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Here is my loop code, i want to call different page templates for different pages. Please notice that this is a one-page-layout.

<?php $args = array( 'post_type' => 'page' );?>  <!-- get only pages -->

<?php query_posts($args); ?>

<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>  <!-- loop with pages starts -->

<?php $id = get_the_ID(); ?>  <!-- get post/pageID --> 

<?php   if ($id == 5) : include( get_stylesheet_directory() . '/page_special.php' );

        else: include( get_stylesheet_directory() . '/page_all.php' );


Would it be possible to change the if ($id == 5) with is_page or sth like that?

share|improve this question
Why do you wrap every single line with php-tags? It's enough to open the php-mode at the beginning and do we it at the end. – Ralf912 May 5 '13 at 2:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, there are a few improvements.

  • Needlessly opening and closing PHP tags is a timewaster, makes it harder to read, and means more typing
  • PHP Alt/short style syntax isn't going to play as nicely with the editor. Use {} instead, and your IDE may even help you type out the closing brace automagically.
  • Query_posts, never, ever use it. There is no valid use case that isn't covered by WP_Query or the pre_get_posts filter
  • Dont put a trailing ?> at the end of a PHP file
  • Use PHP comments not HTML comments
  • get_template_part should be used instead of include
  • You made no attempt to do cleanup after your query
  • You never checked to see if any pages were found at all
  • You're using page in your template names, this could cause clashes with the template heirarchy and may not load the template you think in some circumstances

So lets begin:


// grab pages
$args = array( 'post_type' => 'page' );
$query = new WP_Query( $args );

// did we actually find posts?
if ( $query->have_posts() ) {

    // while there are still posts
    while ( $query->have_posts()) {
        // setup the current post data/globals

        // grab its ID
        $id = get_the_ID();
        if ($id == 5) {
            get_template_part( 'page_special' );
        } else {
            get_template_part( 'page_all' );
    // cleanup after ourselves
} else {
    // no pages were found!

Now, you can use get_template_part to further extend this.

First, I would swap this out to use 'content' rather than 'page' as the main identifier. So:

  • page_all.php becomes content.php
  • page_special.php becomes content-special.php

Note the use of - not _.

Then, I would modify the code that loads the content template, like so:

get_template_part( 'content', get_the_ID() );

If you land on page 4 for example, it will attempt to load content-4.php, and if that doesn't exist, it will load content.php. You can pass in anything you want as the second parameter, and it'll also look in child/parent themes. Tie this to a custom field/post meta and you can extend it further

share|improve this answer
Hi Tom! Thank you very much for your detailed and commented solution. I like the get_template_part( 'content', get_the_ID() ); part because i think this is what i was lookin for. You might have noticed that i'm a PHP noob but you gave me very good starting advices. Thank you. – mobsteady May 5 '13 at 8:00
Glad to have helped, if you're happy with it you could mark it as accepted? I'd say the most important note to stress is query_posts, it's used in so many tutorials yet it's can cause all manner of issues, and it essentially doubles the amount of work WordPress has to do – Tom J Nowell May 5 '13 at 12:15

First of all, don't use query_posts. Check this question for more info.

Secondly, post ID is probably not a good thing to differentiate on: duplicating database tables can easily become a pain in case of multiple-server development flows (i.e. one for dev, optionally another for QA, and one for live).

I found it the least brittle to tie logic to a custom field or something similar, such as a plugin setting which allows the user to specify the page ID(s) to show a different template for.

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hey dalbaeb! thank you for the link. I hope i will get into the "query thing" soon :) – mobsteady May 5 '13 at 8:02

I love ternary operators

$part = ( 5 === (int) get_the_ID() ) ?
  'page_special' : 'page_all';
get_template_part( $part );
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