Thank you for purchasing the Forward theme. The instructions here will guide you through the theme so you can get your site up and running.
Table Of Contents
All of the theme’s styling and functional options are located inside the WordPress “Customizer.” You can find the customizer by going to the Appearance section in your Dashboard and clicking on Customize. The options in the theme are broken up into several different sections to help you find what you’re looking for. Here’s a rundown of what’s in each section:
- Upload logo and favicons (the little icons that go in a web browser’s navigation bar).
- Set the site’s title and tagline.
- Site Background
- Upload an image background, set repeating options and position.
- Choose a background color.
- Choose colors and fonts for the navigation menu.
- Select the menu that is displayed in the navigation (the menus are created elsewhere).
- Choose to include search box and set mobile menu name.
- This section deals with the main content areas of the site.
- Choose colors, fonts and sizes for the main areas of text.
- Options for the image lightbox are here.
- The default page/post layout is also set here.
- Front Page
- Allows you to select a page that will be on the front of your site or to display your latest posts.
- Options for the home page template’s slideshow.
- Sets the text displayed in the right hand and left hand sides of the footer.
- Footer colors can also be selected.
- Colors for buttons and their hover states.
- Alternate button colors are for WooCommerce users. These will set the color of purchase buttons on the individual product view.
- Widget Styles
- This panel allows you to set the colors and fonts for standard widgets and the action widget.
- This conditional panel allows you to set the actual widgets that are available for the page you’re viewing.
- These can also be set by going to Widgets in the Appearance section of your dashboard.
- This tab has an option for adding in Custom CSS that will be used on your site.
The customizer offers a preview as you set options. If you don’t like your changes, you don’t have to make them live. It’s a handy tool to customize the look and feel of your site.
To set up your home page, go to the Pages section in your dashboard and click Add New. This will create a new page for you. Enter a title for it at the top and then look in the right hand column for a box labeled attributes. In that box there is a drop-down menu for templates. Choose “Home” for the template and publish your page. If you plan to have a blog, go on and create a page for it as well. You don’t have to select a specific template for it.
Now go to the Customizer (Appearance > Customize) and click on the Front Page section. Here you can choose what your front page displays. Click on the option for a “Static Page” and then from the Front Page menu there, select the home page you just created. For the posts page, select the blog page you just published. Save your options and that will set the new front page for you.
The front page features a slideshow for you to use. To add your slides, go to the Media section in your dashboard and click on slides. Each slide can either have a background image or a video. To show you how to create and use slides, here is a quick video:
Home Page Content
The content for the home page template comes entirely from widgets. There are two spots you can add in your widgets, both in the Appearance section in your WordPress dashboard. You can add then in the widgets panel of the customizer, or in the “widgets” section that’s under appearance.
The widget area for the home page is called simply Home Widgets. You can add the widgets that you’d like to have on your home page there. Here are the ones used in the demo:
- Campaign Widget
- Facebook Page Widget
- MailChimp Widget
- Attention Widget
- Sponsors Widget
The campaign section of the demo is site is created with the WooCommerce plugin. This excellent shopping cart handles all of the transactional elements for us allowing you to collect donations and sell items if you’d like to. In order to use our campaign plugin, you’ll need to install and activate WooCommerce first.
We do have some suggested settings when using WooCommerce to get your best results. After the plugin has been installed and activated, go to the WooCommerce settings. On the general tab, scroll down to the bottom. Uncheck the box by “Enable Lightbox.” Grassroots has a built-in lightbox that you can use. If you’d rather use the one that’s in WooCommerce, leave this box checked and turn off the theme’s lightbox in the Theme Options page (Content tab).
Once you have WooCommerce set up you can begin creating campaigns. The instructions for using the campaign plugin are at https://support.organizedthemes.com/campaign-extension/
You can set up your site’s navigation menus by going to the Appearance section in your WordPress dashboard and selecting Menus. Here’s a quick video to show how this works:
The social icons in the right hand side of the navigation bar in the demo are made with a navigation menu. If you’d like to do this on your own site you can. Create a new navigation menu just for your social icons. Look in the left hand column for the “links” section. You’ll use this to add in your social icons. Just enter the full URL to your profile on the social network you’d like to link to. Add a label for it, the name of the network would be a good idea. Then add the link to your navigation menu. Repeat that for all the networks you’d like to add and save your menu. Then assign your menu to the “Social Icons” menu location. That will cause your icons to be visible there.
Here are the social networks with built-in icons:
- Google Plus
There is also an option in the customizer to add a search box to the right hand side of the navigation bar. If this option is used any social icons will be to the left of it.
Staff and Sponsors
In Forward you can create lists of staff and sponsors. These two areas work the same so to keep things simple, we’ll walk through staff. The same directions also apply to the sponsor section.
First you’ll need to add a staff member. To do that go to the Staff section in your dashboard. Click the Add New Staff Member link. You’ll place the name of the staff member at the top. The main content area will be where their “bio” will be placed. Below that is a box where you can place the details about this staff member. You can give them a job title as well as fill in their email address, phone number and the URL’s to their various profiles on social network sites. The supported networks are the same as the list in the navigation menu section above.
You’ll also want to add a featured image. This will be the picture of your staff member that is displayed on the front end of the site.
After you’re finished adding content, publish your staff member. Next go to the Pages section in your dashboard and create a new page. Look in the right hand column for the attributes box. Choose the “Staff List” template and publish your page. This new page will list all of your staff members in one place.
If you need to have more than one list of staff you can. To do that you’ll need to make use of “Staff Groups.” These work basically like categories do posts. When you’re editing a staff member, look in the right hand column and you’ll see a box labeled staff groups. Here you can create a new staff group or add your staff member to an existing group.
The idea here is to add the staff you’d like to have displayed together to the same staff group. Once that’s done, you can add your staff group to your navigation menu just like you would a page. Staff groups should be one of the content types listed on the left hand side of the navigation builder. If it’s not, click the screen options tab in the top right hand corner and make sure the box by staff groups is checked.
When a staff group is clicked by a visitor on the front end of your site, they’ll be taken to a “page” (really a dynamic archive) showing all the staff that have been assigned to that group. You can create as many groups as you need to in order to display your staff as you’d like to.
The same principal applies to sponsors as well. Sponsors do have one additional option for them. There is a sponsors widget you can use to display the sponsors from a sponsor group together. You can see an example of that near the bottom of the home page in the demo.
Forward includes a MailChimp widget that you can use to create a newsletter with. To use it you’ll need to sign up for an account at MailChimp. Their service is free for lists of up to 2,000 email addresses and 12,000 emails sent per month.
Once you’ve signed up for an account, you’ll need to create your first “list” of subscribers. After that list is created, you can get the list ID. You’ll need to place that ID into the widget here in WordPress. The other information you’ll need will be inside your own account there. Click on your name in the top right corner and choose Account. Next choose Extras and then API Keys. On this screen you can create a new API key. Once it is made, copy it and paste it into the field for it in the widget.
That will allow your MailChimp widget to connect to your account and add your subscribers as they sign up.
I sincerely hope you enjoy using our Forward theme. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in our forum and I’ll be happy to help you out.