Textpattern Developer’s Toolbox


Textpattern is a PHP-based open-source content management system that is popular with both bloggers and website owners. The system is flexible and can be used for a very wide variety of purposes. Like other open-source CMS options, such as WordPress and Drupal, Textpattern has a strong online community with plenty of resources available. Here you’ll find the most comprehensive collection of resources, tutorials, plug-ins and more for Textpattern.

You may also be interested in these related posts:

1. Official Resources

Textpattern is well documented, and these official resources are tremendous resources for new and experienced developers alike. You’ll find answers to most of your questions, and you can get acquainted with the Textpattern community.

Textpattern Home Page4
The official home page, where you can download the latest version of Textpattern.


Why Textpattern? An Interview with the Authors of Textpattern Solutions6
Digital Web Magazine did this interview last year. If you’re considering using Textpattern or just want to learn more about it, the interview is worth the read.

Digital Web interview7

Textpattern Support Forum8
If you have any problems with Textpattern, you can post a question in the forums or simply check to see if your question has already been answered by someone else.

The Textpattern wiki, Textbook, is a great resource for all kinds of Textpattern documentation and resources.

Frequently Asked Questions10
Here are the most common questions about Textpattern and, of course, the answers as well.

2. Community Resources

In addition to assembling the official resources, the online community has contributed and collaborated on these resources:

Textpattern.org is a great source for templates, plug-ins, tips, tutorials and more.


Textpattern programmers and designers can join xPattern. xPattern is an open-source fork based on the 4.0 dev branch of Textpattern. Its goal is to improve the application to better fit the needs and desires of the community at large.


At CodeSnippets, developers can share all kinds of source-code snippets, including a decent selection for Textpattern.


3. Beginner’s Resources

If you’re new to Textpattern or new to developing and designing for Textpattern, these resources are excellent starting points. They will help you quickly become comfortable with the system and its essential functions.

Textpattern First Steps17
If you’re new to Textpattern, try following this article/tutorial to get a better grip on how it functions.

First steps18

Textpattern Manual19
This is a great resource for new users of Textpattern, and it’s also something you may want to bookmark for when you have a question in future.

Alphabetical Tag Listing20
Another useful resource to have at your disposal, especially if you’re new to Textpattern.

TXP tag listing21

Textpattern Tags22
This resource is a “manual for impatient users.” This resource will help you become more familiar with various TXP tags.

Textpattern Semantics23
If you’re new to working with Textpattern, this is a handy resource that briefly explains some essential details.

Textpattern Solutions24
Textpattern Solutions is a book, not just for beginners, that can make learning Textpattern easier than visiting a number of different websites to get similar information.

TXP solutions25

Understanding Textpattern Building Blocks26
This is a rather detailed article that will help you understand the basic building blocks (tags, pages, forms, etc.) if you’re unfamiliar with Textpattern.

Textpattern Building Blocks Mechanics27
A follow-up to the previous article that takes you a step further and helps you get started with your own Textpattern-powered website.

Textpattern CMS or Blog?28
This article looks at the issue of using Textpattern as both a CMS and a blogging platform.

4. Tutorials

Taking your knowledge of Textpattern development a step further is very achievable with the amount of tutorials and articles available from other developers. This is a collection of some of the best places to find tutorials and a sampling of individual tutorials on various topics.

Tutorials from Textpattern.net29
Textpattern.net includes a selection of tutorials that are arranged by category.

TXP Tips30
A tutorial website with over 30 tips that are mostly brief and quick to read.

TXP tutorials31

Your First Textpattern Theme32
A good tutorial for those who are interested in learning more about creating a theme or template for Textpattern.

How Do I Manage Static Pages?33
One of the frequently asked questions by Textpattern users is answered by Textpattern.

Static TXP pages34

Managing Static Pages35
If you’re using Textpattern as a CMS instead of just for blogging, you’ll want to set up static pages.

Textpattern: Flexible Article Placement36
If you want more control over static pages, this tutorial can help (be sure to read to the end because the original post has been updated).

