I'm running around with an idea in my head that I would like to make but I don't really know how or where to start.

In a custom theme I had to make serveral templates for one of my clients. I noticed that I had around 20 possible templates for my client (because he wanted to have "multiple" options)

You can imagine that the dropdown list for the templates was immense. So I was wondering how I can replace the default dropdown with a new screen or a pop-up to create a visual reference to the possible templates.

It would be even cooler if there are thumbnails of templates generated based on how the template looks. (like Google used to do a while ago) But this is part two. First I would like to know how to even replace the dropdown.

Any thoughts/ideas?

I found this but.... well I don't know.

1 Answer 1


You could develop your own metabox for the page (with custom styling, probably) that allows selection of the template. I don't know that generating screenshots is feasible, but you could definitely have it pull from some sort of associated file (eg: template name is template-name.php, screenshot is template-name.png).

With the replacement selection method generated, you can then just use remove_meta_box() to remove the default input box (see: Get List of Registered Meta Boxes and Removing Them) and you should be set!

  • That's a great idea. Thnx. I didn't know a remove_meta_box() existed. Now I can custom save the template_name to the database and call it upon pageload or something. Thnx Jan 29, 2015 at 14:48
  • If this solved the problem, please mark it as the solution so that it doesn't show up in unanswered questions.
    – mor7ifer
    Jan 29, 2015 at 14:52
  • This didn't solve my problem this is merely a solution to a problem. I would like to leave the question open for a little longer to see if there is anyone else who has a different idea. If I do work with your solution I will mark this answer as solved! Jan 29, 2015 at 14:59
  • Indeed I created a metabox that holds the templates and was able to update the _wp_page_template with another template. Used remove_meta_box() to hide the attributes. Thnx @m0r7if3r Feb 2, 2015 at 16:39

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