How to Create a Custom WordPress Post Template Using the Block Editor and Code

A WordPress post template is a blueprint that determines the layout and design of your blog posts. They go beyond basic formats, creating a unique look and feel for each post or category.

This WordPress tutorial will guide you in creating these custom post templates. Whether you want to add a personal touch or streamline the presentation of your content, understanding how to use WordPress post templates can help you customize the aesthetics and functionality of your site.

How to Create a Custom WordPress Post Template

To create your own custom WordPress post template, you can use:

  • The block editor – a convenient option for users who want to avoid coding. Its user-friendly interface makes visual layout and design customization easy.
  • Code – suitable for those with coding skills or interested in exploring WordPress’s technical aspects. It involves directly editing or creating template files in the theme.
  • The theme’s settings – ideal for WordPress themes with built-in options for customizing post templates. It provides a simpler interface to adjust post layouts and elements within the theme’s predefined capabilities.
How to Create a Custom WordPress Post Template Using the Block Editor and Code

How to Create a Custom WordPress Post Template Using the Block Editor

Creating a single post template is simple with the WordPress block editor, also known as Gutenberg. Note that this method is only available if you use a block-based theme, like Twenty Twenty-Four.

Here are the steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance → Editor.
  2. In the template editor, select Templates → Single Posts.
Selecting the Single Posts template in the WordPress template editor
  1. Click the Edit button to begin customizing the blog post template. The left sidebar will automatically be hidden.
Editing the Single Posts template in the WordPress template editor
  1. Select the List View button at the top left of the screen to see all the blocks in the template.
Accessing the List View panel in the WordPress template editor
  1. Click on the block to modify each block, such as changing fonts or styles.
  2. Use the drag-and-drop feature in the List View panel to reorder the blocks.
  3. Click the Toggle block inserter button to add a new element, like a contact form or a button.
Accessing the Toggle block inserter option in the WordPress template editor

Typically, a single post template will include the following blocks:

  • Header – displays elements like your site’s title, logo, and navigation menu. Changes to the Header block affect all pages where it’s used.
  • Title – shows the post’s title. This block automatically displays the actual title in live posts.
  • Featured Image – used to display a prominent image representing the post’s theme or content.
  • Content – the main body of your post. It acts as a placeholder in the template and will show the actual content in live posts.
  • Post Meta – contains additional information about your post, such as the author’s name, publication date, categories, and tags.
  • Comments – displays comments on your post, promoting reader interaction.
  • Footer – typically includes contact information, additional navigation, or a WordPress credit. Like the page header, changes here apply site-wide.

While editing, regularly click the View button to get a live preview of the template. Once you’re satisfied with your WordPress blog layout, click Save to apply your customizations.

Saving the template customization in the WordPress template editor

By default, any post you create will use the Single Post template. To verify, add a new post or edit an existing one and go to the Settings sidebar. The template option should be set to Single Post.

Selecting the Single Posts template in the WordPress post editor

How to Create a Custom WordPress Post Template Using Code

Creating a custom WordPress post template using code offers more customization. It is best suited for users familiar with PHP or wanting to become WordPress developers.

For WordPress hosting customers of Hostinger, you can easily follow this method using our file manager. It lets you navigate to the theme’s folder and create the PHP file directly.

Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Hostinger account and navigate to Websites → Manage on your hosting plan.
  2. From the dashboard, access the File Manager option. This will open a new tab.
Accessing File Manager in the hPanel's dashboard
  1. In the file manager, go to public_html/wp-content/themes. Here, you will find folders for all your installed themes.
  2. Select the theme you want to customize, such as TwentyTwentyOne.
Accessing a theme folder in the hPanel's File Manager
  1. In your theme’s directory, create a new PHP file. You can name it my-custom-template.php.
Creating a new file in the hPanel's File Manager
  1. At the beginning of the file, insert the following code snippet to define it as a new post template:

<?php /* * Template Name: My Custom Post * Template Post Type: Post */

You can start creating your custom blog template from scratch in this file. Some common WordPress functions and structures you can include like:

  • get_header(); – This function includes the header template file.
  • if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); – Loop starts, iterating over each post.
  • get_template_part(‘template-parts/content’, ‘single’); – Includes a template section to display post content.
  • Topic(); – Displays the post title.
  • the content(); – Outputs the post content.
  • comments_template(); – Comment template included.
  • the_post_navigation(); – Adds navigation links to previous and next posts.
  • get_sidebar(); – Sidebar template file included.
  • get_footer(); – Footer template file included.

