WordPress is a versatile platform where you can customize nearly every aspect of your website, including its templates. But how exactly can you edit templates in WordPress? This guide will teach you the ropes.
Understanding WordPress Templates
A WordPress template is a part of a theme, it represents a specific page structure. For example, you may have different templates for your home page, blog posts, and static pages. WordPress themes usually come with multiple templates, and you can modify them to create your unique website design.
Remember, before editing any templates, it’s highly recommended to create a child theme first. This will prevent any updates from erasing your customization. Here’s an official guide on Child Themes by WordPress.
Editing WordPress Templates from the Dashboard
You can edit your WordPress templates from within the dashboard itself. This method is convenient because it doesn’t require any additional software.
Navigate to Appearance > Theme Editor in your WordPress dashboard.
On this page, you’ll see a list of all the files associated with your active theme. Click on a file from the Templates section to open it in the editor.
Here, you can make necessary changes. Always remember to save your changes when you’re done.
Note: WordPress may ask for FTP access to edit files. In that case, you need to enter your FTP login credentials.
Editing WordPress Templates Using an FTP Client
Sometimes, you might face permission issues while trying to edit templates from within the dashboard. In such cases, an FTP client can save the day. Here’s how you can use it:
First of all, download and install an FTP client. A popular choice is FileZilla.
Log in to your website server using your FTP credentials.
Now navigate to /wp-content/themes/your-active-theme/. All your theme’s files and their templates will reside here.
Download the template file you wish to edit. Open it in a text editor, make changes, save, and then upload it back to the server.
Remember, always keep a backup of your original files, in case anything goes wrong.
Using a Plugin to Modify WordPress Templates
If you’re not confident about manually editing theme files, you can use a plugin like Elementor or Page Builder by SiteOrigin. Apart from providing a user-friendly interface to modify your templates, these plugins also offer additional design options.
Install and activate your chosen plugin.
Navigate to Pages > Add New. You’ll find new options in your editor.
Choose the page template and then click Edit with Elementor or SiteOrigin.
Modify the template to your liking. When you’re done, click Publish or Update.
Note that not all plugins will work with all themes.
Understanding templates is a key part of mastering WordPress. Whether you’re tweaking your current theme or creating a custom design, this knowledge will surely come in handy. Don’t forget to play around with different templates and explore all the possibilities. Even if you make a mistake, you can always restore the original file from your backup!
Remember, practice makes perfect. Happy editing!