Themes and plugins are a good way to customize your WP site, but sometimes they are not enough. With a page template you can design a page or a group of pages to look the way you like. It’s very easy to set it up, but it does need some PHP and CSS skills to fill it. Let’s set it up for a start:
Go to your text editor (I use SublimeText) and create a new file in your child theme folder. Call it something that makes sense according to what you will use it for. The template hierarchy in WordPress decides which files get read first, so it’s best to choose a name that will jump on top in the hierarchy. If you want to use your template as a home page, you can for example call it home.php or front-page.php. Front-page.php will overwrite the home.php.
In the beginning of your new page template paste this line:
Now that you have created your page template, you will be able to find it when you create a new page in the WordPress dashboard. It will be a drop down menu called Template on the right side. Choose the one you just created. Of course it’s still “empty” as it contains exactly the same code as all of your other pages.
Setting up a page template is easy but it’s difficult to edit it. A good idea is to start reading about the The Loop which is WordPress’ way of using PHP to display posts.