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Thanks for Buying

First of all, thank you for buying this theme. To make your experience pleasant, we've added as much info as needed in this documentation. If you're stuck with anything, please refer to support forums.

There are two methods to install the theme. If the normal installation method (a) is not supported by your web host, you will have to use the alternate option (b).

a. Normal Installation

  1. Go to ThemeForest Downloads and next to SmartMag, click the Download button. On the dropdown menu, click on All files & documentation.
  2. Extract the zip file in your computer. Browse through the folder that starts with the name themeforest-. You will find the smart-mag.zip file here.
  3. Login to WordPress Admin and browse to Appearance > Themes.
  4. Click on the Add New button and click Upload.
  5. Browse your computer to select "smart-mag.zip" (it's the file you got in Step 1). Click "Install Now" button.
  6. Once it's uploaded, click the Activate link.
  7. Go to Appearance > Install Plugins and install the required and recommended plugins.
  8. All done. Now proceed to What to do next?

b. FTP Installation (alternate method)

  1. Use your FTP software to browse to wp-content/themes folder.
  2. Extract smart-mag.zip and upload the smart-mag folder.
  3. Once it's uploaded, go to your WordPress Admin, browse to Appearance > Themes.
  4. Click the Activate link.
  5. Go to Appearance > Install Plugins and install the required and recommended plugins.
  6. All done. Now proceed to What to do next?

Important After activation, you will be presented with several plugins that you have to activate. Do not forget to activate them all or not all of the theme features will be available.

Note If you have existing content and featured images, you will have to install Regenerate Thumbnails plugin and run it from Tools > Regen. Thumbnails.

Regenerate Thumbnails

If you already had images in your Media Library when you installed SmartMag, you will have to resize your image thumbnails. Follow these instructions:

  • Go to Appearance > Install Plugins and install Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.
  • Next, go to Tools > Regen. Thumbnails.
  • Click the Regenerate All Thumbnails button. It will take some time depending on the number of images you have. DO NOT close your browser.

Install Required & Plugins

Once you activate the theme, to get full theme functionality, you will have to install the required plugins. You can also install the recommended plugins to further enhance the theme features, based on your requirement. Finally, there are a few advanced & optional plugins that are only required for a few users (read more).

To install these plugins, go to:

  1. Go to SmartMag > Install Plugins.
  2. Tick the Required plugins, and all the recommended plugins you would need to use.
  3. Once selected, under Bulk Actions, click Install and then click Apply.

About Optional & Advanced Plugins

The plugins under this heading should be installed only if you need a feature they provide. The Advanced plugins affect performance unless configured properly and may require a powerful webhost.

Bunyad AMP
This is a heavy plugin and if you use it, you must use a cache plugin (see performance guide). Learn more about AMP.
Easy GDPR Consent
It's lightweight but only needed if you use MailChimp forms and need GDPR compliance. See GDPR guide.
Self-hosted Google Fonts
Another lightweight plugin, needed only if you have a legal reason to not use remote fonts. See more in GDPR guide.

Import Demos (optional)

If it's a fresh site (or a test site) with no content, it's a good idea to import one of the demos with Full Content to get you started. You don't want to do it on a live production site as it will import several posts, pages, and images.

  1. Go to Appearance > Install Plugins and install/activate all the plugins.
  2. Navigate to Appearance > Customize & Import Demos and follow the link.
  3. If it's a site with existing content, MAKE BACKUPS before proceeding with a Full Import - not required for settings only.
  4. Read the instructions on screen and begin import.

Tip If it fails, you will have to request your webhost to increase your PHP max_execution_time (or any other webserver timeout to at least 120 secs) and memory_limit (to at least 196M) temporarily. If you tried it on a fresh WordPress install, you can go back to fresh install by using the "WordPress Reset" plugin.

Once you're done with theme installation, it's time to setup your blog. What to do next:

There are many different widgets/blocks that can be used to construct your homepage (or any page).

Build Homepage With Elementor

We'll be using Elementor Pagebuilder plugin to build the homepage. Please make sure it's installed and active.

If you have never used Elementor before, please get some basic knowledge of using Elementor via these links: (a few minutes is all you need)

  1. Create a New Page with Elementor.
  2. Basic Building and using Sections and Columns.
  3. Preview & Publish pages.
  4. How to Move Sections (we highly recommend Navigator)

Now that you have basic knowledge, let's begin:

NOTE: If you imported a theme demo, you don't have to create a new homepage. Go to your site home and click "Edit With Elementor" in the adminbar at top, or edit the page "Homepage" in WordPress admin and click Edit with Elementor button.

  1. Ceate a new page and select the page template Pagebuilder - No Paddings & Full Width under Page Attributes (on right side of WordPress editor).
  2. Click Edit with Elementor button.
  3. Now you can start adding content. Follow along, below.

Import with Smart Studio

The easiest way to get started is to import a pre-made Homepage layout.

  1. Click the Smart Studio button to bring up the Smart Studio popup.
  2. Navigate to Homes & Pages and click on the homepage you wish to view or import.
  3. Click the Import button on the next screen.
  4. Start editing the blocks, widgets, and sections. Learn more about editing blocks below.

    Note Some blocks will look different from screenshots. This is because they adapt to your global settings. For example, block headings default style, typography, and so on will be used from your Customizer settings.
  5. Preview or Save your page.

Adding a Section with Sidebar

With the basic knowledge of Elementor from above, you can add a section with sidebar.

The easiest way is to click the Smart Studio button and under Structure, import Content + Sticky Sidebar.

