Learn how to use your new theme
Before you can upload your theme, you first need to download the theme package from the Elegant Themes Members Area. Log in and locate your desired theme on the list and click the "download" link. There will be two download options: Theme Package and PSD Files. Click the "Theme Package" link to download the theme. Next you must upload the .ZIP file you just downloaded to your website via the WordPress Dashboard. Log in to wp-admin and click the Appearances > Themes tab. Next click the "Install Themes" button and then click the "Upload" link. Click "Choose File" and locate the .ZIP file you just downloaded and click "Install Now." Once then theme has been uploaded, you can activate it from within the Appearances > Themes tab.
For each post, you can define an image that will be displayed along with your content on Posts and Category pages. Thumbnail images (aka Featured Images) are added using the "Featured Image" option within your WordPress Dashboard. Whenever you create or edit a post, look for the "Featured Image" box. This box will be located to the right of your text editor or below your text editor depending on the size of your screen. Click the "Set featured image" link and upload the image that you would like to use. Once uploaded, scroll down and select "Full Size" as your image size, and then click the "Use as featured image" link. This image will now be used as your Thumbnail image for the post.
Important Note: The WordPress thumbnail function re-sizes the image you upload based on what thumbnail sizes are needed for your theme. Each time you change a theme, you may need to re-generate these thumbnails so that they fit your new theme correctly. You can use the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin each time you switch themes to re-generate your thumbnails. After enabling this theme, you should run this plugin to update all of your old thumbnails to avoid design inconsistencies.
You can define your own logo image from within the ePanel theme options page in your WordPress Dashboard. Within ePanel, under the General Settings > General tab, locate the "Logo" field. In the field, input the full URL to your logo image. You can use the "Upload Image" button below the field to upload your logo image if haven't already done so. After installing, copy and paste the URL to the file into the field and click "Save" to save your ePanel settings.
If you don't already have a logo image, then you can use the included logo.psd file as a starting point. If you have Photoshop, this file can be opened and the logo's text can be easily edited using Photoshop's type tool. If you don't have Photoshop, then you can use included logo_blank.png file as a blank canvas in a different graphic design program. These files (logo.psd and logo_blank.png) are located within the Theme Package inside the /psd/ folder.
You can change the images used in each of the advertisements, as well as which URL each ad points to, through the custom option pages found in wp-admin. Once logged in to the wordpress admin panel, click "Design" and then "Minimal Theme Options" to reveal the various theme options. You can also use the 125x125 advertisement widget by adding the ET: Advertisement widget to your sidebar, and filling in the required fields.
Designating a blog category in Minimal is simple. Open the Appearances > Minimal Theme Options page in wp-admin and then navigation to the General Settings > General tab (this is the default tab displayed when you load the page). Locate the Blog Category dropdown menu and choose one from the list. The category you choose will become your "Blog" category. It will assume the blog style post layout, it's posts will be added to the homepage in the blog tabbed menu, and a link to the blog category will be added to the navigation bar.
The featured slider can be set up using two different methods. You can either popular the tabs using Pages, or you can popular it using posts from a designated category. In the Appearances > Minimal Theme Options page in wp-admin, under the General Settings > Featured Slider tab, you will see an option that says "Use Pages." If you select this option then pages will be used, if you don't then posts will be used. If you want to use Pages then you simply select "Use Pages," and then below the option select which pages you would like to display in the slider. If you don't use pages, then simply select the "Featured Category" from the dropdown menu and posts from that category will be added to the slider.
These blurbs are created using pages. Create three pages that you would like to use for these three blurbs, then go to the Appearances > Minimal Theme Options page and click the General Settings > Homepage tab. Under the Service Page 1/2/3 dropdown menus, choose the three pages you would like to use. Witin the pages you can use a "more" tag to truncate the post preview.
Next you will need to assign an Icon image to each blurb. This works just like Thumbnail images, except you use the custom field name "Icon" instead. So create a custom field for each page with the name of "Icon" and a value of the icon image you would like to use. Icons must not exceed 36x36 pixels to ensure optimum display.
Descriptions appear below the title on pages on the homepage. To add this description simply create a custom field for each post/page with the name of "Tagline" and a value of the text you would like to use for the description.
If you are starting from scratch, and installing your theme onto a WordPress blog that does not have any content yet (posts, pages, categories, etc), then you can choose to import our sample data file, which will populate your new WorPress blog with "dummy content." This dummy content is just a bunch of gibberish text, however, it will give you a good template to work with. Instead of following the above instructions, some people prefer to simply upload the sample data first, and then replace the dummy content with their own. To do this, you can use the Tools > Import feature in wp-admin to import the included sample data file. This sample data file comes with all themes, and is located in your theme folder here: sampledata/sample.xml. When performing the import procedure, be sure to check the "Import epanel settings" box.
All of our themes come with a comprehensive collection of shortcodes. These shortcodes allow you to use pre-made design elements to create advanced page/post layouts without any HTML knowledge. When you install the theme, you will notice that some new buttons have been added to the WordPress text editor. Clicking these buttons will reveal options for adding shortcodes to your post. For complete shortcode documentation you can refer to the video on the left, as well as the following documentation page: http://www.elegantthemes.com/preview/TheProfessional/357-2/
All of our themes come with a collection of page templates that can be used for a variety of purposes. You can apply each of these page templates to any page that you have created. When you edit a page in wp-admin, you will notice a Templates dropdown menu to the right of the text editor. Here you can select from a list of available page templates. Once a template is selected, additional settings will appear in the "ET Page Templates Settings" box below the dropdown menu. These settings should be configured to acheive the desired result, as outlined in this video tutorial.
You can use the included Mo and Po files (located in the /lang folder of your theme) to translate the various English words that occur throughout the design. You can learn more about translating WordPress here: Translating WordPress
Updating your theme is done via the WordPress Dashboard just like any normal theme. Before you can update, however, you must first authenticate your Elegant Themes subscription using the Elegant Themes Updater Plugin. Once authenticated, you can update your Elegant Themes using the standard update interface in WordPress.
To authenticate your WordPress installation, you must first download and install the Elegant Themes Updater. Download the ZIP file here, and then install it via the Plugins > Add New link in your WordPress Dashboard. Once it has been installed and activated, navigate to the Settings > General tab and scroll to the bottom of the page. You will notice that a new section has been added called "Elegant Themes Automatic Update Settings." Here you will need to input your Elegant Themes Username as your Elegant Themes API Key. You can find your Elegant Themes API Key here. Once both fields have been filled in, click the "Save Changes" button. You can now update your theme when a new version has been released via the Dashboard > Updates page, or via the Appearances > Themes page.