There are many WordPress plugins that provide template tags or you can say functions that you are asked to add to your theme template file (like index.php or page.php). Let us consider an example of SliderVilla Slider Plugin named Pointelle Slider. Pointelle Slider offers template tags along with shortcodes and widgets to embed the Slider on the WordPres site. The basic Pointelle Template Tag provided in the user guide is as follows:

<?php if ( function_exists( 'get_pointelle_slider' ) ) { get_pointelle_slider(); } ?>

So, if you are learning WordPress and wonder how can I put this slider on the front page of my blog, you can follow the below basic steps to implement the template tag:

1) Say if you are using ‘Twenty Eleven’ WordPress Theme. Go to the Theme Editor in Appearance Settings on WordPress admin panel. If you cannot edit the theme files thru editor, you will have to download them using FTP, then edit them and upload the modified file to the theme folder. Use the code editor or plain text editor to edit the .php files. Do not use Rich Text Editors like MS Word etc., otherwise you will mess up the code badly.

2) Now, go to Settings => Reading => Note what you are showing on ‘Front Page Displays” i.e. either Your latest posts (then your template to edit will be index.php) or A Static Page (then your Template will be page.php or the Page template for the particular page selected to show on the homepage). Also, if your theme has home.php, this can be the template file you would need to edit.

3) In most of the cases the template file to be edited would be index.php

Open the file to edit => Find out the below code in the template file

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : ?>

Paste the Pointelle Slider Template Tag just above this code and save/upload the file.

4) And you are done!!!

So this is an example how the template tag can be added to a WordPress theme’s template file.