Wikipedia:Talk page layout

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This Wikipedia guide to talk page layout is an annotated, working guide to the basics of laying out a talk page. Complicated talk pages may be best modeled on the layout of an existing talk page of appropriate structure.

Template clutter has been a concern for the community for a long time. Article talk pages have historically been overburdened by templates from various processes on the path to featured status.[1] This guide aims to identify good layout practices and make general recommendations, especially in the ordering and placement of talk page specific templates such as {{Talk header}}, {{WikiProjectBannerShell}}, {{FAQ}}, and so on, and in the elimination of redundancy. This guide cannot cover every possibility that can be found on Wikipedia, especially on highly active talk pages, so please always use common sense and good editorial judgment.

Talk page layout[edit]

Talk pages are usually divided into three sections: lead ("bannerspace"), table of contents, and discussions.

Lead (bannerspace)[edit]

The lead of the discussion presents the reader to the guidelines and policies, article achievements, related pages, and links to past discussions. Templates are often used to present these messages, and these templates should be prioritized to fit the needs of the specific article. The order in which they are most often presented is listed below. This is not a prescriptive list, but rather an observation of how the banners of well-structured talk pages are ordered (variations exist). This list supposes the banners are present.

  1. {{GA nominee}} (if applicable)
  2. {{skip to talk}} (should only be necessary on talk pages with lots of banners)
  3. {{Talk header}} (or forks like {{Oregon Companies talk}})
  4. {{GA}}
  5. {{Vital article}}
  6. {{Ds/talk notice}}, {{community article probation}}, {{censor}}, {{BLP others}} and other high-priority/importance, warning/attention templates
  7. Specific talk page guideline banners, such as {{Calm}}, {{Not a forum}}, {{Recurring themes}}, {{FAQ}}, {{Round in circles}}, etc.
  8. Language related talk page guideline banners, such as {{American English}}, {{British English}}, etc.
  9. Any "article history", such as {{FailedGA}}, {{Old prod}}, or "article milestone" banner such as {{DYK talk}}, {{On this day}}, {{ITN talk}}, (preferably in a {{Article history}} template)
  10. Any WikiProject banners (in a {{WikiProjectBannerShell}} template when 2+ are present, or in {{WikiProjectBanners}} when 6+ are present), such as {{WikiProject Elements}}, {{WikiProject Television}}, etc. For biographical articles, {{WikiProject Biography}} usually comes before any other WikiProject banners. If {{WikiProjectBannerShell}} and {{WikiProjectBanners}} are not used, and the page is about a living person, WikiProject Biography must come before other WikiProject banners to ensure that the {{BLP}} message is displayed on top
  11. {{Image requested}} (but if a WikiProject template has its own image request parameter use that one instead)
  12. {{Connected contributor}} or {{Press}}, if applicable.
  13. {{To do}}
  14. {{Maintained}}
  15. {{Find sources notice}}, {{Reliable sources for medical articles}}
  16. {{Split from}}, {{Split to}}
  17. {{Merged-from}}, {{Merged-to}}
  18. Archive templates (such as {{Archives}}), if desired (see #Archives below)

Categories[edit]

Categories that are not inserted automatically by the templates used in the lead (bannerspace) should be placed after the last banner and before the discussion.

Table of contents[edit]

The TOC is usually generated automatically, as in articles. Note that currently this will only happen if the talkpage has at least four sections. There should not be any reason to fiddle around with the TOC in normal circumstances, but some high-traffic pages may opt to place the TOC in a different location because of special considerations. Sometimes a page with many newer editors benefits from adding a friendly note to put new threads at the bottom and adding the TOC to encourage proper formatting. Other talk pages opt not to have a TOC at all; this is done by placing the "magic word" __NOTOC__ anywhere on the page (but preferably at the very top).

Discussions[edit]

A level 2 header (==Header==) should immediately follow the lead/banners. If the level 2 header isn't placed, the TOC will show up after some discussions, rather than before them. If you come across a TOC that follows comments, add a level 2 section header such as ==Untitled== or ==Comments by IP 192.0.2.1== summarizing the top comments after the banners (or categories, if present).

Archives[edit]

Talk archives can be displayed through either the {{Talk header}} or {{archives}} templates. In some cases it may be preferable to include {{archives}} even if the talk header is present, such as when there are a lot of archives, if they are not named according to the numbering convention, or if a specific archiving note is required. In this case, the automatic display of archives in {{Talk header}} can be suppressed with the |noarchive=yes option. Archive searching can be enabled with the |search=yes option.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]