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Lesson 6 – Part 8 – Installing the Agency Child Theme

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The next thing we’re going to do is download and install Agency. Actually, we’ve already downloaded it but now we’re going to install the Agency Child Theme.

Install the Agency Child Theme

Installing the child theme is exactly the same thing as installing a regular theme. We just come back over to Appearance and Themes, Install Themes, Upload, select Agency, install and activate Agency.

If we come over and refresh our site, you’re going to see it has changed quite a bit. It’s got the familiar black and white, it’s got the big text up here and it’s laid out like this.

Theme Settings

I want to come back and take a look at the Theme Settings for this because these have in fact changed although they’re very similar.

Color Style Setting

What has happened here in this set of the Theme Settings is you have this color style setting where you can select the color that you want to use for specific things on the site. If we select red, come over here and refresh this, you’re going to see our links changed to this red color and so on and so forth.

Adding a Logo Image

Notably, one of the things missing from this was that header selection where you could select an image or you could select dynamic text. The Agency Theme doesn’t give you that choice in this way. We will be able to install or add a logo image and of course that’s what this is right here. This isn’t the site title and tagline, this in fact the logo image.

We will be able to add that logo image to the site but the setting that you saw in this theme settings doesn’t exist in this case. What Agency does is it defaults to the dynamic text unless you use the WordPress system for installing a logo image.

If we come over to the SEO settings they are identical, there aren’t really any changes to the SEO settings.

Instruction on Using the Static Front Page

The Import/Export is also exactly the same however, the ReadMe file has more detail to it than the version of it without Agency. One of the things about these small business appropriate themes is they have static front pages and there are generally instructions on how to use that static front page here even though they are hidden.

I’m going to point it out to you as we set up the front page but before I do that, you’ll see some hints for those things here in this ReadMe.

Understanding Featured Images

The other thing that you’re going to see hints for is this featured images. One of the things about these Genesis themes is that you don’t really make decisions about the main images but or the sizes of the main images that you’re going to use if you’re using a Genesis Child Theme because those size decisions are made for you. It’s important to understand the two images’ sizes that are critical in the Genesis theme.

Home Featured Image

The first one is this Home Featured Image. This is actually wrong in what it’s purporting to tell you, but in fact it’s not accurate. It’s not called home-bottom, that’s not the name of the featured image, it’s actually called home-feature. It’s not 280×150, it’s actually 280×100.

Bear that in mind when you’re thinking about the image sizes that you’re going to be using. This is a pre-defined image size and when you insert an image into this widget, you’re going to have the choice of selecting one of those pre-defined image sizes and this home-feature image size is this 280×100.

Slider Image

The second image size is the slider image. The slider image is defined as 300 pixels tall and 950 pixels wide, that’s the default image size to keep in mind; 300 pixels tall and 950 pixels wide.

This responsive slider actually gives you the opportunity to keep the height at 300 pixels but to make it narrower so that you have room for text here instead. This is an option. It doesn’t actually have to be 950 pixels long as long as you are using text from the page beside the image.

When we get to installing this, I’ll tell you all about that but if you’re not familiar with how Genesis Child Themes work, you may not realize how critical it is that your image sizes match the image sizes that they specify. So the two sizes that you need to keep in mind in this case are your home-feature which is 280×100 and your slider which is 300 pixels tall and anywhere up to 950 pixels wide.

How Genesis Displays Static Page as Home Page

If you’re just starting out this won’t strike as unusual but if you’ve been around WordPress for a while there’s something else that is unusual about Genesis Child Themes. While they produce the static front page, they don’t actually use static front page in your reading settings.

In an ordinary WordPress website like this Thesis site, this Home page is a static front page and we set that static front page in the Reading Settings.

If we just go over and look at the site for a second, the typical thing to do in WordPress land is if you don’t want your front page to be a blog, come over here to Settings and Reading and say “front page displays a static page” then you pick your page and the page that you want your posts to be displayed on.

That’s how it usually works in WordPress but it doesn’t work that way in the Genesis theme. In Genesis, they assume that confuses people so rather than making people make that choice, they make that choice for you. If you make the choice yourself, that’s going to make it not work properly.

I discovered it myself when I went to set up this Child Theme without reading any directions and just diving right on in. I couldn’t get my front page look right and it’s because I did go into here and do Settings and Reading. Then I said my front page display is a static page and I selected the static page, but that made the front page actually not work right.

The way Genesis does this is by default. The front page still displays the blog posts unless you add content to the home page widget areas. If you look at this ReadMe text here, it’s got this little description of widget areas, the Home Welcome, the Home Slider, the Home Left, Home Middle and Home Right.

As soon as you put some content in one of those widget areas, this page stops displaying the blog posts and starts displaying the static front page without ever having to set that Setting and Reading settings.

I’m assuming that some people watching this don’t know what widgets are and don’t know what sidebars are, widget areas and don’t understand plugins. Don’t worry about that, we’re going to talk about that when we get to it. For people who are coming to Genesis with some experience in WordPress, this will have a way of catching you up if you don’t realize that that’s how it works.

The fundamental difference between this page as it is right now and the page as it looks here is that this page has content placed inside of those widget areas. As soon as you put the content in the widget area, it goes from this to something like this.

That’s the critical thing about setting up a business style child theme in Genesis, you don’t set it up in Reading Settings, you just add content to the widget areas and once you do that, it becomes a static front page.

That’s all of the material that we’re going to cover this evening. We have a broad understanding of what we’re going to do and what Genesis is capable of and we’ve installed Genesis and the Agency Child Theme.

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