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This page is meant to be a quick how-to with helpful tips for creating and editing templates in WoWWiki. It is not meant as a definitive tech reference. MediaWiki's own page has that already.

"Template:" vs Local Templates Edit

You may already have seen that some pages use {{Sometemplate}} while others use {{Template:Sometemplate}}. This usually means the same thing; if you don't tell the wiki in which namespace to look, it will look under "Template:".

Wait, what did I just say?

  • A template does not have to live under "Template:". You can pull in a page from wherever into your page.

For site-wide templates, it makes sense to put them in the "Template:" namespace where everyone can find them, but for something that you're only using in a few pages, it makes much more sense to just put it in e.g. "MyPage/TheTemplate", and pull it in with {{:MyPage/TheTemplate}}.

  • Note the ":" at the beginning of {{:MyPage/....   Since most pages live in the "main" namespace of the wiki, we'd not be telling the wiki where to look for the page to include, so it'd go look in "Template:", where it wouldn't find much.   ":" by itself means "Look in the main namespace, please".

You will have to use your own judgement for what's right for your template. Here's a few instructive examples though:

Templates that belong in "Template:" Edit

Naming your template Edit

This depends on where your template gets placed, really. And how commonly used you think it's going to be.

  • Used dozens of times?
- Pick a short name.
  • Used a handful of times?
- Long, descriptive name.
  • In "Template:", a very commonly used template will likely be a single word, or two contracted words, all in lowercase. This makes it fast and easy to write. Examples include: {{clr}}, {{infoline}}, ... For instance, "WoW API" should probably have been named simply "wowapi" -- much easier to write often.
  • "Template:" templates that are more seldomly used will need a more descriptive name. But its name will still be fairly short.
  • A locally stored template will typically be a subpage of something else, e.g. "My Page/My Template". Other than that, it can have just about any name.
    • If it needs to be long winded and descriptive, make it so: {{WoWWiki:Policy/Terminating/Direct termination terms}} (but you'll still go nuts if you need to include it in more than a handful of pages).
    • Or be more brief; as long as you think people understand what the template is about when they stumble over it.

Explaining what your template does Edit

It's very helpful to others (or, heck, yourself half a year from now!) to explain what your template actually does and why it exists. It's easy to put this information in the template without it pestering pages where it's included:

<noinclude>''This template does X and is used by Y. I made it a template because Z. --~~~~''

</noinclude>
(and then the actual template...)

... where "X" and "Z" certainly can be left out if it's obvious, and "Y" might be "globally" or "all pages dealing with ...". It doesn't even have to follow any particular format, really; just a quick note about the template helps!

This becomes even more important when your template uses parameters. Other people really appreciate it when you explain what order to input things.

Templates have Talk pages too! Edit

If there's more you'd like to say about your template than you care to explain between <noinclude> tags, templates do have talk pages just like any other page! It might be a good idea to mention that there's info in the talk page between your <noinclude> tags though; most people don't go looking for talks on templates. ;-)

Tips and tricks Edit

Categories in templates Edit

If you put a category in a template, all pages that use the template will suddenly end up in that category. Well, semi-suddenly anyway; the page needs to be edited once (just add a blank line or a space) before they're actually moved.

However, if you just go ahead and put in the category tag, your template will end up in the category too, which is maybe not what you intended. Use this:

<includeonly>[[Category:MyCategory]]</includeonly>

Template parameters Edit

This is actually a fairly huge topic; we'll try to cut it short.

MyTemplate: {{{1}}}, look! My template uses {{{2}}}!
Using it: {{MyTemplate|Mommy|parameters}}
Results in: Mommy, look! My template uses parameters!

You can also name parameters:

MyTemplate: {{{who}}}, look! My template uses {{{something}}}!
Using it: {{MyTemplate|something=parameters|who=Mommy}}
Results in: Mommy, look! My template uses parameters!

You can also give default values for things that aren't supplied:

MyTemplate: {{{who|Oi}}}, look! My template uses {{{something|parameters}}}!
Using it: {{MyTemplate|something=parameter defaults!!}}
Results in: Oi, look! My template uses parameter defaults!!!

Equal signs in parameter values Edit

Since equal signs, "=", are part of how parameter values are supplied, they're a little bit troublesome. You can't supply equal signs to numbered parameters at all. However, you can supply them to named parameters:

{{MyTemplate|Haha =)}}

This will probably not work like you intended. You're setting the parameter "Haha" to ")". Not "1" to "Haha =)".

{{MyTemplate|text=Haha =)}}

This example sets the parameter "text" to "Haha =)".