But if you wish to do it manually, learn more below:

  1. Create a section with the structure of right sidebar.
  2. Hover over the column and click the column icon. OR, right click on the column and click Edit Column
  3. In the left pane, check the toggle Is Sidebar.
  4. You may also check the Sticky Sidebar to make it sticky.

Smart Blocks in Elementor

We have 12 Flexible Smart Blocks in Elementor that are extremely customizable into countless variations. You will find them under SmartMag Blocks section on the left pane of Elemnetor.

Adding a block and customizing it is quite simple:

  1. Start by adding an Elementor section with your desired columns. (If you aren't sure how, read elementor section above).
  2. Click and drag a block, for example Grid Block, and drop it into your desired column / section.
  3. You may customize the block in the left pane now. See common block customizations below.

Importing Premade Blocks

With Smart Studio, apart from Homepages, you can also import blocks and section.

  1. Click the Smart Studio button to bring up the Smart Studio popup.
  2. Use the filters on left side to navigate to Post Blocks or Home Sections (or anything else you want).
  3. Click on your desired block in the listing, and on next screen, click the Import button.
  4. Start customizing. Click on the block and it will bring up the edit panel on the left side. Set your category, heading and so on. See Common Customizations.

Common Block Customizations

We would recommend exploring and trying out the customization options under each block. The Smart Blocks are extremely flexible.

1. Setting the Category to Show Posts From

  • In the edit panel, click the Posts Source section. There are two options to limit posts to a category, From Categories and Main Category.
  • Using Main Category is recommended when it's only one category. This option uses any custom color set for this category and also uses the category link in block heading.
  • From Categories may be used any time when you need posts from multiple categories.

2. Enabling and Styling the Block Heading

Block headings can be enabled from the Heading section of edit block panel.

  • The most basic settings are to select Heading Style and enter the Heading Text.
  • Generally, using a pre-made block style is enough. The global block heading settings from Appearance > Customize > Blocks & Listings > Block Headings Style also apply.
  • Additional customization is available from the same panel in Style tab under Style: Blocks Heading section.

3. Using Section Queries

When you add multiple blocks in a section in Elementor and want them to act like a single block, for example, skipping posts already displaying in block 1, block 2 and so on, you can use our most unique feature: Section Queries.

You can set the query in the section settings. Doing so will make all the blocks under this section act as if it were one block. Here's an example video showing blocks using section query:

  • Bring up the section settings by clicking the bars icon or right click and "Edit Section". If you're unsure how to edit sections, please familiarize yourself elementor basics.
  • In the left panel, click to expand Section Query and set your category, tags or any post source like you normally would for a block.
  • Now add your blocks. Each time you add a block, in the left panel under Posts Source set Query Type to Section Query.
  • Your blocks will now use the parent section's post source settings such as any category you may have specified. The posts already displayed in a block will be skipped from the next block and so on.

Setting The Homepage

Once you have created a page that you would like to use as your homepage, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Reading.
  2. Choose "A static page" option for Front page displays.
  3. Next to Front Page, select the page you created to be used as the homepage.
  4. Save Changes.

SmartMag comes with a Smart Flexible Header customizer that lets you build your header or import and customize and premade one.

Using a Header Preset

To use a header preset:

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Header & Nav Menu > Premade Headers / Presets.
  2. Click on the header you wish to import.
  3. Start customizing and Publish.

Setting Your Logos

We recommend using two versions of the logo. One the base logo size and another 2x/retina size (twice the width and height of original) for higher resolution devices.

If your logo is large, you will also need another version for mobile devices. Since mobile devices are generally 2x/retina, only 2x version is needed.

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Site Logos.
  2. Upload your normal logo in Logo Image and the 2x version in Logo Image Retina (2x).
  3. If you have a mobile logo, upload it under Mobile Logo Retina.
    Note:
    This logo will be shown on mobile devices and in off-canvas menu.
  4. Publish to save.

Customizing Header Layout

Using about 16 elements, you can customize or build your own header layout. The header consists of 3 sections: Top Row, Main Row, and Bottom Row. Each row has 3 Columns: left, center and right.

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Header & Nav Menu > Layout: Main Header.
  2. Start by selecting the width.

    Site Width + Full BG
    This limits the header content to side width, but adds a browser width background color (if any set, or transparent)
    Full Browser Width
    The header has no wrapper so header content go to browser width.
    Site Width
    Limit header content to site width. The background color (if any), only apply till site width as well.
  3. Expand the Main Row. You can add Elements to Left-aligned, in Center or right-aligned.
  4. You may delete or reorder elements within a section (such as left).
  5. Set the height and explore several other options like color scheme, and custom colors.

Mobile Header Layout

  • For mobile header layout, go to Appearance > Customize > Header & Nav Menu > Layout: Mobile Header.
  • The same instructions from previous section are also for Mobile Header.
  • Under most Element settings, you will find a Mobile section.

Customizing Header Elements

Now that you have a basic layout, you may wish to modify the elements you added. Each of the elements have settings on the previous screen. For example, if you wish for Social Icons:

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Header & Nav Menu > Element: Social Icons.
  2. You can select the services to show, for Main Header and Mobile Header separately.

Similarly, for any Element, go to Appearance > Customize > Header & Nav Menu and navigate to the section for that element.

Adding Advertisements

If the header preset you selected shows an advertisement, it will be most likely using Text Text/HTML 1.

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Header & Nav Menu > Elements: Text/HTML.
  2. Expand the Text/HTML 1 section.
  3. Add your Ad Code or Shortcode.
  4. Publish.

However, if your current header layout doesn't have an ad element, you will have to add it to one of the sections. See customize header layout section above and add Text/HTML 1 to the appropriate Row.

If you have imported demo content, follow (a) else follow (b) to create a new menu.

