Sitka

Contents

1. Beginning Basics: Getting Started with Sitka

2. Error: Theme is missing the style.css stylesheet

3. Sitka: Updating Advanced Custom Fields PRO Plugin

4. Translate your theme using Loco Translate

5. How to update your theme

6. How to determine a post, page, or category ID

7. How do I set up my navigation menu?

8. How do I set up my Author Box?

9. How do I add a Featured Image?

10. Solo Pine Referrals & Affiliates // Share the love, earn some cash!

11. How do I enable/disable comments on my posts and pages?

12. Creating additional WordPress Users

13. Google Search Console: Mobile-Friendly Test Recommendations

14. Theme Support Coverage FAQs

15. More Sitka guide articles coming soon!

1. Beginning Basics: Getting Started with Sitka

We've compiled a documentation file that goes over everything from installing your Sitka theme to adjusting layouts, updating the theme, and more.

 Please feel free to acquaint yourself with the guide here: SITKA DOCUMENTATION 

If you find yourself with any questions whatsoever, don't hesitate to open up a new support ticket and let us know! We'd be happy to assist. 

2. Error: Theme is missing the style.css stylesheet

When attempting to install a theme on WordPress for the first time, you may experience an error message stating:

"The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the style.css stylesheet. Theme install failed."

No worries! This is quite a common mistake and simple to remedy.


When you purchase a theme license from ThemeForest or Creative Market & download the theme package, you will receive a zipped folder titled something like "themeforest-8253073-hemlock-a-responsive-wordpress-blog-theme".
Unzip this first theme package folder.

Within the unzipped theme package, you will find an additional zipped file with the theme's name as the title ( for example: "hemlock.zip" ).

THIS zipped file is what you will install onto WordPress. 




3. Sitka: Updating Advanced Custom Fields PRO Plugin

In our Sitka theme, we've included the third-party plugin called Advanced Custom Fields PRO. This plugin provides crucial support for a variety of Sitka customization options. It is packaged within the theme itself.

When Advanced Custom Fields PRO (ACFP) releases an update for the plugin, it will automatically post a message on the WP Dashboard of ALL users recommending you update the plugin. However, because your ACFP plugin is included within the Sitka theme, you will not be able to update it as you would other plugins. Instead, we will release a Sitka theme update that includes the most recent version of ACFP.

When a Sitka theme update is released, you can update the theme

Next, you should see a notification at the top of your dashboard asking you to update the "Sitka Blocks" plugin. Once Sitka Blocks is updated you'll see a new notification asking you to update ACF Pro.

Don't see the notification? Navigate to WP Dashboard > Appearance > Install Plugins and update it here.

Now, you will have the most recent version of the Advanced Custom Fields PRO plugin.

Please note that not every Sitka update will necessarily include a new version of ACF Pro. A notification will only appear if there has been a new ACF Pro update since Sitka was last updated.

4. Translate your theme using Loco Translate

By default, all of our themes come in the English language. Though it's absolutely possible to translate this to another language, of course! For this, we recommend using the free plugin called "Loco Translate" (https://wordpress.org/plugins/loco-translate/).




Steps to translating your theme with Loco Translate:

1. First, navigate to WP Dashboard > Settings > General > and change your "Site Language" to the language you'll be translating your theme into. 

2. Install & activate the "Loco Translate" plugin

3. Navigate to WP Dashboard > Loco Translate. At the top will be a heading that says "Active theme". Beneath, you should see your Solo Pine theme name. Click on the hyperlinked theme name. 

4. On the next screen, below the title of your theme, you should see 2 links/buttons. If the second says "Create template", click this link first. Next, click the blue button titled "Create template".

If your link did not say "Create template" but instead said "Edit template", move onto the next step.

5. Click the little "New Language" button. Next, select the language you want to translate the theme into from the drop-down menu titled "WordPress Language". Below, where it says "Choose a location", we recommend leaving it on the default first option. When finished, click the "Start translating" button. 

