I can't find any themes that truly match what I want, so I wanted to customize my blog page by adding to its existing layout given from the theme. However it seems that widgets and plugins that allow complete design and customization of pages work for everything (pages and posts) except for the blog page, which seems to be a completely unique type of page that cannot be customized without picking a new template.

Does anyone know of a way to customize this page? Or should I set my homepage to static, add a blog to my homepage using widgets and plugins, and set the blog page to something inaccessible to the user, essentially creating my own new "blog page" out of a static page so that I can utilize the customization resources that I want on it.

If anyone knows the proper way to go about this or has any useful plugins to recommend, I would be grateful. Thanks in advanced.

3 Answers 3


Copied from the WordPress developer documentation on 'Template Hierachy', the blog template is displayed using the following template file rules:

If your blog is at http://example.com/blog/ and a visitor clicks on a link to a category page such as http://example.com/blog/category/your-cat/, WordPress looks for a template file in the current theme’s directory that matches the category’s ID to generate the correct page. More specifically, WordPress follows this procedure:

Looks for a template file in the current theme’s directory that matches the category’s slug. If the category slug is “unicorns,” then WordPress looks for a template file named category-unicorns.php.

  1. If category-unicorns.php is missing and the category’s ID is 4, WordPress looks for a template file named category-4.php.
  2. If category-4.php is missing, WordPress will look for a generic category template file, category.php.
  3. If category.php does not exist, WordPress will look for a generic archive template, archive.php.
  4. If archive.php is also missing, WordPress will fall back to the main theme template file, index.php.

You can also see a visual representation of the template hierarchy below:

enter image description here

  • I’m not entirely sure what do do with this information. Are you saying I should edit the .php files directly to change the blog page layout? Apr 20, 2018 at 20:08
  • Yes, however you should be using a child theme to make any customisations to theme files - codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes
    – Mat
    Apr 21, 2018 at 0:43
  • The exact theme file(s) that will need to be customised will be dependant upon the theme that you are using and its structure but will most likely be a case of customising either index.php or archive.php - these files may also have 'includes' within them using the function get_template_part() which may link to other template files that get called to make the specific layouts.
    – Mat
    Apr 21, 2018 at 0:46

It's quite late to reply to this thread. But I think it might useful for you and other too.

It is true that the design of the blog is really helpful to attract readers. Having the same design for your blog for quite a long time that might cumbersome for visitors. Customization on blogging style and design is needed for every website.

If you want to customize your theme on your own, it might take so much time to design your blog. Instead you can install a plugin to design or modify your blog page or post on your own choice. You can try out Blog Designer WordPress Plugin. https://wordpress.org/plugins/blog-designer/

It is an easiest solution to design your blog page quickly. You can also customize various settings as per your blog website needs.

I hope it help you.


Definitely replying late so I'm not sure how relevant my answer will be at this point with the new Gutenberg editor out & most block settings being extremely customizable, but Atomic Blocks changed the game for me personally. I would build a blog from scratch off a template, covert everything to blocks, then just rotate the existing blocks before deleting all of the non relevant blocks

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