I want to have one header page for the front page of the site and all other pages that follow by clicking "next" and a different header for all other pages, categories, articles, etc. on the site. Is there a way to do this within the header.php file or do I have to do something differently?

I'm using a free theme for the backbone of the site and have implemented a child theme to create a unique header as well as add functions separately so that I don't lose changes when the parent theme is updated, so I have minimal space to maneuver in order to affect these changes.

  • Ok. Now I realize why the disconnect. I need to clarify that I'm using a primary theme and am, right now, programming a child theme to handle additional functions and create the alternative header. Is there a way to insert the header swap into the index.php without creating a separate one since I'm using a child theme and have only, so far, duplicated the functions.php and header.php pages?
    – OscarGuy
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


Depending on the theme, in most cases you can simply edit header.php in your child theme and add a conditional:

if(is_home()) {
// code for the header displayed on home & paged
} else {
// code for the header on all other URLs

is_home() will return true if you are on what is referred to as the "blog posts index" - i.e. you're displaying a list of blog posts on the front page - as well as each additional page you reach through the "next" link.

  • Where would I put this? There's a lot of code in the header. Would I put it before the doctype tag or down in the body section?
    – OscarGuy
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 19:13
  • Wrap it around whatever changes. All pages should have a doctype, so you'd leave that alone, leave meta tags etc. that should be on every page alone, and go down to wherever the code needs to be conditional.
    – WebElaine
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 19:18
  • You can also create template_parts if you want to keep the two interchangeable headers completely separate, then call them conditionally in the header.php file. Makes for less code in a single file, which may or may not be useful in your case.
    – WebElaine
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 19:19
  • Ok. I tried to get this one to work and either I was putting the operations in the wrong spot or it just wasn't working. I still had the full header appearing on all pages.
    – OscarGuy
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:25
  • 1
    You might need to use if(is_front_page()) instead depending on whether you're showing a static Page or the default list of recent posts on the homepage.
    – WebElaine
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 21:44

It's possible to have multiple header files in a theme, and to have your templates load them based on conditions you choose.

You already have a header.php file that gets loaded when a template calls get_header(); you can create a new one called header-front.php with the markup for your home page and any other pages you choose, and load it instead by calling get_header( 'front' ). The parameter that gets passed is the slug of the file (everything in between "header-" and ".php" in the file name.

  • Would I put the "front" markup in the index.php file only then?
    – OscarGuy
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:25
  • You would have all the appropriate header content in header.php and header-front.php, and call them with get_header() and get_header( 'front' ) in index.php. They should be wrapped in conditional checks for is_home() || is_front_page() to call the right header for what you need. If true, call header front, else call header. Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 3:03
  • My apologies for the way delayed response. I get busy on other things and forget I'm working on this as a side project. I added a note to my original post above explaining that I'm doing this as a child theme, which may complicate how I can handle it.
    – OscarGuy
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 16:37

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