(a) Existing Menu

  1. Go to to Appearance > Menus.
  2. In the "Manage Locations" area, under Main Navigation, select Main Menu. Click Save.

(b) Creating a New Menu

  1. Go to to Appearance > Menus.
  2. Click on the + button or the create a new menu link. Enter a menu name and click Create Menu.
  3. Using the Custom Links and Pages boxes at the left, add items to the menu and drag/drop to arrange them.
  4. (optional) If you would like to use this menu in navigation, in the "Manage Locations" area, under Main Navigation, select your newly created menu. Click Save.
  5. Click Save Menu and that is all.

Mega Menus

There are two types of mega menus that SmartMag is equipped with.

Links Mega Menu

The first one is used to create an organized multi-column list of links. We call it the "Links Mega Menu".

Category Mega Menu

The category mega menu is a 3 column mega menu that shows sub-categories in first column, the latest featured post in the second, and 2 recent posts in third.

Add Mega Menu

To add mega menu to your menu item:

  1. Go to to Appearance > Menus and select your menu.
  2. Expand the item you wish to add mega menu to by clicking the arrow icon.
  3. Under Mega Menu, select Mega Menu for Links or Category Mega Menu.
  4. Save Menu. Next configure sub-items (below).

Configure Mega Menu Items

To make mega-menus work, you have one additional step of adding sub-items.

For Category Mega Menu, add a few sub-categories as sub-items (drag/drop them under a parent category in menu). Example:

Links Mega Menu is configured by adding Custom Links to be used as headings. You can use 4 of these headings. Then, a 3rd-level sub-items are added which are displayed as links, under each heading. Example:

Customize Navigation Menu

You can customize the color scheme, spacing and several other settings for Navigation Menu.

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Header & Nav Menu > Navigation Menu.
  2. Customize Typography and spacing settings as needed.
  3. The navigation menu inherits the color scheme of the Header Row it was added in. In your Layout: Main Header, if Main Nav is present under a row that has color scheme set to Dark, it will use Dark Scheme.
  4. Depending on the color scheme, you will either expand Light: Navigation Colors or Dark to modify the colors.
  5. Publish.

SmartMag has breadcrumbs enabled by default on all pages but the homepage (they would be redundant on homepage). The navigation breadcrumbs not only aid in navigation but also are immensely valuable for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The default breadcrumbs have Rich Snippets built-in so more SEO is undesirable. If you use a SEO plugin like "WordPress SEO by Yoast", please do not enable the breadcrumb functionality of the plugin.

However, if you wish to disable the breadcrumbs: (NOT RECOMMENDED)

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Main Layout & Sidebar > Breadcrumbs..
  2. Click to toggle off next to Enable Breadcrumbs.
  3. Publish.

Setting up categories for this theme is no different than ordinary category setup in WordPress, however, we provide some additional layout settings.

Go to Posts > Categories and fill in the info required. To choose the correct layout, refer to the Demo.

Global Settings for All Categories

It's preferred to setup global settings from Customizer instead of setting per category.

Go to Appearance > Customize > Categories & Archives to set layouts, and featured grids for all your categories.

Per Category Settings

Category Options

Category Listing Style

There are several layout styles and options to choose from:

  1. Grid Style: 2 columns grid.
  2. Grid Style: 3 columns grid.
  3. Classic Large Style
  4. Overlay 2 Columns
  5. Overlay 3 Columns
  6. Overlay 4 Columns (For when archives layout set to full)
  7. Posts List Style
  8. Legacy Classic large

Show Sidebar?

This option allows you to set whether you would like to show the sidebar in the category listing or not.

Note It does not affect the "single post" view in the category. You can modify whether to show sidebar for a post or not for each post.

Featured Slider?

SmartMag supports featured sliders for categories. There are two options here:

  1. Show Posts Marked for Featured Slider: This will show posts that have "Featured Slider Post?" checked.
  2. Show Latest Posts: Show most recent posts in slider, ignoring "Featured Slider Post?" setting.

Category Color — Optional

SmartMag uses the category color to add an underline in the menu for the category. It's also used in homepage blocks for category headings and label colors.

Posts Per Page — Optional

By default posts per page setting from Settings > Reading is used. This option can be used to override that.

Pagination Type

  • Default uses the settings from Appearance > Customize > Categories & Archives > Pagination Type.
  • Page Numbers / Normal will set it to typical pagination with page numbers.
  • Load More will add a Load More button.
  • Infinite Scroll will automatically load more posts as user scrolls. No pagination will be shown.

Adding a new post is the same way as default WordPress installations, however, there are extra options that might need explaining.

Featured Image Size

While the theme can function without featured images, it's highly recommended that you add a featured image to each post. This not only makes your site/blog more lively but also improves user experience.

To set the featured image, use the WordPress normal method.

Important If you have existing content and featured images, you will have to install Regenerate Thumbnails plugin and run it from Tools > Regen. Thumbnails. Skipping this will make your existing images look out of proportions or stretched.

Recommended Image Size

Image size (dimensions) will depend on what type of layout you're using throughout your WordPress installation or per individual post basis. This image will not only be used on the post, but also on the category listing pages.

  • Compatible with full-width layouts: 1200px width minimum or 2400px to be fully sharp with high-res 2x devices like MacBook.
  • If you don't use Full Width layout: 788px width minimum or 1576px to be sharp on 2x devices.

Note SmartMag uses WordPress's standard cropping and resizing method.

About Retina 2x Images

Retina images are used for hi-res / hight DPI screens such as iPad, Macbook Retina and so on. For these devices, you need to upload images double the minimum dimensions above.

