Good News: Theme Setup Guide
First of all, thanks for purchasing the Good News theme! You’re well on your way to having a great looking, responsive magazine-style website.
While a lot of features work out of the box, there is some additional set up required beyond typical theme activation. This page will guide you through each of those steps.
We’re assuming you already have:
- Some sort of domain name
- A web server set up
- The latest version of WordPress installed
- Bought Good News, got your files, and activated it
Alrighty then, let’s begin.
All right, you got a brand new WordPress installation set up and activated Good News.
Looking pretty bare, huh?
Hopefully you have some great content lined up to fill out the site. In case you don’t, as a courtesy, here’s a WordPress export file with some sample content so you can follow a long with the rest of this guide.
It comes with a bunch of sticky posts, some pages, and a bunch of other posts distributed among a number of categories.
We’ll start with something easy: menus. Navigate to the following area in your admin panel to get started: Appearance → Menus
You may have noticed on the demo site, there are three menu positions: the very top of the site, the main navigation menu (directly below the logo) and in the footer (floated right).
Pick a menu, start filling it out, save, and repeat. If you want to put menus elsewhere, skip to the widget areas section of this documentation.
Good News takes advantage of WordPress’ built-in featured image (also known as “post thumbnail”) functionality to handle all those nicely sized thumbnail images you see next to your articles. They can show up in the following places:
- The homepage slider
- The homepage index (in the individual category listings below the slider)
- The “In case you missed it?” footer carousel
- All archive pages (categories, tags, etc.)
- The individual post
Good News (well, WordPress actually) handles all the heavy lifting behind the scenes so you don’t have to worry about manually resizing stuff.
It is recommended you add a featured image to each of your posts for maximum effect.
The key to any magazine theme is a well-laid out homepage layout. Good News handles most of the heavy lifting for you, but you have to…tell it what to put there. Please navigate to the “Home Page Content” tab of the theme settings page to set it up.
The first step is to input the number of categories you’d like to display on the homepage. We’d recommend at least four. We’d also recommend an even number for design balance purposes. Then press “Go.”
You’ll notice a new set of options. You may now select which category to pull posts from, as well as the number to display in each. The first two will display in the first row, the next two in the next, and so on. We’d recommend outputting the same number of posts in categories displayed on the same row (again, the balance thing).
Note that the most recent post from each category you select will display a featured image as well as an excerpt of that post. The following video will show you how to set a custom excerpt.
This can also be used to fine-tune the output of the slider post content, which we’ll go over below.
Ah, the slider. Perfect for highlighting some of the top stories of the week (or month, or whatever). Before we start, you’ll need at least two posts you plan on sliding, otherwise…there’s nothing to slide.
To set this up, Good News utilizes some native WordPress functionality called “sticky posts.” To feature a post on the homepage, simply set it as sticky. To remove it, unsticky it.
See our quick guide on setting up sticky posts if you’re unsure how to do this (which is useful to know how to do on any type of WordPress site, not just ones running this theme).
Now what about those, “in case you missed it?” posts displayed directly above the footer of the site? Simply navigate to the post you want’s edit screen, find the “Footer Slider” meta box, check the checkbox, and set the post order.
It will now display on the footer slider. This is useful when one of those “featured” posts on the homepage slider get a little outdated, but not quite enough to hide it amongst the normal post archives forever. This gives some of your slightly older content (but still awesome!) to shine just a little bit longer.
In case you didn’t notice, the theme download doesn’t come with just the theme, but also a number of “recommended plugins.” These are all free plugins available from the WordPress.org repository, so they’ll be available to update automatically within your admin panel should an update become available.
The Good News theme has specific theme integrations for each one of these plugins, so you don’t have to do much more than activate them, should you want to use them. None of these are required, just recommended if you want to enhance your site with additional functionality.
Let’s go over each one, one by one:
- WP-Print – When activated, a new link on your individual post (article) pages will show up to allow users to generate a print-friendly webpage. Check it out on the demo site to see how it works.
- WP-Email – When activated, this will add another link to your individual post pages that allows users to email the story to a friend. A common feature on newspaper websites.
- WP PageNavi – When activated, this will add numbered pagination to all of your archive pages (instead of old boring newer/older post links).
- AddThis – When activated, this will add another link to your individual article pages that will allow users to share the link on a variety of social networking sites.
Basically, (with the exception of WP-PageNavi) all these plugins do is add functionality to your individual article pages to make them easier to share.
This theme comes jam-packed with widget areas. Actually, there’s only three, believe it or not. The sidebar, the footer, and the “inner sidebar.” We’ll let the graphic below better demonstrate.