True North is a free, premium portfolio WordPress theme. Creating your website with this theme becomes an effortless task since its customization options allows you to easily display your content and thoughts in a beautiful manner.
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Setting up your theme
1) Creating theme pages
Start by adding the pages you are going to need. Go to Pages > Add New and create the following pages:
- Home. This will serve as your homepage. Assign to it the Homepage Template from the Page attributes panel.
- Blog. This will be your posts page. Just create it, no further action needed.
- Contact. (optional) Here you can place your contact form which you will create using the Contact Form 7 plugin.
- Portfolio Listing this page will display your portfolio items. Apply the Portfolio listing template from the Page attributes panel. The Portfolio listing options panel will appear. Select how many columns you want on your layout, how many items you want to display and enable isotope filtering.
(TIP: all page titles serve as examples, you can name your pages according to your needs.)
Once your pages are ready, navigate to Settings > Reading. Set the “Home” page to be your static frontpage and the “Blog” page to be your posts page, as demonstrated in the image below.
2) Populating your blog
To add new posts to your blog, go to Posts > Add new, title your post and enter the content in the editor. Upload a featured image by clicking Set featured image on the Featured Image panel, add a category and/or tag to the post from the respective panels and publish the post by clicking Publish.
3) Adding portfolio items
To add a new portfolio item go to Portfolio > Add New. Set a featured image from the panel on the right, fill in any text you have for the portfolio item and move to the Portfolio Details panel below. Please read thoroughly the Information tab. It contains useful info on how the gallery functions on single portfolio items and will help you get the layout you want. Next proceed to the Gallery tab, select a gallery layout and upload your images. Move to the Details tab and add details for your portfolio item, such as materials used, cost, equipment used etc. Finally, if you have a video for the portfolio item you can use it in the Video tab. Publish the portfolio item.
4) Creating your menu
Now that your content is in place, you will need a menu. Go to Appearance > Menus, check the pages you want on your menu and add them. Give your menu a name and save it. You will also need to set your menu as Main menu. This can be done either by checking the Main menu box in Menu Settings just below your menu items in Menu Structure, or by going to the Manage Locations tab and selecting the menu you just created.
(TIP, for more info on creating and managing menus, please read the WordPress Menu User Guide here)
5) Setting up your homepage
True North’s entire homepage is a widget area. You can add widgets to the sidebar, under Appearance > Widgets to built your homepage.
Duplicating the demo’s layout
The homepage on the demo features the CI Text with a welcome text and the CI Latest Posts widget displaying six portfolio items in a three column layout.
6) Changing Footer text
The theme’s footer features an area for you to enter a line of text for copyright information. To change the text you need to go to CSSIgniter settings > Site options and use the appropriate box (6th box down).
7) Change the footer logo
You can individually set a footer logo on the theme. To do that go to CSSIgniter settings > Site options and use the appropriate box (5th box down).
8) Toggle sidebar on Blog/Single Posts
You can select whether the blog & single posts will have a sidebar or not. To do that go to CSSIgniter settings > Appearance options and select the desired layout from the drop down menu.
9) Add a header image
To apply a default header image go to CSSIgniter Settings > Appearance Options and upload it in the Header Display box. On single posts, pages and portfolio items you can apply custom header images by utilizing the Header Background metabox.
10) Custom Widgets
The theme features eight custom widgets, as displayed below:
All widgets can be accessed from Appearance > Widgets. Below each widget you will find a small description explaining their function.
The CSSIgniter settings panel
Last but not least, under Appearance > CSSIgniter settings, you can find our custom built settings panel. From here you can manipulate multiple features your theme has, including changing your logo, setting a custom background, changing color scheme and applying custom styles via the custom CSS tab. All options have a description so you instantly know their function.
To create a gallery using the gallery management system, simply follow these steps:
- On the Gallery Information panel click the Add Images button.
- To upload your images, drag & drop them in the Edit Gallery window that will pop-up, or select Add to Gallery in order to select already uploaded images. Once you are done, click the Update Gallery button on the lower right side.
- Your Gallery Information panel will look like this:
- You can re-arrange the order of images by drag & drop.
- If you wish to remove an image from the gallery, hover your mouse over it and click the X as shown below:
- By checking the Randomize order box your gallery images will appear in a random order that will change on every page refresh.
- When you are done, publish the gallery item.
If you need to add images after the gallery’s creation just follow the same steps.
- CSSIgniter Shortcodes You can use this custom made shortcode plugin to help you create a variety of layouts and elements on your site. Instructions can be found here.
- Socials Ignited Use this plugin to create a widget that links to all your social profiles. You can customize it with your icons. You can also add new social networks. A guide can be found here.
- Contact Form 7 use this plugin to create a contact form, then copy the shortcode it gives you and paste it in an empty page.
- WP Instagram Widget: Use this plugin to help you display your Instagram feed in any of the theme’s sidebars.
- WordPress Jetpack: You can use this to create a contact form instead of Contact Form 7, insert sharing buttons etc.
The recommended image sizes for the True North theme are:
- Post Thumbnail: 945×680px
- Header image: 2000×500px