Abstract data generation for your WordPress templates



Template Controller for WordPress

This class allows you to abstract the data you need for your theme templates from the template files, themselves (like page.php and single.php). Use a controller file to generate the data, and let your template files focus on displaying that data.


Include the class and a controller file within your theme or plugin

// Example:
require_once( get_template_directory() . '/lib/classes/class-template-controller.php' );
require_once( get_template_directory() . '/controller.php' );


Within the controller file, extend the class to create a controller for your theme. Each method within the class should match a body class of a template where you want to display the data. The common() method fires for all templates. Don't forget to init the class.

class My_Controller extends Template_Controller {

    // Generates data for all templates
    public function common() {
        $this->add( 'hi', 'I load for every template on the site.' );

    public function page() {
        $this->add( 'yo', 'I load for page.php and custom page templates.' );

        // Get recent posts to display on the page
        $this->add( 'recent_posts', get_posts( array(
            'post_type' => 'post',
            'posts_per_page' => 2,


Within your template files, call the data you've generated.

// within page.php

// Store the data
$yo = get_tpl_data( 'yo' );

// Echo out the data
tpl_data( 'hi' );

// Use data as you normally would in template files
$recent_posts = tpl_data( 'recent_posts' );
foreach( $recent_posts as $post ) {
    echo $post->post_title;

Alternatively, you can call a global to get all of the data available for that template.

// within page.php

global $template_data;
extract( $template_data, EXTR_SKIP );

echo $yo;

foreach( $recent_posts as $post ) {
    echo $post->post_title;

Multiple Controllers

You can create and init as many child classes as you would like. All will follow the same pattern, loading any methods that match any body class on a template. All store data statically in the parent class so that it can be easily called with the tpl_data functions.

Thanks to @DesignPlug for the idea: