What is the standard for template naming conventions within a CMS?

Should the name be Structural (e.g. Two Column Template) or purpose based (e.g. News Template) or something else?

It makes sense to me that the name be structural based, but I would like to know what the standard is here before we proceed with this project.

2 Answers 2


From what I've seen, they generally go with the structural formula:


[navigation-top/left/right] + [content L/R/C align]


[columns] + [navigation-top/left/right] + [rows*]

*rows can be split further into more columns, such that there can be a full-width (photograph or chart) and then two columns below of text.

To directly answer your question: What is the standard for template naming conventions within a CMS?

  • There isn't a global standard. We'd need to know which CMS you are using. Plus, why would the name carry any significance if the layout would be the same (2-column vs. news template)?

The Digitalus CMS uses this approach:

digitalus example layout structural

While there can be a completely modular approach:

modular approach without names. graphical

Magento, with intention-based naming:

magento layouts

So as you can see, it really varies with the CMS being used.

  • To answer your question ionFish of why would the name carry any significance? This would mean that editors within our CMS would know what template to select when creating a new page. Having a structural name as you suggest would be more relevant than a purpose based design.
    – rlsaj
    Aug 24, 2012 at 4:28
  • @jaslr - That leaves it to personal preference. You should first, actually speak with your editors and see which they are more comfortable using.
    – ionFish
    Aug 24, 2012 at 4:41

I don't think there's any single standard apart from "whatever works best for this particular project". My personal preference is to name the templates according to their intended use, for example News article, Search results, Product page or Blog post.

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