If you’ve ever wanted to have different content in the Sidebar or Footer of different pages, then a Custom Template is what you want.
You’ll need to create a new Template, choose which Layout you need, assign the new Template to the Page(s) you want, and finally add Snippets to the Template.
When are Custom Templates Useful?
There are two types of Pages on your team’s SwimTopia site: Pages with a Sidebar and a bottom part or “Template Footer” and Pages without a Sidebar but with a Footer. Unless you’ve set up custom Templates, all the Pages with a Sidebar (these use the “Default” Template) will share the content in these two areas and all the Pages using the “Full Width” Template (no Sidebar) will share the content in the Footer.
You may want to set up some new Templates if you have added some Snippets to your default Template’s Sidebar that you don’t need or want on some other page. You might want to show a Shopping Cart in the Sidebar of your Shop Page but not on every Page with a Sidebar—then a new Template will be what you want.
Templates in Action
The colors below show how different content on your Templates might impact your site’s content. All of the pages with the Default Template have the same content in the Sidebar and Footer, and the page with the Custom Template has different content there.
Two Templates, Two Pages
Below you see the Default Template in use on top and a new Template, “Shop” on the bottom which shows the visitor’s Shopping Cart in the Sidebar.
Page Content and Template Content
Each Page on your site has both Page Content and Template Content (but either could actually be empty, more on that later).
Many Pages have Content that is entirely created by you (once you have replaced the placeholder text). Other Pages (called Feature Pages) on your site have predetermined content (Swim Meets and News, for example) these are indicated in Website > Pages by a icon to the left of the Page’s name. These pages shouldn’t be repurposed—in other words, the Swim Meet Page should always just be the Swim Meets Page.
Pages on your site have at least two different areas for content. Page Content (accessed via Manage Site > Edit Page Content…) and Template Content (accessed via Manage Site > Edit Template Content…). Page Content is on that particular page only, while Template Content is shared with every page that uses that Template. Template Content may appear in the Sidebar (if present) or the Template Footer. The Template’s Layout governs the width of the Page Content and whether or not the Sidebar is present…
Page Layouts and Templates provide you a means to control:
- whether the pages have a Sidebar and therefore the width of the Page Content (Page Layouts) and
- what content appears in that Sidebar (if present) or in the Template Footer—(Templates)
Page Layouts control where Page and Template Content appears on a Page but not the Content itself—that’s addressed via editing Page and Template Content and assigning Templates to Pages (more on this later). The Layouts also govern the width of the Page Content area.
There are two different Page Layouts:
- has a Sidebar and a Template Footer
- Page Content area is about 2/3rds the width of the Page or 600 pixels
- only a Template Footer and no Sidebar
- Page Content area extends the full width of the page or 920 pixels
- best for wide content, such as your Swim Meets, Registration, and Login Pages
In the example above, you can see some of the major components of a Page using the “default” Layout with snippets in both the Sidebar and Template Footer.
- User Menu (My Account, etc.)
- Uploaded logo
- Team’s Full name (from Website > Site Settings)
- Subtitle (ditto)
- Navigation & Secondary Nav: Top-Level Pages & Pages nested beneath them
- Page Content
- Template Content (explained further elsewhere)
- Template Footer
- Page Footer: Top-Level Pages
Full Width Layout
In the image above, you can see some of the major components of a Page using the “full_width” Layout with a snippet in the Template Footer. The Template has the all same parts as the “default” layout, but doesn’t have a sidebar.
Templates are how these layouts are applied to pages on your site and also govern what content appears in the Sidebar and Template Footer of all pages using that Template. Every page on your site has a Template assigned and each Template has a Layout. When your site is first set up, it has two Templates with names that reflect the Layouts they use: Default (uses the “default” layout) and Full Width (uses the “full_width” layout). Neither Template will have Template Content initially except for the Registration Alert Snippet in the Default Template’s Sidebar. See Working with Snippets for more about how Snippets work.
In order to use a custom Template you need to:
- Create the new Template
- Assign that Template to the Page(s) you want to customize
- Add Template Content to the Template
Create the Template
Go to Manage Team > Website > Templates
Here you’ll see a list of the existing Templates and the Layout they use. Click “New Template” to create a new one. You can then name your Template and choose which Layout the Template should use. A good practice is to use a name that reflects the new Template’s purpose. For example, “Shop” instead of “Other Default.”
Once you have created a Template, go to Website > Pages, find the Page you want to assign a Template to in the list, and click the “Properties” link.
Choose the Page Template and click “Save”.
Once you have created a Template and assigned it to a Page, view your site and navigate to the Page. Your new Template will have no Template content in any of its Template content areas (i.e., your new Template will be blank). The Page Content will be present, naturally.
Use the Manage Site menu and choose “Edit Template Content…”. Templates using the “default” Layout have two areas for Template Content: the Sidebar and the Template Footer. The “full_width” Layout has one: the Template Footer.
In the above example, you could add Snippets to either area by clicking their respective “Add Snippet” button. This opens the standard Snippet palette, where you drag a Snippet to its area. When you are finished adding Template content, click the “Exit” button at the top of the page. You’ll see your new Template Content in the locations you placed it. If you view a page with a different Template assigned, you’ll see that Template’s content in those locations. When you assign your new Template to any page you’ll see the Template’s content there.
Using Templates and Layouts allows you a great deal of control over what displays on your page and where.