Events is a complete WordPress theme for building a professional conference, festival or other event website, with extensive options for creating agendas, highlighting speakers, sponsors and schedules, as well as managing ticket sales thanks to Eventbrite integration; this powerful system allows you to create a ticket and attendee list for each talk or conference at your event which your attendees can register or purchase tickets for. This guide will help you get the most from our theme, from the initial install to adding your own content.
This guide is split into two major sections, selectable via the tabs at the top of this page; Installation and Customization. The Installation offers all the information you'll need to get started, whether you're starting a new site from scratch and want to use our quickstart package or have an existing site with its own content that you want to preserve. Step-by-step instructions are provided so you'll find it easy to get started and match our live demo.
The Customization tab covers the major things you'll need to know to make this theme your own, with explanations on theme settings, shortcodes, and answers to common customization questions.
On the right-hand side of each tabbed section are quick links to the various sections for easy navigation. We generally advise that the Installation section should be read in order, skipping sections where necessary; someone who uses the quickstart will not need to worry about the manual installation section, for example. The Customization section may be read in any order and each section does not necessarily require knowledge of the previous section, so you may jump to whichever section you want to work on.
The Theme's Structure
Events is the first of our major theme releases to abandon the GavernWP framework and instead move the majority of the theme's options into the WordPressTheme Customizer. This provides a major benefit for our users, and the Customizer includes a live preview so that changes to the settings may be seen as they happen.
In terms of structure, the Event frontpage is created using pages, much like our Storefront theme. However, rather than using subpages of subpages to define sections we are instead using specially-created shortcodes and custom HTML in each page to define the section. For example, the Frontpage page's text is used to create the header's text overlay, whilst the background image is set in the theme settings. More information regarding the available shortcodes and how they work may be found in the Customization section of this guide.
The "Frontpage" page template acts as the core of the homepage; its content is used to create the header content, and any subpages that are added to it will be displayed under the header in order. For example, if I have a Frontpage page and an Upcoming Events page, then the actual homepage will consist of the header from the Frontpage first, with the Upcoming Events content underneath. If I then add a third page, its content will be displayed under the Upcoming Events section.
Choose Your Installation Option
There are 2 methods for installing this theme; which one you should use depends on the current status of your website.
If you are starting a brand-new site from scratch on an empty server, or you are deleting your old site and starting afresh, then Quickstart installation is the option for you.
The quickstart package allows you to perform a full install of WordPress along with the theme, plugins, configuration and sample content to match our demo layout exactly, ready for you to add your own content. The drawback is that the quickstart package cannot be installed in an existing WordPress installation; this is a full install of WordPress and the install location on your server must be clean, with no WordPress installed.
If you've got an existing WordPress site with content, plugins, users or other settings that you don't want to lose then Manual Installation is the install method you should use.
The Manual Installation method involves more steps than the quickstart package, but it is still an easy process. The core difference is that you must install the theme package only, rather than the quickstart. The theme package includes the PHP and CSS code that makes the theme function, but doesn't include the plugins or demo content, which will need to be installed after the theme.
If you've decided which installation option will be best for you, move on to the appropriate section, either the Quickstart Installation or Manual Installation, by scrolling down or using the links on the right side of the screen.
Quickstart Installation Guide
The quickstart installation is a very simple process, and once the files are on your server it only takes a few minutes to get everything setup and matching the theme's live demo.
Before starting the installation process you will need FTP access to your server, along with a database name and a username and password for it. We have a step-by-step guide to the installation, with explanations of what you will need in our documentation, available here:
Manual Installation Guide
Since Event's frontpage is based on page content, manually installing and configuring the theme is very rapid compared to earlier widget-heavy designs. By importing the theme's demo content the majority of the work will be taken care of, but there are still some elements that will need to be manually set-up once the content is installed such as sidebar widgets.
Preparing for Theme Installation
When a new theme is installed it changes many aspects of the WordPress backend, in particular, widgets may be moved between sections. For example, if your current theme has a "Header" widget position and the new theme you wish to install does not, then the widgets placed in the Header position will be moved automatically to another widget area of the new theme. This can cause issues with how the theme is displayed, so we recommend that any widgets that you currently have published are moved to the "Inactive Widgets" section of the widget page so that they may be re-added later:
Or deleted entirely if you're not intending to use them in your new version of the site.
