Proper naming of Template/Layout

I’m working on a plugin that lets you design your website in the WP Admin.
From the header to the footer.

Now, I have worked in past for a company who produced a so called “Layouts” plugin.
“Layouts” did the same, it allowed you to create so called “Layouts” for header, footer, or else parts of your site.

This created confusion in the users, because they where used to the “Templates” like in pages, as delivered by Themes.

There where also “Content Templates”, which replaced the_content part, and again contributed to the confusion as of what is what and what to use when.

My plugin will be able to let you design either a whole template (from, and inclusive header, to, and inclusive, footer) in one editor.
You can however also design a header, a footer and a main section, and then assign header and footer to that main section (or call theme default header and footer on the custom main section).
You can of course also decide to only apply your template on the_content, or you can design a template as an “aside” and then call that template via shortcode into another of your custom templates.

Thus… how should I call this “thing”?
Right now, I call it “TukuToi Template Builder” and it uses a main type “Template”
When you add a new “Template” you can choose what to apply it to (say, to 404 template).
You can however as said above, also do all those other things.

Would be the better name “Layouts”?
I am confused as not a native EN Speaker, I think this is maybe obvious to someone who is technically versed and native EN Speaker.

Help and input appreciated on this rather silly, but also crucial detail, which I want to solve before I have coded 10K of lines of code all referring to a “template”, when I then maybe really should use “layout”, or name the thing eve more by specific name such as “header/footer/main/aside” section

Screenshot of current thing for context

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My thought would be to not use the word template.
User could create several “layouts” Say layout 1, Layout 2, etc
and then use Layout 1 as template for home page, use layout 2 template for single page,
layout 3 for posts etc. No confussion as to what is being referred to.

If you refer to the parts that make up the layouts as say, “sections” then you could have “home page header”, “rest of site header” and include them in what ever “layout” as needed
Just my thoughs, hopefully I have not misunderstood the question


Thanks @Mark for the input.

I guess that was the reasoning for the folks at Toolset to name their thing “Layouts” back in time.

Probably I will rename my thing to “TukuToi Layouts” then, and refer to all things within as “Layouts”, which can be assigned to “Templates” (like to a “page template” or a “single template” or a “content template”) but otherwise refrain from using the word Template and stick with “Build your layout”, “Lay out your template”, rather than “Design your template” or “Create your Template”

I found this post as well (non-wp) that talks layouts and templates, maybe it will give me some ideas:

I kind of want these 2 things to happen:

  • when a user wants to customize the look of their site, then the plugin should match their search keyword. That probably is either template, design or layout.
  • when the user uses the plugin, it should be not confusing and always clear what does what

Have you tried all the existing plugins that do this? Some of them are very confusing, even for those of us that know these terms and native English.

I hate to say it, but it sort of sound like you are making “blocks” and calling them something else.

There word „block“ is like the furthest away from what I’d look for when I’d want to design my website.

I mean… bricks, maybe yes (Lego brick)
But a block is so generic, and also it doesn’t suggest that you can design a whole page template for example.

As for „WP“ blocks, this is nowhere similar to that.
There’s nothing visual on this editor. It’s an html editor to let you create the templates
Like when you create a theme template in php, but you don’t use php for it.

Elementor is close to blocks.
Toolset layouts was a Visual builder too.
They all suffer from restriction because they are visual.
If you keep editors raw you can do anything - but without understanding php

Makes sense?

Question, if it is raw is there any way one can “test” a preview of a layout/template to see if it is correct? And will the plugin highlight if the html code is correct in the editor (I seem to recall that WP html widget is able to tell you if you are missing closing tags and similar trivialities).

No preview (yet)
As for highlighting, see screenshot above.
It’ll even highlight errors in shortcodes (which is crazy on its own)

But… I’m looking for names :sweat_smile:
Layouts, templates… blocks !? I don’t think blocks is a adequate name.

So either Lay-out or template….?

I wasn’t suggesting a name. I was observing the similarity with existing terms.

Stick with templates. People know and understand what they are.

Based on what you said and the screenshot, it sounds like what you’re creating is similar to Smarty template engine, but inside WP and using shortcodes instead of Smarty tags like {$smarty}. Smarty is very versatile, check out what they do you might find some ideas for your plugin.

This also sounds like how the Toolset works with its own tags/syntax. I haven’t used it in a while, but do have lifetime license from the early days.

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Since it makes possible a “full site editing” where you can set a global custom header and footer and content layout that relies on templates that can be divided into sections (header can have site identity, menu, top bar, a way to render the menu differently based on screen size… And it’s a template dividable into sections)…
I would call it layouts, as a means of defining the end result (a layout for the front-end) and I suggest you call template a whole page (header footer and content or default header and footer and custom content) and sections the various parts that can be included into a template.
Code highlighting is a godsend. Because I suspect many people will use this plugin even with a very basic knowledge of html… It’s seems to me it’s something powerful. I surely am one to need something like this.
It may be used to create custom templates to show CPTs easily for example, registering the CPT in a custom site specific plugin and the various templates needed for it created via your plugin without the need for a complex plugin to generate CPTs.

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Ok thanks
Im looking for names and terms of these things, not for similar products

Ok so… I’ll think about This a bit more before making a decision

Thanks all for the input!!


There’s also “skins”.

Harking back to the Llama days with that one.

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I think both Layouts and Templates are fine for the name of the plugin. After all, it uses templates to create a layout.

More important, in my view, is how you explain how to use the templates to create a layout (because a layout is more than the template: it will also have at least a specific header and footer too). What you don’t want to do is use the same word to denote two different things.