6. Here, you'll be able to select each bit of English text in the theme and create a translation for it. 

There are 2 important sections on this screen, the top-most box titled "Source Text" and the bottom box titled "[Your language] Translation". 

All of the theme's hard-coded English text "strings" are noted in the first "Source Text" box. To begin, click on one of the text strings you'd like to translate. Then, once you've highlighted an English text string, click down into the box titled "[Your language] Translation". Here, you can type in the translation for that text string. 

When finished, the translation should appear to the right of the English text string in that top "Source Text" box.

 


Continue this step for each of the English text strings in the "Source Text" box. 

Please note: Not all of the English text strings really need to be translated nor should be translated. For example, some are bits of text your site visitors will never see as it's on your WP Dashboard area. Or, it may be strange-looking bits of code that look like this: %1$s at %2$s . You can ignore these. 

When finished, click the blue "Save" button. 


RTL Languages

To change the theme's text to display RTL (for languages such as Hebrew), ensure that your WordPress language has been set to your desired RTL language. To do so, navigate to WP Dashboard > Settings > Site Language > and change the language here. Save changes. 

If you notice any text elements which are still displaying LTR, feel free to contact us via support ticket. We'd be happy to help!



5. How to update your theme

Occasionally we'll release theme updates which may include bug fixes or even additional features. You may receive an email notification that an update is ready to install. If you're interested in knowing what exactly the update includes/remedies, you're welcome to reference your theme's item page on ThemeForest where we'll add a "changelog" noting each update point. 

FIND YOUR SOLO PINE THEME ITEM PAGE HERE

Below, we'll go over 2 different methods of updating your theme-- via plugin or manually.  
*The Oleander theme must be updated via the "Manual" method. 

Please read through the following instructions carefully and let us know via a support ticket if you have any questions! 



IMPORTANT ITEMS TO NOTE PRIOR TO UPDATING

BACKUP YOUR DATABASE: By default, WordPress should save your content to your database. This is why your content appears on whatever theme you have activated within your WP Dashboard. However, it's always a good idea to create a database backup before deleting a theme, just in case.

CHANGES IN THEME FILES: If you've modified any of the theme files yourself, you'll need to note these changes prior to updating in order to re-implement them once you've installed the latest version of the theme.
The update will replace your previous version's theme files with new ones. 

Any Custom CSS additions placed within your Appearance > Customize > Additional CSS box or theme settings within your Appearance > Customize section should remain safe and sound. 




METHOD 1: ENVATO MARKET PLUGIN

Note: This option will not work with our Oleander theme.

The Envato Market Plugin takes a moment to setup, however once connected to their API updating your theme via the WP Dashboard couldn't be easier!


Step 1. Download & install the Envato Market Plugin

 Step 2. Connect to the Envato API

Step 3. Updating the theme

If a theme update is available, a notification banner will appear over the theme image. Click the "Update Available" link to update your theme. 

Step 4. Updating bundled plugins

Our themes come with bundled plugins. If we've updated the plugin's code, you'll see a notification banner appear at the top of your WordPress Dashboard prompting you to update this plugin. Click through the banner's link to update the plugin. If you don't see a banner, you can also navigate to WP Dashboard > Appearance > Install Plugins. However, if you don't see the "Install Plugins" option noted, it means you're good to go! No need to install or update any plugins.

You're all set!




METHOD 2: MANUALLY UPDATING THE THEME

Step 1. Download the updated theme

Step 2. Install the updated theme

Remember! It's important to install the theme's ZIP file, and not the entire theme package you download from ThemeForest or Creative Market. Otherwise you will receive a "missing 'style.css' file" error message. For a refresher on how to install a theme correctly, reference your theme's "Getting Started" article here: Solo Pine Tutorials & FAQ Articles

Step 3. Updating bundled plugins

Our themes come with bundled plugins. If we've updated a plugin's code, you'll see a notification banner appear at the top of your WordPress Dashboard prompting you to update this plugin. Click through the banner's link to update the plugin. If you don't see a banner notification, navigate to WP Dashboard > Appearance > Install Plugins and look for update notifications. 

