

    I think the concept of page templates is very powerful.

    Recently a client of mine asked for something unique that relates to this conversation.

    The client wanted…
    – “news style” look for the “front page” of the blog
    – “no sidebar” for pages (to make it appear like a regular website)
    – “blog layout” for everything else

    I was scratching my head as to how this would be done but after working with another designer, we immediately decided to use page templates.

    The results were great and the client was VERY excited because there was no serious “hacking” involved – it was just a selection from the page template menu.

    So I think one of the biggest benefits of page templates is that it gives you the ability to control the look of different parts of your site/blog very quickly and easily without the need to do extensive tweaking of the code.

    Great tip Justin!

  4. cubus
    cubus Published |

    The first thing that pops into my mind now is a page that dynamically displays a list of a certain media type that has been published in the blog posts so far. For example a list of all audio files / images – slidehows / videos.

    It is a bit like the possibility the NextGen plugin offers to show an album of several galleries that were published.

  5. Nathan Rice
    Nathan Rice Published |

    My rule of thumb is this —

    As far as “Page Templates” go (not the standard template files), give the user a default page template, a “blog index” template, and page templates with sidebar options (no sidebar, sidebar-left, sidebar-right, etc.).

    Past that, it’s really all about what the theme calls for.

    The “Authors” page is actually a really cool idea. I hadn’t thought of it before, but I can see how it would be useful to a multi-author blog owner.

    Cool stuff man!

  6. IndieLab
    IndieLab Published |

    Here’s my two cents…

    404 Page Templates – A choice of 404s to choose from, or at least some customization included that has links to related posts, recent posts, other suggestions for exploring the site, maybe an included form that suggest sending the author a quick note that says “I couldn’t find what I was looking for, maybe you can point me there, or do a post about what I need to know”, etc….

    Sidebar or Sidebar Removed Page Template – I have created my own page templates on numerous occasions to remove the sidebar that would allow me the full width of the theme to work with. This is really useful for embedded full sized media like photos and videos without being constrained to the normal width or the content box.

    Thumbnail Gallery from First Image in Post – For me, this would be a very useful template. A page that would display a configurable number of rows and columns that would automatically pull the first image it finds in a post and maybe the title and excerpt, and display those as a thumbnail gallery.

  7. Irene King
    Irene King Published |

    If I were a WordPress template designer (and I’m not), here are the things I would offer:

    1. Optional number of sidebar blocks – either no sidebar or the ability to have as many blocks as necessary.

    2. Ability to decide on maximum font size in Tag Cloud. When I went from Blogger to WordPress and transferred all of my archived posts, it caused a big enough problem with the Tag Cloud that I disabled it.

    There are more, but these are the two items that give me the most headaches. Thanks.

  8. Dan Philibin
    Dan Philibin Published |

    Great idea, Justin. I think it’d be cool if after each one of these posts you did a follow post a week or two later summarizing what you found from the comments.

  9. cubus
    cubus Published |

    Hello Justin, I was thinking about separate pages for each “media type” indeed. Something to create like an archive for multi-media files once added to your blog separated from their posts.

    Too bad the default Wordpress media uploader doesn’t allow to add tags to all the uploaded files. They could make an easy filter to use on such a page. Because some kind of filtering should be necessary I guess.

  10. ...paul
    ...paul Published |

    @Justin — I use the Configurable Tag Cloud widget for the tag cloud in my sidebar. It would be really good if that could be incorporated into a tagcloud template page. The theme I’m using currently, Mandigo, does have a tagloud page template, but I needed to make some alterations to it to get it to display all of my tags, and not just the 45 set normally by WordPress, and to limit their size a little.

    I didn’t realize the 404 template was a different beastie. I shall look forward to seeing what you say when you cover it — I’m sure I could do so much better with mine.

  11. I’m leaving on a jet plane
    I’m leaving on a jet plane at |
  12. Jeromy
    Jeromy Published |

    Obviously ones page template should match the site itself. Adding customizations to different templates for slight variations in presentation is a good idea.

    I need to try and incorporate more pages into my Wordpress Blog so I look forward to further discussions.



  13. Pangeran | PANGERAN.ORG
    Pangeran | PANGERAN.ORG Published |

    For me, basic template should do…

    Beside index.php, I’ll make other template file as single.php and page.php only…

    If the theme have a magazine type homepage, I’ll include a blog.php template file.

