A WordPress website is made up of a combination of files, software, theme templates, add-on code (plugins), settings, and content and images stored in a database — that all fit together like the pieces of a puzzle to generate the final web pages on your site.
A WordPress theme can use just a couple templates or many templates, including custom templates, depending on the needs of the site it is being created for.
Outlined below are the most common templates found in WordPress themes, along with a sample of one of the basic custom page templates we add to every theme.
Home Page Template
A Home page template is a unique template used just for the Home page. It is what allows website owners to create unique designs for their Home page that leverage widget areas, columns, featured content sections, video, sliders, and more.
Default Page Template
The Default page template is the page template that all pages and posts on your WordPress website use by default, the one that will be used if no other is selected. Typically on a small business website, this is the Content/Sidebar page template — Content on the left, Sidebar on the right.
Default Page Template No Opt-In
At Bourn Creative, when building custom WordPress sites, we typically put a custom website opt-in box at the top of the sidebar. But occasionally the need arises when a client wants to use a custom sidebar on a page, but NOT show their opt-in box.
- EXAMPLE: displaying an opt-in box on your Services page or Products page doesn’t make sense because the main goal and call to action on those pages is not to opt-in for something free. But, you may want to use a custom sidebar on those pages to display testimonials about the service or product. In this case, you would need a page template created that removes the website opt-in box.
Full Width Page Template
A full width page template removes the sidebar so your content can take advantage of the entire page width with minimal distraction.
Typically, a sidebar contains an irresistible free offer with an opt-in call to action, social media icons, secondary calls to action for strategy sessions or event promos, and more. And each of these items are distractions when used on a page with a specific goal — other than to opt-in, etc.
For pages that have a specific goal or purpose, like your services, products, programs, speaking, media, or portfolio pages, it is best to use a full width template. This way your visitors remain focused on the content on the page and the action you want them to take.
- EXAMPLE: Your services page is an overview of each of your offers, with links to more in depth Sales pages about each one. By using a full width template, you remove extra calls to action, and keep visitors focused on learning more about your services, and clicking through to a sales page.
Blog Index Template
The Blog Index template is the main blog page template, and all of the “Older Posts” pages behind it. Often for business websites, this template is very similar to the Default page template. But for bloggers and other site owners, Blog Index pages with full width layouts, grid-style layouts, and even Pinterest-style masonry layouts are becoming more and more popular, as they move more content up the page.
Typically on the Blog Index page, only a small portion of a post is shown, and visitors must then click a “Read More” link to read the entire post with uses the Single Post template.
Single Post Template
The single post template is the template used to display your individual blog posts in their full form. In most cases, it is almost the same as your default content/sidebar page template, with a few differences and additions.
The single post template displays your blog post in full at the top of the page, with the publish date, author name, and comment count, as well as the category and tags assigned to the post. Below your post you can insert additional types of content, like an author bio box, comments, and comment form.
Special widgets and content areas can also be added to this template to display items such as:
- After post opt-in
- Related posts
- Ad / promo area
If a social sharing plugin is activated on your website to add the sharing icons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. to your post, these will show up on the single post template either at the beginning of your post, end of your post, or even floating to the left of your post content like on this site.
Conversion Page Template
A Conversion page template has no navigation menu, no sidebar, no footer widget area, and no links off the page. The purpose of this template is to increase conversions by eliminating all distractions from the page, and keeping visitors completely focused on taking one single action.
This template can be used to create custom Sales pages, Landing pages, and Squeeze pages right in your WordPress page editor. This way you can leverage all of the styles built into your theme and you don’t have to manage multiple websites, domain names, and WordPress installs.
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- What Is A WordPress Widget?
- Smart Strategies For Your WordPress Website Sidebar Design
- The Difference Between a WordPress Footer and a Footer Widget Area
- Website Content Tips For The WordPress Page And Post Content Area
- Why Every Business Needs a WordPress Blog
- Understanding WordPress Archive Templates
- Sales Pages, Landing Pages, and Squeeze Pages, Oh My!
- Add An Opt-In Box to Your WordPress Site To Build Your Email List
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