I've created a custom post type and taxonomy for a portfolio loop:

// Portfolio CPT
function portfolio_cpt() {
  $labels = array(
    'name'               => _x( 'Potfolio Items', 'post type general name' ),
    'singular_name'      => _x( 'Portfolio item', 'post type singular name' ),
    'menu_name'          => 'Portfolio Items'
  $args = array(
    'labels'        => $labels,
    'description'   => 'Portfolio items',
    'public'        => true,
    'menu_position' => 5,
    'supports'      => array( 'title', 'editor', 'thumbnail', 'excerpt', 'comments' ),
    'has_archive'   => true,
  register_post_type( 'portfolio', $args ); 
add_action( 'init', 'portfolio_cpt' );

function portfolio_tax() {
  $labels = array(
    'name'              => _x( 'Portfolio Categories', 'taxonomy general name' ),
    'singular_name'     => _x( 'Portfolio Category', 'taxonomy singular name' ),
    'menu_name'         => __( 'Portfolio Categories' ),
  $args = array(
    'labels' => $labels,
    'hierarchical' => true,
  register_taxonomy( 'portfolio_category', 'portfolio', $args );
add_action( 'init', 'portfolio_tax', 0 );

This bit of code is in the single post page, so when I click a category, it sends me to the category archive page:


$taxonomy = 'portfolio_category';
$terms = get_terms($taxonomy);

if ( $terms && !is_wp_error( $terms ) ) :
        <?php foreach ( $terms as $term ) { ?>
            <li><a href="<?php echo get_term_link($term->slug, $taxonomy); ?>"><?php echo $term->name; ?></a></li>
        <?php } ?>
<?php endif;?>

And then created a custom archive file called archive-portfolio.php to list the posts relating to a specific category.

The problem is, it seems to be still using the default archive template, meaning I can't edit/style the page

Any ideas?

1 Answer 1


From what it sounds like, the archive for your "portfolio" custom post type works if it lists all portfolio posts, but if you click on your custom taxonomy within a post, it goes to the default archive.php.

Since this is custom taxonomy, it's not going to use your archive-portfolio.php because all that does is apply to the listing of all your portfolio posts, not their taxonomy. So what you likely need is a taxonomy template:

Custom Taxonomies Display on the Codex

If you look at the Template Hierarchy section on the Codex, you'll see that when WordPress gets to an archive - it looks for several files before defaulting to archive.php. That order is:

  1. taxonomy-{taxonomy}-{term}.php
  2. taxonomy-{taxonomy}.php
  3. taxonomy.php
  4. archive.php <-- Where you're defaulting because the above templates do not exist
  5. index.php

Hope that helps! :-)

  • @OllieRussell8 Great! Would you mind marking this as a correct answer if it solved your problem? There should be a checkbox under the number on my answer - upper right, if you're unfamiliar with stack exchange. Thanks. :-)
    – RachieVee
    Oct 24, 2014 at 17:13

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