Help File

Help File: Vivacity

Help file last updated on 06, June 2014

1.0 Getting Started

1.1 Downloading The Theme

Download the theme from your ThemeForest Downloads page and unzip the file you just downloaded. You will now see a folder called vivacity-theme, within the folder you will see the following:


1.2 Installation

Before installing the theme make sure you have installed WordPress 3.5 or higher. You can download WordPress for free from WordPress.org.

It is recommended that you install WooCommerce, BuddyPress and/or bbPress before installing and activating the theme if you want to use these plugins.

There are two ways to install the theme, please choose the one that best suits you:

1.2.1 Installing Through WordPress Admin Panel

You can also install the theme through the WordPress admin panel. However you will need to make sure the file size of vivacity.zip does not exceed your upload limit - if it does please see http://wptheming.com/2009/07/upload_max_filesize for more information.

Then to install the theme follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to the WordPress Admin Panel.
  2. Go to Appearance -> Themes.
  3. Click the Install Themes or Add New button.
  4. Finally click the Upload or Upload Theme button and upload vivacity.zip (NOT vivacity-theme.zip).

1.2.2 Installing Through FTP

If the theme is too large to upload through the WordPress admin panel you should upload the theme through an FTP client instead.

To set up an FTP client refer to the WordPress documentation on this http://codex.wordpress.org/FTP_Clients.

Once you have set up your FTP client upload the vivacity folder to your WordPress themes directory wp-content/themes/ (this is in inside the vivacity-theme folder if you downloaded the main files download).

1.2.3 Activating the theme

Once you have installed the theme you should activate the theme by going to Appearance -> Themes and clicking the Activate link below the Vivacity theme.


1.3 Installing Required & Recommended Plugins

1.3.1 Installing Plugins

The theme comes with a few plugins that are either recommended or required. Required plugins should be automatically installed and activated. You will also see a notice at the top of any page telling you about any recommended plugins that can be installed.

Plugins

Once you install a required plugin it cannot be deactivated and uninstalled until you switch the theme.

1.3.2 Plugin Issues

If the required plugins are not installed go to Appearance -> Install Plugins and click the Install link for each plugin.

Plugins

If you do not see the Install Plugins link you can find the plugins inside the theme folder you downloaded at vivacity-theme/vivacity/lib/plugins/. You can then upload each plugin zip file manually as follows:

  1. Log in to the WordPress Admin Panel.
  2. Go to Plugins -> Add New.
  3. Click the Upload link in the top sub-menu and upload each zip file.

1.4 Using Demo Content

The theme comes with two demo files. demo.xml imports example posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and widgets.wie imports widgets. The demo content can help you in learning how the theme works.

Before importing the demo content make sure you have installed and activated the theme and the recommended/required plugins.

To add this demo content follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Tools -> Import and select the WordPress option. If you are prompted to install the WordPress Importer plugin you should do this.
  2. Click the Browse button and locate the demo.xml file that is inside the vivacity-theme/vivacity/Help/Demo Content/ folder and double click the file to select it and then click the Upload file and import button.
  3. A new screen will appear, check the Download and import file attachments option and click Submit.
  4. To import the demo widgets go to Tools -> Widget Import/Export, click the Choose file button and locate the widgets.wie file that is inside the vivacity-theme/vivacity/Help/Demo Content/ folder and double click the file to select it and then click the Import Widgets button.
  5. You cannot import the LayerSlider seen in the demo currently, instead you can import the sample slider that comes with the LayerSlider plugin. To do this go to LayerSlider WP -> All Sliders and click the Import sample sliders button and select the LayerSlider 5 responsive dmeo slider option.
  6. Now go to Appearance -> Menus and under the Manage Locations tab select "Main Menu" for Main Header Navigation.
  7. Finally go to Settings -> Reading, select A static page option and from the Front page drop down menu select the page called "Home" (leave the Posts page drop down menu empty).

1.5 Updating The Theme

From time to time free theme updates will be released which will include bug fixes and feature updates.

1.6.1 Activating Update Notifications

In order to receive update notifications you need to do the following:

  1. Go to ThemeForest Downloads page and find this theme.
  2. Check the Get notified by email if this item is updated option as shown in the image below.

