In this first section of the documentation we'll be going over installing the theme on WordPress, installing required and recommended plugins.
In the package you downloaded from Themeforest you will find a folder called WP, inside of that folder is a ZIP file called the-essence, that is the file you install the theme with.
- Log in to your WordPress Admin Panel
- Go to Appearance → Themes
- Click Add New ( you'll see it at the top, on the right side of the page title )
- Click Upload Theme
- Click Choose file (or "Browse", depending on your browser) and choose the the-essence.zip
- Click Install Now
- After WordPress finishes installing click Activate
After you active the theme you will be prompted to install some required and recommended plugins the theme uses, as seen in the screenshot below.
Meridian Styler - Adds a panel in the front end which you can use to change styling ( colors, spacings, typography... ) on pretty much any element. It is not required for the theme to function, use it only if you are going to make styling changes. More info later in the documentation.
MailPoet Newsletter - Send newsletters post notifications or autoresponders from WordPress easily, and beautifully. This plugin can also be used to simply get a list of sucscribers which you can then export and use on any newsletters service of your choice. More info at the plugin page on WordPress
Contact Form 7 - Used for a contact page. It's the most popular WordPress plugin for contact forms. Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on. More info at the plugin page on WordPress
In this section of the documentation we'll be covering the general features of the theme. Those are features like navigation menu locations, sidebar locations, custom widgets and theme options.
There are 4 navigation menu locations in the theme, the first one is Top Bar and is located in the top part of the header area, the second one is Primary and is located just below the logo, the third one is Footer and is located at the bottom of the footer, the fourth one is Side Panel and is located in the side panel.
Creating menus and applying them to the locations is standard WordPress usage and if you've used WordPress before you won't run into any issues. But if you're not quite familiar with WordPress and how navigation menus work, here are some resources to help you out:
- Official WordPress guide on navigation menus [ text ]
- Youtube video on how to use the navigation menus feature [ video ]
- How to add navigation menu in WordPress ( by wpbeginner.com ) [ text + images ]
Sidebars & Widgets
There are 4 sidebar/widget locations in this theme. You can add widgets to those locations in WP admin → Appearance → Widgets. The names of the locations are pretty much self explanatory:
- Footer Column 1
- Footer Column 2
- Footer Column 3
Like with the navigation menus, adding widgets to sidebars is also general WordPress usage, and if you've used WordPress before you won't have any troubles here. But in case you haven't used it before, here's some resources to help out:
- Official WordPress guide on sidebars and widgets [ text ]
- How to add and use widgets in WordPress ( by wpbeginner.com ) [ text + images ]
- Youtube video on how to add widgets [ video ]
The theme comes with several widgets custom made for the theme. You can recognize them by their names, they start with MeridianThemes. Below you can see some examples of how those widgets look like and what options do they have.
MeridianThemes - About Author
MeridianThemes - Subscribe
MeridianThemes - Social
MeridianThemes - Posts List
MeridianThemes - Posts List Alternate
The theme uses the WordPress Customizer feature for it's global/theme options. Customizer is a native WordPress feature which was added in WordPress back in 2012, so if you've ever used WordPress you won't have any problems.
Note: Only functionality related options are in the Customizer. For styling options use Meridian Styler, more on that further down the documentation.
You can access the customizer at WP Admin → Appearance → Customize. In there you will see these sections:
- Blog Post Single
- Home Promo Boxes
In the general section of the theme options you can set the logo image, both regular and for retina displays and the image that displays in the side panel.
Blog Post Single
In the blog post single section of the theme options you you can enable/disable various elements on the single blog post page.
Home Promo Boxes
In the home promo boxes section of the theme options you you can set the content for the homepage promo boxes.
In the footer section of the theme options you can enable/disable differents footer elements and also change the copyright text.
In the social section of the theme options you can set the URLs to your social website profiles. They will be used for the social elements/icons in the header and in the social widget.
This section of the theme options is for various settings that do not belong in the other categories.
Styler is custom functionaly we've built so you can easily change the styling of the theme to suit your needs. When you're logged in as the administrator you will see this in the top left corner ( image below ) on any page.
To activate it simply click on it and it will go into active mode ( image below ).
While Styler is in active mode, when you hover elements that can be changed you will see a border around them ( image below ).
Clicking on any of those elements will show the options available for that element in the panel ( image below ).
As you can see the options are separated into different sections:
- Typography ( font size, family, color... )
- Spacing ( margins and paddings )
- Background ( bg color )
- Border ( border radius )
- Animation ( CSS3 animations )
Clicking on any of the sections will show options for those section.
As you change options you will see the changes you make immediately.
At any time you can click on a different element to change it's styling properties.
Once done with changes simply press the Publish Changes button and that's it.
Or you can discard the changes by clicking the Discard Changes button. You will be given 2 options, to discard what you made this session or all changes you've made with it.
Posts and Pages
In this section of the documentation we'll be going over the creation of pages, blog posts and the homepage. Mostly it's all regular usage, there are a few theme specific options which we will be covering.
Posts can be managed in WP Admin → Posts. If you are new to WordPress check out the official documentation on writing posts at https://codex.wordpress.org/Writing_Posts.
It's all regular WordPress usage except for one extra option for choosing the layout.
Pages can be managed in WP Admin → Pages. It's all regular pages management like with any other theme except for some custom options and a few page templates.
The custom options are the Homepage Options, they're covered in the homepage part of the documentation.
Page template can be changed in the Page Attributes section located in the right sidebar area when adding/editing a page ( screenshot below ).
The theme comes with 3 page templates:
- Default ( a regular page, with sidebar )
- Full Width Content ( a regular page, without a sidebar )
- Homepage ( set it on the page that powers your homepage )
There are 17 different homepage styles available in the theme, you can see them all on the theme demo.
To set up a homepage go to WP admin → Pages → Add New. Add a page title ( can be anything ), set the Template to Homepage and in the Homepage Options set the amount of posts and choose the style you want and publish the page.
Now that the page is created, let's set that page to be the homepage ( front page ):
- Go to WP admin → Settings → Reading
- You will see a select dropdown called Front Page where you can choose the page you created.
- Save changes and that's it
Below is a screenshot of that section and the select dropdown field.
On the homepage there is a small carousel with posts at the top, just below the navigation. To add posts to that carousel simply give them the tag carousel-small
Below the small carousel is a bigger carousel. To add posts to that carousel simply give them the tag carousel
The content for the promo boxes can be changed in the Theme Options which are located in WP Admin > Appearance > Customize. You will see the Promo Boxes section there, as shown in the theme options part of the documentation.
In this section of the documentation we will be covering some other functionality that don't fit in the rest of the sections of the documentation.
Twitter Share Count
Because there is no official way to get the count of tweets a page has ( there used to be but Twitter disabled that functionality ) the theme is using a service called "Open Share Count".
Setting it up is quite simple, just follow these steps:
- Go to opensharecount.com
- Click the Sign Up button
- Enter your Name, Email and Domain ( like http://example.com ) and submit the form
- You will be taken to Twitter for authorization, click the Authorize App button
And that's it, the theme can now use that service to get the amount of tweets for your posts.
Important notes: it can take some time for search results to come in, so initially the count that is reported will be zero on all links. Due to limitations on the Search API initially only tweets from the past week or so will be counted. Tweets going forward will be counted and added to the total. Results will only be returned for links in the domain you signed up with.
That covers the documentation for the theme. If you have any questions about the theme or run into any issues using it, please submit a support request at meridianthemes.ticksy.com. Support request will be answered within 24 hours on weekdays ( Monday - Friday ) and we'll do our very best to assist on weekends as well.