I have a sub-directory in my Wordpress theme (there are a lot of pages and I want a more logical structure). I have a custom post type called "entry" but if I place the archive-entry.php template in my sub-directory it is no longer picked up by the theme.

Is there a way I can put my custom post type archive templates in a sub-directory?


2 Answers 2


Unlike page templates, WordPress doesn't look in subdirectories for post template pages. The base function used for locating such templates is locate_template() (see source), which looks in the root directory of your theme (and parent theme).

(On the other hand get_page_templates() searches sub-directory).

You can use template_include filter (which filters the absolute path to your template) to change the template used:

add_filter( 'template_include', 'wpse119820_use_different_template' );
function wpse119820_use_different_template( $template ){

   if( is_post_type_archive( 'entry' ) ){
       //"Entry" Post type archive. Find template in sub-dir. Look in child then parent theme

       if( $_template = locate_template( 'my-sub-dir/archive-entry.php' ) ){
            //Template found, - use that
            $template = $_template;

   return $template;
  • Strange, I thought I tried this! Anyway this works for me now. Thanks!
    – benedict_w
    Oct 24, 2013 at 15:59
  • Minor performance note: template_include fires AFTER WordPress has already gone through the trouble of trying to locate the template file. So I wouldn't recommend doing this if it's just to make your folders pretty.
    – Curtis
    Oct 30, 2017 at 16:55

As explained by @StephenHarris, the template loader does not do this by default.

While Stephen's answer looks fine to me, I was working on one before he posted and it is a bit different. I used the archive_template hook and generated the template name using get_queried_object.

  function($template) {
    $path = pathinfo($template);
    if (!empty($path['filename'] && 'archive' === $path['filename']) {
      $pg = get_queried_object();
      if (!empty($pg->name)) {
        $t = locate_template('archive/'.$pg->name.'.php');
        if (!empty($t)) {
          $template = $t;
    return $template;

It is rough code. It may be buggy.

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