For help with installing plugins please refer to our Plugin installation guide.
Once installed go to Plugins in the network admin dashboard and Network Activate the New Blog Template plugin. You’ll see a new menu in your network admin: Blog templates.
Using Your New Blog Template
New blog template can be used as:
- The default template for all new sites created on your network.
- A template selection when people sign up for a new site on your network.
- A template selection when a super admin user creates a new site in Sites > Add New in the network admin dashboard.
How the New Blog Template works is you first create a new site and customize it with all features you want automatically added to new sites created with this template. For example, you configure all settings, add all post(s), page(s), set up the theme, upload the custom image header, activate plugins, add users, add widgets, add links to the blogroll and so on. You’ll find an example of a blog template here.
- The site you’ve customized to use as a template is designed solely to be used as a template and not to be used a functioning site.
- Any changes made to a template blog affect any sites created after you’ve made the new changes, it doesn’t affect sites already created.
- You cannot use your main site as a template blog! You’ll get a little reminder if you try.
Configuring the settings
Once you’ve customized your new site with prepackaged features, you’re ready to make your first blog template. But let’s configure some global options first. Go to Blog Templates > Settings in your network admin dashboard.
1. Configure template options for your signup page.
2. Configure the categories toolbar for your signup page.
3. Optional database repair function.
1. You’ll likely want to offer your users a Template Selection when they sign up. So check the Show templates selection on registration box. You can always change this setting later if you wish.
Then select the style you want to use for display on the signup page from the other options. Here’s what each of those options could look like on your signup page (note that this may change depending on the theme you are using).
1. Simple selection box.
2. Radio with descriptions.
3. Theme screenshots.
4. Theme screenshots with titles & descriptions.
5. Theme previewer.
The first four selections are self-explanatory. However, the 5th one is pretty cool. You can customize the label of the “Select” button, and the “View Demo” button actually links to your template site so users can really get a feel for how their own site might look.
2. You can also select to display the Categories Toolbar if you’re going to be categorizing your templates (we’ll get to that below).
You can customize the colors of the toolbar to better fit the overall look of your site.
3. The Repair Database option is there is case you are having issues with some of the plugin tables not having been created. Simply check the box and click Repair Now!
Got all that? Great, now let’s go set up some template categories!
Setting up Categories
This step is entirely optional. If you do not intend on creating a bunch of templates and separating them into categories for your users, you can skip this step.
Creating blog template categories is just like creating post categories. Simply enter the category name and optional description, then save. Done deal. :)
You’ll be able to select the category for each template you create. They will then display to your users on your signup page as shown in the Categories Toolbar screenshot seen above.
Creating a Blog Template
Go to Blog Templates > Blog Templates in your network admin.
At the top of that screen, you’ll see all the templates you have already created. As this is likely a new install, you won’t see anything there yet.
1. Give your new template a name.
2. Select the blog to use as a template.
3. Give your template a description.
Template Name is where you enter the name you want your new template to have.
The Blog ID setting enables you to select which blog to use as a template. If you know the numerical blog ID, you can enter that. Or you can simply search for the blog name, and select it from the search results that will appear as you type.
Template Description is… the description of the template. This will display on the signup page depending on the settings you had previously configured.
Once you have that basic information entered, click “Create Blog template!” at the bottom. The next screen enables you to configure all the settings for that particular template (this is the same screen that appears if you decide to edit a template later on).
1. Edit the template name & description if desired.
2. Select what to include in the template.
3. Block content from being edited.
4. Set meta of included posts/pages to date of blog creation.
5. Upload a screenshot.
6. Select plugin data to copy.
7. Select a template category.
1. The Template Name & Description fields allow you to modify that information if you wish.
2. The What To Copy To New Blog? area is where you check off exactly what you want to include in all new blogs based on this template.
3. Check Block Posts/Pages if you want to include default content that users cannot change.
4. If Update Dates is selected, the dates of all posts/pages included in your template will be updated to the date when the blog is created. Cool huh?
5. Upload the Screenshot that you want to use for this template.
6. Check any Additional Tables that may be required by active plugins if you have selected that above.
7. Select one or more Template categories that you may have created earlier.
All done? Click “Save Template”. You should now see your new template added to your blog template list.
Setting up a default template
Making a template the default template is as simple as:
1. Click on Make Default next to the template you want to use as your default template
2. Now every newly created site will be a replicate of the default template unless an alternative template is selected.
Customizing Blog Template Selection Options On The Sign-Up Page
The look and feel of the template selector can be customized for your sign up page by copying the files from wp-content/plugins/blogtemplates/blogtemplatesfiles/template to your theme folder and editing them.
The following 4 files need to be copied to your theme folder:
Using template selection in Sites > Add New
1. Go to Sites > Add New in the network admin dashboard.
2. Add the site address, site title, admin email address and select the Template from the template dropdown menu then click Add Site.