There are a set of 5 steps that need to be completed to install the theme and match the demo layout;
Download and Install the Theme
First off, you’ll need to download the theme files. Head over to the Event theme download section you will see three download options for the theme:
gk_events.zip – This is the basic theme package for installing the theme in an existing installation.
gk_events_quickstart.zip – This is a full installation of WordPress that can be used to match the demo layout on a new installation. Since we are installing manually, we can ignore this file.
gk_events_rest_files.zip – This is an additional package that includes the source PSD PhotoShop files for our Developer members; this is not required for theme installation, so feel free to ignore this.
After downloading the gk_events.zip, login to your WordPress backend and click on Appearance → Themes. This will take you to the theme page.
Click on ‘Add New’ at the top of the page. This will open the ‘Add Themes’ page.
- Click on ‘Upload Theme’, again at the top of the page.
You will see a dialogue explaining that you may upload a theme in .zip format. Click on ‘Choose File’ and select your recently-downloaded gk_events.zip, then click the ‘Install Now’ button.
Let WordPress run through the install process. When it is finished it will ask if you want to Live Preview, Activate or Return to Themes page; click ‘Activate’.
Install the Plugins
GavickPro's plugins can be used to diversify your content;
- News Show Pro can create article previews from your posts,
- Tabs can create tabbed areas that can display other widgets,
- Widget Rules plugin gives you full control over what pages and posts a widget appears in.
Once the theme is installed and activated you will see a message at the top of the screen that advises which plugins are required and which are recommended for the theme:
Click on the “Begin installing plugins” link under this message; you will be taken to the “Install Required Plugins” screen.
Here you will see a list of the plugins that need to be installed and activated. Click in the tickbox to the left of the “Plugin” title to add a tick to every plugin, then in the “Bulk Actions” drop-down list, select “Install” and click Apply.
- WordPress will go through the installation process for each plugin; let it run through. Once it finishes, you will see the option to “Return to Required Plugins Installer”; click on this.
- Now you’re back on the “Install Require Plugins” page we need to activate all your newly-installed plugins. Click on the tickbox next to the “Plugin” title to add a tick to all items again, and change the “Bulk Actions” drop-down list option to “Activate”. then click “Apply”.
- After a few seconds the page will update and you’ll see a message that the plugins were activated successfully
Import the Demo Content
The demo content is where the magic happens with Events; since pages are the base for the majority of the theme's content, by installing the demo content you are also essentially installing the frontpage, event information and more. This step is imperative if you want to match the demo layout exactly. You can do this manually by adding pages one by one, but this is an unnecessary delay when the demo content will do it for you, unless you are intending to diversify your content and frontpage away from the base layout.
Before starting the import process, we’ll need to ensure that the importer for WordPress content has been installed. To do so, follow these steps:
Log-in to your WordPress backend and click on Tools → Import in the left menu. You will see a list of systems that can import posts into WordPress, such as Blogger, Blogroll etc…
Click on WordPress, as we are going to be importing posts and other content from the demo installation. This will open a pop-up that will allow you to install the WordPress Importer plugin.
- Read through the description to see what things can be imported; posts, categories, comments, custom fields and more are included. Once ready, click on ‘Install Now’ at the bottom right of the pop-up.
WordPress will download and install the plugin package from the WordPress.org repository; once complete, you’ll be given the option of activating and opening the plugin, or returning to the list of importer options. Click on ‘Activate Plugin and Run Importer’.
The importer will open, and you will be able to choose an import file. Since we don’t have anything to import yet, you can leave things for now. Should you wish to open the importer later, just click on Tools Import → WordPress.
Now we need to get the file that contains the sample data for import. Follow these steps:
Download the XML file that contains the data to be imported by visiting this link. You will see a list of theme names, each linking to their respective XML file. Since the linked file is an XML file your browser will try to display it rather than downloading, so to download the file:
In Safari: Right or control-click on the link and select ‘Download linked file’. This will download a file called theme_name.xml, where “theme_name” is (wait for it…) the theme name.
In Chrome: Right-click on the link and select ‘Download link as…’. A dialogue box will open to specify where the download should be saved. The name will default to ‘theme_name.xml’, so just leave this as default and save the file.
In Firefox: Right-click on the link and select ‘Save link as…’. A dialogue box will open where you can specify the save location; as with the other browsers the name will default to “theme_name.xml” so leave this as it is.
- Log-in to your WordPress backend and open your WordPress importer (Tool → Import → WordPress).
