Now let’s talk about the types of templates that exist in Thesis 2.3. There are 2 types of templates. There are the core templates and there are the custom templates.
A core template is automatically applied to a specific type of WordPress page. If you don’t do anything, then the appropriate core template is going to be applied to the appropriate page.
Custom templates are manually applied by the user. They are not automatically applied. For example, we’ve got this custom template called “Landing Page”. This is the front page so this actually won’t work here but you can see there is this Thesis skin custom template here where you can choose landing page or full page.
How to Apply Custom Templates
We’re not going to do that on the front template but if we come over to all pages and look at the About Us page. You can see I’ve got it set to “No Custom Template” but I could set it to “Landing Page”. And hit update. Let’s view that and now it’s going to show up as a Landing Page because that’s the template the page is using.
That ability exists everywhere. So, for example, you could go to a category page. Let’s go to Posts first. You could go to some existing post and you could also choose a custom template for it. Let’s choose the Full Page Custom template for that. Now when we view the post you can see it’s the great big full template rather than the default template. It fills the whole page without a sidebar.
The same thing is true for Categories and Tags. Let’s go back to the cafe page and to the beignet page. Right now my page is not showing me categories. So let’s go back over to Thesis, Content and go back to the Post Page Output. I could add the date and the author back. I could add the categories to that display.
Hit Save Display Options and refresh the page. Now you can see it’s under the category Pastries. If I click on the Pastries category here’s what it looks like. It’s being managed by the Category Archive Page.
But I could come over here to edit the category and choose custom template. I’ll choose full page and hit update. Now when we view the category you can see it’s being displayed completely differently.
Let’s come over here to Categories and it still looks like this, normal, because we didn’t change the page template uncategorized. So that’s the difference between a custom template and the default templates or the core templates because those are automatically applied.
Four Main Core Templates
You have 4 main core templates in Thesis. You have Home, Single, Page and Archive.
The Home template always only displays the Post page. If it’s your blog page it’s going to be displayed by the Home template. It will never be displayed by any other template.
If it’s the Single template, that is the Single blog post page. That’s what automatically happens if you don’t choose a custom template for a single blog post, the Single template will kick in.
Page is the same way. The page automatically kicks in for the Page template unless you choose a custom template for that page.
The Archive template will be automatically used for any kind of archive page. When I say any kind of archive page, we’ll talk about what that means in a minute.
Parent-Child Relationships in Templates
You can see some post types here that don’t matter like Custom CSS and a couple of others that are created by WordPress. Hopefully at some point Thesis will automatically exclude them from the list. Those custom post types don’t even get displayed with templates so they don’t matter.
The Attachment template is the template that displays a post attachment. So if you’ve got an image on your post or page and when you insert that and you say “link to attachment page” then the Attachment template is used for that.
The same thing is true with any custom post types you might have. So if you’ve got a WooCommerce store you’re going to have a Product custom post type. The Product template will be under here and products will use that template unless you choose a custom template for it.
Children Templates Take Parent Settings
The thing about the parent child relationship in templates is that if you don’t customize the children templates they automatically take all of the settings of the parent template.
Customized Children Templates Stop Taking Parent Settings
Once you make a change in the child template it is no longer connected to the parent template. At that point any changes you make in the parent template will not show up in that child template and vice versa. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
We’ve never changed the Attachment template and we don’t have any custom post types so the Attachment template is identical to the Single template. However, as soon as you customize anything on the Attachment template it is immediately disconnected from the Single template.
Now any changes you make on Attachment will not affect the Single post template and any change you make in the Single post template will not affect the Attachment template.
The Page template is the parent for the Front Page template and the 404 Error Page template. Again, if you make no changes to either the Front page or the 404 Error Page templates then they will be identical to the page template.
But as soon as you make a change on the Front template it will separate the Front template from the Page template. From that point on any change you make on the Page template will not be reflected on the Front template and vice versa.
The Archive template has a whole bunch of children. It governs category pages, tag pages, custom post type archive pages, custom taxonomy, archive pages, custom taxonomy term pages, date pages, author pages, and search result pages. Any of those pages that WordPress generates that show groups of posts are controlled by the Archive template.
Again, you have that same parent child relationship going on. They will all be identical to the Archive template until such time as you make a change to one of them and then that one will be disconnected from the parent template. Although it will still be found in the same place if you want to edit it.