Hello on my wordpress site I have a custom template for category A with slug (cat-a). I created a category-cat-a.php file to give this category a custom layout and this works without a problem.

I am wondering is there any easy way to apply this same layout to all subcategories of A (I don't really want to have to create a custom template for every subcategory asthere is a lot)?

2 Answers 2


If a is the category slug, then following code would work -

add_action('template_include', 'wpse129481_template_include');
function wpse129481_template_include($t)
    // is category archive page
    if( is_category() )
        // current queried category id from queried object
        $child_id = get_queried_object_id();

        // parent category object, getting it by slug.
        $parent_cat = get_term_by('slug', 'a', 'category');

        // current category object, can also be used get_queried_object()
        $child_cat = get_term($child_id, 'category');

        // important part here is the cat_is_ancestor_of() function.
        // it checks if first category is parent/grand parent of second
        if( isset($parent_cat->term_id) 
            && isset($child_cat->term_id)
            && $parent_cat->term_id != $child_cat->term_id
            && cat_is_ancestor_of( $parent_cat, $child_cat )
            locate_template( array('category-cat-a.php') );
    return $t;

I dont know if it's the best way but one possibility that comes to mind is to hook the template_redirect function.

If it where a custom post_type and I wanted children to a unique template I would do it like this. U need to tweek to work with taxonomys but the same principle apply.

add_filter('template_redirect', 'page_template_override' );

function page_template_override() {
    global $wp_query,$post;

  if(isset($wp_query->query_vars['posttype']) && $post->post_parent > 0){
              include( get_template_directory() . '/template-name.php' );

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.