Documentation

These are instructions for using this theme.  If you need help with WordPress itself, here are a few WordPress tutorials.

Customizing the Top Menu

By default, the top menu will include all of your pages (but not posts).  This is fine if you only have four or five pages, but as soon as you start to really build your site, it’s going to be a mess — and not just in this WordPress theme. So here’s how to harness the navigation beast.

  1. Go to Appearance and then Menus.
  2. In the upper right box set up a new menu named something like “Main Menu.”
  3. From the lower left box (“Pages”), add pages to your new menu.
  4. In the upper right box, rearrange your menu items by dragging.  Note: if you drag items slightly to the right they will become dropdowns in your main menu (and your stakeholders will love you).
  5. In the upper right box click “Save Menu.” (This step is oh-so-easy to forget.)
  6. In the upper left box (“Theme Locations”), in the “Primary Navigation” dropdown, choose your new menu.

Customizing the Sidebars

Sidebars are by default a list of your pages.  To customize sidebars, go to Appearance and then Widgets.  You can drag and drop a variety of widgets into various page types, including Home, About Us, Ministry and News.  To change the default sidebar, drag and drop widgets into the Page Sidebar.  In my experience, the most useful widget to use is the Custom Menu.  As well as the “Main Menu” (instructions above), you can set up menus for the page types and cluster similar pages in these groups.

See, for example, the sample About Us page.  Here are the steps I used to set this page up:

  1. Go to Appearance and then Menus.
  2. In the upper right box set up a new menu named “About Us Menu.”
  3. From the lower left box (“Pages”), add pages to your new menu.
  4. In the upper right box, rearrange your menu items by dragging.
  5. In the upper right box click “Save Menu.”
  6. Now that your menu is set up, go to Appearance and then Widgets.
  7. In the left column, click on the “About Sidebar.”
  8. Drag the “Custom Menu” widget into the “About Sidebar” box.
  9. From the “Select Menu” dropdown, choose “About Us Menu” that you set up in steps 1-5.
  10. In the title box above the “Select Menu,” type “Welcome Visitors”.
  11. Finally click “Save.”

Customize the Header

There are three ways to customize the header.  You can use one of the 10 images I’ve provided, you can replace the basic image with one of your own, or you can replace the image on individual pages.

The ten versions I’ve provided

Customize the Footer

It’s a really good idea to add your address and telephone number to the footer of all your pages.  This is easily done using the widgets.  Go to Appearance and then Widgets.  In the left column, click on “Footer Widget.”  Then drag and drop the “Text Widget” into the “Footer Widget” box. Add your address and telephone, and click save.

Create a Home Page

There are a number of ways to do this, but the most straight-forward is to use the Home Page Template.

Create a Page That Hides the WordPress Title

Sometimes you won’t want the title of a page to show.  For example, you may have (logically enough) titled your home page “Home Page.”  But that looks silly in big letters at the top of the main entrance to your site.  To make this title disappear, when editing the page, in the “Page Attributes” box on the right side, under “Template” select the “Page Without Title” from the dropdown.  You can replace the actual title with whatever is best suited to the page by adding the new header and converting it to a “Heading 2.”

Create a Wide Page Without a Left Sidebar

At times you may need the full width of the page to accommodate specialized content (e.g., a wide table or some banner photos).  When editing the page, in the “Page Attributes” box on the right side, under “Template” select the “No Sidebar Template.”

Create Page Without the WordPress Title or a Sidebar

If you need full play of the content area — eschewing both the sidebar and the page title — in the “Page Attributes” box on the right side, under “Template” select the “Blank Page” option.

Create a Private or Members-Only Page

If you need a page that is not visible to the whole world, in the “Page Attributes” box on the right side, under “Template” select the “Private Page” option.  Then only people who have signed into your WordPress site can see it.  To make this a “Members-Only” area you might consider setting up a generic new user account, giving it the least access possible (“subscriber”) and then sharing this one username and password with your members.

Show or Hide Comments in Posts

In the admin panel, under “Settings” click “Discussion.”  Here you will see a range of options.  Most congregations I know have chosen to turn off the “Allow people to post comments on new articles” setting on this page.  If you do that, comments will never show on your site.  It’s that simple.  If you do allow comments, that’s great, and then a comments box will show on posts (news items) but not pages.  You can also control whether or not there are comments on an individual post basis.

Add a Contact Us Form

See the list of best WordPress plugins for congregations.

Add Google Analytics

See the list of best WordPress plugins for congregations.