Is there a default template file for child pages / subpages?

The question:

This seems like a very simple question. I’m looking for something like sub-page.php or page-child.php where I can do some different things on the child pages of my theme.

They are different enough in design and content that I’m having to use a lot of php or the CSS .page-child class to do all the dirty work. I’m looking for a simpler method.

One caveat – I would like this to happen automatically so I don’t have to tell the client “make sure to always select the ‘subpage’ template when you create a subpage!” which is precarious..

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

There is no specifica template for child pages, but you can do this pretty easily with the get_template_part() function.

First create a file called “content-child.php”.

Second create a file called “content.php”.

Next, inside of page.php, place this:

if( $post->post_parent !== 0 ) {
    get_template_part('content', 'child');
} else {
    get_template_part('content');
}

Anything that you want displayed on a child page will be placed inside of content-child.php. Anything you want displayed on non-child pages will be placed in content.php.

Method 2

It’s actually very easy, add follow code to your functions.php

add_filter(
    'page_template',
    function ($template) {
        global $post;

        if ($post->post_parent) {

            // get top level parent page
            $parent = get_post(
               reset(array_reverse(get_post_ancestors($post->ID)))
            );

            // or ...
            // when you need closest parent post instead
            // $parent = get_post($post->post_parent);

            $child_template = locate_template(
                [
                    $parent->post_name . '/page-' . $post->post_name . '.php',
                    $parent->post_name . '/page-' . $post->ID . '.php',
                    $parent->post_name . '/page.php',
                ]
            );

            if ($child_template) return $child_template;
        }
        return $template;
    }
);

Then you can prepare templates with following patterns:

  • [parent-page-slug]/page.php
  • [parent-page-slug]/page-[child-page-slug].php
  • [parent-page-slug]/page-[child-post-id].php

Method 3

My modification of OzzyCzech’s solution above. This function looks in the theme’s root directory for files who’s name contains the parent’s slug or parent’s ID.

  • /theme_root/child-PARENT_SLUG.php
  • /theme_root/child-PARENT_ID.php
function child_templates($template) {
    global $post;

    if ($post->post_parent) {
        // get top level parent page
        $parent = get_post(
            reset(array_reverse(get_post_ancestors($post->ID)))
        );

        // find the child template based on parent's slug or ID
        $child_template = locate_template(
            [
                'child-' . $parent->post_name . '.php',
                'child-' . $parent->ID . '.php',
                'child.php',
            ]
        );

        if ($child_template) return $child_template;
    }

    return $template;
}
add_filter( 'page_template', 'child_templates' );


All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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