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Forums: Index > Rin's Travel Agency > Archive > Understanding templates on Wikia


Template type options


Template type, as shown on an template page

Good morning!

We want to give you a sneak peek of a brand new feature we've been working on, which we're calling template classification. We want to hear what you think of it, and your feedback will help us decide how to develop this further!

Essentially, it involves giving each template a type such as 'infobox', 'navbox' or 'quote'. We are building easy ways to do this, while also working on automatic type detection that will likely cover a lot of cases - so it should require little work on your part.

By doing so, it helps give Wikia better information about what templates exist, and means we can provide a better experience for both readers and editors. For example, these buckets could be used within the editor to help users narrow their search by template type, and we could give Insights reports based on template type.

This is quite separate to template categories, since the usage of such categories vary hugely across Wikia - template classification and categories do not affect each other.

The feature is in the early stages right now, and we'd love to get your feedback on how it works, plus we'd love your thoughts on how this data could be utilized effectively on your community. (We're looking for new feature requests of how this could make organizing and using templates more powerful.)

To classify a template, you will see the feature under the article name on the template page and in the right rail of the editor when you're editing a template. Clicking the pencil icon will open the tool to select from the list of 11 options. We'll also show the feature when you create a new template.

The current template types are:

  • Infobox — Displays the most essential snippets of information about an article in a box, most commonly at the top right of an article page.
  • Navbox — Provides a list of organized links for readers to navigate to similar articles, most commonly at the bottom of an article page.
  • Quote — Highlights notable snippets of text, such as lyrics, book passages, or quotes.
  • Notice — Also known as tophats or alerts, these templates notify the reader about the status of the article itself, such as stub, disambiguation, or spoiler. (These roughly correspond to the flags feature items.)
  • Citation or reference — Organizes and standardizes the display how sources of content on an article page are annotated.
  • Image, video, or gallery — This template will standardize or modify the display of one or more images or videos.
  • This template is used to display data on an article page
  • This template is used to design or structure article pages
  • This template is used for navigation
  • This template is not used on article — This template will only be used on file pages, user pages, talk pages, etc.
  • I don't know

The feature has been enabled on your community today - please let us know your thoughts below! Kirkburn (talk) 17:07, October 29, 2015 (UTC)


Thanks for giving us an early enabling of the feature! I've gone ahead and classified almost every template that isn't obsolete and due for replacing down the line (old enemy templates, stubs and console button ones which will be merged, icon ones like those FFXI ones we don't need...) or something that belongs or is in userspace. I'll report what I've found while doing so:

Lots of our template classifications and categories do not match. Several things are in our "Infoboxes" category because they are just tables with data, but I've classified them as "Data" templates instead. This stuff is our wiki's problem, though - our template categorization is honestly not great, with Utility Templates being cluttered both with things used for articles and not...I also noticed the new feature removes categories from the edit bar, so I'm wondering if categories are now made redundant. I'm wondering if it would be possible to redesign our navigation system based on the classification types...definitely better than what we've got. I also noticed while looking that some of our template naming is really inconsistent, but that's something to solve for another time with a bot...

Few issues with the classifications. I am perfectly fine with "design" because I know that means "formatting", but there are templates of widely different kinds in there; math functions formatting, text formatting and then your typical table of contents/etc formatting, I just think other users may need to know the distinction between "design" and "image/gallery/video". On the subject of "image/gallery/video", I have classified some templates there which are actually audio files - I'd be tempted to rename that "Media", or at least add "Audio" in there. Finally, a whole bunch of templates end up in the "Non-article" classification. Now the idea for this I understand is because those are the ones you guys aren't concerned about when it comes to portability, but I take (slight) issue with shoving things like userboxes and things for formatting help pages in the same group as licensing templates, which are more important. I don't take any other issue, though.

Otherwise, no complaints here. Despite the ones I missed which I mentioned, I managed to get it done site wide pretty quickly, so it's definitely easy to use. Also, will this mean I won't have to deal with "convert this to portable infobox!" every time I go on a template page, when 9/10 times it's not an infobox? Hahaha. Nice work!--Magicite-ffvi-ios.png Technobliterator TC 19:55, October 29, 2015 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the in-detail feedback! We wanted to ship a list of 10 items (plus "I don't know") and evaluate how we can morph or expand the list based on real-world use. I'm aware the bucket of "non-article templates" is disappointing, and we'd like to offer more granular options (maybe even custom options) in the future. ---- Trevor (Ohmyn0) 23:15, October 29, 2015 (UTC)

As Techno points out, our definition of infobox doesn't match Wikia's. For us infoboxes are structures to neatly hold data. The classical float-right infobox we use on characters and video games do more closely follow the Wikia definition, but our enemy infoboxes and most of our other (non-float-right) infoboxes obviously don't. Those infoboxes don't exist to summarise, but as a way to contain all that sweet gameplay information. So it would be easy to argue our enemy infoboxes are data display here, since most of those numbers in that infobox will not be reiterated in the content.*(the same sort of goes for characters but replace gameplay info for whatever details SE supply; however more of those end up content-worthy (but not the likes of height, weight, blood type, and date of birth))

This is something we don't really distinguish. JBed (talk) 00:58, October 30, 2015 (UTC)

  • I'd personally call it an infobox (same for templates like this or this). But we added some generic categories on the list (data, design, navigation) if you'd like to classify them differently. ---- Trevor (Ohmyn0) 17:22, November 1, 2015 (UTC)