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How to Create Content Templates with Patterns in WordPress

When your WordPress site involves numerous authors, it often leads to consistency issues in content. To tackle this, many sites adopt content templates or patterns to maintain a cohesive flow across all pages.

These templates act as guiding tools for writers, specifying the content elements required. They usually include clear headers and perhaps bullet points with instructions.

While the idea is simple, crafting these templates can be a challenge. However, leveraging the pattern system in WordPress proves to be one of the most effective approaches.

Today, we will look at how to utilize WordPress’s pattern system to create content templates, ensuring consistency in your site’s content, regardless of the number of authors involved.

What Are Content Patterns in WordPress?

Content patterns are a handy feature in WordPress that allows you to save blocks containing written content for reuse across your site.

For instance, suppose you’ve crafted a pricing table for your business. Instead of recreating it every time you need it on different pages, you can save it as a pattern. This way, you can easily insert a copy of that block wherever needed.

This system can also be used to create group templates for authors, ensuring consistency in certain types of content. Take, for example, a how-to guide. By creating multiple headers outlining the content to include—such as “What is X,” “How to Use X,” “Is X Free,” and so on—multiple authors can follow the same template.

While seemingly simple, this approach can significantly enhance the uniformity and flow of your content across the site.

How to Create Content Patterns in WordPress

Content patterns in WordPress were initially known as reusable blocks before being rebranded into patterns. These patterns allow you to group multiple blocks together, creating a single reusable template. The beauty of patterns lies in their flexibility—there’s no limit to their size, and they can contain any block available in WordPress.

However, in most cases, you’ll find yourself primarily using common blocks like Header, Paragraph, List, Image, and Table. These blocks serve as the foundation for most content in WordPress.

It’s essential to keep content templates simple to ensure they can be easily adapted to various types of content. Overly specific templates may not accommodate every topic, leading to potential limitations. Fortunately, this process is straightforward, so let’s dive in and get started.

Step 1: Create A Template

To create content templates for your writers to follow, start by opening a new post in WordPress. Within this post, construct the template by adding the desired blocks. For instance, you can include various headers, bullet points, and other relevant content elements.

Here’s a general outline to get you started:

  1. Introduction: Provide a brief overview of the topic.
  2. Section Headers: Break down the content into different sections using headers.
  3. Content Body: Add paragraphs of text to flesh out each section.
  4. Bullet Points: Use bullet points to highlight key points or steps.
  5. Conclusion: Summarize the main points and provide any additional information or next steps.

Feel free to customize the template according to your specific needs and preferences. Once you’ve created the template, you can save it as a pattern for future use by your writers.

Once you’ve crafted the template in your new post, it’s time to turn it into a pattern.

Step 2: Making a Pattern for WordPress

To create a pattern, follow these simple steps:

  1. Highlight all the blocks you want to include in your pattern. You can select multiple blocks by clicking and dragging to highlight them.
  2. Once you’ve selected the desired blocks, click on the three vertical dots (ellipsis) in the block toolbar.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select the “Create pattern” option.

That’s it! Your selected blocks will now be saved as a reusable pattern that you can easily apply to other posts and pages on your WordPress site. Whether you’re creating a pattern from multiple blocks or just a single block, the process remains the same.

After selecting “Create pattern,” a small window will appear where you can define the name and categories for your pattern. For instance, if your pattern is for “How-to” content, you might name it “How-to” and add relevant categories.

You’ll also notice a “Sync” option, which, when enabled, allows the pattern to be edited from anywhere it’s used. However, to prevent accidental edits, especially when authors are filling in content, it’s advisable to turn Sync off.

Once you’ve entered the necessary information and configured the Sync option, click on the “Create” button to finalize the pattern creation process.

Remember there is no limit on the number of blocks you can include.

Step 3: Using Content Patterns in WordPress

To apply the pattern you’ve created in WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “+” button located at the top left corner of the Gutenberg editor. This is a big blue button, not the smaller “+” buttons found within Gutenberg blocks.
  2. After clicking the “+” button, a block selection menu will appear.
  3. Scroll down to the “Patterns” section and click on it.
  4. You’ll see a list of available patterns. Locate the pattern you created (e.g., “How-to”) and click on it to insert it into your post or page.

By following these steps, you can easily apply the pattern you’ve created to your content in WordPress. Remember, it’s important to use the big blue “+” button at the top left corner of the editor to access patterns.

Once you’ve clicked on the big blue “+” button at the top left corner of the Gutenberg editor, you’ll typically see a selection of blocks. However, for patterns, you’ll want to navigate to the dedicated “Patterns” tab.

WordPress does include some default patterns you can make use of, however we will ignore those for this tutorial.

Click on the My Patterns option.

Once you’ve accessed the “Patterns” tab within the Gutenberg editor, you’ll see a list of all the patterns you’ve created. To apply a specific pattern to your current post or page, simply click on the one you want to use.