Templates can use templates! Edit

When your templates are getting big, chances are you want to re-use something from one template in another template.

  • Just cut the common parts out and paste them into a new template and then use that template in other templates!

There's also other reasons why you may want to use sub-templates. See e.g. {{Delete}} and {{Delete/Content}}. Pulling in "Delete" automatically marks the page for deletion, but WoWWiki:Delete also wants to show what it looks like without getting itself marked for deletion, so it just pulls in "Delete/Content".

Splitting templates into a /Begin and /End Edit

  • For an example of split templates, see {{Example/Begin}} and {{Example/End}}.
  • Of course, {{Example}} pulls them both in for places where you don't need the extra oomph.

Template parameters can't contain just anything. They're pretty aggressive about HTML tags, and trying to insert "{" or "}" or "=" is bordering on painful. So for templates where you know you'll have lots of content, or quirky content, it makes more sense to split them up into a "Begin" and "End" template, e.g. "MyTemplate/Begin", "MyTemplate/End".

  • Note: You cannot begin a HTML tag in one template and end it in another. The MediaWiki software refuses to leave HTML tags unfinished in a page, so it helpfully ends them for you right at the end of the "Begin" snippet, long before they're of any use to you.
MyTemplate/Begin: <table ...><tr>
MyTemplate/End: </tr></table>
« This won't work!
  • Wiki-style tables, on the other hand, can be begun in one template and ended in another.
MyTemplate/Begin: {| ...
MyTemplate/End: |}
« This will work!

Categorize your templates! Edit

It helps other editors (and probably yourself, too!) if you categorize your templates themselves. Perhaps not so much for "Template:" templates, but definitely for local templates!

Pages that use a local template will likely share one or more common categories, so making a "Your Category/Templates" and putting the templates there helps other editors find them easily!

Example:
  • Make sure that pages using your template don't end up in the "/Templates" category!
<noinclude>This template does X and is used by Y. See the talk page!  --~~~~
[[Category: My Category/Templates]] </noinclude>
(and then the actual template...)

Automatic subtemplate selection Edit

There is a number of built-in variables that are very useful for templates.

One such is {{PAGENAME}}, which for this page is "Template". So all base zone pages could for instance use a template that pulls in ":{{PAGENAME}}/Boss list", and links to "{{PAGENAME}}/Loot list". But attempting to use that template inside one of the subpages would break horribly.

Pages with lots of templates not updating Edit

When a page pulls in lots of templates, it won't always update when a template changes. There are two ways to force a refresh:

  • Do a dummy edit on the page
  • Do "action=purge" on the page, e.g. http://wowwiki.fandom.com/wiki/Help:Template?action=purge
    • The {{purge|<your text>}} template creates such a link in the page itself.
Icon-information-22x22 This problem should be alleviated as of the MediaWiki 1.7 upgrade (which happened in September 2006). The wiki software will attempt to update many of the pages using the template immediately, but if there's too many to do immediately, it'll spread the work over the next few minutes.

Is anything on this page unclear? Or is there something you'd like to know more about? - Drop a line in the Talk page!

See also Edit

  • Category:Templates. Nearly everything in the "Template:" namespace, categorized in subcategories.


A template is a special type of page that is made so its content can be included in other pages. Since a given template can be included in many pages, it can help reduce duplication and promote a uniform style between pages.

Overview

Templates are useful for:

  • Creating content that should appear on many pages.
  • Formatting content or data (such as infoboxes) in a way that should be consistent across many pages.
  • Creating a shortcut to a frequently-visited page or for writing things that you repeat often when communicating with others.
  • Replacing long, complicated code so that a page is easier for other users to edit.
  • Protecting parts of a page from editing while leaving other sections open for edits.

Templates are located in the Template namespace. This includes any page with a name beginning with Template:, such as Template:Name. A list of used templates can be seen in Special:Templates and can be filtered by template types.

Template pages are created and modified using the source edit mode, but can be inserted into pages using any editor interface.

Templates cannot be edited by anonymous users as of Technical Update: November 30, 2015.

Adding pre-existing templates

Insert template in VisualEditor

Selecting a template from a list in VisualEditor

New Fandom communities come with pre-loaded default templates. You can view a complete list of templates available on your community by going to Special:AllPages and selecting "Template" from the namespace dropdown menu. Click "Go" and all available templates will appear in a list.

