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I know it is possible to have enable post thumbnails on a specific post type, but is there any way of doing this just for specific template?

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You can use the remove_post_type_support for your requirement. In your case, you remove post thumbnail if specific page template is not selected.

function remove_post_thumb(){
    if (isset($_GET['post'])) {
        $post_id = $_GET['post'];
    } else if (isset($_POST['post_ID'])) {
        $post_id = $_POST['post_ID'];
    } else {
        return;
    }
    $template_file = get_post_meta($post_id, '_wp_page_template', TRUE);
    if ($template_file != 'page-your-template.php') {
        remove_post_type_support('page', 'thumbnail');
    }
}
  • Thanks for this - just tried it, but it doesn't seem to be working (thumbnail still shows regardless of template). – user319940 Jun 28 '15 at 11:14
  • if your template is in some folder then your condition should be folder/page-your-template.php and also the post meta _wp_page_template might not work unless you save the post once. Try once. – Karun Jun 28 '15 at 11:20
  • Just tried, but still the same unfortunately. – user319940 Jun 28 '15 at 11:23
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You can use a conditional function to check whether the page being accessed is using a page template and if so, display .... code.

is_page_template( 'about.php' )

The above is the specific function and it could be used in an if statement, like so:

if ( is_page_template( 'my_template.php' ) )
{
    // Display Code
}

You could also do an if/else and display something as an alternative:

if ( is_page_template( 'my_template.php' ) )
{
    // Display Code
}
else
{
    // Display Alternative Code
}

Just the same, instead of checking whether the current page is using the page template, you could check to see if it's not:

if ( !is_page_template( 'my_template.php' ) )
{
    // Display Code or Error
}

More information on Conditionals: https://codex.wordpress.org/Conditional_Tags#Is_a_Page_Template

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