We present a visual reference guide for the Shopp theme template page hierarchy available as a downloadable PDF.

Shopp Content Templates Visual Guide

Shopp Content Templates Visual Guide

Of the two different types of template files provided to designers and developers, the Shopp content template files are at the heart of it all. Shopp content templates are really template parts loaded where the_content() is used inside of a theme template file. See our Shopp Theme Templates Page Hierarchy article for a review on theme template files. Where a theme template is like the frame of a piece of art (the content), the Shopp content templates describe the layout of that art.

Shopp comes with a total of 22 files in the built-in starter templates. While even that number might seem like a lot, that’s about a fifth the number of templates of other systems. Two of those files are actually stylesheets, not actually templates. Shopp follows WordPress conventions to start with some foundational generic templates that get more and more specific.

This visual guide gives you a sense of the organization and relationships of the content templates. Its important to realize that not all of the template files shown exist in the starter templates. The guide includes all of the dynamic template file names so that you are aware of them as possibilities.


Download the Shopp Content Templates Visual Guide PDF

The guide starts with the base template files on the left. More specific templates follow along to the right with the right-most templates having the highest priority. In other words, a content template matching on the right end will be used before a content template shown toward the left.

The more specific content template file names usually include a dynamic part shown inside {curly braces}. For example, collection-{slug}.php shows that you can create slug-specific collection template files such as collection-bestseller.php to give your Bestseller products display it’s own special treatment.

Note: It is usually better to use a {slug} template over an {id} named template because database upgrades, site migrations or other events can change the database ID of a record.

You’ll also see what looks like template files inside other template files. This is exactly what you imagine. It shows where reusable template parts are included in several other content template files. These files consist of: errors.php, summary.php and receipt.php. The schema.php template is specialized in that it really is only included in the product.php content template.

There are some other specialized template parts. The sidebar widget templates are normally used in widgets or sidebar page templates. They can also be called up with the appropriate Theme API tags.

The email templates are just like any other Shopp templates except that they describe the layout for HTML emails. Shopp uses the layout and markup from the HTML emails and automatically generates a plain text alternative of it for non-HTML email readers.


Jonathan was born at an early age and began designing and developing shortly after. He is the founder of Ingenesis Limited and Project Lead on the Shopp e-commerce plugin for WordPress. He lives and works in the heart of the midwest US with his family. He fancies himself a designer of code, and is only slightly addicted to coffee.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

© Ingenesis Limited. Shopp™ is a registered trademark of Ingenesis Limited.