Update Notifications

1.6.2 Updating The Theme

Once you have enabled update notifications there are two ways to update your theme as follows:

1.6.2.1 If you have made NO changes to the theme files

If you have made no changes to the theme files you can update the theme as follows:

  1. Download the theme from your ThemeForest Downloads page and unzip the file you just downloaded. You will now see a folder called vivacity-theme.
  2. Go to Appearance -> Themes and activate another theme.
  3. Now click the Delete link for the Vivacity theme.
  4. Select Install Themes.
  5. Now click the Upload link in the top sub-menu and upload the new version of vivacity.zip (NOT vivacity-theme.zip).

1.6.2.2 If you HAVE made changes to the theme files

It is recommended that you create a child theme to make changes to the theme so you can upgrade automatically without your changes being overwritten. To set up a child theme see Creating A Child Theme.

However if you have made changes to the parent theme's template files you will want to update the theme manually so you do not overwrite these changes as follows:

  1. Download the theme from your ThemeForest Downloads page and unzip the file you just downloaded. You will now see a folder called vivacity-theme.
  2. Now read the changelog so you can see what files that have been updated, added and/or removed.
  3. You can use DeltaWalker or DiffMerge and compare the code changes between your modified files and the new theme files.
  4. Before uploading the new theme you should make a backup of the current version you have installed. This can be done by downloading the theme folder from your server to your computer.
  5. Now upload the new vivacity folder that is inside your vivacity-theme folder to your WordPress themes directory wp-content/themes/.

1.6 Updating The Plugins

1.6.1 Vivacity Plugin

The theme comes with a plugin called Vivacity Plugin that includes a number of features that you can still use if you switch to another theme such as your slide posts, custom sidebars and widget import/export ability.

Whenever a new version of the plugin is available you will be emailed that the theme has been updated if you activated updated notifications as described in the Activating Update Notifications section.

To update the plugin do the following:

  1. Download the theme from your ThemeForest Downloads page and unzip the file you just downloaded. You will now see a folder called vivacity-theme.
  2. Update the theme as described in the Updating The Theme section.
  3. Go to Appearance -> Themes and activate another theme.
  4. Go to Plugins -> Installed Plugins and delete the plugin called Vivacity Plugin.
  5. You will now see a notice at the top of the page where you can install and activate the new version of the plugin.

1.6.2 Other Plugins

The theme also comes with some two recommended plugins - Visual Composer and LayerSlider . You cannot manually update these plugins unless you have purchased them separately. If these plugins have been updated you will need to wait until a new theme update is released, which will always include any plugin updates.

You will be emailed that the theme has been updated if you activated updated notifications as described in the Activating Update Notifications section.

To update the plugins do the following:

  1. Download the theme from your ThemeForest Downloads page and unzip the file you just downloaded. You will now see a folder called vivacity-theme.
  2. Update the theme as described in the Updating The Theme section.
  3. Go to Plugins -> Installed Plugins and delete the Visual Composer and LayerSlider plugins.
  4. You will now see a notice at the top of the page where you can install and activate the new versions of the plugins.

1.7 Basic Troubleshooting

1.7.1 General Issues

Disable all your plugins to see if this fixes any issues you are experiencing. If it does, reactivate the plugins one by one or in groups so you can identify which one is causing the problem.

If the problem is not fixed activate the default Twenty Twelve theme to see if this fixes the issue. If the problem still occurs it is likely a WordPress issue instead of a theme issue and you should post a support topic at the WordPress support site at http://wordpress.org/support.

If the problem is fixed it may be a theme issue, in which case post a support ticket at http://ghostpool.ticksy.com and include your website address and WordPress admin login details.

1.7.2 Does your server have the GD library compiled with its version of PHP?

This theme requires the GD library for image resizing. If your images are not working, check with your host to make sure it is installed.


2.0 Creating Pages

2.1 Visual Composer (Page Builder & Shortcodes)

This theme comes bundled with the Visual Composer plugin, which provides a drag and drop interface for creating complex page layouts and provides many shortcodes. This can all be accessed by creating or editing a page and clicking the Backend Editor (or Visual Composer) or Frontend Editor button.

For more information on using the Visual Composer refer to the video below:


2.2 Creating A Homepage

2.2.1 Creating The Page

  1. Go to Pages -> Add New to create a new page.
  2. Give your page a title.
  3. On the right hand side in the Page Attributes panel select one of the available page templates from the Template dropdown menu.
  4. A new section will appear below the text editor in the Page Settings panel with options specific to the page template selected.
  5. Go to Settings -> Reading, select A static page option and from the Front page drop down menu select the page you just created (leave the Posts page drop down menu empty).