Supported Post Formats

Video Format

Setup your post normally and set a featured image. Copy the embed code of the video from YouTube, Vimeo or any other site that gives you video embed codes. Paste the code in the "Featured Video Code" box.

Note Videos will be resized to fit the container so you can choose a larger embed format if the video site allows you to specify size/dimensions.

SmartMag will automatically convert the first gallery inserted into a post to a gallery slider - granted "gallery" post format is checked. To use the gallery post format, same as every other post, set a featured image first.

  1. Click Add Media button.
  2. Click Create Gallery. Upload images or select from Media Library. Click Create a new gallery.
  3. Click "Insert gallery".
  4. (optional) If you wish to show thumbnails or create a static/non-slider gallery, set image captions and click Insert Gallery. Change post format to Standard.

Note To create a tiled mosaic gallery, Slim Jetpacks plugin is required.

Audio Format

WordPress supports embedding into posts by default. An audio player will be inserted into the post.

  1. Click Add Media button.
  2. Select your audio file. Once uploaded, make sure embed option is selected.
  3. Insert and Publish.

Image Format

Image format works very similar to a standard post. Just set a featured image of a recommend size and you're done.

Post Settings & Options

You will see the following post options when adding a post.

Post Options

  • Featured Slider Post? - Check this to feature this post in the homepage/category sliders.
  • Layout Style: You have the option of a layout with a sidebar on right or a full-width layout for this post.
  • Featured Video Code: As shown in the Video Format above, it's for setting a featured video for the post.
  • Custom Background Image: Available when your layout is set to Boxed in Theme Settings. This allows you to change the background image of your site for only this post.

Reviews System

The review system is pretty self-explanatory. You only have to enable it for posts that are supposed to contain to be a review.

Review Options

  • Enable Review? - Check this to enable review box for this post.
  • Display Position: You can either display the review box at top being full width, or at bottom full width.
  • Rating Type: You can use either percent or percentage format to display rating in the box.
  • Heading: A heading text can be set for the review box. If no heading text is provided, the review box header is hidden.
  • Verdict: Enter one word for verdict, such as "Awesome".
  • Verdict Summary: Enter a few line summary of the review. You can use advanced shortcodes here too.
  • Criteria: Click on Add More Criteria and fill in the Label and Rating for each Criterion that follows.

Multi-page Content Slideshow

One of the unique features in v2.3+ is a multi-page content slideshow. It's basically <!--nextpage--> feature of WordPress with enhanced functionality.

If you are new to WordPress nextpage feature, the only thing to know is that you can place a <!--nextpage--> in Text editor anywhere to split to content into multiple pages - More info here.

Once you have created a multi-page post normally, you will have to enable the slideshow feature. Follow the steps below:

  1. Edit your post and look for Post Options.
  2. Next to Multi-page Content Slideshow? select either "AJAX - No Refresh" or "Multi-page" option (explanation below).
  3. Save your post. That's all. Your slidehow will be split based on <!--nextpage-->.

Note It's recommended to check "Disable Featured?" for posts of this type.

AJAX or Multi-Page?

There are two options available. AJAX option prevents a page refresh so the content will be loaded via AJAX. This may be good or bad depending on your personal usage.

A site looking for more advertising views will want to use the Multi-page option to register more views. Whereas, a dynamic website wishing to make things faster for users will want to use the AJAX option.

Shortcodes

Most of the shortcodes you will need are added to the GUI Shortcode Generator. Click the "Shortcodes" button while adding a post to see a list of generator-based shortcodes. There are a few layout related shortcodes that will not be listed there.

For more info, refer to the Shortcodes section of the docs.

Creating pages is a simple process just like a default WordPress install. If you're unsure, learn more about pages.

If you're looking to build your homepage, head to Homepage Section.

Page Templates

Page Templates

  1. Default: The default page has a container.
  2. Pagebuilder - No Paddings & Full Width: This is the recommended template for Page Builder, mainly to create Homepage.
  3. Pagebuilder: This is a template to be used with Page Builder when you need top and bottom paddings or when making a simpler Homepage with blocks on left and the Right sidebar.
  4. Authors List: Use this template to create a list of site authors.
  5. Legacy Templates: These only exist for backward compatibility. We don't recommend them anymore.

Add a Contact Page

Setting up a contact page requires that you install the "Contact Form 7" (go to Appearance > Install Plugins if you have not already installed it).

First create a contact form:

  1. Go to Contact and edit the default contact form (Contact Form 1).
  2. Edit the "Mail" settings to suit your needs and Save
  3. For more information, refer to Contact Form 7's FAQ and Docs.
  4. Go to Contact again and copy the code liste under Shortcode column.
  5. Go to Pages > Add New. Add your page content and paste the shortcode where you would like your contact form to appear.

Adding Google Maps to Contact Page

To add Google Maps:

  1. Go to Google Maps.
  2. Find the desired location and in the left pane, click Link icon (it's to the right side of "My places" button, next to print icon).
  3. Click customize and preview embedded map. Set settings as desired and the copy the HTML code.
  4. Edit your page and go to Text editor (next to Visual). Paste your code and Publish.

Custom Sidebars

Details in Sidebars & Widgets section.

Authors List

To create a page with the list of authors, simply create a normal page and use Authors List as Page Template.

SmartMag comes equipped with several custom widgets but also styles many of the default widgets in several locations.

