Discussion

A Powerful News & Magazine Theme


Discussion - A Powerful News & Magazine Theme

Hi, and welcome to the Discussion User Guide. The User Guide covers all the information needed to use the Discussion theme to build an amazing website, as well as some helpful tips and tricks that will make your experience working with the Discussion theme easier and more enjoyable. If you need any additional assistance while using our theme, you can always submit a ticket to our support forum at http://mikado.ticksy.com/ and our support team will be glad to help you out.

You can navigate through different sections of the User Guide by clicking on the links in the menu to the left of your screen. You will also notice that we have highlighted certain parts of the text throughout the User Guide, such as important pieces of information, useful tips, and helpful code snippets, with different formating for an easier overview. Here are some examples of the different formating we use for Useful Tips, and Code Snippets:

This is a useful tip
<div class="code-snippet">This is a helpful code snippet</div>

In this first section of the Discussion User Guide we will go through the essential steps required to start building your website with the Discussion theme. We will explain how to install the theme, import the included demo content, as well as how to update the theme. At the end of this section you will also find a set of Frequently Asked Question related to troubleshooting the theme. 

Installing Discussion

After downloading the Discussion installation file from ThemeForest, extract it and in the extracted folder locate the discussionwp.zip file. You can then install the Discussion theme using one of the two following installation methods:

  1. WordPress upload - For most users, this is probably the simplest installation method. To install the Discussion theme using this method, please follow these steps:
    1. Login to your WordPress admin panel
    2. Navigate to Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme
    3. Click on Choose File and select discussionwp.zip
    4. Click on Install Now
  2. FTP upload - If you would like to install the Discussion theme via FTP, please follow these steps:
    1. Extract the discussionwp.zip file you previously located. You should now see a folder named discussionwp
    2. Using an FTP client, login to the server where your WordPress website is hosted
    3. Using an FTP client, navigate to the /wp-content/themes/ directory under your WordPress website's root directory
    4. Using an FTP client, upload the previously extracted discussionwp folder to the themes directory on your remote server

Once the installation is complete, your Discussion theme will be ready for use. Now all you need to do is navigate to Appearance > Themes and activate the Discussion theme. After you have done this, you should see Mikado Options appear in the left navigation bar of  your WordPress admin panel.

 

You should also see a notification at the top of the screen that required plugins need to be installed. Please install and activate all of the required plugins, since they are necessary for the theme to function properly.

If writing permissions aren't set for folders containing CSS and JS files on your server, you will see a warning message at the top of the theme options page. In order to remove that message, you need to change permissions for the wp-content/themes/discussionwp/css and wp-content/themes/discussionwp/js folders and set them to 755. We recommend setting writing permissions in order to optimize your site performance. If you have any issues with this, please contact your hosting service provider. Alternatively, you can submit a ticket to http://mikado.ticksy.com/ with FTP access for your site, and our support team will take a look.

Importing Demo Content

With the Discussion theme, you have the option to either start creating your site from scratch, or choosing to import one of the included demo sites to use as a starting point, and then modifying it to suit your needs. In this section we will explain how to do the latter.

If you plan on building an online shop with Discussion, please read the WooCommerce section of this User Guide before installing the demo content.

Discussion comes with a one-click import module. To import one of the included demo sites, please follow these steps:

  1. Login to your WordPress admin panel
  2. Navigate to Mikado Options > Import 

  3. From the Import dropdown menu, choose the demo site that you would like to import
  4. From the Import Type dropdown menu, choose what type of content you'd like to import:
    • All - imports pages, content, widgets, and settings. We recommend this for users who would like to import a demo site exactly as it appears on our live demo.
    • Content - imports only pages and their content. This option is recommended for users who would like to see how we've created our page layouts, but who want to keep their own settings in Mikado Options.
    • Widgets - imports only widgets. This option is recommended for users who would only like to populate the theme’s widget areas with the widgets from their chosen demo. No other content is imported.
    • Options - imports settings in Mikado Options only. This option is recommended for users who would like to achieve the same look and feel of their chosen demo site, but do not want to import any additional content.
  5. If you also wish to import media files (images, videos, sounds), make sure to set the Import attachments option to "Yes".
  6. Click on the Import button and wait for the import process to finish.
Please note that the images we use on our demo sites are copyrighted, and if you'd like to publish them on your site, you would need to purchase them separately. We bought most of our images on Shutterstock.

Updating Discussion

You can update your theme by performing the following steps:

  1. Download the latest theme .zip file from ThemeForest
  2. Extract it and locate discussionwp.zip
  3. Extract discussionwp.zip and locate the discussionwp folder
  4. Copy/Replace the contents of the discussionwp folder to the /wp-content/themes/discussionwp folder of your web site.