You're all set!


6. How to determine a post, page, or category ID

Every time a post, page, or category is created, WordPress assigns it a unique ID number. Identifying an ID is quite simple. In this tutorial, we will be determining a post's ID, though the steps are the same for pages and categories as well.



Navigate to your WordPress Dashboard > Posts page.
Here, all of the posts you've created should be listed beginning with the most recent.




To find a specific post's ID number, hover your mouse over its post title.

As you hover, you'll notice a little box appears in the bottom-left corner of your screen displaying the link's complete URL. Your post's ID number is hidden within this URL.

For example, my post's URL looks like this:


http://......../redwood/wp-admin/post.php?post=116&action=edit


Toward the end of the URL, you can see a bit of text that says "post=116".
This tells us the post ID number. This particular post has a unique ID number of "116".


That's it! The same steps can be used to determine a page or category ID as well.
Simply navigate to WP Dashboard > Pages and hover over a page's title URL to see its page ID.
Or, navigate to WP Dashboard > Posts > Categories and hover over a category title to see its category ID.



Don't see the URL appearing at the bottom of your screen when you hover over the post?


For some, the URL at the bottom-left corner of your screen may not appear. No worries! There's another way to determine a post, page, or category's ID. 

Within the WP Dashboard > Posts screen where all of your posts are listed, simply click through to the edit screen of your post you'd like to find the ID of. Now, look up in your web browser's URL bar. Here, you should see the post's full URL which will include the "post=" text. Whatever number follows the "post=" text will be your post's ID number. 

This is the same process for determining a page's ID (WP Dashboard > Pages) and determining a category ID (WP Dashboard > Posts > Categories). 


7. How do I set up my navigation menu?

HOW TO CREATE A NAVIGATION MENU:




The basics:



  

Adding Pages, Categories, etc. to your menu

On the left side of this screen are a number of drop-down boxes titled "Pages", "Links" and "Categories". Each heading will list available items you can add to your menu.

For example, to add a Page to your menu, please ensure you've first created the desired page (within WP Dashboard > Pages > Add New). Click the "Pages" drop-down heading. The pages you've created will be listed below (see screenshot above). Check the box next to the page you'd like to add to your menu and click "Add to menu". The selected item should now appear under "Menu Structure" column. Here, you can drag and drop the item you've added to adjust its location in the menu. You can also create sub-menus by dragging and dropping a menu item underneath another so that it's indented.



TUTORIAL: Adding a "Home" link to your menu

To add a link to your navigation menu that will direct users back to your homepage, select the "Link" drop-down menu. Enter your homepage's URL into the appropriate box and then give it a title, such as "Home". Click "Add to Menu" and drag and drop the menu item to where you'd like it to be placed.






  

TUTORIAL: Adding a Category page to your menu

Once you've created a post category (within a post's create/edit screen) and assigned it to at least one post, when you look within Appearance > Menus > Categories, you will see this category listed. Check the box next to your desired category and select "Add to Menu". WordPress will automatically generate a page and pull in all posts that have this particular category assigned to it.







 

TUTORIAL: Creating an empty parent menu item
 

 In some situations, it's preferable to have a "parent" menu item which, when clicked, leads nowhere. Nested beneath the item, there may be a variety of related "child" menu items. 

For example, a parent menu item titled "Categories" which is not hyperlinked, and child menu items of your various category options. 

To create a menu item that doesn't link anywhere, you can navigate to WP Dashboard > Appearance > Menus. Select the drop-down on the left titled "Custom Links". 

For its "URL" field, you can simply use a hashtag ( # ) character. 
For its "Link Text" field, you can enter whatever you'd like the menu item to be named. 
When finished, click "Add to Menu".  

Next, nest your other regular menu items beneath this un-hyperlinked parent item. 
Save changes when finished.






Sub Menus

Once you've populated your menu with items, you can create sub-menus by dragging and dropping the items "within" other menu items. When you drag one item beneath the "parent" menu item, it will indent a bit to the right. This indicates that the "child" menu item is now nested beneath the "parent" menu item. 