Flexible article placement37

Using PHP Code in Textpattern38
This article shows what you need to know to get that PHP code to work on Textpattern.

Setting Up a Thumbnail Gallery39
This tutorial shows you how to use a plug-in to create a simple thumbnail gallery.

TXP gallery40

Using Textpattern to Manage an E-Commerce Website41
Textpattern can be used for much more than just blogging. This article/tutorial looks at how the CMS can be used to power an effective e-commerce website.

Anatomy of a Textpattern Plug-In42
This four-part series is “a PHP developer’s guide to writing Textpattern plug-ins.”

Avoiding the Digg Effect on Textpattern: How to Install Page Caching47
For websites that get or will get high traffic volumes in a short period of time, page caching can play a critical role in the performance of the website.

TXP cache48

Textpattern Comments Tutorial49
In this tutorial, you’ll read about several plug-ins that can enhance the comment functionality, and some code samples are provided as well.

Podcasting with Textpattern50
This tutorial takes you through the process of setting up an iTunes-friendly podcast with Textpattern.

How to Setup a Textpattern Playlist51
Jon Hicks shows how he displays his Last.fm52 playlist in his sidebar.

TXP playlist53

A Better Textpattern Search54
This tutorial shows you how to improve the standard Textpattern search functionality.

TXP search55

Moving a Textpattern Install to a New Host56
Changing hosts can be a hassle, but this tutorial gives you instructions that are specific to Textpattern.

changing hosts57

5. Templates/Themes

Textpattern users are fortunate to have a large number of themes and templates freely available for their use. If you’re a designer or developer, you can modify these themes or study them as you learn more about building your own. The list below features many of the best places to find Textpattern themes.

Textplates ran a competition for developing Textpattern templates, and the submitted templates are available for free downloading.


This website hasn’t been updated in a long time, but it does offer a number of downloads of free themes.


The Bombsite62
A sizeable collection of Textpattern themes is offered here.

Ten Textpattern templates are available at SiteGround.


Textpattern Templates65
There are three templates available for free downloading at Textpattern Templates, including versions of the popular WordPress themes Blogging Pro and Misty Look.

Themes from Textpattern Resources66
Textpattern.org has over 100 free themes to choose from.

Textpattern Admin Theme67
Jon Hicks developed this alternative admin theme.

TXP admin theme68

More Admin Themes69
Nemoorange.com offers seven different admin themes for downloading.

TXP admin themes70

6. Plug-ins

Like other content management systems, Textpattern comes out of the box as a lean version that can be adapted or added to by using plug-ins. The list below includes the best places to find plug-ins, as well as some useful plug-ins to use in your own projects.

Plug-Ins from Textpattern Resources71
Textpattern.org provides over 500 plug-ins for Textpattern users.

TXP plugins72

Wilshire One73
A very large collection of plug-ins of all kinds is available here.

Wilshire One74

8 Essential Plug-Ins for Textpattern75
This article from Sitening discusses eight plug-ins that have proven to be extremely useful in its experience.

Best Textpattern Plug-Ins and Hacks76
Rob from Wilshire One lists his favorite plug-ins and hacks. This article is older than the others listed here but still has some useful content.

Recommended Plug-Ins77
HicksDesign provides a list of recommended plug-ins.

Recommended TXP plugins78

Plug-Ins from Utter Plush79
More than 15 plug-ins are available from Utter Plush.

SEO Plug-Ins for Textpattern80
GraphicPUSH provides a list of plug-ins for working with meta data, URL structures and other SEO-related issues.

SEO TXP plugins81

SimplePie Plug-In for Textpattern82
Allows you to use SimplePie and Textpattern together to display feeds.

SimplePie plugin83

Easily add a poll to your Textpattern website with this plug-in.

This plug-in allows you to display your Flickr photosets as a gallery directly on your Textpattern-powered website.

Add a category cloud to your Textpattern website.

Make a few changes to the standard <recent_comments> tag offered in Textpattern.

