Support » Themes and Templates » How to add templates to a theme

How to add templates to a theme

  • Greetings All –

    I am a total and complete newby when it comes to designing a website. This is my very first. I have done very well figuring this out on my own so far, but now I am entering into some more complex functions and have NO clue how to proceed.

    I want to use the “Members List” plugin on a couple different pages. The download site for the plugin says I need to have an author.php template in my Themes section. Okay… Research here appears to indicate that I need to create said template, but in order to use/create the author.php template it seems I need to be “In The Loop” or have an index.php template. ??? Now I’m totally and completely lost. Every “help” page just keeps sending me someplace else, and nothing seems to explain how to actually create the template I need. So…

    Is there someone out there who can boil this down to s relatively simple, step by step set of instructions on how to create the author.php template? You know, a “go to your themes; click this; type that; press enter; done” type of instructions.

    Thank you in advance to anyone willing to help this newby along.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • There is a “complete sample author.php file” here:

    To make that file you will need a plain-text editor that will not add any formatting, and I like NotePad++:

    To have a place to put that file, you will first need a Child Theme, if you do not already have one:

    To upload your Child Theme and/or the author.php file, a file manager such as FileZilla Client (and an SFTP connection at your server) will be necessary:



    Forum Moderator

    Also, what theme are you using?

    Also see:


    And for future reference:


    (I changed the one on this thread 🙂 )

    Many thanks to both of you for responding. This appears to be precisely the information a newby like me needs to keep my project moving. I will review the steps provided and follow-up within a couple days if I have any questions.



    Okay… I finally got back to working on this project. I understand the basic structure of what I need to do, but I’m still getting stuck on a couple issues.

    First, I installed Notepad++, copied the sample author.php script, and I am assuming that I needed to save it as a .php file.. Please correct me if this was wrong. I also don’t understand if I need to customize this file and, if so, how on earth to do it.

    For the Child Theme. Again, I understand the basics – but I have NO CLUE how to access the Themes Directory. I’ve been all over my dashboard, control panel and such, but don’t know what I’m looking for so its a bit of a challenge.

    Once I get there, I am reasonably confident I can figure this out. I truly appreciate the help. I find the forum VERY overwhelming and cannot begin to follow, or sort out, the steps I need to take to make this happen.



    Forum Moderator

    I have NO CLUE how to access the Themes Directory.

    You need to use FTP or Cpanel to access your site files on the server – where is your site hosted? They should have some info/tutorials as to how to set that up. See this too:


    Okay… I was able to access my themes folder via the file manager in the control panel of my webhost, create a child folder of my theme and create a style.css file therein. Once created, I clicked edit and pasted in the information found here… http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes, changed the necessary information to reflect the theme I am using, saved and closed it. When I clicked on edit, I was presented with a gazillion different language options. I left it at the default, which as I recall was utf-8. This doesn’t mean a thing to me, so if I should have used something else I would appreciate the clarification.

    So now becomes WHERE do I add the author.php file I created earlier? Does it go in that same child folder? Do I copy and paste it into the style.css file?

    Thanks again for the continued help. It’s finally starting to make sense.



    Forum Moderator

    Yes, the author.php file goes in the child theme folder too. Did you activate the child theme via the Dashboard?

    Yep… It seems to have worked. Thank you.

    All this, only to discover that the Member List plugin apparently will not meet my needs. I need to be able to add a list of names to a specific page within my website that all visitors can at least view, and preferably sort or download. Member List apparently requires they be registered on my website, so that won’t work. I’m now searching plugins, once again, for a basic editable table or spreadsheet.



    Forum Moderator

    TablePress plugin might do that.

    TablePress is going to work BEAUTIFULLY!!! Thank you. One last question (I hope), and then I’ll try to leave you in peace. I created my first list and TablePress gave me a short code to copy. Where/how do I paste the short code in order for it to populate on the page?

    Never mind… I finally figured it out. I cannot thank you enough for your assistance. I will, no doubt, be back here in the next few days when it is time to add the e-commerce section.



    Forum Moderator

    You’re welcome :). BTW, TablePress has super support from the developer in case you need any additional help with it, just post on the forum here:


    Can you recommend a good plug-in to create, in essence, a job application that visitors can complete and submit online? I’ve looked at several tonight, but haven’t yet found one that quite clicks with me. The form I want to use already exists in a PDF static, and PDF forms version and it would be uber cool if I could simply upload one of them and customize from there. Finally, it would be very helpful if the submission could go to multiple email accounts.



    Forum Moderator

    Hmm, I think your options are to either create a form using a plugin (Contact Form 7 is used by LOTS of people and has good documentation/support) or to embed the PDF (there are plugins that let you do that). The PDF thing is somewhat complicated by the nature of PDF’s (editable, etc.) and how various browsers display them – so you’d have to look into that side of it.

    Search for “Embed PDF” plugins and you’ll find quite a few possibilities – though I’d stick with ones that are pretty current with decent support/reviews.

    I’m already using Contact Form 7 for the “contacts” portion of our site. I did not pick up on the notion that it could be used to generate a form. I will play around with that and see what happens.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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