Custom Widgets

SmartMag - About
A widget to display an image/logo and a description of your site/blog. Recommended for footer.
SmartMag - Flickr
Display a configurable number of flickr photos from your account with configurable sorting options. Recommended for footer.
SmartMag - Latest Posts
Show posts in a small style. Defaults to latest posts but can use any of the query filters. Suitable for main sidebar and footer.
SmartMag - Reviews (Basic)
Just a pre-configured basic version of Latest Posts widget, with review posts filter pre-applied.
SmartMag - Social Follow & Counters
Show your social profiles with, optionally, followers count.
SmartMag - Ads / Codes
Add advertisement or any other 3rd party widget JS/HTML code. Advance features like different ad for AMP.
SmartMag - Newsletter
Show the newsletter subscription form, in several styles.
"SmartMag Block" Widgets
3 of the the listing blocks suitable for sidebar or footer usage.
"SmartMag Legacy" Widgets
Older widgets for backward compatibility that we no longer recommend, but may still be used.

How to use widgets

  1. Go to Appearance > Widgets.
  2. Main Sidebar is the main right sidebar and Footer (3 widgets columns) is the large footer. Expand the box at right, where you would like to place your widget, by clicking on the arrow icon next to it.
  3. Drag & drop the widget you wish to use, in the expanded area below the box (Main Sidebar for example).
  4. Fill in the information necessary and click Save.

SmartMag Newsletter Widget - Mailchimp

The included subscribe form relies on Mailchimp - the industry standard for managing mailing lists. You can either manually send newsletters or use their RSS to Email guide to automatically send newsletters campaigns. But before that, you need to create an email list by integrating it to your blog subscribe form.

  1. First make sure you have configured MailChimp. Go to Configure Mailchimp section to configure it.
  2. Now simply add the SmartMag Newsletter widget to your Main Sidebar widget area.
  3. You may wish to modify the Subscribe Message for your audience.
  4. Save.

Sidebars are increasingly being used for prominent content but as the user scrolls, the sidebar goes out of the view. The solution is Sticky Sidebar.

Sticky sidebar makes your sidebar widgets always visible as the user scrolls, until they reach the footer. To activate:

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Main Layout & Sidebar.
  2. Ensure the Sticky Sidebar toggle is enabled.
  3. Publish.

Note: These settings do not apply to the Homepage. You have to enable the sticky sidebar in your homepage using Elementor. See this section to learn more.

Single Sticky Widget

What if you don't want your whole sidebar, but only the last widget to be always visible/sticky? The solution is a great lightweight plugin named Q2W3 Fixed Widget.

Once you have installed it, you have to configure it to work properly with SmartMag:

  1. Go to Appearance > Fixed Widget Options. Next to Screen Max Width, enter 1024.
  2. For Margin Bottom, enter 460 - this is your footer height. You may have to increase or decrease it based on your footer height.
  3. Save Changes.

Next, to make a widget sticky:

  1. Go to Appearance > Widgets. Click to expand your sidebar (for instance "Main Sidebar").
  2. Add your desired widget at lowest position. While adding, check the Fixed Widget checkbox.
  3. Save.

WARNING This only works for the last widget in a sidebar.

Custom Sidebars

SmartMag relies on Custom Sidebars plugin to offer this functionality. This means your sidebars will be safe even if you decide to switch the theme. It's recommended by the Theme to be installed but if you haven't installed it yet, install it from Appearance > Install Plugins (not visible if plugin already installed).

Go to Appearance > Widgets and Create a new sidebar.

Next, simply add/edit a post or page and you should have a Sidebars box at the right side where you can select your sidebar from a drop-down list. Generally, you only want to replace Main Sidebar.

Using on categories, tags archives, search, and other archives

  1. Go to Appearance > Widgets. Click arrow to expand the sidebar you wish to use on a category.
  2. Click Sidebar Location link. You should see this:
  3. Click to expand For Archives.
  4. For categories, click on Category Archive tab.
  5. For other archives like custom taxonomies, search, tag archives etc. click on Archive Types.
  6. Check "As Main Sidebar for selected"... and click on the input box to select your categories or archives types.
  7. Save Changes.

Social Followers Widget

The social followers widget is a simple drag/drop widget that's enabled when Sphere Core plugin is active. The widget name is SmartMag Social Follow.

To configure the social follow icons, head to Appearance > Customize > Social Follow & Count.

Note: Please note if you wish to use counters, automatic count isn't possible for all services. Instead, you can enter the count using the field Manual Count under the service settings. The webhost may be blocking the service or the service might be blocking the webhost and in those cases, manual count is also helpful.

Social Follower Counters

If you have enabled the followers counters, you will need to set up API keys for the following. Other services either work without API or require Manual Count.

Setting Numbers / Counters Manually

As not all services support automatic count, and sometimes the connection might be blocked by webhost or the service might block the webhost, you may have to use manual count instead. To set manual counters:

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Social Follow & Count.
  2. Click to expand a service settings, for example Twitter.
  3. On the screen, enter the number manually in the field Manual Count.
  4. Publish. You may have to refresh the page to see the results.

Twitter Social Counters

  1. Go to https://apps.twitter.com/app/new. Note that you will have to be logged into your relevant twitter account.
  2. Fill in the details name, description and website. And Create your Twitter application.
  3. Once the app is created, go to Keys and Access Tokens tab and copy the Consumer Key and Consumer Secret.
  4. Enter these details at Appearance > Customize > Social Follow & Count > Twitter.

YouTube Social Counters

  1. Go to https://console.developers.google.com/project and click Create Project (or browse an existing project).
  2. Once the project is created, under YouTube APIs, click YouTube Data API. Enable it from the next screen.
  3. After Enabling it, from left navigation, click Credentials.
  4. Click Create Credentials button and from the drop-down, choose API Key.
  5. Enter this API Key at Appearance > Customize > Social Follow & Count > YouTube.

Both the color/style and typography settings are located in Customizer.