2.2.2 Using LayerSlider

  1. Create a new page using the "Homepage - LayerSlider" page template.
  2. To import the slider seen in the "Homepage - LayerSlider" demo page please refer to Using Demo Content section.
  3. To create your own slides go to LayerSlider WP -> All Sliders -> Add New.
  4. Now go back to the homepage you created and select the slider from the Slider drop down menu.

Please note that I did not create the LayerSlider plugin, if you want to learn more about this plugin you should refer to the documentation here.

2.2.2 Using FlexSlider

  1. Create a new page using the "Homepage - FlexSlider" page template.
  2. To import the slider seen in the "Homepage - FlexSlider" demo page please refer to Using Demo Content section.
  3. To create your own slides go to Slides -> Add New, give your slide an image, title, and link if necessary.
  4. On the right-hand assign your slide to a category from the Slide Categories panel.
  5. Now go back to the homepage you created and select a slider category from the Slider drop down menu.

2.3 Blogs

2.3.1 Creating Blog Posts

To set up a blog page to display all your posts you first need to create some posts as follows:

  1. Go to Posts -> Add New to create a new post.
  2. Give your post a title and content in the text editor.
  3. Scroll down to the Post Settings panel where you can control the way the post looks.
  4. On the right-hand side you will see a Featured Image panel, click the Set featured image link to set an image for this post.
  5. After uploading or selecting your featured image click the Set featured image button in the image upload window.
  6. On the right-hand you can assign your post to categories from the Categories panel e.g. "Blog".

2.3.2 Creating A Blog

2.3.2.1 Blog Page Template

  1. Go to Pages -> Add New to create a new page.
  2. Give your page a title.
  3. On the right hand side in the Page Attributes panel select one of the blog page templates from the Template dropdown menu.
  4. A new section will appear below the text editor in the Page Settings panel called Blog Settings where you can control the number of posts per page.

2.3.2.2 Blog Visual Composer Element

  1. Go to Pages -> Add New to create a new page.
  2. Give your page a title.
  3. Click the Backend Editor (or Visual Composer) button and then click the Add element button to open the element window.
  4. Next click the Blog button where you can customize the appearance of the blog.
  5. Click Save when you are done to insert the blog element into the page - you can move this element around and edit the settings by hovering over the element and clicking the Pencil icon.

2.4 Portfolios

2.4.1 Creating Portfolio Items

To set up a portfolio page to display all your portfolio items you first need to create some items as follows:

  1. Go to Portfolio Items -> Add New to create a new item.
  2. Give your item a title and content in the text editor.
  3. Scroll down to the Portfolio Settings panel where you can control the way the item looks.
  4. On the right-hand side you will see a Featured Image panel, click the Set featured image link to set an image for this post.
  5. After uploading or selecting your featured image click the Set featured image button in the image upload window.
  6. On the right-hand you can assign your item to categories from the Portfolio Categories panel e.g. "Music".
  7. These categories will be used as portfolio filters on portfolio pages.

To add Visual Composer support to portfolio items go to Settings -> Visual Composer and under Content types check the gp_portfolio_item option.

2.4.2 Creating A Portfolio

There are two ways to create a portfolio, you can either use a portfolio page template or insert a portfolio element into a page using the Visual Composer.

2.4.2.1 Portfolio Page Template

  1. Go to Pages -> Add New to create a new page.
  2. Give your page a title.
  3. On the right hand side in the Page Attributes panel select the "Portfolio" template from the Template dropdown menu.
  4. You can control the all the portfolio page options by going to Appearance -> Theme Options -> Portfolio Category Settings.

2.4.2.2 Portfolio Visual Composer Element

  1. Go to Pages -> Add New to create a new page.
  2. Give your page a title.
  3. Click the Backend Editor (or Visual Composer) button and then click the Add element button to open the element window.
  4. Next click the Portfolio button where you can customize the appearance of the portfolio.
  5. Click Save when you are done to insert the portfolio element into the page - you can move this element around and edit the settings by hovering over the element and clicking the Pencil icon.

