Custom Post Type Template Files

The WordPress theme system supports custom templates for custom post types. Custom templates for the single display of posts belonging to custom post types have been supported since WordPress Version 3.0 and the support for custom templates for archive displays was added in Version 3.1.

Custom Post Type – Template Hierarchy

WordPress will work through the template hierarchy and use the template file it comes across first. So if you want to create a custom template for your acme_product custom post type, a good place to start is by copying the single.php file, saving it as single-acme_product.php and editing that.

However if you don’t want to create custom template files, WordPress will use the files already present in your theme, which would be archive.php and single.php and index.php files.

Single posts and their archives can be displayed using the single.php and archive.php template files respectively,

  • single posts of a custom post type will use single-{post_type}.php
  • and their archives will use archive-{post_type}.php
  • and if you don’t have this post type archive page you can pass BLOG_URL?post_type={post_type}

where {post_type} is the $post_type argument of the register_post_type() function.

So for the above example, you could create single-acme_product.php and archive-acme_product.php template files for single product posts and their archives.

Alternatively, you can use the is_post_type_archive() function in any template file to check if the query shows an archive page of a given post types(s), and the post_type_archive_title() to display the post type title.

Custom Post Type templates

  • single-{post-type}.php
    The single post template used when a visitor requests a single post from a custom post type. For example, single-acme_product.php would be used for displaying single posts from a custom post type named acme_product.
  • archive-{post-type}.php
    The archive post type template is used when visitors request a custom post type archive. For example, archive-acme_product.php would be used for displaying an archive of posts from the custom post type named acme_product. The archive.php template file is used if the archive-{post-type}.php is not present.
  • index.php
    The index.php is used if a specific query template (single-{post-type}.php, single.php, archive-{post-type}.php, archive.php, search.php) for the custom post type is not present.

Function Reference