I am new to Wordpress but I am comfortable coding in html/php and want to create custom forms on some of my posts.

My site is currently running on localhost.

I feel very silly because I have been searching through my /var/html folder for an embarrassingly long time trying to find out where I can edit a page called "My Profile". I was expecting to see some kind of auto-generated my_profile.php file or something.

The page itself is identified with page_id=10 , but I don't see anything about page_id within the file structure either. Where does the "My Profile" code live?

1 Answer 1


It's useful to understand how things work in WP. Content (pages, posts) are stored in the WP database. The 'style' of the site - how it works, how pages are built, how it looks - are in the theme of the site.

Within the theme are templates - that defines how a post is displayed to the end user. To understand templates - and themes - check out my answer to this question: Need help on Wordpress and php .

This page is a good place to start learning about how WP works: https://codex.wordpress.org/New_To_WordPress_-_Where_to_Start . Look at themes, templates, template hierarchy, etc.

Find a basic theme, then make a Child Theme to 'mess' with. (The above link will get you to Child Themes info.) Edit a template.

Pages and Posts are edited via the Admin pages. Log into admin, then look at the Pages or Posts items. Edit a page, and see the changes. But the "Where to Start" is a good place to start learning.

Have fun. WP is great to modify, frustrating at times, but will give you a sense of accomplishment.

  • Hi Rick - I'm still a bit confused. Say I want a user to be able to edit their email address. Where can I create an html form and a bit of php that will call $wp_user_update ? I did peruse the documentation you sent, it seems like themes are more about the style of the site than the functionality - do I want to make a child theme for my form submission? Thanks
    – ellen
    Aug 14, 2018 at 20:52
  • 1
    Maybe this answer will help: wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/9775/… . It seemed like your question was more about how to change page output. But the answer in that link tells you how to create/change a template to do what you want. So an understanding of templates and child themes will be helpful. Aug 14, 2018 at 20:56
  • That link looks very promising! The person who answered suggested that they add code to a copy of page.php Where would that page.php typically be located in the file structure? I can't find mine
    – ellen
    Aug 14, 2018 at 21:02
  • See, that's why you need to know about Templates and the Template Hierarchy, and Child Themes. Templates are in the theme's folder. And you really don't want to change a theme's template, because a theme update will bork your changes. That's why you want a Child Theme. At the very least, you should make a copy of the page.php file (or whatever used by your template), then change the name of that template and save it as a different file name. Then you select that template for your pages. By default, most themes will use page.php template to output pages. W/ a Child Theme, you can override that. Aug 14, 2018 at 21:40

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