    I am using query_posts('showposts=10'); as a section if the particular theme have magazine type homepage…

    But, it seems not the right way even it’s works…
    I wonder how you all do it?

  14. IndieLab
    IndieLab Published |


    Yes, I was talking about pulling the first image of all posts and then displaying them in a thumbnail gallery fashion including the permalink and maybe an excerpt. You can see something similar HERE , although this is pulling blog avatars and displaying the blog name as a link.

    So, what I am suggesting is that in my theme, I create a page, choose the “posts with images gallery” page template, and that template auto-generates a thumbnail gallery of all posts that have images. The thumbnail that it uses is whatever image is first in the post.

    Oh, and I suppose it would have to auto-resize the thumbs too.

    Additionaly, maybe this could work hand in hand with cubus’s suggestion and different media types could each have their own template?

    Hey, you asked, I know it won’t be simple;)

    Hope you had a safe trip back to the states, don’t forget to vote next month!

  15. If you were a WordPress theme developer: 404 templates
  16. ...paul
    ...paul Published |

    @IndieLab — I think that would be a good addition to a theme, a page displaying thumbnails of the first image from posts. I would certainly use something like that on my blog.

  17. Brad Hart @ A DoFollow Blog
    Brad Hart @ A DoFollow Blog Published |

    I was pleased to find this post I just did a post the other day promoting the use of templates and was having a hard time actually finding someone other than me promoting them, much less using them.

  18. erica stjohn
    erica stjohn Published |

    I always seem to use contact and sitemap for pages. I seem to do them by hand every time, but it would be nice if they could be included as a template. Though, this might only be a plugin with the op called on the page.. and that is how I do them by hand.

    I don’t know if you would consider that overkill or not (or even the type of input you are looking for?). It would kind of remind me of archives.. I am only going to use that template once, but it would stop the redundancy and make it easier to do with each site I make.

  19. If you were a WordPress theme developer: Plugin support
  20. Andrew
    Andrew Published |

    Hi, An interesting debate, but I think we’re all thinking far too much about how things should look – and not so much about how they function. For example, I would use with much happiness a template which only allowed logged in users to show that page, displaying some other content instead if user is logged out. It would be great if links didn’t appear if the page they linked to was unavailable to the current user – but perhaps that is too specific. Another example would be to have pop up DIVs, which were not displayed to logged in users. I prefer to use the Widget Logic plugin than page templates to control what widgets go wear… but I would like a no sidebar template, any ideas how i could do that – I’ve not actually made any of my own templates yet! (using mandigo theme).
    Good luck all.

  21. If you were a WordPress theme developer: Theme options
  22. If you were a WordPress theme developer: Feature
  23. Irene King
    Irene King Published |

    I’m getting ready to put a new site online in a couple of weeks and am truly enjoying this series.

    The problem I had when switching from Blogger to WordPress was the problem of the Archive posts from way back. Because there are so many, they made the Archives item in my Tag Cloud just horrendously large, and I discovered that there was no way (at least no way I could figure out) how to control the sizes of the fonts in the cloud. I wish someone could come up with a way to do that withing a theme.

  24. Irene King
    Irene King Published |

    Oops. I just realized that I wrote about Tag Cloud once already. Sorry. What I’d really like in a template is the ability to put widgets just about anywhere, not just a sidebar. Perhaps a template made up of blocks of sidebar code where widgets could be placed. (Hey! since I’m dreamin’….)

  25. Alex Klimm
    Alex Klimm Published |

    oh, maybe my post in the widget-discussion would fit better at this place. so because we are acting in social media I would love a page-template “social media newsroom”, that helps me to include the sections like Shift Communications proposes: http://www.shiftcomm.com/downloads/smnewsroom_template.pdf

    Maybe it´s possible yet, but I didn´t because I don´t look through the whole functionality of wordpress

  26. joban
    joban Published |


    I have an issue with the page templates..

    I have 4 menu links in the home page. these pages are loading differently styles pages. So I have created pages in word press admin with same page slugs. They are about, products, contacts, services. I also created the same 4 php files in my new themes named about.php, products.php, contacts.php and services.php

    but when I load the pages the its shows only the page templates in the page.php

    I am really stuck on this

    Any help appreciated ..

