Have you ever created a 15th instance of the same old type of site, wishing all the while you were doing something more exciting, like entering the Watching Paint Dry Championship?
If that’s the case, we have a cool new toy for you.
Template Builder will make your life easier by a ton. Well, not by a ton, as you can’t actually measure it, but you get the picture.
What’s a template builder?
It’s a very simple concept. Create a template, with all the plugins and themes needed on it to build a website. Use the template to build a new website, instead of starting from scratch every time.
What use do I have from it?
I am no Bob Ross, but let me paint you a picture. Most of you are in the website development business for a long time, and you know the boring repetitiveness of building the same type of website over and over again. Especially if it is an e-commerce website, since it needs a ton of plugins to run as you imagined it (editor note: knock it off with the metric jokes).
With the Template Builder you only have to build the template once, and build the website from there, according to your client’s needs.
The client wants to have the same website as the one in your portfolio, but with a different theme? No problem, template that website and clone it to their server. Afterwards, just change the theme to the one your client wishes. Countless of hours worth of work saved. Just like that.
What are the options that I could play with?
For starters, you can choose between a clean WordPress installation (for all you squares) and an existing backup of one your websites (if customizing core is your thing).
You no longer need to imagine a world without Akismet and Hello Dolly. When building the template, you will have an option to add or remove plugins and themes. You can also choose which plugins and themes will be activated.
You might wonder, what happens if the plugin/theme gets an update in the meantime. In this case, you have an option to keep the plugin/theme up to date automatically. After you deploy a website from a template, the update for the selected plugins/themes triggers.
I just covered the basics here. You can check out our Guide for more in-depth information on how the tool works.
Is Template Builder free?
Like a bird. If you’re using the clean WordPress installation to create and deploy templates, it’s completely free. However, if you want to create a template using your existing website, you need the premium Backup addon on that site.
You have answers to all questions, don’t you?
Well, yes I do. Besides the one if I am Batman, that one is classified. 🙂 (editor note: Please go back to metric jokes)
I have a feature I would like to see in the future
We are always open for your feedback, and it means a lot. It is always listened to, and carefully evaluated. Put on your thinking caps, and send those feedbacks, let our inbox be full of them.
Christopher E Eller
This sounds interesting! How is this different than a backup I have of a site I created with all the settings, permalinks, plugins, and a theme I currently use to clone over new WP installs? Thank you for continuing to make ManageWP better. Chris
There’s not maintenance overhead – your plugins and theme are rolled out with the latest version.
Also, you don’t need to store the backup archive, since it’s saved as a template in the ManageWP interface.
Thanks for sharing great stuff.. I will give a try.
That’s exactly how I’ve been using ManageWP for the last couple years. installing from scratch fails half the time, but setting up a basic install with mojo or softaculous, and then cloning over it, does the trick.
Brilliant system…! I built a template with my required plugins, personal themes and saved it. Took about five minutes. Then I ordered a domain, added it to my server, set up the database and ran the clone option from the template. Another five minutes. This is the fastest I have ever set up a website. And it worked perfectly.
Looks great – and pretty easy to set up a template. Sorry if my question is stupid, but how do you deploy the template to a new webhotel?
Hey Thomas, we use our Clone feature for that. 🙂
I think it is a great feature, I still have to build my first template 🙂
Is there a link to some documentation or a tutorial on how to use it? I mean how do you connect it to a database or folder
Stephane, you can find a more in-depth guide on how to use it here https://managewp.com/guide/backup/template-builder
I use your tool and for some reason i dont have the admin bar on the only site i install whith your template builder. And of course since i cannot report it with your broken report system, i have to post the bug on your blog…
Don’t worry, we got your back. Could you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we could help?
I think it’s a good option for WP developers who are creating many sites for their clients. Thanks for sharing this guide.
Are the templates complete installs we can deploy in an empty directory, or do we need to create a new WP install and then add that site to MWP before we assign the template to it? Thanks
Those are complete installs, meaning that you can deploy templates to empty directories
I love it, thank you.
Awsome! Thank you and keep up the great work!
What’s the difference between this – and instead having your “template” already within ManageWP as a site? This “template” then gets cloned when required.
Rush Hour Marketing
We do the same thing for all new websites we build. I have the same question…
I guess one advantage is we now don’t have to manage a “Template Site” or multiple versions of it, we just use the Templates. Would love to hear if that is the only basic difference…
But would you then not need to update the “Template” plugins / core / theme every time you need to clone to a new site?
That’s the essential difference – you don’t need to update templates as time goes by, and you don’t have to store the template backup archives.
I’d like to know this too. And if we are limited to 10 templates how can this be useful?
You’d need to maintain that website as a separate site, creating unnecessary overhead. Plus that website is taking up server resources.
This is huge! THANK YOU!. Question,
Antal Hendrix van Spronsen
Great new feature. What is the difference between this template feature and to have a website ready for cloning?
Well, the biggest one is the ability to duplicate or edit the template, whenever you wish, hassle-free.
Although this is fairly easy to do on the website also and then make the backup of it, it takes much longer time, than with the template builder.
Another thing is that the template is easier to find than searching for the Backup point you created some time ago.
This is really awesome. Thank you!!
What a rush… Question, what if I want the WP installation to be in Spanish (right from the template area)?
For now, we only support the en-us version of the Clean WordPress installation but I will see if we can do something about this. 🙂
Would really like that too. I’m surprise with all the effort you made recently on internationalising your product that this feature dont come with this option out of the box…
It’s a great feature request, I’ll forward it to the Product team.
In the meantime, you just need to install a clear fr_FR WP installation on one site, and create a template using the “existing website” option. You can enable the auto update for core, so you’ll always have the latest update of that localization.
I’m already keeping a folder on my computer with up to date wordpress, themes and plugins files.
That feature is a nice way to simplify that. i will probably test it on my next website build.
Nice. This will sure come in use!