An In-Depth Guide to Creating Custom Page Templates for a WordPress Websites

Introduction to WordPress Page Templates

The process of creating a website can be filled with frustration and confusion. WordPress makes this process much easier, offering one of the easiest ways to successfully create a business website, personal blog, or landing page.

WordPress is specifically designed to offer users the ability to tweak everything about their page template. These page templates are basically one way for WordPress and the template to communicate in order to display the appropriate web page layout or design.

For example, a user may wish to equip their website with a personal blog widget. This can be efficiently done by selecting the Blog prefab from the template section, and then the template data will be applied to the web page. Suddenly with the click of a button, a web page has been configured to utilize a blog template to save hours of prototyping and configuration nightmares.

Step 1 – Creating Custom Page Templates (The WordPress Template File)

In order to successfully get started in customizing WordPress page templates, it is best to start with finding a text editor that is easy to use. This can be Notepad, Wordpad, or some other standard text editor that allows you to easily save and load documents with.

Once you have selected a text editing software, you should create the template file by creating a new text file, adding the following line of code…

<?php /* Template Name: TEMPLATE_NAME_GOES_HERE */ ?>

Replace the TEMPLATE_NAME_GOES_HERE with the name of your web page template. You can then save the template file. The file extension has to end with .php in order for WordPress to recognize the template file.

Step 2 – FTP Client Connection

Once you have created the template file, you will need to upload it to your website. This can be done using a popular FTP client, such as FileZilla FileZilla is a free FTP client that allows you to transfer data with ease.

Before initiating the transfer process, be sure to have logged into WordPress and established a web page. Once this is completed, you can then upload your custom website page template to your website theme.

Once the template file is uploaded, WordPress should successfully recognize the template on the template drop down menu. Select the newly uploaded template and the file should open up within the editor.

Step 3 – Editing Custom Page Templates on WordPress

There are a few different options when finally editing the web page template within the editor. The first option is to start from scratch and slowly add HTML code, PHP code, or tags to the template file. This can be tedious, and is only recommended for experienced website designers and coders.

The second option requires access to a WordPress theme. Select the theme and copy the code within the page template file provided by the WordPress theme. Paste this code into your own custom page template file and begin adding and removing contents. This is the easiest way to start editing and customizing a page template.

There are also code snippets available on the internet than can be copied into your custom page template file in order to establish web page layouts, or to present other useful widgets or tools on your web page.

Step 4 – Additional Details about Editing Page Templates

As you continue to apply new code snippets to your WordPress template, it should become easier to understand the process of customizing a web page. Each section of the template code is usually designed for a specific region of the web page. These sections can be easily managed within the page template file. Every time this file is edited, it will need to be re-uploaded through the FTP client onto the WordPress website.

You can also edit page template files directly through the WordPress page editing screen. This can allow for the ability to make quick tweaks and adjustments to the page template without having to go through the entire FTP transfer and upload process.

It is also smart to create one baseline page template that can be used with your WordPress theme, across your entire website. This baseline page should be blank so that you can copy the page template and paste its contents into a new page file whenever you are creating a new page on your website. This process will save time instead of having to start from scratch each time.

Conclusion to WordPress Page Templates

There are a number of common practices that can be recommended before starting your official WordPress website. Some of these practices have been summarized in the sections above. While this article can provide assistance in creating your WordPress page template, the truth is that only personal experience will genuinely get you comfortable when it comes to customizing web page templates.

For some users, this experience can take some time to understand. But with every minute that you spend working with WordPress page templates, you will slowly grow more comfortable with the tools that are offered in order to customize your website.

There are many tutorials and code snippets that are available as resources on the internet for free. If this article is not enough to get you started, there are plenty of other resources that can be utilized in order to get started. This article has summarized the simple process of creating, editing, and uploading a custom page template file to a WordPress website.

The best way to get experienced working with anything is through experience, and I assure you that with consistent practice, you will eventually become a master of editing custom page templates on WordPress.

BIO

In addition to being the editor at designrfix and writing about tech, web and graphic design among other subjects, I love “unplug” and be outdoors hiking and enjoying nature. If you can’t reach me, it’s probably because where I am at doesn’t have cell phone reception.