Each of our themes comes with a number of predefined, built in layouts, designed by our team, meant to help you quickly setup a website with any theme right out of the box. By now, any user who has one of our newer themes (released after January 2017), knows and enjoys using our blocks system.
Each page can be easily customized by dragging, dropping, adding or removing blocks, to create that perfectly unique page structure and website design. Anyone can easily add a custom feel to their website, if they put a bit of creativity, personality and heart into it.
Hence, this article is for those of you excited to roll up your sleeves, and squeeze out some more potential out of your theme and website. These 4 things are not a secret, and you can easily find them in our tutorials, but in case you’ve missed it – here are 4 customization options you may not know about your theme:
1. Customizing & saving Global Layouts for single galleries & blog posts
Although your theme comes with a default template for your Single Blog posts and Single Galleries, you can easily tweak that layout and save it as your new Global Layout. Once you hit “Save”, this new page structure will be applied to all your existing single posts, as well as all your future ones.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This has been a very requested feature, and we’ve released it to all themes in our shop, apart from Monte, Rosemary, Cube, Kyoto & Osaka, due to functionality limitations.
If you’re planning to work with your Global Layout, once you update your theme to its latest version, you will need to re-save your Global Layouts for both Posts and Galleries, as shown in this example for Posts, and same for Galleries (Flotheme -> Galleries). This step is required for block customizations to be passed over to the Custom Layout, when ever you decide to use it.
So, here’s how to do it:
We’ll use Fiji 2 for the purpose of this example. To check which Default (Global) Template you are currently using for your single blog posts, head over to Flotheme > Posts > Global Layout
As you can see, it’s all built from blocks, which you can customize, reorder, remove or add new ones. Like with any other page.
To see all the predefined single blog post templates available with your theme, go to the Templates tab, preview each template and apply the one that is closest to your needs. This will be the base which you can customize further.
So, this is what Fiji 2’s current Global Layout for single blog posts looks like.
Now, you could jump in and add any of the 40+ page blocks available with Fiji 2, BUT you have to keep in mind that they will be universal for all layouts. Once you fill them in (apart from the WP content block, navigation) that’s the content they will always display on all your single post pages.
If you’re not sure where to start with your own template, we’d recommend considering some of the following ideas.
- Adjust the width of your WP content block, so it works better with your images.
- To your footer, add a contact block to invite the user to contact you, or add a button linking to your contact page.
- Add a block with awards / features & publications that will display under each of your posts. This is great for social proof and offers your users an extra reason to reach out to you.
- Add a Testimonials block, again a great form of social proof. Just keep in mind that the testimonials will be universal for all pages. Not customized per each page (unless you over-write your Global Layout per post, which we’ll talk more about in the section below).
- A block with your customized signature, you can add a handwritten text, your favorite quote, etc. Usually users put it under the WP content block.
- Add or remove the comments section.
- Add or remove the social sharing icons.
- Add a Related or Item Navigation block, to recommend additional posts for your readers to check out, great for internal linking and SEO.
- Change the header or footer area to be custom just for the Blog or Gallery.
- Add an Item title block if your current template doesn’t have a featured image / slider at the top. This offers the possibility to intrigue your readers with the most fun / epic part of the article. (See example)
There are many options that you can include or remove, depending on the type of your business and info you need to provide your potential customers.
Once done, hit SAVE, and this will become your Global Layout. All existing posts will apply this new page structure, as well as all your future posts, unless you previously choose a custom layout for the individual post.
Overwriting the Global Layout
What’s even more awesome, is that if you need to use a custom structure for one of your blog posts – you can do that by overwriting the Global layout. You’ll need to create a new post and enable the option “use a custom layout for this post” located below your text editor window (see image below).
Then go ahead and tweak the layout. Add, remove or reorder any blocks for your specific purpose. Tweak the margin, colors, fonts, etc.
– Add a Vendors block, Links block or Partners block to be able to offer credits and linkage to your partners’ websites (See example). This is great for SEO and exposure, as chance are, these partners will share your article, therefore creating good backlinks to your site and advertising you site within their community.
– If you do videography, or both photography & videography, add a video block at the end of your post, rather than adding an embed. It will look A LOT nicer and aligned with your theme styling, trust us.
If you’ve overwritten your Global Layout before for a single post, and now want to re-create that exact structure and styling, without having to do it all over again from scratch – we recommend using a plugin that allows you to duplicate your pages. The plugin is called Duplicate Page and you can watch this tutorial to set it up correctly.
