How to use a custom template for specific category archives in Genesis

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This can be done using template_include filter in WordPress.

Step 1

Create your custom template named say, template_custom-category.php in your child theme directory having the following:

// Force full width content
add_filter( 'genesis_pre_get_option_site_layout', '__genesis_return_full_width_content' );


You would need to place your custom code in between the opening PHP tag and closing genesis(); function. In the above example we are setting the width of content to be full i.e., no sidebar.

Step 2

Let’s apply the above template to “Category 1” and “Category 2” category archive pages. Add the following in child theme’s functions.php:

 * Template Redirect
 * Use template_custom-category.php for specific category archives.
add_filter( 'template_include', 'custom_category_template', 99 );
function custom_category_template( $template ) {

	if ( is_category( array( 'category-1', 'category-2' ) ) ) {
		$new_template = locate_template( array( 'template_custom-category.php' ) );
		if ( '' != $new_template ) {
			return $new_template ;

	return $template;

Replace category-1 and category-2 with the slugs of your desired categories.

That’s it. Now all the category archive pages in your Genesis site except the specified categories will use the default layout (content, content/sidebar, sidebar/content etc.) as set in the Genesis theme settings while the specified categories will use full content layout.

Note: When you edit the specified categories in the back end and apply a layout other than the default layout, then it will be used for the display trumping the code from Step 2.

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