Reverse the order of website name and page name in the titles of permanent link pages.


htn Antispam90
Adds a hidden field to your forms to help identify spam.

Antispam plugin91

This popular anti-spam plug-in is also available for Textpattern.

Popular Articles93
Uses the txp_log table to identify the most viewed articles in the past month or year.

7. Textpattern Design Inspiration

If you’re building a blog or website using Textpattern you may want to see what others are doing with the platform. The resources below will provide you with design inspiration specific to Textpattern.

A design gallery that specializes in websites powered by Textpattern. The website currently features almost 700 websites.


CMSShowcase currently includes more than 60 inspirational designs built on Textpattern.

TXP Magazine97
TXP Magazine includes a gallery of more than 20 inspirational designs.

TXP Magazine98

CSS Based99
The Textpattern tag at CSS Based includes over 20 exemplary designs.

CSS Based100

CSS Glance101
There are currently 19 Textpattern websites on display at CSS Glance.

8. Compared to Other CMS Platforms

How does Textpattern stack up against WordPress, ExpressionEngine and Drupal?

ExpressionEngine vs. Textpattern102
Jon Hicks compares the two options and looks at the strengths of each.

EE vs. TXP103

WordPress vs. Textpattern104
A quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each.

Textpattern vs. Drupal105
The Textpattern forum has an interesting dialogue comparing the two.