  



Editing Menu Items

If you wish to edit or remove a menu item, click the little arrow on the right-side of the menu item name. A selection of options will drop down, including editing the navigation label as well as removing the item altogether.

  

Additional Menu Item Features

For additional menu features, click on the "Screen Options" tab in the top-right corner of the Menu page.
Here, you can add the option of linking directly to a Post or specific Tag within your navigation menu. You can also check the box next to "Link Target" to give yourself the option of having menu items open in an entirely new tab when clicked.





For more information on menus in WordPress, check out:

http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Menu_User_Guide

8. How do I set up my Author Box?

If the feature is enabled within the Customizer, an Author Box will appear at the bottom of your posts to give credit to whoever penned the article. Author Boxes feature a little biographic blurb about the author as well as an avatar image and optional social media icons.


Author Box Screenshot #1




To create the Author Box biographic text

 

Within WP Dashboard > Users > select the user you'd like to add the biographical text for. Scroll down the page until you see the text form for "Biographical Info". Enter your desired author text and save changes when finished.

    

Author Box Screenshot #2

To insert the Author Box social icons

Within WP Dasboard > Users > selct the user you'd like to add social icons for. Scroll down the page until you see the various social media network options WP offers. To have a social network's icon appear within the Author Box, enter the necessary usernames for each desired social network. Be sure to save changes when finished.

   

Author Box Screenshot #3

To change the author name

Within WP Dashboard > Users > Select the user you'd like to change the display name for.
A short way down the page is a section titled "Name". In the "Nickname" option's field, you can enter the name that you'd like to be displayed within your Author Box. Next, look to where it says "Display name publicly as" and choose your Nickname from the drop-down menu. Be sure to save changes when you're finished.

   




To insert the Author Box avatar image

You'll want to visit the Gravatar website and create an account. Here, you can upload the image that will be pulled in to represent you wherever the Gravatar avatar platform is used.

Please note! It is important that you sign up for your Gravatar account using the same email address associated with your WordPress user. This is how WP knows which image to pull in.

If you've followed all steps correctly though your avatar image is still not appearing in your Author Box, please navigate to Settings > Discussion > Avatar Display > and ensure that the box next to "Show Avatars" is checked.

  

Author Box Screenshot #4

9. How do I add a Featured Image?

What is a Featured Image?

A Featured Image is a representative picture for your post which is used in a number of areas & functions, like on the homepage, post page, related post areas, recent post widgets, featured area sliders, etc..


Assign Featured Image Screenshot #1


How do I assign a Featured Image?

To assign a Featured Image to a post, navigate to your post's create/edit screen and look to the bottom-right. Here, you'll see a box titled "Featured Image" where you can add your desired image. Be sure to update your post when you're finished.


Assign Featured Image Screenshot #2


10. Solo Pine Referrals & Affiliates // Share the love, earn some cash!


Did you know you can earn money each time you refer someone to Solo Pine?


Sign up for Creative Market's Partner Program and/or Envato's Affiliate Program.
They'll provide you with a unique URL which acts as a tracker so the marketplace can track your earnings. If a person who clicks through your link purchases a Solo Pine theme, the marketplace will credit your account with your earnings! 



SOLO PINE & ENVATO



The majority of our Solo Pine themes are available via Envato's ThemeForest marketplace. Envato has partnered with Impact Radius to track and credit you for any referred sales.

To get started, visit the Envato Affiliate Program to begin the application process.  Once approved, you'll be provided with instructions on how to start earning some dough by referring others to Solo Pine themes!  


SOLO PINE & CREATIVE MARKET



Solo Pine currently has 1 theme, Oleander, for sale via Creative Market. 

Sign up for Creative Market's Partner Program and receive your unique Creative Market Partner code which you can add to the end of our Oleander theme's page URL. 


