Flow

A Fresh Creative Blog Theme


Flow - A Fresh Creative Blog Theme

Hi, and welcome to the Flow User Guide. The User Guide covers all the information needed to use the Flow theme to build an amazing website, as well as some helpful tips and tricks that will make your experience working with the Flow 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://elated.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 Flow User Guide we will go through the essential steps required to start building your website with the Flow 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 Flow

After downloading the Flow installation file from ThemeForest, extract it and in the extracted folder locate the flow.zip file. You can then install the Flow 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 Flow 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 flow.zip
    4. Click on Install Now
  2. FTP upload - If you would like to install the Flow theme via FTP, please follow these steps:
    1. Extract the flow.zip file you previously located. You should now see a folder named flow
    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 flow folder to the themes directory on your remote server

Once the installation is complete, your Flow theme will be ready for use. Now all you need to do is navigate to Appearance > Themes and activate the Flow theme. After you have done this, you should see Elated 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.

Make sure to install the "Elated Core" plugin, since this plugin is of critical importance for proper theme functioning. This plugin includes core theme functionalities. 
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/flow/css and wp-content/themes/flow/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://elated.ticksy.com/ with FTP access for your site, and our support team will take a look.

Importing Demo Content

With the Flow 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.

Flow 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 Elated 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 Elated 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 Elated 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 Flow

You can update your theme by performing the following steps:

  1. Download the latest theme .zip file from ThemeForest
  2. Extract it and locate flow.zip
  3. Extract flow.zip and locate the flow folder
  4. Copy/Replace the contents of the flow folder to the /wp-content/themes/flow 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 Flow, 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 Flow 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 Elated 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 Elated 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 Elated Options > Logo 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 Elated 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 Elated 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 Elated 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 Elated 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 Elated 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. Flow 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 Elated 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.
Elated Blog
Elated Content Bottom
Elated Footer
Elated General
Elated Header
Elated Sidebar
Elated Title

 

In this section of the User Guide we will discuss the creation of 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.

Blog Posts

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

Let's take a look at the available blog 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 blog 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.

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

Note that most of them are the same custom fields you'll find when creating standard pages.
Elated Post Settings

Elated Content Bottom

Elated Footer

Elated General

Elated Header

Elated Sidebar

Elated Title

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 Elated 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

Design Style
Settings
Custom Code

Header

Header
Header Large Logo Options
Logo Area
Menu Area
Sticky Header
Fixed Header
Main Menu
Header Standard Options
Menu Area
Sticky Header
Fixed Header
Main Menu
Header Vertical Options
Mobile Header
Typography
Mobile Menu Opener

Title

Title Settings
Typography

Page

Content Bottom

Sidebar

Fonts

Headings

Here you can set up all styles for heading tags (H1-H6). In the Headings Responsive sections you can set up styles for heading tags on tablets and mobile devices, respectively. 

Text

Elements

Button
Typography
Types

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.

Instagram

404 Error Page

Parallax

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.

Reset

  You can use this option to reset all the Elated 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.

Elements Holder

The Elements Holder shortcode allows you to display any combination of elements in an organized column structure.

General
Width and Responsiveness

After you have set up your elements holder, you can add Elements Holder Items to it, and edit the following fields:

General
Width and Responsiveness

In this tab you can define paddings for the Elemnts Holder Item ona various stages (screen sizes).

Icon

Icons are great for communicating all sorts of information.

Elated Call to Action

Call to Action elements allow you to display bold messages on your page, inviting viewers to follow a link or take some manner of action.

General
Design Options

Elated List - Ordered

You can use this shortcode to create ordered lists.

Elated List - Unordered

You can use this shortcode to create unordered lists.

Elated Message

Messages allow you to display hints, warnings, or any other messages that you wish to communicate to your users.

Elated Icon List Item

Icon List Items allow you to make lists using icons, rather than numbers or bullets.

Elated Blog List

This shortcode allows you to display your blog posts on a page.

Button

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

General
Design Options

Elated Blockquote

The blockquote element provides a great way to make a section of text stand out on your page.

Elated 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.

You can use the Image Gallery to display a grid or slider gallery of your images.

Google Map

You can use this shortcode to display a Google Map anywhere on the page.

Separator

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

Icon With Text

This shortcode allows you to easily add icons with text to your page.

General
Icon Settings
Text Settings

Elated Social Share

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

Blog Slider

You can use this shortcode to add a slider or carousel displaying your blog posts to your page.

Section Title

You can use this shortcode to create a section title on your page.

General
Design Options

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 Elated 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 Flow, 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

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.

Flow 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/.