Troubleshooting FAQ

1. Why can't I save my menu?

WordPress by default has a limited number of menu items. When you import our demo content, which contains a lot of menu items, you might not be able to save changes you make to a menu. You can fix this problem by contacting your hosting and asking them to add the following lines to the php.ini file:

suhosin.post.max_vars = 5000
suhosin.request.max_vars = 5000
2. Why is there a smiley displayed on blank pages?

This problem is most likely related to JetPack and memory settings of your hosting. You can either disable JetPack or read what the JetPack developer wrote: Regarding the memory limit, please refer to the WordPress Codex section concerning this problem. Some sites that load many plugins alongside WordPress ultimately require a higher memory limit than WordPress defaults to, but since this is limited to specific hosts and configurations, it must be dealt with on an individual basis. You'll find the Codex article at: http://codex.wordpress.org/Common_WordPress_Errors#Allowed_memory_size_exhausted

3. How do I optimize my site?

Please use this tool to investigate reasons for slow loading: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?hl=en

4. How to translate or rename default theme labels?

You can use the Poedit software (http://poedit.net/wordpress) to translate/rename all the theme's labels. Another solution is to edit the theme folder/languages/en_US.po file directly in a text editor and manually edit the labels you want to translate.

5. Why do I see a white screen when importing demo content?

If you get a white screen or some other error when trying to import our demo content, this probably happens because of the maximum execution time limit. You need to increase the maximum execution time (upload time) setting of your web server. The default maximum execution time on web servers is 30 seconds. Please increase it to 120 seconds. Possible ways of achieving this are:

Ask your hosting provider to take care of this for you.

Once you've installed Discussion, you can start building your site. In this section of the User Guide we will explain how you can set up your header, upload your logo, create your menu, set up your footer area, customize the general look and feel of your website, and create your first pages.

Setting Up the Header

One of the first things you might want to do after you have installed and activated your Discussion theme is to set up your header area. The header contains the logo, menu, search bar, side area icon, and other optional widgets.

 

To set up your header, navigate to Mikado Options > Header from your WordPress admin panel. The settings you define here will be the default settings for all pages on your site. If you need any help in further understanding any of these options, please refer to the Mikado Options section of this User Guide.

 

 

 

Some options, such as the header skin and background color, can be overridden on a page to page basis from a specific page’s backend. For more information on how local page settings work, please refer to the Pages section of this User Guide.

To add your logo to the header, navigate to Mikado Options > General > Branding from your WordPress admin panel and click the upload button next to the Logo Image – Default field. After you upload your image and save the options, you should have a visible logo in your header area. For more information regarding the various logo types that can be uploaded, please refer to the Mikado Options section of this User Guide. 

 

Menu Creation

To create a new menu, navigate to Appearance > Menus from your WordPress admin panel and click on Create a new menu. Enter a name for your new menu and then click Create Menu

 

Every page that you have created will be listed in the section on the left named Pages. Simply check the pages that you would like to add to your menu and click the Add to Menu button. Once you have added pages to your menu, you can click and drag the menu items to rearrange them, or nest them one underneath the other.

In the Menu Settings section (which is located underneath the Menu Structure section), check the checkbox next to Main Navigation and click Save Menu. This will activate the menu you have just created, and you should now see a functional menu in your header.

To set up your footer, navigate to Mikado Options > Footer from your WordPress admin panel.

 

The settings you define here will be the default settings for all pages on your site. If you would like both the top and bottom footer areas to be displayed, make sure that both the Show Footer Top and Show Footer Bottom options are enabled. If you need any help understanding any of these options, please refer to the Mikado Options section of this user guide.

 

Content is added to your footer via widgets. Navigate to Appearance > Widgets from your WordPress admin panel. On the right side of your page you will see the widget areas for your footer. The widget areas for the top footer are named Footer Column 1Footer Column 2Footer Column 3, and Footer Column 4. On the left side of the Widgets page you will see the available widgets. To add a widget to one of the Footer widget areas, simply drag the desired widget to one of the Footer Column widget areas on the right.

To add content to the bottom footer, simply add widgets to the Footer Bottom widget area, or the Footer Bottom Left and Footer Bottom Right widget areas.

 

General Look and Feel

Now let’s set up the general look and feel of your site. If you have imported a demo site and would like to keep its general look and feel, then you do not need to do anything else. Otherwise, go to Mikado Options > General and in the Font Family field set a default font family for your site. Next, in the First Main Color field set a default main color for your site.

