This documentation has been last updated on November 25, 2012.
Journal is a simple, yet fully-featured WordPress theme geared towards the avid blogger and Internet content collector. It allows you to express your thoughts, images, and other media in a pleasant and easy to navigate way. Oh, and it’s responsive & Retina-ready too. That’s a thing now.
Journal is a premium WordPress theme designed & developed by PixelBin for sale exclusively at ThemeForest. If you have acquired access to the theme through means other than ThemeForest or its affiliates, you are in knowing and willing possession of illegally-obtained copyrighted material. This theme documentation is publicly available exclusively for our customers’ convenience only.
Installing the Theme
Installation is a cinch. First and foremost, to install this theme, you need to have a working version of WordPress. If you are no familiar with installing WordPress, it is best to visit the official WordPress documentation on installation. You then have two ways to install Journal on your installation:
- FTP Upload: Using your FTP application of choice, upload the journal folder into the /wp- content/themes/ folder in your new WordPress installation.
- WordPress Upload: For this method to work, you must upload the correct .zip file. A common mistake is to upload the .zip you downloaded from ThemeForest. Instead, you must unzip that file and look for another .zip file named journal.zip and upload that. Once you find it, navigate to Appearance > Add New Themes > Upload. Go to browse, and select the zipped theme folder. Hit “Install Now” and the theme will be installed.
Once the theme is successfully uploaded, go to Apperance > Themes and activate the theme. Congratulations, the hardest part is now done!
Working with Post Formats
Journal conveniently comes with multiple post formats including the standard one, quote, link, video, audio, image, and gallery. Each has its own set of meta options which you must fill out in order to display the post correctly. You also get some control over whether you would like the featured image to point to the post or the larger version of the image, along other actions.
Journal does not currently offer support for self-hosted video and audio due to reasons including unjustified bloat, incompatibility with all platforms, among others, but you are free to embed any videos or audio players hosted elsewhere, such as YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Grooveshark, among many others. These videos and audio players will smoothly resize to look great on all of your devices!
Additionally, by default, each post format will have its own defaults as to display the post title and excerpt or not. You can override these defaults in the appropriate meta box for each individual post, or you can leave it as is because the theme is optimized to show the appropriate details for each format.
Adding a Navigation
Journal features a single navigation area which is located in the header. This area allows for a single drop-down menu and unlimited links in such menu, but limited primary link width. The good news is that it’s very easy to set up and not much different to other themes you may have used!
Navigate to Appearance > Menus, type in a name for the navigation in the box next to “Menu Name” and then hit “Create Menu”.
Next, click on the single drop-down menu marked with a “Primary Navigation” label on the left side of the user interface and choose your new navigation. Hit “Save” and you’re done! Your new navigation is ready to go.
Widgetizing Your Sidebar
In addition to the stock WordPress widgets which come with any installation, Journal offers 4 additional widgets for your convenience, which will be detailed below. All of these widgets include a caching mechanism which prevent the widget from going over the API limit of each service (unless the API changes) and that all data pulled from these services is stored on your server, reducing page load time.
The Dribbble widget pulls the latest shots from a specific account on Dribbble. It only requires the Dribbble account’s username and the number of shots to pull.
The Twitter widget (you guessed it) pulls the latest tweets from a specific account on Twitter. It automatically links hashtags, mentions, stocks, and other Twitter-specific links to their appropriate content. In addition, there is an optional relative timestamp. The widget only requires a Twitter username.
The Flickr widget pulls the latest photos from a specified Flickr account ID, whether it be a pool or an individual account. It requires two things: the ID of the account you are interested in (e.g. 75704569@N07) and your own API key which you can by following these few steps:
- Sign in to Flickr.com and go to “Account”
- Go to “Sharing and Extending” in the tabbed navigation
- Go down the page and find “API Keys” and generate a new one (choose non-commercial if your site is personal)
- Copy and paste the API key into the widget option asking for it
And that’s it! You should be ready to go and your photos should display correctly. If you are having trouble finding the ID of the account you are interested in pulling photos from, try using idgettr.
The video widget actually accepts embed codes for both videos and audio players from sites like SoundCloud and Grooveshark, contrary to the widget’s title. It accepts both legacy object and modern iframe videos with no problem, automatically resizing them appropriately so you don’t have to worry about that. In addition, you can include a short description of the video if you’d like.
Customizing Your Theme
Journal comes with a basic theme options page, powered by Options Framework, which includes the most popular alterations to the visual and functional aspect of the theme. To customize your theme, go to Appearance > Theme Options and familiarize yourself with the options through the descriptions to the right.
The theme comes in two distinct color schemes, light and dark, which can be changed in the theme options page. In addition, you can alter the background and the accent color used throughout the site entirely from the theme options. You are provided with some designer-chosen preset colors but you can also choose your unique color from a colorpicker — it’s up to you. Finally, you have an option for a custom logo upload and a few functionality changes including relative or absolute time stamps, search filtering, AJAX pagination, among several others.
Journal was built on the basis of keeping everything very lightweight, bloat-free, and functional. We are not believers of the 1000-option theme option page, nor will we provide every feature under the sun. The theme is built as a great base for customizability using basic CSS skills, as there are no images or graphics involved in the site’s design. We hope you understand and enjoy the few options provided as these are the essentials, and not the extra unnecessary bloat.
Here at PixelBin, we are firm believers that content should be separated from the theme and therefore, shortcodes shouldn’t be part of themes at all. Instead, this functionality should come with great WordPress plugins which will display consistently even if you decide to switch themes down the road.
With that being said, there are no shortcodes included in Journal by default but there is no reason to fret. Journal is 100% compatible with ThemeZilla‘s excellent and free ZillaShortcodes plugin which will offer a variety of shortcodes including buttons, columns, alert boxes, and much more. We think this is a much better alternative as you are not stuck with just one plugin: you can pick and choose whatever shortcodes you’d like from thousands of WordPress plugins.
Well, that’s all for the documentation, folks. The reason it’s so short is because the theme is truly simple to use — there is absolutely no learning curve or things you (probably) haven’t seen before so it should be a breeze to setup.