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 an 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 best layout practices, make general recommendations, and eliminate redundancy, especially in the ordering and placement of talk page specific templates, such as {{Talk header}}, {{WikiProject banner shell}}, {{FAQ}}, and so on. 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 to the reader 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 usually ordered (variations do exist). This list supposes the banners are present; if they are not, use editorial judgement and remember: less is more.

  1. Active nominations, when applicable – {{GA nominee}}, {{Featured article candidates}}, or {{Peer review}}
  2. Skip templates: {{Skip to talk}}, {{Skip to bottom}}, and others
  3. On redirect talk pages, {{Talk page of redirect}} – see documentation to ensure correct usage (and ensure against misuse)
  4. {{Talk header}} – should only be used where it is needed; see documentation
  5. High-importance attention templates, such as {{Notice}}, {{Contentious topics/talk notice}}, {{Gs/talk notice}}, or {{BLP others}}
  6. {{COI editnotice}}, {{Warning}}, or {{Austrian economics sanctions}}
  7. Specific talk page guideline banners, such as {{Calm}}, {{Censor}}, {{Controversial}}, {{Not a forum}}, {{FAQ}}, or {{Round in circles}}
  8. Language-related talk page guideline banners, such as {{American English}}, {{British English}}, or other varieties of English templates.
  9. Any "article history" (e.g., {{GA}}, {{FailedGA}}, {{Old XfD multi}}, {{Old prod}}, {{Old peer review}}, {{Afd-merged-from}}, {{Old CfD}}, {{Old RfD}}) or "article milestone" (e.g., {{DYK talk}}, {{On this day}}, {{ITN talk}}) banner, preferably within an {{Article history}} template if there are many items
  10. {{WikiProject banner shell}} either standalone or containing any relevant WikiProject banners.
    • {{WikiProject Biography}} should usually be the first WikiProject if there is a banner shell, and must be the first WikiProject if there is no banner shell (because it also displays {{BLP}} above it).
  11. {{Image requested}}, {{Photo requested}}, {{Infobox requested}}, and other banners indicating a known issue with the page (if a WikiProject template has its own image or infobox request parameter, use that one instead)
  12. {{Connected contributor}} or {{Press}}, if applicable
  13. {{To do}} or {{Consensus}}, when used as a banner
  14. {{Reliable sources for medical articles}}
  15. Attribution history templates: {{Copied}}, {{Split article}}, {{Merged-from}}, or {{Merged-to}}
  16. Page metadata, such as {{Annual readership}} and {{Section sizes}}
  17. Smaller right-aligned banners such as {{Translated page}}
  18. {{Archives}} and other similarly dedicated archive templates. See #Archives section below.


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).


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 ==, summarizing the top comments after the banners (or categories, if present).

Long or complex threads may benefit from organizing using one or more level-3 header(s) (=== Header ===).

If you include references, add {{reflist-talk}} or {{sources-talk}} after your comment, to keep citations within your thread. If you wish to encourage other users to place their comments before the reference list rather than after it, you can insert a level-3 header titled "References" or add a hidden comment.


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, or when they are not named according to the numbering convention, or if a specific archiving note is required. In these cases, 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, in either template.

See also[edit]