Click on ‘Choose file’ and select your newly-downloaded theme_name.xml.
- Click ‘Upload file and import’. You will taken to the Import WordPress screen with two areas; Assign Authors and Import Attachments.
The ‘Assign Authors’ area will let you import the username of the content creator to your WordPress installation, create a new author for the content to be attached to, or assign the content you are importing to an existing author in your WordPress installation. Depending on the type of theme content being imported there may only be one or two authors to import, or there may be as many as ten, especially if the theme includes BuddyPress as each demo user has its own content. One of the following options must be chosen for each user:
- If left blank: The original username will be added to your user list and the imported content assigned to him.
- If a name is entered in the ‘create new user with login name’ field: The name specified in the field will be used to create a new user, that will have the imported content assigned to it.
- If a user is selected from the ‘assign posts to an existing user’ drop-down box: The content will be imported and assigned to the existing user selected in the drop-down box.
If you have existing content you may find it useful to import the original users, as this will make it easier to locate and remove the demo content as you begin to customize the theme and implement your own content.
- Click the tick-box next to ‘Download and import file attachments’ to include media such as images from the posts in the import.
Click the ‘Submit’ button to run the import process. After a few moments, you will receive a confirmation message to say that the process has finished.
The demo content will now be available in your WordPress installation, and you can move on to installing and configuring the widgets to match the demo!
Assign the Menus
There are three menu areas in Events; one for the main menu at the top of the page, one for the footer menu at the bottom of the page, and another that creates the social media icons underneath the copyright information in the footer.
The menus themselves were imported along with the demo content, so all that we need to do is assign them to their respective positions. To do so:
- Log-in to your WordPress backend and click on Appearance → Menus in the left menu. This will open the Edit Menus screen.
Since the menus are already configured we can ignore this tab; instead, click on the Manage Locations tab at the top of the screen.
You will see that there are three theme locations; Navigation Menu, Footer Menu, and Social Menu. In the drop-down list under the Assigned Menu heading, set the Navigation Menu to Main menu, the Footer Menu to Footer Navigation, and the Social Menu to Social Icons.
- Click on Save Changes; your menus are now set-up and ready to go!
Set the Frontpage Template
All that's left is to tell WordPress which page to display as the homepage; once this is set as the theme's frontpage, the theme's code will automatically populate the content from the subpages and your site will then match the demo layout. To set the Frontpage template:
Log-in to your WordPress backend and open the Theme Customizer by clicking on Appearance → Customize in the left menu.
Click on the Static Front Page option in the left menu of the Theme Customizer to expand the options.
- Under the Front page displays option, click on the radial button for A static page. Two more options will appear; Front page and Posts page.
- In the drop-down list for the Front page option, select Frontpage.
- Click the Save & Publish button at the top of the left menu bar to save the changes.
The installation is now complete; the live preview will show you that the frontpage is now complete and ready to be customized. For more information on how you can modify this content, read the Customization guide by clicking on the Customization tab at the top of this page.
Events is the complete conference website solution, with special features to make listing and signing up for your event a breeze. A huge event demands a multicultural audience, and with full support for WPML, the amazing multilingual plugin for WordPress, you can announce your event details across multiple languages for the widest reach possible. Want to see what a complete multilingual site based on Events looks like? Check out the public test site here.
What You'll Need
If you're serious about making your WordPress site with Events multilingual, you're going to need to purchase the WPML plugin. There are several levels of WPML available for purchase for varying budgets and requirements, but it is recommended that you go with full Multilingual CMS support, as this will allow you to translate widgets and other strings that feature in Events. You'll need to install the main WPML package, along with the String Translation and Translation Management modules, which give you more complete control over your translation content.
Attention: In order for WPML to work correctly with Events, you should have a minimum of version 1.2.0 of Events and version 3.1.8 of WPML installed; if you install versions earlier than this you may encounter bugs and issues that prevent full functionality of the plugin.
Before you start with WPML you will need to get Events installed and configured in your WordPress installation, including creating the frontpage content or importing the demo content to match the demo layout. If you haven't done this yet there are several options for doing so which may be found in our complete installation guide for Events, available here.
Next, you'll need to install the main components of WPML; the main sitepress-multilingual-cms package and the additional wpml-string-translation and wpml-translation-management plugins.
