- 1. Install your Theme
- 1.2 Create Child Theme (optional)
- 2. Install ZMPlugin to be able to customize your theme (optional)
- 3. Theme settings
- 4. Design Explorer
- 5. Customizer
- 6. Block Templates
- 7. Template editor (only with ZMPro license).
- 8. Customize the theme using PHP code
- 9. Import / Export
1. Install your Theme
Go to Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes >> Add New.
For example, type “ZMT Modular” in the search box, click install and activate.
Go to Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes >> Add New >> Upload Theme.
Select the previously downloaded Theme-Zip-File and click “Install now”.
1.2 Create Child Theme (optional)
If you’re thinking of creating more than a simple website that doesn’t need to be customized at all, or just a little, then you should create a child theme here at this point before proceeding. Read more about child themes here at WordPress.org: https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/advanced-topics/child-themes/.
By using a child theme, all modules of ZuestMedia Themes can be customized, overridden or extended by creating PHP classes.
A child theme also offers you the possibility to make adjustments via files e.g. in the “functions.php” file, from where almost every function or behavior of WordPress can be controlled, or in the style definition files (CSS), for changes in places where no predefined settings exist (yet).
It’s not a disaster if you continue here without a child theme, that can be done later. However, this can then be associated with a little more circumstances (more complicated).
2. Install ZMPlugin to be able to customize your theme (optional)
In order to be able to customize your theme, you need the basic WordPress plugin from ZuestMedia “ZMPlugin”. ZMPlugin adds several features to the WordPress dashboard, especially mentioned at this point are the theme settings, the advanced customizer settings and the Design Explorer, which allows you to import starter designs.
Installing ZMPlugin is optional, you can use the theme as it is with default settings.
3. Theme settings
Select the desired operating mode in the theme settings:
- Simple Mode
Depending on the selected operating mode, more or less settings are visible. In Default Mode no further settings are available.
Select from 3 possible CSS style files the appropriate one:
- Mixed Colors
- Dark Colors
- Light Colors
Mixed Colors works for all types of themes, Dark and Light are for exclusively dark or light designs and have smaller CSS files (minimally better loading times). When importing starter themes, this option is automatically set to the correct value.
4. Design Explorer
With ZMPlugin installed and activated, and at least Operating Mode “Simple” selected in the Theme Settings, the Design Explorer is now available in the menu under Dashboard >> Design >> Design Explorer.
Scroll through the different starter designs, click on the preview and install a starter design you like.
There is no need to use a starter theme, you can also start with default settings and configure and design your theme completely on your own.
If ZMPlugin is installed and activated, and at least the Operating Mode “Simple” is selected in the Theme Settings, several new settings are now available in the Customizer.
- Global Settings
- Sections: Header, Center, Main
Depending on which page of your website you are on within the Customizer, specific modules & settings will be displayed in the sidebar. Only the modules that are available in the specific view will be displayed. Here you can customize, show or hide all modules and much more…
6. Block Templates
Block Templates can be created and edited in Dashboard >> Design >> Block Templates if ZMPlugin is installed with Operating Mode Simple or higher.
A Block Template is a custom post type that can be filled with the classic editor or with the Gutenberg editor. When using the Gutenberg Editor, both static and dynamic elements (such as an archive title) can be used.
ZMThemes offers the option to place block templates in sections in the header, center or footer and display them according to the desired display settings.
This allows, for example, to create an archive title filling the whole width of a page, which can be placed outside the normal area than the archive title is normally located. Thus, there are no limits to creativity.
This means that with the classic theme structure, dynamic Gutenberg blocks can now be used as well.
7. Template editor (only with ZMPro license).
With Template Editor you are able to add new modules, for which you otherwise have to use PHP code.
The Template Editor lets you create templates for all types of WordPress pages, posts, sections, navigations, etc.
8. Customize the theme using PHP code
When using a child theme, all modules can be customized, extended or overwritten. This is done by creating PHP child classes in your child theme.
More about this shortly… (Drop us a mail if you want to know more!).
9. Import / Export
The import/export function allows you to transfer theme settings from one website to another.
Important: This is not a replacement for a backup of your website!