  • In the default VisualEditor, click on the top-left "Insert" and then click "Templates" from the dropdown list, or begin by typing {{, to bring up a list of templates, and then search for the name of the template you want.
  • In source edit mode, you can use the code {{Template name}} to add any template to your page.
  • In the classic editor, you can also select from the list of all templates available on your community by clicking "Add other templates".
  • Advanced users can edit the page MediaWiki:Editor-template-list to directly show up to four common templates in this section. The wikitext should be written like this, one per line:
    * Template:Templatename

Additionally, many templates can be found on the semi-official Templates Wiki (for basic templates) and the Fandom Developers Wiki (for more advanced templates), and can be used on your wiki or contributed to. See below for more.

How to create a basic template

Templates can be very powerful, but also sometimes very complicated. It often helps to start by creating the simplest possible kind of template, and then experimenting from there.

  • On your community, navigate to "Template:Example" using the address bar of your browser and click "Create" which can be found in the top right corner of the content section. This will open source editor to create the template.
  • You should see a popup asking you to Choose template type; check one of the options. If none match to what you're are looking for, check "Unknown".
  • Type a couple of words or a sentence in the editor.
  • Click "Publish". You have just created a template with some sample content.
  • On your community, create a new article called "Template test".
  • The next step to add the template to a page varies based on your chosen editor. See this section for more info.

You've successfully created and used a template! Now you can change the content of your template and add it to more pages to make it more useful for your community.

Advanced templates

Template parameters

Rachel VE template

Selecting parameters in VisualEditor's template tool

Templates can have parameters. These allow you to alter the way the template is displayed, such as including specific text or altering the design.

To take Template:Wikipedia as an example, adding just {{Wikipedia}} assumes that the page on Wikipedia is the same name as the page of the current page the template is used on. However, a parameter can be added to tell the template that the page on Wikipedia was Microsoft. In source edit mode, the code to add this parameter is {{Wikipedia|Microsoft}}, though in VisualEditor, the same is achieved by clicking on a template and editing the parameters.

It is possible to change the output of a template based on what the user inputs when editing the template in source editor. To learn more about how todo this, see Help:Template parameters and Help:Parser functions.

Substituting templates

A different way to use a template is to substitute its content into a page. This can only be done in source editor, and is done by inserting subst: immediately after the opening braces: {{subst:templatename}}. Once the page is saved, the link to the template is removed and the template output is substituted in its place and can be further edited. Any updates to the template will not affect the content that was substituted into the page.

To learn more, visit Help:Substituting templates.

Lua-based templates

There are alternatives to wikitext templates that provide particularly advanced templates, which may be more comfortable or performant for advanced users and software coders, in the form of Lua-based templates implemented in the Module namespace. While more complicated to code, these templates can perform faster and can be more readable. It is also possible to import existing Lua-based templates from the Fandom Developers Wiki' own Global Lua Modules list.

To learn more, visit Help:Lua.

Copying and updating templates

Updating and adding standard templates

The official Starter Wiki and semi-official Templates Wiki occasionally improve some of their documentation as well as adding new templates specifically designed for Fandom sites, and are therefore worth checking from time to time.

Copying templates from other wikis

Contributors throughout Fandom have made all different kinds of templates. It is often simpler to copy an existing template and modify it for your needs, rather than creating one from scratch. The Templates Wiki is a good place to start looking for a template that fits your needs, though an established wiki for a closely related subject to that of your wiki may already have the template you need.

In most cases, you are free to copy templates based on the shared CC-BY-SA license, but make sure the community you want to copy from does not have an alternative licensing scheme that may place restrictions on what you can copy. Giving credit to the community which you copied the template from is recommended and would likely be appreciated by that community.

Here are some basic steps to copy most templates:

  1. Find the template you want to copy (usually https://wikiname.fandom.com/wiki/Template:templatename).
  2. Click the Edit button, select all of the wikitext, and copy it.
  3. Create a new template page on your community (https://yourwiki.fandom.com/wiki/Template:templatename?action=edit).
  4. Paste the wikitext code you copied and press the Publish button.

Many templates have a separate subpage for documentation about the template, normally in <nowiki> tags. Fortunately, the location is often standardized, so it is easy to copy the documentation as well. If you notice the template page you copied above does not look like the original, it is likely the documentation is on a separate subpage:

  1. Find the template documentation you want to copy (usually https://wikiname.fandom.com/wiki/Template:templatename/doc).
  2. Click the "Edit" button, select all the wikitext and copy it.
  3. Create a new template documentation subpage page on your community (https://yourwiki.fandom.com/wiki/Template:templatename/doc?action=edit).
  4. Paste the wikitext code you copied and press the Publish button.

Previewing edited template

If using the source or classic edit modes, it is desirable to preview any template you have edited. Normally you can then click "Publish" from the preview screen. VisualEditor will show the template by default.

See also

Further help and feedback

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.