  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/15/wordpress-developers-toolbox/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/24/drupal-developers-toolbox/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/29/expressionengine-developers-toolbox/
  4. 4 http://textpattern.com/
  5. 5 http://textpattern.com/
  6. 6 http://www.digital-web.com/articles/why_textpattern/
  7. 7 http://www.digital-web.com/articles/why_textpattern/
  8. 8 http://forum.textpattern.com/
  9. 9 http://textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Index
  10. 10 http://textpattern.com/faq
  11. 11 http://textpattern.org/
  12. 12 http://textpattern.org/
  13. 13 http://xpattern.net/
  14. 14 http://xpattern.net/
  15. 15 http://codesnippets.joyent.com/tags/textpattern
  16. 16 http://codesnippets.joyent.com/tags/textpattern
  17. 17 http://textbook.textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Textpattern_First_Steps
  18. 18 http://textbook.textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Textpattern_First_Steps
  19. 19 http://txpmanual.com/
  20. 20 http://textbook.textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Tag_Reference
  21. 21 http://textbook.textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Tag_Reference
  22. 22 http://kusor.com/en/txptagmanual/
  23. 23 http://www.jdueck.net/article/10/textpattern-semantics
  24. 24 http://friendsofed.com/book.html?isbn=1590598326
  25. 25 http://friendsofed.com/book.html?isbn=1590598326
  26. 26 http://wion.com/articles/understanding-textpattern-building-blocks
  27. 27 http://wion.com/articles/textpattern-building-block-mechanics
  28. 28 http://txpq.com/txp/textpattern-cms-or-blog
  29. 29 http://www.textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Tutorials
  30. 30 http://txptips.com/
  31. 31 http://txptips.com/
  32. 32 http://babblative.com/article/your-first-textpattern-theme
  33. 33 http://textpattern.com/faq/31/how-do-i-manage-static-pages
  34. 34 http://textpattern.com/faq/31/how-do-i-manage-static-pages
  35. 35 http://thresholdstate.com/articles/3667/managing-static-pages
  36. 36 http://www.jaredigital.com/article/74/textpattern-flexible-article-placement
  37. 37 http://www.jaredigital.com/article/74/textpattern-flexible-article-placement
  38. 38 http://textpattern.com/faq/34/how-do-i-use-php-code
  39. 39 http://textpattern.org/tutorials/447/setting-up-a-thumbnail--gallery
  40. 40 http://textpattern.org/tutorials/447/setting-up-a-thumbnail--gallery
  41. 41 http://www.29digital.com/article/using-textpattern-to-manage-an-ecommerce-website
  42. 42 http://thresholdstate.com/articles/3975/anatomy-of-a-textpattern-plugin-part-1
  43. 43 http://thresholdstate.com/articles/3975/anatomy-of-a-textpattern-plugin-part-1
  44. 44 http://thresholdstate.com/articles/3695/anatomy-of-a-textpattern-plugin-part-2
  45. 45 http://thresholdstate.com/articles/3993/anatomy-of-a-textpattern-plugin-part-3
  46. 46 http://thresholdstate.com/articles/4141/anatomy-of-a-textpattern-plugin-part-4
  47. 47 http://sitening.com/blog/avoiding-the-digg-effect-on-textpattern-how-to-install-page-caching/
  48. 48 http://sitening.com/blog/avoiding-the-digg-effect-on-textpattern-how-to-install-page-caching/
  49. 49 http://www.wilshireone.com/article/95/textpattern-comments-tutorial
  50. 50 http://www.dev.michaelgravel.com/text/podcasting-with-textpattern-a-tutorial
  51. 51 http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/playlist-a-how-to
  52. 52 http://www.last.fm
  53. 53 http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/playlist-a-how-to
  54. 54 http://justinfrench.com/index.php?id=15
  55. 55 http://justinfrench.com/index.php?id=15
  56. 56 http://www.graphicpush.com/moving-txp-from-one-install-to-another
  57. 57 http://www.graphicpush.com/moving-txp-from-one-install-to-another
  58. 58 http://www.textplates.com/
  59. 59 http://www.textplates.com/
  60. 60 http://textgarden.org/
  61. 61 http://textgarden.org/
  62. 62 http://thebombsite.com/textpattern-themes/
  63. 63 http://www.siteground.com/textpattern-hosting/textpattern-templates.htm
  64. 64 http://www.siteground.com/textpattern-hosting/textpattern-templates.htm
  65. 65 http://txp-templates.com/
  66. 66 http://textpattern.org/templates
  67. 67 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hicksdesign/989595974/
  68. 68 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hicksdesign/989595974/
  69. 69 http://nemoorange.com/blog/textpattern-admin-themes
  70. 70 http://nemoorange.com/blog/textpattern-admin-themes
  71. 71 http://textpattern.org/plugins
  72. 72 http://textpattern.org/plugins
  73. 73 http://www.wilshireone.com/textpattern-plugins
  74. 74 http://www.wilshireone.com/textpattern-plugins
  75. 75 http://sitening.com/blog/8-essential-plugins-for-textpattern/
  76. 76 http://www.wilshireone.com/article/45/best-textpattern-plugins--hacks
  77. 77 http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/about/plugins/
  78. 78 http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/about/plugins/
  79. 79 http://utterplush.com/txp-plugins
  80. 80 http://www.graphicpush.com/seo-plugins-for-textpattern
  81. 81 http://www.graphicpush.com/seo-plugins-for-textpattern
  82. 82 http://simplepie.org/wiki/plugins/textpattern/simplepie_plugin_for_textpattern
  83. 83 http://simplepie.org/wiki/plugins/textpattern/simplepie_plugin_for_textpattern
  84. 84 http://textpattern.org/plugins/433/pap_xpoll
  85. 85 http://code.google.com/p/vdhflickr/
  86. 86 http://textpattern.org/plugins/1038/arc_popular_category_cloud
  87. 87 http://www.dev.michaelgravel.com/text/plugin-mg_recent_comments
  88. 88 http://www.dev.michaelgravel.com/text/plugin-mg_page_title
  89. 89 http://textpattern.org/plugins/1038/arc_popular_category_cloud
  90. 90 http://textpattern.org/plugins/1001/htn_antispam
  91. 91 http://textpattern.org/plugins/1001/htn_antispam
  92. 92 http://textpattern.org/plugins/641/ebl_txp_akismet
  93. 93 http://textpattern.org/plugins/625/jas_popular_articles
  94. 94 http://welovetxp.com/
  95. 95 http://welovetxp.com/
  96. 96 http://www.cmsshowcase.com/category/textpattern/
  97. 97 http://txpmag.com/all_sites/
  98. 98 http://txpmag.com/all_sites/
  99. 99 http://www.cssbased.com/tag/textpattern/
  100. 100 http://www.cssbased.com/tag/textpattern/
  101. 101 http://www.cssglance.com/category/gallery/cmsblog/textpattern/
  102. 102 http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/expression-engine-vs-textpattern
  103. 103 http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/expression-engine-vs-textpattern
  104. 104 http://www.robspangler.com/blog/wordpress-vs-textpattern
  105. 105 http://forum.textpattern.com/viewtopic.php?id=21343

