Create a landing page with the WordPress Template Editor

4 min read
Courtney Robertson

Are you creating landing pages for your clients' websites? The good news is that with WordPress 5.8, you can now create a landing page template without a plugin.

A landing page is a page where website visitors land when they click a link to your website. Visitors may reach your landing page by clicking through ads, social media, or newsletters. Landing pages are optimized to focus the visitor on only the most important thing, like signing up for a newsletter or getting a coupon code.

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How to access the WordPress Template Editor

The WordPress Template Editor is an opt-in for most sites. This means it is a feature that site administrators will need to use the Gutenberg plugin and enable access by adding this filter:

add_theme_support( 'block-templates' );

Please see the posts Creating Your First WordPress Child Theme for help adding filters to your site and Become an Early Adopter of the Gutenberg Plugin to decide if this is a good use on your website.

Note: if you are using a newer block-based Full Site Editing theme, such as TT1, this will be on by default. Only themes created for integration with the WordPress Customizer will need to opt-in. Likely in the next release of WordPress, 5.9 expected in mid-December 2021, templates will be enabled by default rather than opt-in.

With the template editor enabled, you can navigate to Posts or Pages to access the Template Editor.

Create a landing page in the Template Editor

Create a new post or page.

On the right side of the editor, view the Template Editor and select "New."

Screenshot: WordPress post editor with a template editor displaying on the right sidebar

From here, you'll want to name your template.

Screenshot showing how to enter the name of your custom WordPress template

You are able to delete any content that is displaying here, including the site title, logo, and navigation bars. Landing pages are intended to be focused on the user taking very specific action, and seldom about navigating elsewhere throughout the website.

By adding blocks to the template, you can create your own unique layout. The black border around the content indicates this is a template, not the main post editor interface. The Template option is also viewed on the right column, or under Settings.

a view of the WordPress Template Editor interface

Here you can see an example of a "Link in bio" page. The List View button has been selected to reveal all the blocks in the outline at the left. This is an easy way to drag and drop blocks around in a specific order.

A completed WordPress Template Editor example with the List View displaying at left.

After updating and publishing the template, click Back in the top-left corner to return to the post editor. Any content that you add to the standard post or page editor interface from here will be visible below the template content. The template content will not be visible from the post editor interface.

Save and publish the post or page to view your landing page. Share the link to your published landing page.

Where are WordPress Templates stored?

After you've created and published a template, you may need to revise the content. You have several ways to access this. WordPress stores the Template Editor content into Custom Post Types, called Templates. You do not need to do anything further than activate the Template Editor to configure this.

From the post or page editor, you can select Edit under the Template Editor drop-down.

To find Templates, go to Appearance, and then select Templates. Editing from this location is much like editing within the All Posts screen. You can also add a new template here.

How to create a landing page in WordPress without a plugin

Using templates to create landing pages will help you use the color palettes, font styles, and other brand assets already configured throughout your site. Building a landing page without a plugin can optimize your website performance as well.

What kinds of landing pages will you create? Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Sales page
  2. Newsletter sign-up
  3. Click to call buttons
  4. Event-specific promotions

We asked a few developers what they thought was interesting about the Template Editor. They are eager to explore ways to integrate templates with Categories and Tags layouts.

Check out Rich Tabor's guide on coding additional templates into themes.

Get started with the WordPress Template Editor

In the developer outreach program, Anne Zazu published steps on a call for testing with the Template Editor. While this round of testing has concluded, the exercise is a great way to consider other uses for the template editor.

Remember, the Template Editor is a new feature since WordPress 5.8. It is an opt-in experience at this time, but will be integrated further in future major releases and is available with newer Block Based Themes.

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