Now that you have set up the basic elements for your site, you’re ready to start building your pages.

Building Pages

To create a new page, navigate to Pages > Add New from your WordPress admin panel. In the text field near the top of the screen enter a title for your page. After you have added a title, choose the “Full width” template from the section on the right named Page Attributes. This will allow you to add sections to your page that span across the whole width of the screen.

In the bottom section of your screen you will find local page settings. Any settings that you define here will override the global settings set in Mikado Options

It is generally considered good practice to set up the look and feel of your site on a global level, and override the settings when necessary on a local level. This will save you a lot of time, unlike if you were to set up every page separately.

To start adding elements to your page, first make sure that you are in the backend editor view. If the blue button near the top left of the page says BACKEND EDITOR, click on it to enable the Visual Composer page builder view. Once you’re in the Visual Composer view, the blue button will say CLASSIC MODE. You can now click on the Add Element button to start adding elements to your page. You can learn more about elements in the Custom Shortcodes section of this user guide.

 

Please note that the Frontend view for Visual Composer has been intentionally disabled since some of the added custom shortcodes require page reload because of script calculations, and due to this do not appear on the page while building with the Frontend view. The Frontend view can be used. However, while building your page some elements might not display properly until you refresh the page. If you would like to use the Frontend view, you can enable it by going to Appearance > Editor, opening the extend-vc.php file and finding the following piece of code  if(function_exists('vc_disable_frontend')){vc_disable_frontend();} and either removing or commenting it out. To disable the Frontend view again you just need to uncomment or return this code.

Finally, click the Publish button in the upper right section of the page. (If you made some changes on an already published page, you will see an Update button instead).

 

In this section of the User Guide we will discuss page creation in more detail, including the various page templates available in the theme, and all the page specific options.

When creating a new page, one of the first things you will probably want to do is to choose an appropriate template for your page. To this this, visit your page from the backend (or create a new page by going to Pages > Add new), and locate the Page Attributes section on the right side of the screen. Discussion comes with a variety of page templates to choose from:

*All of the blog templates listed above are used for displaying blog posts in various manners.

Now that you have chosen an appropriate template, let’s go over the custom fields available for pages.

Please note that any settings you save here will override the global settings you've set in Mikado Options. It is generally considered good practice to set up the look of your pages on a global level, and then override settings on a local level, if necessary. This will save you a lot of time, unlike if you were to set up every page locally.
Mikado General
Mikado Blog
Mikado Title
Mikado Sidebar
Mikado Content Top

In this section of the User Guide we will discuss the creation of magazine / blog posts and all the available options for each post, setting up pages to display blog listings, as well as how to change the date format for your posts.

Magazine / Blog Posts

To create a new post, go to Posts > Add New from your WordPress admin panel. First, you need to enter a title for your post in the text field near the top of the screen. Then choose a format for your post in the Format section on the right side of the screen.

 

Let's take a look at the available post formats:

 

Now it's time to categorize this post:

  1. Beneath the Format section you will see a section named Categories. Here you can select the categories that you would like to add this post to. If you would like to create a new category, click on the + Add New Category link. A text field will appear in which you can enter a category name, and then click Add New Category.
  2. Once you've selected the categories you would like to add your post to, click the Publish button. Congratulations, you've just published your first post!
  3. Beneath the Categories section you will see the Tags and Featured Image sections. Here you can add tags to your post, and set a featured image which will be displayed for this post on blog list pages and in magazine blocks.

Now that we have published our first post, let’s go over the available custom fields for posts.

Note that most of them are the same custom fields you'll find when creating standard pages.
Mikado General
Mikado Standard Post Format
Mikado Audio Post Format
Mikado Gallery Post Format
Mikado Link Post Format
Mikado Quote Post Format
Mikado Video Post Format
Mikado Title
Mikado Sidebar
Mikado Content Top

Magazine Blocks

You can create magazine blocks using the available magazine shortcodes. To do this, please go to the page you would like to add the magazine blocks to, and add the desired blocks via Visual Composer. For a detailed overview of the available magazine blocks and post layouts please see the Custom Shortcodes section of this User Guide.

Magazine Category Pages

You can set a different layout for each category page. To do this, first you need to go to Mikado Options > Blog and set the Enable Unique Category Layout to "Yes". Then, please go to Post > Categories, click "edit" underneath the category you would like to set a layout for, and choose the layout you would like to set in the Template field. The following layouts are available for category pages:

Type 1
Type 2
Type 3
Type 4
Type 5
Type 6

You can also choose to enable a sidebar (choose a layout and custom widget area your would like to use in the sidebar), choose a number of posts to display per category page, choose a pagination type for each category, and set custom image sizes and excerpt lengths.

