I'm an experienced php programmer, but a wordpress newbie. My site uses the theme twenty eleven. I have created some post categories, and some posts for each category. On my site, for each post category, a page has automatically been created displaying the posts for that category. So far so good.

What I would like to do now is do some customization. For example:

  1. For some categories, I want the full content displayed, but for others, just the synopsis.
  2. For some categories, I want the page to have a link to the permalink of the posts being displayed, but for others not.
  3. For some categories, I wish to display the post's featured image, but for others not.


How do I accomplish this?

I'm aware of the various php files, such as header.php, etc. It appears that the file that handles category pages is category.php and inside it is a loop "while ( have_posts() )". Is there one php file that I'm supposed to edit and customize to accomplish what I need? (Maybe content.php?) Or is different from this? I would be grateful for any assistance.

1 Answer 1


One way to do it is with the WordPress Template Hierarchy. If your category names/slugs are not likely to change you can have a separate template for each category. For example:

category-books.php // will be loaded when viewing 'Books' category
category-magazines-and-newspapers.php // will load for 'Magazines and Newspapers' category

This way you can customize each category view as much as you'd like.

As for content.php, it's just a way to abstract the logic (of displaying an individual article) and to use it in many different places by simply including it on the page (with the help of get_template_part function). You can always customize this template portion as well by creating content-books.php, content-magazines.php and including them in your various templates.

  • Thank you. Creating a series of mycat.php pages sounds good. But is there some "hello world" starter template or file out there that I could use to help me create my first mycat.php file?
    – oyvey
    May 22, 2013 at 15:09
  • You can start off with the code inside category.php and (in case of your #2 and #3) content.php which is included inside category.php. May 22, 2013 at 15:13

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