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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

  1. 1

    Gr8 resources. You guys rock.

  2. 2

    Thanks for the information, this may be something to look into.

  3. 3

    I used to love Textpattern (actually, I still do) but after my host changed to PHP5 some months ago I just couldn’t use it anymore due to some incompatibility. That was when I moved to WordPress.

    Honestly, WordPress is a nightmare for people trying to understand its template system. I’m not a programmer, I’m a designer, so WP is just one headache after the other. Textpattern, on the other hand, had such a clever template system and so easy to use, not to mention that EVERYTHING was documented (unliked WP, which besides the difficulty for non-programmers to understand it, not everything has enough information).

    I tell you, if I could I would go back to Textpattern without a doubt. I have forgotten most tags, but, as I said, everything is documented, so it would be extremely quick to build my templates back again.

    WordPress “might” be more powerful, but its documentation is put up in such a dumb manner that its almost not worth it.

  4. 4

    Thanks for this!! I’ve been an avid Textpattern user for years, and although I’ve tried all the other majors, I find Textpattern to be by far the easiest, most versatile platform that gives the highest level of control. With all my Textpattern sites I’m able to use pretty much straight CSS and HTML – no annoying and limiting template systems. I can’t recommend it enough, and I can’t wait to dig into these resources.

  5. 5

    I’m redesigning my site, and in tern, finding a CMS to design it around. Think I might try Textpattern…

  6. 6

    Thanks for such a great post. I was in a decision stage about choosing a cms-blog platform for an upcoming project and also for future projects.
    Before I used Joomla for several projects, they made a huge step with version 1.5 but still have major weak points like absence of custom fields. And template mechanism is still painful.
    Wordpress is a good choice for blogging and has a great community support but it seems hard to use it as a cms.
    Expression Engine, I just download last week and I can say that it is really great. But needs a little bit attention in the beginning to understand the platform. It’s so flexible. Everyday I love it more and more :)
    Textpattern, I installed yesterday. So your post will help me a lot to discover it.
    MovableType will be next step. I am sure, soon you will publish a toolbox for MovableType =) Thanks again…

  7. 7

    Great, Textpattern is the first and only CMS I learned. The first time I used it, it took me like 3 or 4 days to get a website up and runing. I really really recomend it for designers.

  8. 8

    Fantastic timing, just setting up textpattern site right now.

  9. 9

    I’m a Designer and when I decided to learn a CMS a couple of years ago, Textpattern was by far the simplest, yet it does so many amazing things! I’m a full on Textpattern fan and it’s really nice to see Textpattern put in the spotlight. Highly recommend it!

  10. 10

    I have nothing against these PHP based CMS systems. In most cases they are really good systems. I prefer using Plone though. Although customizing it can be a bit cumbersome to edit, seeing as it is coded in Python, it also has the lowest recorded successful attacks.

    How about doing a feature on it some time :)

  11. 11

    This is a sweet list of resources for TextPattern. Thanks for posting.


  12. 12

    nice article. I always wanted to know learn about textpattern and now I can get the resources here. thanks.

  13. 13

    Thanks for this articles…
    TextPattern rocks!

  14. 14

    Thanks for your efforts,

    This is indeed a very Comprehensive Tutorial on Textpattern. More like a starting point for anybody who wants to start using Textpattern and take it to the end.

  15. 15

    For the German community (and txp newbies) please note textpattern [ge].

