I'm trying to create a custom page 2 template that's different from the main index.php. For example, the main index page would display the latest news + a lot of features like a magazine. When readers click to read on to page 2, 3, 4 etc of the news posts, they are taken to a more regular news page. Kinda like something on theverge.com (at the bottom, click "next page" and see what I mean).

Anyone have any ideas on how to do this? I know it's possible to create archive pages for categories and tags, but I'm not sure how to do it for the index.php.


  • At least, you should disclaime that you are cross-posting... stackoverflow.com/q/11285094/1287812
    – brasofilo
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 23:02
  • @Bill if one of the answers below worked for you, please MARK it as the answer. :)
    – its_me
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 3:11

2 Answers 2


I would use the is_paged() conditional inside index.php to load two separate templates containing your layouts. Something like this:

if ( is_paged() ):
   get_template_part( 'content', 'first-page' );
   get_template_part( 'content', 'paged' );

Assuming you have two templates, content-first-page.php and content-paged.php.

Edit: If you just want a different template for part of your index page, try this:

if ( !is_paged() ):
   get_template_part( 'content', 'middle' );    

Put that wherever you want the extra template to load.

  • Thanks man, that seems to have done the job. I don't think the index and subsequent pages are that different, the index page basically has an extra section of content before the footer. Is there a way of including this section (e.g. "middle.php") via php include only on the main index page and not the other pages (page 2, 3, 4 etc.)? Thanks again!
    – Bill
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 23:55
  • You can use my code for that purpose with a few modifications. Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 12:09

@Joseph's answer is probably what you're after. But if the first and subsequent pages are going to be sufficiently different so as to require a complete different template you can hook into the template_include filter.

function wpse57122_change_on_p2( $template ){
    if( is_front_page() && is_paged() ){
        $template = locate_template(array('archive.php','index.php'));
    return $template;

This alters the default template used for pages 2 and higher of the 'front page' (see is_front_page and is_paged()). The locate_template searches the (child and parent) theme for the given templates - in the order given to it. In this example, it will use archive.php for pages 2 and above- if that template doesn't exist, it will use index.php instead.

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