Here’s a simplified structure combining these elements: <?php /** * Template name: My Custom Post * Template post type: Post */ get_header(); if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); Topic(); the content(); comments_template(); the_post_navigation(); till the end; end if; get_sidebar(); get_footer(); ,

Once your edits are complete, remember to click Save to apply all changes.

Saving edits of a custom template file in the hPanel's File Manager

To use this custom single-post template, access the Settings sidebar when adding a new post or editing an existing post. Then, change the template from the default template to my custom post.

How to Customize WordPress Post Template Using the Theme’s Settings

Creating a custom single post template can be done through your theme’s settings. Each theme may offer different customization options. We’ll use some examples to show how these adjustments can be made.

Customizing the Post Template in the Post Editor

In some WordPress themes, like Astra, you can customize post templates directly in the post editor. It’s convenient to personalize blog post templates without leaving the editor.

Here’s how to do it in Astra:

  1. Begin by opening the post you want to customize.
  2. In the post editor, locate the Astra Settings button. Astra provides various options to modify the layout of the template.
Accessing Astra Settings in the WordPress post editor
  1. Choose a container layout and container style for your post. The style chosen takes effect when selecting the normal or narrow layout option.
  2. Adjust the position and appearance of your sidebar. Note that the sidebar is available when the container layout is set to normal.
Opening the Sidebar section of Astra Settings in the WordPress post editor
  1. Astra allows you to disable certain elements for individual posts, like the header, footer, or banner area.
  2. You can disable the Primary or Mobile header in the Advanced Settings section. Additionally, you can set a transparent header.
Accessing the Advanced Settings option of Astra Settings in the WordPress post editor
  1. Once you’ve made your adjustments, click Publish for a new post or Update for an existing post to apply the changes to your live site.

Customizing the Post Template Using Customizer

Another efficient way is to edit custom templates through the WordPress customizer. Themes like Nav provide built-in settings for this. To use the Customizer in Nav, follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance → Customize.
  2. In the Customizer, select Layout → Single Post to access the settings for individual blog posts.
Accessing the Single Post layout in the WordPress customizer
  1. Choose between normal or cover for the header layout. Set title alignment as per your preference.
Opening the HEADER LAYOUT section of Single Post in the WordPress customizer
  1. Modify the order and spacing of elements on the page under Page Elements for a more organized look.
  2. In Page Settings, set the Content Vertical Spacing option. Select Inherit for default theme settings or select Custom to define your own theme.
Opening the PAGE ELEMENTS and PAGE SETTINGS sections of Single Post in the WordPress customizer
  1. Under Post Meta, adjust the meta information order (such as date and author), enable the display of author avatars for posts, and choose to show the last updated date instead of the publication date.
Opening the POST META section of Single Post in the WordPress customizer
  1. The Comments and Submit Form section offers options to set the title and customize the padding, background color, text color, and style of the submit button.
  2. After making adjustments, click Publish to apply and save your changes.

Selecting Other Pre-Made Post Templates

Many WordPress themes, including Influencer Agency, offer a range of pre-built post templates. This feature is ideal for those who want to add variety to the look of their blog without getting involved in custom design.

To find themes with pre-built templates in the WordPress repository, follow these steps:

  1. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance → Themes → Add New Theme.
Adding a new theme in the Themes page of WordPress dashboard
  1. Click Feature Filters, select Edit Template, and then click Apply Filter.
Selecting Template Editing in the Feature Filter option of Add Themes page

After selecting a WordPress theme with multiple templates, you can easily switch between them while creating or editing a particular post. In the post editor, like many other methods, select one of the available templates in the drop-down menu of the Templates section.