2.5 Using Rows

If you are are using the fullwidth page layout on a page and want the background color of a section to extend across the whole page but restrain the content within it you need to use two rows as follows:

  1. Go to Pages -> Add New to create a new page.
  2. Click the Backend Editor (or Visual Composer) button and then click the Add row button to create the fullwidth row.
  3. To change the background/font colour etc. click the edit icon.
  4. Next click the plus icon to add another row element within the row you just created.
  5. Finally click the plus icon within the new row to add elements that are constrained to the theme width.

Using Rows


2.6 Pre-Built Templates

The demo data comes with a number of pre-built templates. To save these templates for future use please do the following:

  1. You need to first import the demo.xml file which contains the pre-built templates as explained in the Using Demo Content section.
  2. Now go to Pages -> All Pages and locate the page called "About Us".
  3. In the Visual Composer text box click the Templates button and select Save current page as Template.
  4. This page template can now be used on any new page you create.
  5. You can do the same for any of the page templates you imported from the demo file.

3.0 Theme Sections

3.1 Header

3.1.1 Changing The Logo

  1. Go to Appearance -> Theme Options -> General Settings and find the Custom Logo Image option.
  2. You can either copy and paste your logo URL into the text box or click the Upload button to upload or use an image from your media library.
  3. If you upload or use an image form the media library, select the image you want and then click the Use Image button at the bottom of the window.
  4. For retina support make your logo double the width and height you want to display it at, you can then specify the logo width and height in the options.
  5. Go to Appearance -> Theme Options -> General Settings and add your social links in the social icon text fields (start each link with http://).

3.2 Navigation Menus

3.2.1 Creating Menus

  1. Go to Appearance -> Menus to set up your navigation menu.
  2. Click the create a new menu link and create a menu.
  3. Click the Manage Locations tab and select your menu from the Main Header Navigation drop down menu.
  4. To create dropdown menus drag the menu items you want in the dropdown inwards and underneath the parent link as shown in the image below.

Navigation Menus

3.2.2 Mega Menus

To create mega menus that separates your navigation links into columns do as follows:

  1. Go to Appearance -> Menus and click the Screen Options button in the top right corner of the page and check the CSS Classes option.
  2. Now go to the link you want to turn into a mega menu and click on the down pointing arrow.
  3. In the CSS Classes text field add megamenu followed by columns-1, columns-2, columns-3, columns-4 or columns-5.
  4. To define each column drag the menu items you want in each column inwards and underneath the parent link as shown in the image below.

Mega Menus

3.2.2 Menu Icons

To add icons next to your navigation links do as follows:

  1. Go to Appearance -> Menus and click the Screen Options button in the top right corner of the page and check the CSS Classes option.
  2. Now go to the link you want to add an icon next to and click on the down pointing arrow.
  3. In the CSS Classes text field add fa followed by the icon class name e.g fa-search. The full list of icon class names are available here.

Menu Icons


3.3 Sidebars

The sidebar area is used to display widgets. By default all pages display the Standard Sidebar. To create a new sidebar and assign it to a page do as follows:

  1. Go to Appearance -> Sidebars, click the Add Sidebar link and give your new sidebar a name.
  2. Now go to the desired page and scroll down to the settings panel and select one of your sidebars from the Sidebar drop down menu.
  3. To change the sidebar on all posts, pages, categories, products etc. this can be done from Appearance -> Theme Options.
  4. Now go to Appearance -> Widgets and drag and drop widgets from the Available Widgets panel over to the widget areas on the right.
  5. You can add any shortcodes, scripts, advertisements within a Text widget.

3.4 Footer

The footer comes in two sections. The first section contains the footer widgets. The second section contains the copyright text. To set up both sections do as follows:

3.4.1 Setting Up The Footer Widgets

  1. Go to Appearance -> Widgets and drag and drop widgets from the Available Widgets panel over to the five footer widget areas on the right.
  2. Each footer widget area represents a new column in the footer

3.4.2 Setting Up Copyright Text

  1. To replace the default copyright text, go to Appearance -> Theme Options -> General Settings add your own text in Copyright Text text box.

4.0 Styling Your Site

4.1 Style Settings

With this theme you can style every element of the site as follows:

  1. Go to Appearance -> Theme Options -> Style Settings.
  2. Simply change the colors using the color picker or input your own color code.
  3. Click the Save Changes after you have finished editing this section.

