Is there an easy way to change the WP default template hierarchy?

For instance;

Say I want to change my theme directory structure so that it completely changes from the Template Hierarchy suggested here based upon conditionals:


If I wanted to make sure that for all page types (is_single() is_home() etc) it always opens one template file which then instigates my own pattern to provide the output?

Thanks very much!


1 Answer 1


Try this filter

function wpse_63614_restructure_template_hierarchy( $template ){
    return get_template_directory().'/filename.php';
add_filter( 'template_include', 'wpse_63614_restructure_template_hierarchy' );

The filename would be the file you would want to call in your theme folder. For child themes you would use get_stylesheet_directory instead.


Or as suggested by Chip Bennett and what I too feel would be better; you can use the template_redirect hook in the following manner. The priority can be set accordingly if required.

function wpse_63614_restructure_template_hierarchy(){
    include( get_template_directory().'/filename.php' );
add_action( 'template_redirect', 'wpse_63614_restructure_template_hierarchy' );
  • Thanks Joshua where would this go? In my theme activation?
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 12:53
  • in your theme's functions.php Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 13:01
  • 1
    This is the right approach, but I would suggest using the template_redirect hook. Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 13:32
  • Yup just had a look at the template-loader.php once again. Don't know how did I miss that one. Will add that too in the answer. Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 13:37

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