Help File

Help File: Vivacity

Help file last updated on 30, May 2016

1.0 Getting Started

Go to your ThemeForest Downloads page, locate the theme, click the green Download button and select the All files & documentation option.

Downloading The Theme

Unzip the file once it has downloaded and you will now see a folder called vivacity-theme. Within this folder you will see the following:


1.2 Installation

Before installing the theme make sure you have installed WordPress 3.7 or higher. You can download WordPress for free from WordPress.org.

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

1.2.1 Installing Through WordPress Admin Panel

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

If the theme is too large to be uploaded you will need to increase the upload limit as explained here. Alternatively upload the theme via FTP as described below.

1.2.2 Installing Through FTP

If the theme is too large to be uploaded 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 full theme 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

This theme comes with three required plugins:

  1. Vivacity Plugin: Includes a number of features that you can still use if you switch to another theme such as your slides, portfolio items and custom sidebars.
  2. Visual Composer: Adds a drag and drop page builder and front-end editor which many of the page templates rely on.
  3. LayerSlider: Advanced responsive WordPress slider plugin with the famous Parallax Effect and over 200 2D & 3D transitions.

The theme also recommends several other plugins used in the demo, which do not need to be installed if you don't want to use them. To view the recommend plugins go to Appearance -> Installed Plugins.

You cannot manually update the premium theme 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 that will include any plugin updates.

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

You can also 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 Importing Demo Data

You can import the demo data so your site looks like the theme demo. This is the easiest way to setup your theme. It will allow you to quickly edit everything instead of creating content from scratch. The demo data imports posts, pages, categories, media, widgets and menus. It will not overwrite your existing content or modify any WordPress settings.

You will see grey placeholder images instead of the images seen on the theme demo website due to copyright laws.

1.4.1 Importing Demo Data

To add the demo data follow the step below:

  1. Go to Appearance -> Import Demo Data and click the Import Demo Data button.
  2. To import the LayerSlider data go to LayerSlider WP -> Import/Export and select "homepage-slider.json" and "shop-slider.json" from vivacity/lib/demo-installer/demo-files/ to import this data.
  3. BuddyPress Activity, Groups and Members seen in the demo will NOT be imported. You can import dummy BuddyPress data using the BuddyPress Default plugin.

1.4.2 Removing Duplicate Demo Data

Reimporting the demo data will not duplicate posts, pages, images etc if they have already have been imported, however menu items will be duplicated. If you want to remove these go to Appearance > Menus and manually delete the duplicate links. You can quickly remove them using the Quick remove menu item plugin.

1.4.3 Removing All Demo Data

If you want to remove all the demo data you imported there are two ways to do this:

  1. WordPress Reset plugin: This plugin is the fastest way to get rid of content. However, it will remove all posts, pages, menus, images, widget data, theme options, etc from your website, not just the demo data. It does not remove plugins, but will deactivate them. Only use this plugin if you are able to start over.
  2. Manual removal: This method will take longer and simply involves manually deleting all of imported posts, pages, menus, images etc.

1.5 Updating The Theme

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

1.5.1 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

1.5.2 Updating The Theme

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

1.5.2.1 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).

1.5.2.2 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

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

To update the theme plugins do the following:

  1. Update the theme as described in the Updating The Theme section.
  2. Now go to Appearance -> Install Plugins and check the plugins that need updating, select Update from drop the dropdown menu and click Apply.

Updating Plugins


1.7 Basic Troubleshooting

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.


2.0 Visual Composer

This theme comes a full version of the Visual Composer plugin, which is a drag and drop frontend and backend page builder that will save you tons of time working on our site content.

2.1 Visual Composer Elements

The theme comes with multiple Visual Composer elements which are explained below:

2.1.1 Blog Element

The Blog element displays posts, pages and custom post types in a variety of ways. To use the Blog element do as follows:

2.1.1.1 Creating a Blog element

  1. Create or edit and a page and click the Backend Editor button.
  2. Click the Add Element button to open the Add Element window and select the Blog element.
  3. This will insert the Blog element into the page and open up the Blog Settings window where you can choose how the element looks and what content it should display.
  4. Close the window and then click Publish.

2.1.1.2 Displaying posts from specific categories

  1. To display posts from a specific category go to Posts -> Categories and create a new category called "Blog" for example - take note of the category ID e.g. "132". Now add the posts you want to show in the element to this category.
  2. Go back to the page with the Blog element, hover over the Blog element and click the green pencil icon to open the Blog Settings window again.
  3. Add the category ID to the Categories text box e.g. "123" and then click Save Changes. To add multiple categories separate each category slug with a comma.
  4. Save the page by clicking the Update button and then view the page - you should see a list of posts from the "123" category.

