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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 Link

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 Link

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

Textpattern.org11 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 Link

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 Steps15
If you’re new to Textpattern, try following this article/tutorial to get a better grip on how it functions.

First steps16

Textpattern Manual
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 Listing17
Another useful resource to have at your disposal, especially if you’re new to Textpattern.

TXP tag listing18

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

Textpattern Semantics19
If you’re new to working with Textpattern, this is a handy resource that briefly explains some essential details.

Textpattern Solutions
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 solutions

Understanding Textpattern Building Blocks
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 Mechanics
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?
This article looks at the issue of using Textpattern as both a CMS and a blogging platform.

4. Tutorials Link

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.net20 includes a selection of tutorials that are arranged by category.

TXP Tips21
A tutorial website with over 30 tips that are mostly brief and quick to read.

TXP tutorials22

Your First Textpattern Theme23
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?24
One of the frequently asked questions by Textpattern users is answered by Textpattern.

Static TXP pages25

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

Textpattern: Flexible Article Placement
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 placement

Using PHP Code in Textpattern26
This article shows what you need to know to get that PHP code to work on Textpattern.

Setting Up a Thumbnail Gallery27
This tutorial shows you how to use a plug-in to create a simple thumbnail gallery.

TXP gallery28

Using Textpattern to Manage an E-Commerce Website
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-In
This four-part series is “a PHP developer’s guide to writing Textpattern plug-ins.”

  • Part One
  • Part Two
  • Part Three
  • Part Four

Avoiding the Digg Effect on Textpattern: How to Install Page Caching
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 cache

Textpattern Comments Tutorial29
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 Textpattern30
This tutorial takes you through the process of setting up an iTunes-friendly podcast with Textpattern.

How to Setup a Textpattern Playlist31
Jon Hicks shows how he displays his Last.fm32 playlist in his sidebar.

TXP playlist33

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

TXP search

Moving a Textpattern Install to a New Host34
Changing hosts can be a hassle, but this tutorial gives you instructions that are specific to Textpattern.

changing hosts35

5. Templates/Themes Link

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 Bombsite
A sizeable collection of Textpattern themes is offered here.

Ten Textpattern templates are available at SiteGround.


Textpattern Templates40
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 Resources41 has over 100 free themes to choose from.

Textpattern Admin Theme42
Jon Hicks developed this alternative admin theme.

TXP admin theme43

More Admin Themes offers seven different admin themes for downloading.

TXP admin themes

6. Plug-ins Link

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 Resources44 provides over 500 plug-ins for Textpattern users.

TXP plugins45

Wilshire One46
A very large collection of plug-ins of all kinds is available here.

Wilshire One47

8 Essential Plug-Ins for Textpattern48
This article from Sitening discusses eight plug-ins that have proven to be extremely useful in its experience.

Best Textpattern Plug-Ins and Hacks49
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-Ins
HicksDesign provides a list of recommended plug-ins.

Recommended TXP plugins

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

SEO Plug-Ins for Textpattern50
GraphicPUSH provides a list of plug-ins for working with meta data, URL structures and other SEO-related issues.

SEO TXP plugins51

SimplePie Plug-In for Textpattern52
Allows you to use SimplePie and Textpattern together to display feeds.

SimplePie plugin53

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 Antispam60
Adds a hidden field to your forms to help identify spam.

Antispam plugin61

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

Popular Articles63
Uses the txp_log table to identify the most viewed articles in the past month or year.

7. Textpattern Design Inspiration Link

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 Magazine66
TXP Magazine includes a gallery of more than 20 inspirational designs.

TXP Magazine67

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

CSS Based

CSS Glance68
There are currently 19 Textpattern websites on display at CSS Glance.

8. Compared to Other CMS Platforms Link

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

ExpressionEngine vs. Textpattern69
Jon Hicks compares the two options and looks at the strengths of each.

EE vs. TXP70

WordPress vs. Textpattern71
A quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each.

Textpattern vs. Drupal72
The Textpattern forum has an interesting dialogue comparing the two.


Footnotes Link

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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

    Samir Tuladhar

    November 6, 2008 1:43 pm

    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

    Hannes Calitz

    November 6, 2008 7:51 pm

    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 – 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.


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