4.2 Page Background

  1. Go to Appearance -> Background to add your own background colour or upload your own background image.

4.3 Customizing The Theme

If you want to customize the theme beyond what the Style Settings section offers the theme allows you to make customizations without editing the theme files so your changes are not lost when updating the theme. There are two ways of editing the theme as follows:

4.3.1 Creating A Child Theme

This theme comes with a child theme called "vivacity-child". A child theme inherits the functionality of another theme, called the parent theme, and allows you to modify, or add to, the functionality of that parent theme. A child theme is the safest and easiest way to modify an existing theme, whether you want to make a small change or extensive changes. Whenever you update the theme any changes you make to the child theme will not be overwritten. To install the child theme do as follows:

  1. Go to Appearance -> Themes -> Install Themes -> Upload and click Choose File and select the vivacity-child.zip file from inside vivacity-theme folder you downloaded from ThemeForest.

For more information on child themes refer to the WordPress documentation at http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes.

4.3.2 Custom CSS Settings

You can also add your custom CSS code from the theme options, however this is limited as you cannot edit the template files like you can with a child theme. To add your custom CSS code do the following:

  1. Go to Appearance -> Theme Options -> CSS Settings and add your CSS code to the Custom CSS text box.

4.3.3 Developer Tools

An excellent way of editing your theme is to use the developer tools that come with most modern browsers. The developer tools allow you to see what HTML elements need to be styled and allows you to edit the styling of the theme within the browser window. These changes are not permanent and nobody else sees them, it's just a great way of adjusting the look of your site quickly. Here are some links to the developer tools for each of the major browsers:


5.0 Translating The Theme (Localisation)

The theme is localisation ready so all that is needed is your translation. This documentation covers two methods to create your translation. The easiest method is to use a plugin called Codestyling Localization and more advanced users can use Poedit.

5.1 Switching Languages

The theme includes a language file that contains all of the English text which is located in the theme folder at vivacity-theme/vivacity/languages/.

WordPress needs to be told which language it should use. Open wp-config.php (this is located in the root of your WordPress installation where wp-content/ is) and modify the line below, or add it if it is missing. We've set it to Norwegian in the example below. See the complete list of language codes and country codes to find your exact locale.

define ('WPLANG', 'nb_NO');

5.2 Translating - Codestyling Localization

Codestyling Localization is the recommended method for most users as it is the simplest to setup and allows you to translate both the theme and plugins such as BuddyPress and WooCommerce.

  1. Go to Plugins -> Add New, search for "Codestyling Localization" and install and activate the plugin.
  2. Go to Tools -> Localization and follow the instructions on how to translate the theme and plugins (such as BuddyPress and WooCommerce).

5.2.1 Updating Your Translation

If you update the theme and the language file has been updated, you will need to rescan Vivacity using the Codestyling Localization plugin and then translate the new strings.

  1. Go to Tools -> Localization and find Vivacity in the translations list.
  2. Click the Rescan link to update the language file.

5.3 Translating - Poedit

Translating the theme using Poedit is an alternative to translating the theme using Codestyling Localization plugin and only recommended for more advanced users.

  1. Install and open the translation program Poedit.
  2. Go to File -> New From POT/PO File and open the vivacity-theme/vivacity/languages/en_EN.po.
  3. You will be asked to specify the language you want to translate to.
  4. Now click on each string and enter your translation in the text box.
  5. After translating the strings you can save your file. Poedit will give it a filename based on the country code, so a Norwegian translation will be saved as nb_NO.po

5.3.1 Updating Your Translation

If you update the theme and the language file has been updated, you will need to update the translation file and then translate the new strings.

  1. To do this insert your modified translation file (e.g. en_EN.po) into the vivacity-theme/vivacity/languages/ folder overwriting the new file.
  2. Now open this file in PoEdit and click Update and it will display the text changes from the latest theme update.

6.0 Advanced

6.1 Optimizing Page Speed

In order to improve the page load speed you will want to optimize your site. This is not something the theme alone can do as it would make editing the theme difficult for the customer and relies on your own site content.

We recommend you follow the steps provided by GTmetrix at http://gtmetrix.com/wordpress-optimization-guide.html.


6.2 SEO Optimization

The theme was created with the best SEO practice in mind, but to add greater SEO functionality we recommend you use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.


7.0 Credits