2.1.2 Portfolio Element

The Portfolio element displays portfolio items in a variety of ways. To use the Portfolio element do as follows:

2.1.2.1 Creating a Portfolio element

  1. Create or edit and a page and click the Backend Editor button.
  2. Click the Add Element button to open the Add Element window and select the Portfolio element.
  3. This will insert the Portfolio element into the page and open up the Portfolio Settings window where you can choose how the element looks and what content it should display.
  4. Close the window and then click Publish.

2.1.2.2 Displaying portfolio items from specific categories

  1. To display portfolio items from a specific category go to Portfolio -> Portfolio Categories and create a new category called "Portfolio" for example - take note of the category ID e.g. "123". Now add the portfolio items you want to show in the element to this category.
  2. Go back to the page with the Portfolio element, hover over the Portfolio element and click the green pencil icon to open the Portfolio Settings window again.
  3. Add the category ID to the Categories text box e.g. "123" and then click Save Changes. To add multiple categories separate each category ID with a comma.
  4. Save the page by clicking the Update button and then view the page - you should see a list of portfolio items from the "123" category.

2.2 Visual Composer Templates

Visual Composer templates allow you to automatically insert predefined layouts consisting of Visual Composer elements into a page. To add them to a page do as follows:

  1. Create or edit and a page and click the Backend Editor button.
  2. Click the Add Template button to open the Templates window.
  3. Click the Default templates tab and select one of the theme templates.

Default Visual Composer Templates


2.3 Updating Visual Composer

To receive Visual Composer plugin updates you will need to wait until a theme update is available which will include the updated version of the plugin. If you want to automatically update the plugin you will need to purchase the Visual Composer plugin separately in order to obtain a purchase code.


3.0 Creating Pages

3.1 Homepage

3.1.1 Setting Up 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).

3.1.2 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 Importing Demo Data 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.

3.1.3 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 Importing Demo Data 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.

3.2 Blogs

3.2.1 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".

3.2.2 Creating A Blog

  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.

3.3 Portfolios

3.3.1 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.

3.3.2 Creating A Portfolio

  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 Theme Options -> Portfolio Category Settings.

4.0 Theme Sections

4.1 Header

4.1.1 Changing The Logo

  1. Go to 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 Theme Options -> General Settings and add your social links in the social icon text fields (start each link with http://).

4.2 Navigation Menus

4.2.1 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

4.2.2 Menu Types

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

4.2.3 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


4.3 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 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.

4.4 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:

4.4.1 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

4.4.2 Setting Up Copyright Text

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

5.0 Styling Your Site

5.1 Styling

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

  1. Go to Theme Options -> Styling.
  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.

5.2 Page Background

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

5.3 Customizing The Theme

If you want to customize the theme beyond what the Styling 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:

5.3.1 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. Whenever you update the parent theme any changes you have made to the child theme will not be overwritten. To install the child theme do as follows:

5.3.1.1 Installing Child Theme

  1. If you haven't done so already go to your ThemeForest Downloads page, locate the theme, click the green Download button and select the All files & documentation option.

    Downloading The Theme

  2. Unzip the file once it has downloaded and you will now see a folder called vivacity-theme. Within this folder you will see vivacity-child.zip.
  3. Go to Appearance -> Themes -> Add New -> Upload Theme and click Choose File and select vivacity-child.zip.

5.3.1.2 Custom CSS Styling

If you want to change the appearance of the theme e.g. background colour, font size, font family etc. - everything CSS controls, you can change this from Theme Options > Styling in most cases. For more specific or advanced changes you will need to add your own CSS code to your child style.css file.

5.3.1.3 Overriding Templates

All the files in the vivacity root directory can be overridden in your child theme.

For example if you add a modified copy of page.php to your vivacity-child theme folder the site will use this version instead. In the future when you update the parent theme your version of page.php will not be removed.

In some cases it will be necessary to modify your child template files when updating the theme, for example if page.php uses a function name that has been changed in the parent theme. Such changes will be noted in the changelog, which you should read prior to updating the theme.

5.3.1.4 Overriding Functions And Filters

Files that cannot be overridden, such as those in the vivacity/lib/inc/ directory contain functions and filters which can be added to your child functions.php file to override the parent theme functionality. If you want to edit a file, open the file in your text editor and look for any functions and filters you can override.