For example, Oleander's regular theme URL is:

https://creativemarket.com/SoloPine/499272-Oleander-A-Blog-Shop-Theme


With the addition of your Partner code, the URL would look something like this:

https://creativemarket.com/SoloPine/499272-Oleander-A-Blog-Shop-Theme?u=SoloPine


If someone clicks through your special link and purchases the theme, or any other items via Creative Market, you will be the lucky recipient of 10% of all that person's Creative Market purchases for 1 FULL YEAR
The more people you refer, the more cash in your pocket!

To learn more and to sign up, check out Creative Market's Partner Program


11. How do I enable/disable comments on my posts and pages?

Our themes hook into WordPress's comment system. To enable/disable the ability for your visitors to post comments, you can follow these steps. The procedure is the same for both Pages and individual Posts.

  

  

Enabling/disabling comments in published Posts/Pages

Open up your page's or posts's create/edit screen. On the right, you'll see a little section titled "Discussion". 

To enable comments on this particular Page or Post, check both option boxes. To disable comments, you can un-check these boxes. Be sure to click the "Update" button in order to save these changes.







Enable/disable comments for all future Posts/Pages

To set whether or not your future posts have comments automatically enabled/disabled by default, you can go to WP Dashboard > Settings > Discussion > And look under the "Default article settings" section. 

Here, you'll see the option to "Allow people to post comments on new articles". Check or un-check the box depending on your preference. Be sure to click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page when you're finished.






Comments STILL not showing?

If your comment section is still not appearing even after enabling it, check to make sure the option to automatically close comments after a set time period isn't enabled by default. 

Navigate to WP Dashboard > Settings > Discussion > and look for the option "Automatically close comments on posts older than -- days". If this option is checked, un-check the box, save changes, and see if this helps!



12. Creating additional WordPress Users

You may find that you'd like to create additional WordPress Users which can log into your WordPress Dashboard for a variety of reasons. For example, to contribute in writing posts or to troubleshoot technical issues you're experiencing. 

Creating a new WP User and adjusting their permissions (or "Role") can allow you to not only ensure your own personal login details are kept safe, but help control what sort of changes the secondary user can make within your dashboard. 



CREATING A NEW USER

1 ) Navigate to WP Dashboard > Users 

2 ) To create a new user, click the "Add New" button at the top of the page. 

3 ) Enter the new Username and Email Address (required).
**You can either use our email [solopinedesigns @ gmail.com] or use your own email address here.  

4 ) Fill in the user's personal details like Name and Website, if wanted (not required). 

5 ) Click the "Show Password" button. 

This will automatically generate a random password. 
If you are creating a password for a colleague, you can change it to whatever you wish. 

If you are creating a new WP User for a technical support representative to log in and troubleshoot an issue, it's fine to leave the temporary password as-is. Though please copy & paste it into the support ticket rather than taking a screenshot -- the complicated passwords can take us ages to hand-type out!
 

6 ) Choose if you'd like to email this person a notification (not required). 

7 ) Select the user's Role

There are 5 different WordPress User roles to choose from.
Each role will affect what areas of the dashboard this person can access or control. 

If you are creating a new WP User for a technical support representative, you will want to provide them with an "Administrator" role. 

8 ) When finished, click the "Add New User" button.

If the User has been created for technical support purposes, you can then copy and paste the new guest user's username and password into the support ticket. Please be sure to also share your site's URL if you haven't already. 
 
 


To edit your WP Users, you can always navigate back to the WP Dashboard > Users screen and select the user you would like to manage. Here, you can change a variety of personal details about the user, including their name, adding biographical author text, social media usernames, change passwords, and more. 

13. Google Search Console: Mobile-Friendly Test Recommendations



If you run your site through the Google Search Console's "Mobile Friendly Test", you may receive a result of "Page is not mobile friendly". Don't stress! While GSC's scan can be really helpful, it's also very literal and raises red flags which can be misleading. 

All Solo Pine themes are guaranteed 100% mobile responsive (unless you've checked the "Disable mobile responsive" option in the Customizer settings). 

Two of the most common errors this GSC "Mobile Friendly Test" throws are:


What's really going on?

If you visit your site via a mobile phone, chances are that you won't experience any issues clicking various items and your content isn't extending out past the edge of your screen. So why is the scan noting these "issues" and saying your site isn't mobile friendly?

