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Boilerplate vs. Template: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 2, 2023
Boilerplate is standardized text; a template is a preset format serving as a starting structure.

Key Differences

Boilerplate text refers to any written text that can be reused in new contexts without significant changes to the original. A template, on the other hand, is a framework designed to be easily altered and adapted for specific needs. Boilerplate is often found in legal documents where specific clauses are standard and unchanged. Templates are utilized in a variety of fields, including document creation, where they provide a basic structure that can be customized.
In programming, boilerplate code is the section of code that has to be included in many places with little or no alteration. Templates in programming, especially in web development, are outlines or components that can be used to start building an application or webpage. Boilerplate serves to save time and ensure consistency in repetitive tasks, while templates are often used as a guide for creating something new and can be modified extensively.
When drafting contracts, the term boilerplate is used to describe the standard provisions that appear at the end of the contract. These are not the primary negotiated points but are necessary for the enforceability and interpretation of the agreement. Templates in this context might be the initial draft of a contract with placeholders for variable details that will be negotiated or tailored to the individual situation.
With respect to media and communication, a boilerplate is a standard description of an organization that appears at the end of press releases. Conversely, a media release template provides the basic format and structure for creating a press release but needs to be filled with the specifics of the current news item. While a boilerplate remains static, a template requires input and modification.
Boilerplate is about consistency and replication without change; it’s a time-saver in producing multiple documents of a similar nature. Templates offer a prearranged format that anticipates changes, accommodating a wide range of situations while maintaining a certain structure. Each serves to streamline tasks but in different stages of the creative process.

Comparison Chart


Standardized text used repeatedly without change.
A format or structure designed to be a starting point for customization.


In contracts, legal documents, and routine communication.
In document creation, web design, and various projects requiring a specific layout.


Little to none; not meant for changes.
High; intended to be adapted and filled in.


To maintain uniformity and save time in production.
To provide a basic structure that can be modified for individual needs.


Legal disclaimers, corporate descriptions in press releases.
Resume templates, website design templates, email marketing templates.

Boilerplate and Template Definitions


Standardized sections of code in software development.
He copied the boilerplate code into the new software module.


A preset model used as a guide for structure and design.
We used a template for our monthly newsletter.


Unalterable text reused in multiple documents.
The company's privacy policy was taken from a common boilerplate.


A framework that provides the basic outline for a project.
The web developer created a new site using a popular template.


Text that is commonly used and widely accepted as standard.
Her will included a boilerplate that designated an executor.


An outline used to create standardized documents or items.
The teacher provided a template for the students' book report.


Fixed, standard text used in documents or programming.
The contract's boilerplate clauses were applicable to all parties involved.


A pattern or mold that helps in shaping or creating consistent output.
The carpenter used a template to cut the wood accurately.


Standard writing used for efficiency and consistency.
The press release included a boilerplate about the company’s history.


A preformatted document where specific information is added.
They filled out their business plan using an online template.


Steel in the form of flat plates used in making steam boilers.


A pattern or gauge, such as a thin metal plate with a cut pattern, used as a guide in making something accurately, as in woodworking or the carving of architectural profiles.


Journalistic material, such as syndicated features, made available by agencies in a form that is already typeset, originally in plate form, for easy incorporation into publications such as newspapers.


A document or file having a preset format, used as a starting point for a particular application so that the format does not have to be recreated each time it is used
A loan amortization template for a spreadsheet program.


What is a template?

A template is a preset format or structure intended to be a starting point for further development.

Are boilerplates and templates the same?

No, boilerplates are standardized texts, while templates are guides for creating new content.

Where are boilerplates commonly used?

In legal documents, programming, and press releases.

Can I find templates online?

Yes, there are many resources online for a variety of templates.

Is a template meant to be changed?

Yes, a template is designed to be customized.

Can a boilerplate be modified?

Generally, no, boilerplate text is meant to be used as is.

Can a template become a boilerplate?

Yes, if a template is used repeatedly without changes, it can function as a boilerplate.

Are there templates for websites?

Yes, there are many pre-designed website templates available.

Do all businesses use the same boilerplate?

No, boilerplates are tailored to each business but may share common elements.

What is boilerplate text?

It's standardized text used in multiple documents without changes.

Why is a template useful?

It provides a starting structure, which helps maintain consistency while allowing customization.

Is there boilerplate code in programming?

Yes, it refers to sections of code commonly used with little alteration.

How do I create a template?

By designing a basic structure with placeholders for customizable content.

Do templates need to follow a certain format?

They should follow a format that serves their intended purpose but can vary widely.

How specific is boilerplate content?

It's usually quite general since it's meant to apply to many situations.

Are templates only for text documents?

No, they can be for any type of content, including visual and digital media.

Can a boilerplate include variable information?

Typically no, as boilerplate is meant to be standard and unchanged.

How do I customize a template?

By adding or modifying the content within the template’s structure.

Where would I use a template?

When creating documents, websites, or any project needing a preset format.

Why use a boilerplate?

To save time and ensure consistency across multiple documents.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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