Color & Style

Customizing the Colors & Backgrounds

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Color & Typography.
  2. Usually you may wish to only change Main Theme Color from General. This will effect several crucial areas of the theme and acts more like a skin.
  3. If the Main Color changes are not enough, adjust other colors as you please.
  4. You can also adjust logo padding from Header section.
  5. Several other color settings are within the specific sections in Customizer. For example, to modify Navigation colors, Headers & Nav section has relevant color settings.
  6. Save & Publish.

Typography

For typography, we use Google Web Fonts. It's usually best to leave the typography at default, but typography elements have suggested font families or fonts as alternatives.

Additionally, even if you desired Google Font isn't in the list, you can click on Font fields and type the name of any font from Google Fonts directory. You will be presented with the option to Add and use that font as shown below.

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Typography > Fonts & Sizes.
  2. Select a font you like as the Primary Font, Heading Font etc.
  3. Experiment to get the best effect - the preview is updated instantly on the right.
  4. Save & Publish.

Using System Fonts

To use system fonts, you will have to go to Appearance > Customize > Colors & Typography > Global Typography and set the Primary and Secondary fonts to use one of the system fonts stack from the dropdown list (bottom of list).

Additionally, you will have to go through all the Customizer typography related settings under each section, where customized. For example, if a custom font was set for a block heading or Headings Font, you will have to change it to system fonts as well.

TypeKit/Adobe Fonts

We fully support TypeKit/Adobe Fonts. Using TypeKit is similar to using Google Fonts above, with a few more steps.

  1. Create your Adobe Fonts project by following this guide (Skip step relating to adding CSS code in head)
  2. Note your Project ID from the guide above. You can also find this ID under My Adobe Fonts > Web Projects. Copy this Project ID.
  3. Go to Appearance > Customize > Colors & Typography > Adobe Fonts / TypeKit.
  4. Paste your Adobe Fonts Project ID.
  5. Next, you will have to enter the desired font name in under the relevant Typography setting. Adobe font names usually have to be named in the following format: brandon-grotesque. This is same as adding a custom Google Font name as explained here.
  6. Save & Publish.

About Character Sets — Advanced

Non-latin script based languages will not display correctly when using the default fonts. This is because, to limit size, only latin charset is included by default.

To get the fonts to display correctly, you will have to tick the character sets for your language from Appearance > Customize > Typography > Advanced. Some latin-based languages required Latin Extended.

SmartMag supports MailChimp with the subscribe widgets and blocks, by default. Custom codes provided by other services are also supported, but MailChimp has the best integration with the theme.

Configuring MailChimp

  1. Register and login at Mailchimp and go to Audience > Create Audience and fill in the info (if you haven't already created one).
  2. Click Signup Forms in the left navigation and click on the audience list you previously created.
  3. Click on the Signup Forms tab.
  4. On the next page, click on Embedded Forms.
  5. Select and copy the code under Copy/paste onto your site.
  6. It's recommended to use global Mailchimp settings to reuse the same setting in multiple widgets, so we'll do that below.
  7. Go to your WordPress Admin, Appearance > Customize > Newsletter / Subscribe.
  8. Paste the code you copied previously, under MailChimp Submit URL.
  9. Publish settings.

Next, add a a Newsletter widget to the sidebar or add it in Elementor page builder to your homepage.

SmartMag is well optimized for general performance but there are several steps you can do to make it even faster:

Lazy Load Images

Lazy load is a built-in theme feature in SmartMag that loads images as the user scrolls on the home, category listings, archives etc. - basically images are loaded as needed. This saves bandwidth and speeds up the first load. To enable Lazy Load:

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Performance.
  2. Tick LazyLoad Images.
  3. If you use Instagram widget or have sidebar widgets with large images, also tick Aggressive Lazy Load.
  4. Save.

Optimize Images

There are countless great options to optimize images for WordPress. You can refer to this comparison article for the options. Some premium plugins like ShortPixel offer a generous free quota per month as well.

If you want to go even more advanced, we recommend using WebP Express plugin. WebP is the latest technology that offers lowest size at same quality. However, it doesn't work with Cloudflare and some other CDN providers.

Intermediate: Use A Cache Plugin

We recommend using W3 Total Cache for your caching needs. If you know how to use a cache plugin, you may use any like WP Super Cache or WPRocket etc.

Not For Beginners Don't add a caching unless you have some WordPress experience.

  1. Install and activate the plugin W3 Total Cache.
  2. Go to Performance > General Settings.
  3. Next to Page Cache: tick Enable and set page cache method to Disk: Enhanced.

  4. Next to Browser Cache: tick Enable.

  5. Click Save All Settings.
  6. Go to Performance > Browser Cache and ensure Set expires header, Set Last-Modified header and Enable HTTP (gzip) compression are ticked.

  7. Click Save All Settings.

Debloat: Minifiy & Improve CSS/JS Delivery

One biggest performance gains, after cache plugin, can come from improving CSS and JS delivery. We have well-tested, custom-made tight integration with Debloat plugin.

  1. Install the plugin Debloat from SmartMag > Install Plugins.
  2. Go to Settings > Debloat: Optimize.
  3. Now optimize CSS and JS as explained below.

1. Optimize CSS

On the main settings under Optimize CSS tab, we suggest enabling all the optimizations.

2. Optimize JS

Click on the Optimize JS next and enable all settings under Optimize JS. Tick Defer Javascript and other settings will enable.

3. Delay Load JS

Under delay load section, tick to enable Delay Javascript. Rest of defaults should be auto-enabled.

Third Party Services

If you use a lot of third party services, you will have to add them to delay load as they can cause a lot of delay. For each of the service below that you do use, copy the code and paste it (one per line) in Target Scripts field.