Blog Lists

After you have created enough posts, you need to also create a blog list on which all of these posts will be displayed. To create a blog list, you first need to create a new page on which your blog list will be displayed, and in the page's backend find the Templates dropdown on the right side of the screen. Then simply choose from one of the following options:

By choosing one of the blog templates you will have set this page to automatically show a list of your blog posts. All you need to do now is publish the page.

Date Format

If you wish to change the date format on blog posts, navigate to Settings > General > Date Format from your WordPress admin, and select your format of choice.

This section of the User Guide provides a comprehenisve overview of all the settings available in the Mikado Options section of your WordPress admin panel. The settings found here are applied globally and will affect all pages on your website. However, note that many of these options can be overridden locally by applying settings on individual pages or on shortcode elements.

General

Branding 
Appearance
Behavior
Custom Code

Fonts

Headings

Here you can set up all styles for heading tags (H1-H6).

Headings Responsive (Tablet Portrait View)

Here you can set up all styles for heading tags (H1-H6) for tablet devices in portrait view.

Headings Responsive (Mobile Devices)

Here you can set up all styles for heading tags (H1-H6) for mobile devices.

Text

Header 

Header
Sticky Header
Main Menu
Main Menu General Settings
Mobile Header
Mobile Menu Opener

Side Area

Search Page 

Title 

Title Settings
Typography

Page

Sidebar

Content

Parallax

Blog

Blog Lists
Blog Single

Social Networks

Show Social Share On

Here you can choose on what types of pages you would like to enable the social share functionality.

Social Networks

Here you can set which social networks you would like sharing to be available on. If you would like to, you can also set a custom icon for each social network.

Twitter
Instagram

Content Top

404 Error Page

Contact Form 7

You can set multiple custom styles for contact forms, and then choose what style you would like to apply to each form you add to a page.

WooCommerce

Product List
Single Product

Access Press Social

Reset

  You can use this option to reset all the Mikado Options to their default settings.

Import

You can use this options panel to import demo content. For more information about importing demo content please refer to the Getting Started section of this User Guide.

In this section of the User Guide we will take a comprehesive look at all the custom shortcodes included in the theme and their repsective options.

Row

The row element is a container element in which you can add other elements (shortcodes) and sort them on your page. 

General
Design Options

In the Design Options tab you can set margins, borders, paddings, as well as border colors, border styles, border radius, background color, and a background image to your row.

Button

Buttons are a widely used element on the web and can be used for a variety of purposes.

General
Design Options

Mikado Custom Font

If you need to use text styling that's not in one of the predefined heading or paragraph styles, you can do this by using the Custom Font shortcode.

Icon

Icons are great for communicating all sorts of information.

Mikado List - Ordered

You can use this shortcode to create ordered lists.

Mikado Section Title

You can use this shortcode to create a section title with a link.

Separator

Use the separator shortcode to create a visual divider between elements and sections on your pages.

Mikado Social Share

You can use this shortcode to add social share icons to pages.

Mikado Tabs

organize your content and display only what is necessary at a particular moment.

General
Title Settings

After you have chosen your type of tabs you can add tabs and change the following settings for each tab:

Now you can add content to the tab. You can insert any shortcode inside the tab.

Mikado Google Maps

You can use this shortcode to add a stylized google map to your page.

Mikado Image With Hover Info

You can use this shortcode to create an image that displays some information on hover.

After you have set up the Image With Hover Info element, you can start adding Image With Hover Info Items into it and setting the following options:

Mikado Vertical Separator

You can use this shortcode to create a vertical separator and add it to your pages.

Mikado Post Slider

You can use this shortcode to display your posts in a slider.

General
Post Item
Navigation

Mikado Post Slider with Thumbnails

You can use this shortcode to display your posts in a slider with thumbnail navigation.

General
Post Item

Mikado Post Slider Interactive

You can use this shortcode to display your posts in an interactive slider.

General
Post Item

Mikado Post Carousel

You can use this shortcode to display your posts in a carousel.

General
Post Item
Navigation

Mikado Post Swipe Carousel

You can use this shortcode to display your posts in a carousel that does not have classic navigation, but is navigated via swiping the carousel left or right.