  16. 16

    Many thanks for this great post.
    After WP, Drupal, EE, TXP, now I hope you will publish a toolbox on JOOMLA!
    Thanks again

  17. 17

    Curt Simon Harlinghausen

    November 6, 2008 11:47 pm

    Genius post. Again. You boys are
    doing a great job with a lot of passion
    and a brillant view to the things.

    Help to save the world. Save energy.


  18. 18

    Another great article on smashingmagazine.com – thank you!

  19. 19

    hey Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz. dont u guys have anything like monthly newsltter for which people can subscribe ??

    me n my team here in india are a follower of ur site we chck ur articles everyday without fail.. plz if u have any such service as newsltter .. plz let me know about it..

  20. 20

    Thanks for helping to raise the profile of Textpattern. The community is relatively small compared to other CMSes, but it is growing as people discover its power and flexibility.

    I’ve been a TXP user for several years now and my clients like its ease of use for adding content. I’m really happy to see people here catching on.

  21. 21


    November 7, 2008 3:51 am

    great post like usual…
    thank’s for your information :)

  22. 22

    Textpattern rocks… Using many years, and you can do lots of things with this CMS. And I hope the community will grow because textpattern doesn’t have “great times” now.

  23. 23

    Excellent work guys – been waiting for the textpattern toolbox!

  24. 24

    Interesting stuff. Would love to see you guys do a side by side comparison of Joomla, textpattern, drupal, wordpress etc.

  25. 25

    i love me some TXP.
    i’m evangelical about using it to anyone who will listen

    ive done alot of drupal sites and alot of wordpress sites but txp is the fastest way to hit the ground running that ive come across

    just wish that someone would finish off the textcommerce plugin already
    (its so close) and that would keep me from ever going back to wordpress

    thank you smashing mag for a link i can use in my preaching

  26. 26

    Thanks to the information.
    I wanto to try.. :)

  27. 27

    Nice to see Textpattern get some love. This is a great resource. That was the one downside, at least before the book came out, was learning how to use it.

  28. 28

    I’ve been meaning to try this! I just recently started playing with WP and find it frustrating as I am not a programmer, as many people have already mentioned. I think I will use this for my next design, thanks!

  29. 29

    I’m really enjoying this CMS developer resource series! There are still a few more systems to be covered, so I’m looking forward to seeing what SM come up with next time :-)

  30. 30

    Thanks for sharing TXP with the Smashing Magazine community. I truly think TXP needs a little help getting it’s name out there to newer web developers.

  31. 31

    Thanks so much, guys! I was turned on to Textpattern by the Rissington Podcast crew and am looking forward to getting my teeth into it and using it as the basis of my new site. This article will be invaluable, I’m sure as I start out with it. It’s been really tough deciding on one blogging/CMS tool, WordPress seems so ubiquitous sometimes, but I’ve heard many negative comments…it’s TP all the way now, on initial viewing and setup it seems that it’ll suit me coming from a developer background…thanks again for this and all your great posts!

  32. 32

    After WP, Drupal, EE, TXP, now I hope you will publish a toolbox on JOOMLA!

    I don’t understand why not?

    Thanks again

  33. 33

    Great article! TXP rocks!

  34. 34

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been on the look out for a CMS and I’ll surely have a look at this one.

    Thanks for another great post!

  35. 35

    thanks for your usefull post

  36. 36

    textpattern rocks !! try it out today!

  37. 37

    The posts here are great. Thanks for having them. I really get a lot out of reading web sites about the topic of CMS programs. There are so many programs. Which one have you found the most flexible? Thanks again – great site!

  38. 38

    Full set of websites for textpattern newbie! Great resource! Thanks.

  39. 39

    Thanks. Very very good. The best CMS.

  40. 40

    Great collection!
    here is a good example of ajax with textpattern; css_rating is a Ajax rating system for Textpattern http://www.kavidesign.com/en/84/txp_css_rating

  41. 41

    This is really good.

  42. 42

    I have never heard of Textpattern before, but I must say it looks interesting :-)


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