Note Google Adsense will be delayed load by default. A few others like twitter widget are also delayed by default.

  • Facebook Chat: facebook-jssdk
  • New Google Analytics (or Google Tag Manager): googletagmanager.com
  • Old Google Analytics (or Google Tag Manager): gtag.js OR analytics.js

4. Remove Unused CSS

This is an advanced feature yet due to our custom integration with SmartMag, the theme's unused CSS removal will be simple enough. All you have to do is enable it as follows. Tick Remove Unused CSS and Enable for Theme CSS.

WARNING Do not enable this if you don't have a cache plugin.

This should be generally trouble-free. If you use a Child theme with Custom CSS that's causing issues, you can exclude it next to Exclude Stylesheets like this:

5. ADVANCED: Further Unused CSS

Note There usually is little benefit from removing too much of CSS unless you have really bad plugins doing hundreds of KBs of CSS. So this is usually unnecessary. It's better to focus on other optimizations.

If you're an advance user with some CSS / dev tools knowledge, looking for that extra snappiness, you can enable Remove CSS feature for your plugins, or even everything.

But keep this in mind: For anything dynamic created using Javascript, the CSS will be missing. You will have to find out correct classes and add them to Always Keep Selectors or Conditionally Keep Selectors features.

Finally, there's also a way to load all of the original CSS with a delay using the Delay load Original CSS feature. This will speed up initial render and load rest of the CSS before user starts interacting with the page. Using this method, precise effort of using Keep Selector feature can be avoided.

(Old/Alternate Plugin) Autoptimize for CSS/JS Delivery

WARNING We recommend Debloat plugin instead explained above. This is for Advanced users only. DO NOT use both plugins.

Minification and merging of all the assets of WordPress, plugins and theme can improve delivery of data by reducing size, improving compression, and sending all the data in one request instead of multple ones. You will need a free plugin named Autoptimize for this.

  1. Install the plugin Autoptimize from Plugins > Add New.
  2. Go to Settings > Autoptimize.
  3. For older versions of Autoptimize: Click the Show Advanced Settings button at top right.
  4. Under Javascript Options, tick Optimize Javascript Code and configure as shown in image below.

    For max performance, you can remove all scripts under "Exclude scripts from Autoptimize:" but this might break some plugins - only enable it after everything else is tested.

  5. Under CSS Options, tick Optimize CSS Code.

    For max performance, tick all the settings as below including: Aggregate CSS-files, Aggregate Inline CSS, and Inline all CSS.

  6. Click Save Changes and Empty Cache button.

Advanced: Disable Elementor Assets

SmartMag demos, by default, don't need many of the assets Elementor loads. Unless you're using some of the built-in Elementor widgets, these can be safely disabled.

Frontend JS will be needed for some of non-SmartMag Elementor blocks that use video APIs, lightbox, or custom sliders. Some like Swiper may also need the frontend modules.

Animations assets are only needed if you use Advanced "Motion Effect" in Elementor for a widget or section.

Share Links is only necessary for the non-recommended Elementor social block.

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > Performance.
  2. Tick all the assets under Disable Elementor Assets that you don't use.
  3. Publish and clear caches.

Note This section assumes you already have WooCommerce Plugin activated. If you do not yet know how to use WooCommerce, please use WooCommerce's Documentation to familiarize yourself.

Sample Content

SmartMag uses the WooCommerce's default sample content. Follow the official WooCommerce Dummy Data guide.

Please note, on demo, for the Shop Sidebar example, we're using a custom sidebar with two widgets: WooCommerce Price Filter, and WooCommerce Top Rated Products.

The Default Shop Pages

SmartMag fully uses WooCommerce's internal pages. When WooCommerce is activated, it will create Shop, Cart, Checkout and My Account pages. These are normal WordPress pages that you can edit just like any other page.

Sidebar and Layout Settings

By default, the WooCommerce integration will have right sidebar for the shop page and full width for other pages like cart, product etc.

Sidebar for Shop Page

  1. Go to WordPress Admin > Pages and edit your Shop page. If you're not usre what's your shop page, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Products and you will find the shop page name next to Shop page.
    » More info on WC pages
  2. Once on edit page screen, under Page Options, you can set your desired Layout Type to full width or have a sidebar.
  3. Save the page

Change Sidebar for Pages

This feature requires SmartMag v5.4 or later.

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize > WooCommerce/Shop.
  2. Select Right Sidebar setting under "Pages Sidebar".
  3. Publish.

Adding Sidebar Widgets

A special widget area Shop Sidebar is used for WooCommerce, when a sidebar is enabled.

  1. Go to Appearance > Widgets.
  2. Add widgets to the sidebar/widget area named Shop Sidebar.

Change Layout for Selective WooCommerce Pages

Sometimes you may wish to disable the sidebar for only some pages, such as the "Checkout" page. You can disable the sidebar selectively for pages.

  1. Go to Pages > All Pages. Locate and edit one of the WooCommerce shop page such as Shop, Cart, Checkout or My Account.
  2. Edit the page normally and under Page Options box, next to Layout Style, select Full Width.
  3. Save your page.

Tip The page named "Shop" is used for all product listings so you may change its sidebar settings to affect all product listing pages/archives.

SmartMag can be used with bbPress with fully compatibility offered since version 1.5.

Note This section assumes you already have bbPress Forum Plugin activated.

Adding Categories & Forums

SmartMag's default bbPress layout is based on traditional forum hierarchy. You need to create categories and forums.

Create categories:

  1. Go to Forums > New Forum.
  2. Enter the required info and on the right side, under Forum Attributes, select Category next to "Type".
  3. Publish.