After running the "Mobile Friendly Test", look to the right side of the screen where a preview of your site is shown. Does it look anything at all like your site when you actually visit it via mobile? Probably not. It's likely that the test preview is displaying a basic HTML version of your site with zero stylings applied. That's where the error messages stem from. 

This indicates that your site didn't load completely for the test and this is why the error messages have appeared. Essentially, it boils down to a slow-loading site.

 

How to help your site load more quickly

We recommend the following popular plugins to give your site a helping hand in loading faster and, ultimately, appease the Google Search Console's "Mobile-Friendly Test": 


1 ) W3 Total Cache: With any WordPress site, whether it be one of our themes or any other theme, it's always a great idea to use a cache plugin. Cache plugins help improve load speeds and reduce the strain on your server which is a win-win for both you and your visitors.

Settings: After installing and activating "W3 Total Cache", navigate to WP Dashboard > Performance > General Settings. Make sure that the options "Page Cache" and "Browser Cache" are enabled. Save changes. 

Please note: If you already have a cache plugin enabled, you can skip this "W3 Total Cache" suggestion. It's not recommended to have multiple cache plugins running at once. 


2 ) Autoptimize: When you visit any site, there's a whole lot going on in the background you don't see. Each time a page is loaded, lots of script and code are being loaded to build, style, and "give life" to the web page you're about to see. Autoptimize helps aggregate, cache, and minify these scripts so that your site's pages load more quickly and smoothly. 

Settings: After installing and activating the "Autoptimize" plugin, navigate to WP Dashboard > Settings > Autoptimize. Enable the "Optimize JavaScript Code?" and the "Optimize CSS Code?". Save changes and empty the cache. 

Run your site through the Google Search Console "Mobile Friendly Test": https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and see what it now says. Still having issues? Don't hesitate to let us know via a new support ticket!

14. Theme Support Coverage FAQs

Purchasing one of our theme licenses from ThemeForest provides you with six months free technical support included in the price. This is to ensure you have a helping hand while getting started with your Solo Pine theme and so that we can assist you with any questions that may pop up during that long time period.
After six months from theme purchase, the support coverage expires.

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Envato/ThemeForest's support policy and how it affects your Solo Pine theme.




What does theme support include?

As stated by Envato's Item Support Policy, theme support includes:




Will the FAQ article database & theme updates expire with my support coverage?

Nope! You will always be welcome to use the tutorial articles found within our support database, regardless of your support coverage status. And theme updates are always available to you at no extra cost.



How do I know if my support coverage has expired?

To check if your support coverage has expired or to find out how much time you have left in your support coverage window, you can log into your Envato account. Navigate to your "Downloads" page and find your Solo Pine theme in the list. Here, you can see the remaining coverage time for support.



Do I HAVE to renew my support coverage?

Not at all. Support coverage is totally optional! If you find that you never needed to open up a support ticket or if you haven't in a long time, it probably isn't necessary to renew your support coverage.
However, if you find yourself relying on our support services quite often or if you like knowing you can reach out to us at any time, it may be a good investment.



What if my support coverage expires and I decide I want to renew after-the-fact?

Not a problem! You can always renew your Solo Pine theme support coverage even after it has expired.



Is there a benefit to renewing support coverage before it expires?

If you renew your theme's support coverage prior to expiration, Envato offers a discounted price.



How much does renewing or extending my support coverage cost?

The support coverage renewal/extension pricing is set by the ThemeForest Marketplace. According to their pricing guide:



How do I renew my theme support coverage?

To renew your theme's support coverage, you can log into your Envato account. If you see a number of linked images on the left for Envato's various marketplaces, click the one for ThemeForest. Then, navigate to your "Downloads" page (via your user icon in the top-right of the screen) and find your Solo Pine theme in the list. Here, you can click the link to extend or renew your support coverage.


15. More Sitka guide articles coming soon!

In the meantime, if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to open up a new support ticket. We'd be happy to help!