General
Post Item

Mikado Post Layout 1

You can use the post layout shortcodes to display post in a variety of layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Post Layout 2

You can use the post layout shortcodes to display post in a variety of layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Post Layout 3

You can use the post layout shortcodes to display post in a variety of layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Post Layout 4

You can use the post layout shortcodes to display post in a variety of layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Post Layout 5

You can use the post layout shortcodes to display post in a variety of layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Post Layout 6

You can use the post layout shortcodes to display post in a variety of layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Post Layout 7

You can use the post layout shortcodes to display post in a variety of layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Post Layout 8

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Post Layout 9

You can use the post layout shortcodes to display post in a variety of layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Block 1

You can use this shortcode to add post blocks to your pages. Post blocks are predefined combinations of post layouts.

General
Featured Item
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Block 2

You can use this shortcode to add post blocks to your pages. Post blocks are predefined combinations of post layouts.

General
Featured Item
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Block 3

You can use this shortcode to add post blocks to your pages. Post blocks are predefined combinations of post layouts.

General
Featured Item
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Block 4

You can use this shortcode to add post blocks to your pages. Post blocks are predefined combinations of post layouts.

General
Featured Item
Post Item

Mikado Block 5

You can use this shortcode to add post blocks to your pages. Post blocks are predefined combinations of post layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Block 6

You can use this shortcode to add post blocks to your pages. Post blocks are predefined combinations of post layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Mikado Block 7

You can use this shortcode to add post blocks to your pages. Post blocks are predefined combinations of post layouts.

General
Post Item
Pagination

Dropcaps

You can use dropcaps to highlight the first letter in a paragraph. You can add the dropcaps shortcode through the Classic view, by clicking on the Mikado icon and choosing Dropcaps.

In this section of the User Guide we will discuss the available widgets and widget areas in the theme.

 

Widgets are easy to manage and can be incredibly useful to have on your site.

For Discussion, we have developed custom widgets and widget areas in order to provide you with even more functionality. You also have the option of creating your own custom sidebars (custom widget areas).

Widgets

Please note that you need to have the Woocommerce plugin installed in order for the Mikado WooCommerce Dropdown Cart widget to appear in the widget selection.

Widget Area

In this section of the User Guide we will discuss how to install the Contact Form 7 plugin and how to add contact forms to your pages.

Discussion comes with Contact Form 7 integration, making it possible to create contact forms for various purposes.
 
In order to setup Contact Form 7, please perform the following steps: 
  1. Navigate to Plugins > Add New from your WordPress admin panel.

         2. Type "Contact Form 7" in the search field.

         3. Locate "Contact Form 7" in the search results and click on Install Now.

         4. Once installation is complete, click on Activate Plugin.

Now when you use Visual Composer while creating your pages, you will see a new shortcode in the list of shortcodes – the Contact Form 7 shortcode.

Click on this shortcode to add a contact form to your page. There are several fields to fill in:

You can read more about the Contact Form 7 plugin at https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7/.

3rd Party Integration

If you wish to integrate a newsletter sending service, you need to additionally install a plugin called "Forms: 3rd-Party Integration." You can check out the link to their site here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/forms-3rdparty-integration/.

 

Once you've completed the installation process and activated this plugin, navigate to Contact > 3rdparty Services from your WordPress admin panel in order to set the options. For more information on setting up this plugin, check out the following link: https://wordpress.org/plugins/forms-3rdparty-integration/screenshots/.

In this section of the User Guide we will discuss how to install and set up the WooCommerce eCommerce plugin with Discussion.

Discussion comes with WooCommerce integration, which allows you to easily create an online shop. For more information on installing and configuring WooCommerce, please visit this page:

http://docs.woothemes.com/documentation/plugins/woocommerce/getting-started/

In order to set up WooCommerce with the Discussion theme, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Plugins > Add New from your WordPress admin panel.

  2. Type “WooCommerce” in the search field.
  3. Locate "WooCommerce - excelling eCommerce" in the search results and click on Install Now.

  4. Once the installation has completed, click on Activate Plugin.
  5. You will now see a notice saying “Welcome to WooCommerce – You're almost ready to start selling :)". If you plan on importing demo content, click on Skip Setup. Otherwise, click Install Pages.
  6. If you plan on importing demo content, you should first set the product image sizes in order to achieve the same look as on our demo sites. Navigate to WooCommerce > Settings and click the Products tab, and then the Display within the Products tab . Under the section Product Images, enter the same values that we did:

  7. See Importing Demo Content in the Getting Started section of this user guide and perform the process explained there.
  8. Go into the backend of your shop page. This can either be a custom page you have created yourself, or the shop page from the demo site that you have imported. Under Page Attributes, choose the WooCommerce template.