Create forums:

  1. Go to Forums > New Forum.
  2. Enter the required info and on the right side, under Forum Attributes, next to Parent, select the category you created in the instructions above.
  3. Publish.

Login Widget for Sidebar

Please make sure to sure (bbPress) SmartMag Login Widget for the sidebar. There's another widget with a similar name. Make sure the one you use has the name SmartMag in it.

If you're considering activating AMP on your site, make sure you're aware of the pros and cons of doing so. Google AMP can help your articles get better ranking but there are also drawbacks.

With Google AMP, your site is served through a Google's CDN under their frame. And it's a limited tech meaning it doesn't support Javascript so a lot of your plugins will not be available in AMP mode. Check our these articles to learn more:

Search Engine Journal: Does Your Website Need Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?
Moz: Should you AMP-lify your site?

About Bunyad AMP Plugin

We have done our best to make SmartMag fully compatible with AMP. Our Bunyad AMP plugin is based on AMP for WordPress plugin (joint effort by Automattic and Google Engineers), with our unique features to preserve all your site's original branding - logo, colors, look and feel - even in the AMP mode.

As with all AMP plugins, there are a few basic requirements to keep in mind. First, you need a good quality webhosting provider and setup a proper cache plugin.

You also have to know that any illegal Javascript code from 3rd party plugins like a slider or gallery plugin, will be removed from AMP mode. The AMP technology does not allow Javascript.

Setting Up Bunyad AMP

Bunyad AMP with SmartMag does not require any configuration. All you have to do is install and activate it.

  • Go to SmartMag > Install Plugins. Under Optional / Advanced plugins, you will find Bunyad AMP.
  • Click Install (or Activate).
  • Visit a post/article from your site and you should notice the View AMP link in the admin bar. Or you can simply add ?amp to any URL to access its AMP version.
  • Once you have verified it works, verify that it's validating. Visit the Google AMP validator and enter the URL from previous step.
  • If the validation fails, read below.
  • For any shortcode provided by a plugin that's used in a post, try the validation process on that post.
  • Important Using a cache plugin when AMP is enabled isn't optional. Using AMP without a cache plugin will not provide the speed benefits AMP offers and will only hurt your performance. Please refer to our performance guide and setup a cache plugin.

Failed Validation

If the validation fails, go through the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Go to Plugins and temporarily deactivate all plugins other than these: Bunyad AMP, Sphere Core, SmartMag Core, Elementor.
  • Since cache will interfere with the process, make sure to disable any cache plugin or webhost provided cache feature (or empty cache on each attempt).
  • Try the validation again. If it succeeds, start enabling your plugins again until you find the offender.
  • Any code you have pasted into a Widget, or inserted via some other means can also cause conflict. Try to find and temporarily remove such code(s) and try again.

Once you have identified a problem plugin, you will either have to find an alternative or contact the developer of the plugin. Unfortunately, in some cases, it's simply not possible for plugins to be AMP compatible due to limitations imposed by AMP technology (such as no Javascript allowed).

About Cache Plugins

Most popular cache plugins will cache the AMP just fine. However, a few cache plugins may not cache AMP when using the default URL scheme. To workaround this:

  1. Go to AMP > Settings. Click to expand Paired URL Structure.
  2. Click on Path suffix: /amp/ option.
  3. Save Settings and Clear Caches.

SmartMag comes with .po/.pot file included under the smart-mag/languages folder. The front-end strings are in bunyad.pot file. While the back-end strings are in bunyad-admin.pot. To translate front-end:

Easy Method You may use the Loco Translate plugin instead for an easy GUI translation instead of using PoEdit. Or you can use the WordPress default way explained below.

  1. Download and install Poedit.
  2. Open bunyad.pot in Poedit. Translate as needed.
  3. Save the file with the ISO language code locale. You can check this list (look under "WP Locale") to find the locale. If your locale is en_GB In this case, you would save your file as en_GB.po
  4. Step above should have generated a .po and an .mo file. Copy both these files under the wp-content/themes/smart-mag/languages folder.
  5. Go to Settings > General and select your language next to Site Language.
  6. Save a backup of these files somewhere safe. If you upgrade the theme from WordPress admin, the language files will have to be re-uploaded.

If you wish to translate the backend too, you will have to follow the same steps as above but the filename will be prefixed with bunyad-admin-. Example: bunyad-admin-en_GB.po

RTL Version

For languages that read from right-to-left unlike English which is left-to-right, SmartMag will automatically switch to an RTL style, as long as you it's in your language and uses the correct locale (as explained above).

Multilingual Sites

For multilingual sites, the best way is to purchase the WPML Plugin. SmartMag is compatible with the plugin.

When using WPML, we recommend you use Display the language switcher in the WP Menu option and select Main Menu. This will display the languages drop down menu in the main navigation menu.

If you are looking for layout customizations beyond the Style & Typography settings built into the theme, it's important to judge the nature of customization.

If it's a simple layout change, it's very likely achievable by using different Shortcodes or Custom CSS. However, for something not possible using either of these, a child theme is recommended.

Child Theme

WPBeginner has a great article on How to create a WordPress Child Theme. Use Template: smart-mag instead of twentyeleven.

Also, use @import url("../smart-mag/style.css"); in the CSS file to import parent stylesheet.

Demo Images Authors creative commons, not included

  • Demo Images (Not Included): (flickr CC-BY-2.0) Yasser Alghofily, Daniel Zedda, Jonathan Kos-Read, Alejandro Pinto, Jim H., Luis Hernandez, William Cho, Lucas Zallio, Mark Sebastian, Lies Thru a Lens.

Other Resources Used