Once the packages are installed, you will be able to finish configuration of the plugin by navigating to WPML → Languages in the left-menu of your WordPress dashboard; here you will be able to specify the base language of your website as well as any additional languages you intend to support. Bear in mind that you can amend the supported languages later, so don't worry if you forget to add all the ones you support. You may also enable the language switcher as a widget, but with Events we recommend that the language switcher is set to appear in the WP Menu. You will be able to choose from the available menu areas of the theme, but we would suggest placing the language switcher in the Main Menu menu position.
Doing so will display the language switcher in the main menu that drops down once you scroll down the frontpage for easy reach.
For more in-depth information on the setup process and options, check out the WPML Getting Started Guide.
Translating your Content
If you want a completely translated site, then you will need to translate several areas: the menus, your posts and pages (especially the pages that make up the frontpage), text widgets and custom fields in your pages. For more information on content translation, read through the Full Guide available on the WPML website; we'll cover the essentials below.
Translating Posts or Pages
To translate a post, navigate to your post list by clicking on Posts → All Posts in the left menu of your WordPress dashboard, then click on the post you wish to translate. Once on the Edit Post screen, you will see a Language section in the sidebar:
Simply click on the Translate button to create a new blank translation of the post. Alternatively, you may tick the Duplicate tickbox and then click the Duplicate button that appears to copy all content, including images, to the translation version of the post for easy reference.
The same process applies to pages; simply select your page to translate from your page list (Pages → All Pages in the left-menu).
Translating Frontpage Pages
The frontpage of Events is based on pages; a page is assigned the frontpage template, and then subpages of this frontpage are used to create each section of the frontpage. For the events part of the frontpage, it is more complex; a subpage is used to set the day, and then a subpage of the subpage is used to create each event. This way, you can have multiple days/events with separate details for each. These pages are not functionally different from other pages, and can be translated the same way. However, it is highly recommended that you use the Duplicate method mentioned above to create your second language's content. The reason for this is that the frontpage items frequently use custom HTML to achieve their structure and layout; if you manually create the page from scratch then you will need to manually write this custom HTML. Instead, by duplicating the original content you can make the changes in the language only, leaving the HTML tags and classes intact.
You may offer multiple versions of your menus, with custom translations for each language. To do so, you will need to create a new menu by clicking on Appearance → Menus in your WordPress backend.
Once on the menu screen, click on Create a new menu to be taken to the Edit Menus screen. Here, you can choose your menu's language, and create the menu as normal. When assigning menus on the Manage Locations tab, you may click on the language switcher on the top bar to change which language's menus are being assigned:
Translating the Widgets
The basic version of Events does not use any widgets in its layout, however if you are intending to make use of them on your site then it is important to know how to translate widgets in general. Translating of any text widgets is achieved via the string translation option of WPML, which is used to translate all non-post, page or menu content.
Open the string translation area by clicking on WPML → String Translation in the left-menu. On this page, you will see content for any text widgets you have assigned:
For example, if I have a text widget called Test Widget, and text in the body of the text widget reading:
"This is a test widget"
Then in the list of strings available for translation there will be two items; a widget title string with the title text, and a widget body string with the body content. Simply click on the Translations text next to the string you wish to translate, and enter your translation.
More information on string translation is available on the WPML Website.
Translating Custom Post Fields
Events utilizes simple yet effective Custom Post Fields that are a great way to add important additional information to your event, speaker or sponsor pages. When translating pages, these custom fields are not copied across to the translated version of the page; it will be necessary to add the custom fields to the translated page manually. Events allows you to add your own custom fields, so you may easily define a translated version of the custom field in question and apply it to the translated page. A full rundown on the custom fields in Events and how you may utilize them to your advantage may be found in our Customization Guide in the Features based on pages section.
Using Translation Management
Translation Management is a powerful feature in WPML that allows site admins to monitor, assign and manage translations on their site, as well as add translations without affecting the base WordPress post editor. More details on this useful feature may be found here.
Translating Page Slugs
You may wish for the URLs of your translated content to display unique data separate from the original language's page slug. WPML offer a tutorial on this feature here.
Scanning Strings coming from a theme or plugin
Some themes or plugins have their own content strings that are output to the front or backend. In these cases, WPML can scan for strings from the theme or plugin so that you may offer translations if necessary. More details on performing this action may be found here.
We hope that this guide has proven useful in getting your translations started, and if you should require further information regarding WPML or its add-ons, make sure to stop by the WPML website, where a wealth of information is available.