Switching between templates for the Influencer Agency theme in the WordPress post editor

When Should You Use a Custom WordPress Post Template?

Custom WordPress post templates customize content presentation according to its purpose and audience. Choosing an appropriate template can significantly enhance the reader’s experience, making your content more engaging and impactful.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s website shows this well. For their video-focused blog entries, they chose a dynamic, full-width template that emphasizes the visual impact of video content. This approach increases the appeal of their cruise offerings to potential travelers.

A Norwegian Cruise Line's video content page

In contrast, they use more traditional layouts for text-heavy content that focus on text and images. This format effectively provides detailed information, which is ideal for readers who prefer text-intensive content.

A Norwegian Cruise Line's blog content page

Yatzer’s website custom template is another excellent example of versatility. Their agenda-style posts use a format that highlights event details clearly and accessibly for those looking for event specifics.

A Yatzer's agenda content page

For their regular blog posts, a full-width layout is used. It emphasizes descriptive text and vivid imagery, which enriches the storytelling aspect of their content.

Tips for Creating a Good Custom WordPress Post Template

Creating an effective WordPress custom post template involves finding the right balance between functionality and aesthetics. To ensure that your template looks attractive and serves its intended purpose efficiently, consider the following tips:

Understand the Content Needs

When creating a custom template, it’s important to understand the specific needs of your content. Different blog posts or post types often have specific requirements, making it important to clearly define the purpose and characteristics of your content.

This understanding will guide your decisions on elements to include in your new template. For example, recipe blog posts may require a layout that emphasizes step-by-step instructions and food photos more than a standard blog.

Maintain the Design Consistency

Maintaining consistency of design is essential when creating a WordPress blog post template. The font type, size, and color scheme of your template should be consistent with your site’s web design.

A consistent design approach within the template hierarchy ensures a cohesive and professional appearance to your website. This enhances the user experience and strengthens your brand identity.

Pay Attention to Accessibility

Ensuring accessibility in your WordPress post template design is also important. This includes using contrasting colors for text and background, choosing easy-to-read fonts, and adding screen reader text to increase readability.

Additionally, it is important to add descriptive alt text to images. It provides context for screen readers, making your content accessible to a wider audience, including those who are visually impaired.

Prioritizing accessibility in WordPress aligns with web design best practices and becomes a more inclusive and user-friendly website for diverse users.

Use a Child Theme

Creating a child theme is important when manually customizing a WordPress blog post template. A child theme inherits functionality from its parent theme and enables you to make changes without modifying the parent theme’s code.

This protects your customizations through updates and provides a safer, more flexible environment for design experimentation.


This guide describes different ways to create a post template in WordPress. You’ve learned how to use the block editor for a code-free approach, practice coding for more personalized templates, and use theme settings for quick customization.

Each method offers unique benefits, enabling you to create custom post templates that suit your site’s style and content structure. Applying these insights will boost your site’s functionality and visual appeal, whether designing a brand new single post template or refining an existing one.

WordPress Post Template FAQ

This section will answer the most common questions about WordPress post templates.

Are Custom WordPress Post Templates Compatible With All Themes?

Custom WordPress post templates are generally compatible with most themes. However, theme compatibility may vary, as theme developers may include unique functionalities or specific layout designs. It is recommended to read the theme’s documentation before integrating a custom post template.

What Is a WordPress Post Template?

A WordPress post template is a predefined layout that dictates how posts will be displayed on your website. It serves as the standard format for presenting individual blog posts. These versatile templates allow customization or complete replacement to change the style and presentation of your blog’s content.

How Can I Edit a WordPress Post Template?

To edit the WordPress post template, you can use the theme customizer or access the theme files through the WordPress dashboard or file manager. You can modify a single template for an existing post, make changes that affect other posts, or create a separate template for a specific page.

Can I Create a Custom WordPress Post Template Without Coding Skills?

Yes, you can create a custom WordPress post template without coding skills using the Theme Builder or Page Builder plugin. These tools provide a user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface for visually building custom page templates.

My name is Megha, A computer science student with a passion for digital marketing and SEO, enjoys helping beginners build impressive WordPress websites.

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