How to Build Handy Reusable Page Templates in Atlassian Confluence

Reusable page templates are an incredibly useful feature in Atlassian Confluence that allow you to standardize and streamline content creation. As a technical writer at a software company, I rely on Confluence templates daily to ensure consistency across our documentation.

In this article, I’ll share my tips for creating effective Confluence templates from scratch, customizing existing templates, and setting up a templating workflow that enables content reuse.

Why Use Templates in Confluence?

Confluence page templates provide the following key benefits:

  • Consistency – Templates enable you to define a standard structure and layout for specific types of pages, ensuring consistency across your documentation or knowledge base.
  • Efficiency – Your team can create new pages faster by starting from a template instead of a blank page. Templates eliminate repetitive formatting work.
  • Standardization – You can use templates to enforce best practices for content types, including optimal page layouts, heading structure, metadata schema, and branding elements.
  • Collaboration – Templates facilitate collaboration by allowing multiple contributors to easily follow an established information architecture.

Creating Custom Page Templates from Scratch

It’s easy to create new page templates directly within Confluence:

  1. Navigate to Space Settings > Space Templates
  2. Click Add Template and give your template a name and description
  3. Use Confluence’s visual editor to add and format content blocks, including:
  • Headings
  • Text
  • Images
  • Tables
  • Macros
  1. Insert template variables where you want users to provide unique content
  2. Customize the template appearance using CSS or page layouts

I recommend structuring your custom templates to align with your overarching information architecture. For example, you may want separate templates for concepts, tasks, and reference topics.

Customizing Existing Templates

The Confluence template gallery provides many pre-built templates that you can customize:

  1. Browse the template gallery from Space Settings > Space Templates
  2. Select a template similar to what you need, then click Use Template
  3. Customize the copied template by adding, editing, or removing content
  4. Update the template name and description to reflect your changes
  5. Click Save Template to make your customized version available

This approach allows you to quickly create branded templates with just minor modifications.

Using Templates Effectively

To fully leverage the power of templates, be sure to:

  • Set permissions so only certain users can create templates
  • Communicate template usage guidelines to your team
  • Train content creators on proper template application
  • Enforce template usage through Confluence workflows
  • Continuously gather feedback to improve your templates

Over time, your custom Confluence templates will become invaluable content assets that increase consistency and productivity across your organization.

My Top 5 Confluence Template Tips

Here are my top recommendations for creating and managing page templates successfully:

  1. Keep templates focused – Don’t overload a single template trying to make it work for too many scenarios. Build separate lean templates for each major content type.
  2. Use descriptive template names – Well-named templates based on content type or function make it obvious which one to select when creating new pages.
  3. Limit template access – Restrict permission to create and edit templates so you maintain control over your templating strategy instead of having many inconsistent templates.
  4. Add documentation – Include usage instructions directly in the template description field to guide authors. Document what the template should be used for.
  5. Gather feedback – Solicit input from real template users to continuously refine and enhance your templates over time.

Sample Confluence Template Workflow

Here is an example of an effective Confluence templating workflow:

  1. Template administrators create and customize official page templates based on information architecture needs
  2. Template administrators maintain template permissions and documentation
  3. Content editors use appropriate templates as starting points when creating new pages
  4. Content editors complete template fields and provide page-specific content
  5. Template administrators periodically review page templates and published pages to identify improvement opportunities
  6. All users can submit template feedback via Confluence comments or template surveys

This structured process ensures templates remain accurate and helpful knowledge management tools.

Integrating Powerful Templating Apps

Confluence supports installing apps from Atlassian Marketplace to extend built-in templating capabilities:

While Confluence provides excellent basic templating, these apps offer more advanced functionality when needed.

Go Forth and Template!

I hope these tips give you a solid game plan for unlocking the advantages of Confluence page templating. Well-designed templates will make content creation a breeze while simultaneously upholding quality standards across your site.

Now that you know why templates matter and how to build them, go forth and template to take your Confluence game to the next level! Let me know in the comments if you have any other great template best practices to share.