Basic question, but I want to enable page templates. I have one theme which has page templates enabled. I switched to another but there is no option to change the template, even when creating a new page. How do I switch this option on? I've had a root around on the Codex and forum but can't find it.

4 Answers 4


Chances are that the theme you've switched to has no page templates defined - they exist on a per theme basis.

Here's the Codex reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/pages/

  • Thanks. Looks like what I wanted to do is not possible. I have a widget that sits in the sidebar which searches a webservice. The results go into a custom template which as you say has to be built on a theme by theme basis. So it will never be a generic widget. Mar 21, 2011 at 16:11

Define your template name in the custom template file.

Template Name: demo

After this the select template option will be available on the edit screen. You can choose the desired name you want.

  • not true. something else must be done, since my templates dissapeared
    – NickNo
    Aug 6, 2014 at 11:12
  • In 2022 this works for me. I don't have the same issue as OP. I was just trying to understand why the file I created in the templates folder wasn't showing up as a template. The answer told me that WordPress doesn't see it as a template without Template Name: SOMETHING at the top. Mar 18, 2022 at 10:15

There is another reason why you may not see the Page Template dropdown fiels in your page editor. If you are creating a global page template (one that can be used for any page, you need to ensure that you do not name of your template file with the page- prefix, else WP interpret this as a special template for use on page slugs matching the rest of the name.

From the page template codex:

Important! Do not use page- as a prefix, as WordPress will interpret the file as a specialized template, meant to apply to only one page on your site.

and finally make sure you insert the following comment at the top of the page:

/* Template Name: Name-of-your-template */


Allow page template support to you theme by adding this function in your functions.php file:

function is_page_template( $template = '' ) {
    $page_template = get_page_template_slug( get_queried_object_id() );

    if ( empty( $template ) )
        return (bool) $page_template;

    if ( $template == $page_template )
        return true;

    if ( is_array( $template ) ) {
        if ( ( in_array( 'default', $template, true ) && ! $page_template )
            || in_array( $page_template, $template, true )
        ) {
            return true;

    return ( 'default' === $template && ! $page_template );

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