For Single Galleries, the process is very similar. You can find and tweak your Global Layout for single galleries in Flothemes > Galleries > Global Layout. After saving this default template, if you want to overwrite the global structure for one particular gallery, you can do so by creating a new gallery, accessing the Images tab, under the text editor window, and enabling the option of “use a custom layout for this gallery”.
After enabling this option, access the Custom Layout tab, right next to Images and customize your page structure for this particular single gallery.
That’s all! Now try it!
2. Re-purposing blocks
For the most creative, curious and eager to experiment with their website platform, we recommend taking your theme customization one step further. Apart from personalizing the layout with new blocks, try re-purposing the exciting blocks with new concepts. Meaning, we’ve titled the blocks in your dashboard, so it’s easier for you to find them and understand how to use them. But please don’t limit yourself to those labels.
For example, on the Investment page with Trento, to share more information about the pricing packages, we used the following 3 blocks:
1. An Image Block
2. A Testimonials Block
3. An Image Block + A Text Block
Here are the same 3 blocks used in the theme for their “original” purpose, according to their title:
1. An Image Block
2. A Testimonials Block
And this same block used to showcase your Upcoming workshops or conferences that you’ll speak at.
3. An Image Block + A Text Block
We hope this stirred your creativity and website ideas a little bit.
Since you have the flexibility to tweak colors, fonts, margins and many other details, utilizing the same block for 2-3 different purposes can add extra uniqueness to your site and online presentation. If your theme doesn’t include a certain type of block, create one from the “tools” you have. The result can be better than what our designers created originally 🙂
Here’s a few more ideas, to kickstart your process:
– Use Featured Galleries/Images, Quick Links type of blocks to showcase your Publications (Press), Featured On, Meet the Team, etc.
– A Image + Text slider can be easily used not just for Testimonials or Investment Packages, but also for Upcoming Destinations, List of Conferences/Workshops where you’ll speak, Facts About You, Recommended Vendors, Recent Projects, etc.
The easiest way to get this process going, and ideas flowing in, is to access the demo of your theme, on flothemes.com and head over to the page called “BLOCKS”. Explore and interact with each of them, to get an idea of how they function. Brainstorm on 1-2 ideas, on how you could use it, then do it!
3. Hiding page blocks on mobile
Some of you may not know this, but you can hide specific page blocks from your mobile users (you can also hide from your desktop users if you want to create a different experience for mobile / desktop). Meaning, if you’ve created a longer Home, About, or any other page to showcase your work, interests, favorite galleries, etc, you might want to consider creating a shorter version of this page for your mobile viewers. This will reduce the loading speed of your site, therefore the user experience for your mobile users, and your SEO overall.
Hiding page blocks is super easy!
All you need to do, is open the page you want to optimize for your mobile viewers, got to its Layout view, choose any block you want to hide, and under Miscellaneous, enable that option (see in the example below). As you will notice, you can even create certain blocks that are hidden on desktop and appear only on mobile. Both options, of hiding a block from the mobile or desktop view can be found in the Miscellaneous. And with the recent update to most themes (Porto2, Evora, Fiji2, LVY2, Osaka, Cube), you can easily preview the changes for your website on any device.
4. Improving SEO for your galleries
Show how to easily add relevant titles & alt tags to all images from a gallery …
Those of you who care about and invest some time into SEO, may not know that there’s a super easy way to add/change titles and alt tags for your gallery images. If you don’t know much about SEO and image optimization, check out this post, otherwise head over to your Galleries tab, open any gallery, and under the Text Editor, in the Gallery section, click on the Images tab (as shown below). Select any image and easily add or change the existing titles and alt tags, by adding relevant keywords for this particular set of images. Voila!
BONUS TIP – adding a shop to your theme
If you want to sell products or services through your website, you can add a shop by installing a plugin called WooCommerce. The plugin is free, and your theme will apply basic styling to it.
Afterwards, you will need to follow the guidelines in this article, to set everything up correctly.
We know this was a bit of a long read, but if you are here, HOORAY! You just got a lot more savvy with your theme and website customization powers! We hope you enjoyed this article, and found some new, exciting information in it.
Don’t forget to consult the documentation and tutorials for your theme for more details on ways to tweak and setup everything. And if you have more questions like this one, that you would like us to cover, leave us a message in the comments below!