    Thanks in advance..

  27. What sections of a WordPress theme should be widgetized?
  28. Roger Pilon
    Roger Pilon Published |

    This is a question I asked to another great designer! I am curious about your feedback on this Justin!

    We could say that blogs are maybe 90% posts and 10% pages. We could play with these stats for a while but it would not change anything important. We know that Wp is used mainly for publishing posts and not pages.

    In that case the logical question is: why creators of WP themes offers pages templates sometimes but never post templates?

    Having a theme that offers 15 pages templates is very good, but why is it so hard to find post templates also?

    The bottom line question is this: where is the logic behind that if pages are the exceptions and posts the rules?

    Give me the light Justin!



  29. Roger Pilon
    Roger Pilon Published |

    First thanks for the answer!

    Pages, with template or not, can clogg your blog! I will give you a concrete example! If you go my web site at: http://ponics.org/urban-gardening-mindmap/ you will see an example of a
    post template without the sidebar. Mindmaps need room!!!

    Over time, I will create dozens of these mindmaps. If you have a blog with a “normal” navbar, where would you put dozens of navigation page links, unless you have a theme that
    “accepts” sub-page in the nav-bar?

    If I am not wrong, pages dont even have categories unless you use some plug-in. Posts have them, very handy for many mindmaps in multiple categories.

    The sidebar!

    Sorry I hate that name! Widget box could be better…I think!

    I am so fed up of seing that sidebar always on the same place, on the same side, pages after pages, posts a after post what a lost of space and creativity! (I have seen your work and
    I am very aware that you are thinking “outside of the box”, specially since your last creation “Hybrid”).

    By having post templates with different widgets boxes, user could place whatevercontent inside using all kind of widgets! Post template with a sidebar on the left, another one with one widget box on top, another one with a widget on the footer, one with all of the above, one like I have with no sideabar at all. And I am not talking here of one unique widget-box. Post templates would become just place holder, empty place holders that you could assign to any post, any tags, any categories you want!

    Goal: to unfreezed that ice-sidebar bar! What would happen behind the scenes in terms of programming and design time frame to raise the bar to that level? This I can’t answer!

    You said: ” Should they be implemented the same as page templates? Should we create them by tag? Category? On a post-by-post basis? “. A long journey starts by the first step!

    That very first step to the post template journey, could be either by post, by tags or by cats, the important is that someone will dare to do it! But hopes are small! Why! You don’t know,even in 2008, how hard is to find templates, even pages templates, that don’t have a sidebar. So …post templates! ? Be my guess!

    Again, maybe I am just a dreamer!

    Roger Pilon

  30. Single post templates for WordPress
    Single post templates for WordPress at |
  31. Daniel Gustafson
    Daniel Gustafson Published |

    Why doesn’t aybody focus on the advertising? That’s the money part of it? And I’m talking about making it easy so that Google Ad Words can be cut out, with ads for image / video / rss / whatever and link tracking and built in merchant account recurring billing. It’s the most obvious thing.

  32. Page templates: The untapped potential of WordPress
  33. Jack
    Jack Published |

    I’m new to wordpress, currently configuring the Hybrid Old school theme.

    What I really wish wordpress could be is a combination of the widget/page editor with the placement GUI of an igoogle homepage. It would allow drag and drop placement of page elements as widgets.
    A theme would still exist for the graphical style of the website, but the layout of the site could be rearranged easily using a GUI. A grid website editor built upon a blogging engine I suppose.

    Perhaps some form of that already exists in wordpress, and i just need to dig deeper O_o.

  34. andri
    andri Published |

    If i am a wp theme developer i wanna make a simply guest book page on it that icluded in the theme 🙂

  35. Dipankar
    Dipankar Published |

    Hi Justin,

    How can we have a filename.php included in page.php which will only show up in the Home Page (static page) and for the rest it won’t.

    Hope I was able to put my question in short.


  36. Wordpress: Where to Start? | GUMZ
    Wordpress: Where to Start? | GUMZ at |
  37. Samia
    Samia Published |

    I’m little late (ok, a lot!), but, what about post types? is customizing the content-{post-type}.php enough? It isn’t working so far for me!


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