All WordPress Theme Files Explained! : How to edit from admin

About this Article: All WordPress Theme Files Explained! What are the files in a wordpress template, How to edit from admin side, Where and what to edit in a wordpress theme. This article is purely aimed to help the wordpress newbie on how to edit a wordpress and which all theme files to edit in a wordpress theme and how to do this from your admin section. The PROs may toggle to the next article as you might already be knowing what i am talking about right now.

What all files to look for and for what all. Here is a screenshot that could give you a better picture of what i am referring to. On the right hand side, the drop down to select the template or theme you want to edit now, select the apt template and below that you would find the template files and make sure You BACKUP Before you edit any file.

Each theme would have different set of files additional, But there is a set of common theme files that are a must. I have explained all the possible files that are found in a theme usually and editing that would change what.


* 404 Template (404.php)
* Comments (comments.php)
* Footer (footer.php)
* Header (header.php)
* Main Index Template (index.php)
* Page Template (page.php)
* Popup Comments (comments-popup.php)
* Search Form (searchform.php)
* Sidebar (sidebar.php)
* Single Post (single.php)
* Theme Functions (functions.php)
* about.php (about.php)
* ads.php (ads.php)
* comments1.php (comments1.php)
* defaulthome.php (defaulthome.php)
* defaultindex.php (defaultindex.php)
* home.php (home.php)
* tabs.php (tabs.php)


* Stylesheet (style.css)
* ie6style.css (ie6style.css)
* ie8style.css (ie8style.css)
* iestyle.css (iestyle.css)
* styleBlue.css (styleBlue.css)
* styleGreen.css (styleGreen.css)
* stylePink.css (stylePink.css)
* stylePurple.css (stylePurple.css)
* styleRed.css

Files  Explained:

404 Template (404.php) : Basically to change how your 404 not found error would look like or display what message

Comments (comments.php): Contains the code to the comment section partially and rest would be found in Comments1.php or comments2.php, Its not necessary that you would have 3 comments.php files, some themes have only one. These contains info about form inputs on adding comments, avatars etc.

Footer (footer.php): Contains the code for the footer, backup and edit them on how to see your footer changes

Header (header.php): Same goes to the header, edit or add HTML or php to header to play with the head of the Template

Sidebar (sidebar.php) : This contains the code for the Sidebar, One of the most important part that you would want to edit apart from the widgets, again back up before editing.

Single Post (single.php) or Post.php : A very important template file that needs to be edited at times to add some newsletter snippet, Adsense code etc to the post. This is the part of the template that repeats itself in each and every post, simply the code for the post body for each and every post of your blog.

Theme Functions.php: This contains the functions used in a template, sometimes in order to add new features to WordPress, Like for example, show twitter avatars instead of WordPress avatar in comments, In this case we require a new function to be added, add it here.

Hope i have covered all important files, let me know if i missed any 🙂 Ohhh i forgot, i almost missed it lol : The stile functions, its usually  styleIE6.php and style.css. The file you need to edit is Style.css, basically it talks about the basic colors, fonts , sizes used at various parts of the wordpress blog. Some themes have number of style sheets like style blue, style red etc..thats when the theme gives an option in the admin panel to change the color from admin side.

Let me know your thoughts on the article.



  1. Greg December 11, 2010
    • admin December 12, 2010
  2. SLT-A77 November 17, 2011
  3. SLT-A65 November 18, 2011