How to Apply a Template to Sub-categories

Tutorial Difficulty Level: Intermediate

How to apply a template to sub-categories
Reading Time: 7 mins

The big question: Does category.php apply to the children of the targeted category?

The answer: No. So now what?

For those not familiar with the power of category.php within a theme, you can catch up here. In a nutshell, you can apply a custom template to a specific category just by naming the template file with a convention that gets automatically picked up by WordPress. It’s a really awesome feature to take advantage of, but there’s one problem.

Category.php will not apply to the category’s children/sub-categories. ┬áSo then, how do we apply a template to sub-categories? After lurking around online to find forum threads like this, and brainstorming with a co-worker of mine, I found some solutions to the problem and wanted to share them.

Before we begin:

  • You should have some knowledge as to how category.php works in a theme
  • You should have some basic understanding of PHP or at the very least, have taken a look at WordPress’ Conditional Tags
  • You should have access to your theme’s files for editing purposes

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