Upon clicking, the selected pattern will be added directly to your post or page, allowing you to quickly incorporate the predefined layout or content structure into your content. This streamlines the process of creating consistent and visually appealing content across your WordPress site.

Once you’ve selected your desired pattern from the Patterns tab within Gutenberg, it will automatically load into the editor. It will be placed wherever your cursor was positioned within the editor window.

If, for any reason, the pattern is added to the wrong spot, simply use the undo button to remove it, and then add it again at the correct location.

And there you have it! You now know how to create content templates using Patterns in WordPress, allowing you to streamline your content creation process and maintain consistency across your site.

Step 4: Importing and Exporting Patterns

While creating your own patterns is essential, it’s worth noting that you can also import patterns from other sources to save time and serve as starting templates for your pages. However, ensure you download files only from trusted sites and individuals to avoid security risks.

Similarly, you can export your pattern creations to use them on other sites, which is particularly useful if you manage multiple websites and want to maintain consistency across them. Fortunately, this process is straightforward, provided your theme supports it.

Accessing the page depends on whether you’re using a block theme like Twenty Twenty-Four or an older theme. If you’re using a block theme:

Navigate to “Appearance” and select the “Editor” option.

However, if you’re using an older theme, you’ll need to access it through a plugin. There are several plugins available for this purpose.

Next, click on the Patterns option.

Click on the Manage All of My Patterns option.

Once you’ve clicked on “Editor” in the “Appearance” menu, WordPress will whisk you away to its Patterns section, where all the magic happens.

But, if you’re sticking with an older theme that doesn’t have direct access to Patterns from the Appearance menu, don’t worry. You can still wrangle those patterns right within the Gutenberg editor.

Just look for those three little dots perched up in the top right corner of the editor. Give ’em a click, and a menu will drop down. From there, hit “Manage Patterns,” and you’re in business.

So, whether you’re diving into the Patterns section or taking the scenic route through the editor, you’ll have full control over your content templates, making your WordPress experience that much smoother.

Once you’ve landed in the Patterns section, regardless of your route, you’ll find yourself at the heart of content templating in WordPress. At the top of this section, your eyes will likely catch a button beckoning with the words “Import from JSON.”

This little button is your ticket to importing patterns from other sources, opening up a world of possibilities for your content creation journey.

To export a pattern, simply hover your cursor over the pattern you wish to export. A menu will appear, and from there, select the “Export as JSON” option. This will allow you to save the pattern as a JSON file, making it easily transferable and shareable across different WordPress sites or with other users.

Step 5: How to Edit/Delete A Pattern

When you find yourself in a situation where you need to edit or delete a pattern, fear not! It’s a breeze, and I’ll guide you through it in less than a minute.

First, head over to the Pattern Management section, just like we did earlier. Once you’re there, hunt down the pattern you want to tweak or bid farewell to. Give it a click, and voila—options will appear. If you’re looking to make changes, hit “Edit.”

Clicking “Edit” will whisk you away to the familiar confines of the Gutenberg editor. Here, you can make any necessary adjustments to your pattern. Once you’re satisfied with your changes, don’t forget to save them!

But if it’s goodbye you’re saying to that pattern, simply locate the “Move to Trash” button and give it a click. That pattern will then bid adieu and find its way to the digital dumpster.

And that will remove the pattern from your site.

Patterns FAQs:

  1. Is there a limit on the number of patterns I can create?
    No, there’s no set limit. You can create as many patterns as you need, incorporating as many blocks as necessary. However, keep in mind that patterns do occupy space on your web server, so it’s wise to create only what you actually use.
  2. How many default patterns does WordPress provide?
    The number of default patterns depends on your theme. Each theme may offer a different set of patterns, with some having more options than others. If you need additional patterns, you can always create your own or import them from other sources.
  3. Does the Revision system work on Patterns?
    Yes, the Revision system in WordPress works for patterns. If you make edits to a pattern and later need to revert to an earlier version, you can utilize the revision history. However, it’s important to note that many sites opt to disable this feature due to its impact on storage space, and patterns follow the same principle.

Creating Your Own Templates with Patterns in WordPress

The Pattern system in WordPress proves to be incredibly versatile, offering a range of possibilities for crafting content templates. Whether you’re aiming to streamline content creation or ensure consistency across a site with multiple authors, patterns are a powerful tool at your disposal.

We’ve also delved into the functionality of importing and exporting patterns, which adds another layer of flexibility and convenience. As the pattern system gains popularity, its potential grows even further. Many themes already leverage patterns to provide users with pre-designed page templates, and the array of options is expanding rapidly.

I trust this tutorial has provided valuable insights into managing patterns in WordPress.

How did you find working with the pattern system? Have patterns helped enhance your site’s workflow?

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