Overriding Functions

Open vivacity/lib/inc/init-variables.php and you will see the following:

if ( function_exists( 'ghostpool_custom_init_variables' ) ) {
	ghostpool_custom_init_variables();
}

This is a function that allows you to insert your code into the file at this particular point.

So you can add the following to your child functions.php file to load your own variables instead:

function ghostpool_custom_init_variables() {

    // Custom page template
    if ( is_page_template( 'custom-template.php' ) ) {
		$gp_settings['layout'] = 'fullwidth';
		$gp_settings['sidebar'] = 'gp-standard-sidebar'
    }

    // Custom post type
    if ( is_singular( 'custom_post_type' ) ) {
		$gp_settings['layout'] = 'fullwidth';
		$gp_settings['sidebar'] = 'gp-standard-sidebar'
    }

    // Attachment page
    if ( is_attachement() ) {
		$gp_settings['layout'] = 'fullwidth';
		$gp_settings['sidebar'] = 'gp-standard-sidebar'
    }

}
Overriding Filters

Open vivacity/comments.php and you will see the following:

wp_login_url( apply_filters( 'the_permalink', get_permalink() ) )

This is a filter which allows you to change the URL the page redirects to after you login, via your child theme.

So in your child theme functions.php file add:

function ghostpool_comment_login_redirect() {    
    $gp_link = home_url( '/' ) . 'custom-page';
    return $gp_link;
}
add_filter( 'the_permalink', 'ghostpool_comment_login_redirect' );

This changes the redirect URL to "http://domain.com/custom-page".

5.3.1.5 Including Files in Your Child Theme

When you need to include files that reside within your child theme you will use get_stylesheet_directory(). For example add the following to your child functions.php file:

require_once( get_stylesheet_directory() . '/my_included_file.php' );

5.3.1.6 Translating Child Theme

If you want to add your translation files to the child theme upload them to vivacity-child/languages/. Make sure the language files are not prefixed with "vivacity-", for example the file should be called en_EN.po and not vivacity-en_EN.po.

For full instructions on translating the theme please see Translating The Theme (Localisation).

5.3.2 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 Theme Options -> Styling and add your CSS code to the CSS Code text box.

5.3.3 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:


6.0 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 Loco Translate and more advanced users can use Poedit.

7.1 Loco Translate

7.1.1 Translation

  1. Before you translate the theme make sure the following folder exists on your site, and is writeable by the web server wp-content/languages/themes/. This allows your translation files to be created outside of the theme folder so they will not overwritten when updating the theme.
  2. To set your default site language go to Settings -> General and select your language from the Site Language dropdown menu.
  3. Go to Plugins -> Add New, search for "Loco Translate" and install and activate the plugin.
  4. Go to Loco Translate -> Manage translations, locate the Vivacity theme and click the New language link.
  5. This will take you to a page where you can choose the language you want to translate to - make sure this matches the language you selected from Settings -> General.
  6. Next select the "create in global languages directory" option.
  7. Once you've done this you can translate the theme.

6.1.2 Updating Your Translation

If you update the theme and new text needs to be translated you also need to update the language file as follows:

  1. Go to Loco Tranlsate -> Manage translation and select your language file.
  2. Click the Sync button to load all the new text from vivacity.pot to your language file.

7.2 Poedit

7.2.1 Translation

  1. Before you translate the theme make sure the following folder exists on your site, and is writeable by the web server wp-content/languages/themes/. This allows your translation files to be created outside of the theme folder so they will not overwritten when updating the theme.
  2. To set your default site language go to Settings -> General and select your language from the Site Language dropdown menu.
  3. Install and open the translation program Poedit.
  4. Go to File -> New From POT/PO File and open the translation file from vivacity-theme/vivacity/languages/vivacity.pot.
  5. You will be asked to specify the language you want to translate to.
  6. Now click on each string and enter your translation in the text box.
  7. After translating the strings save your file. The filename should be prefixed with "vivacity" followed by the country code, so a Norwegian translation will be saved as vivacity-nb_NO.po.
  8. PoEdit will create a .po and .mo file containing your translations. Upload these files to wp-content/languages/themes/.

7.2.2 Updating Your Translation

If you update the theme and new text needs to be translated you also need to update the language file as follows:

  1. Insert your modified translation file (e.g. vivacity-en_US.po) into the vivacity-theme/vivacity/languages/ folder.
  2. Now open this file in Poedit and click Update and it will display the text changes from the latest theme update.
  3. Upload your updated .po and .mo files to wp-content/languages/themes/.

7.0 Advanced

7.1 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.


7.2 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.