An introduction to Influential

Influential is a robust and powerful business theme to accommodate small to medium sized companies and for e-commerce based sites that use or plan to use WooCommerce. This theme includes a ton of features built into it, as well over 80 colour settings to give you the opportunity to stylize your website with an array of unlimited colours. Let’s take a look at some of the key features:

  • Mobile Responsive
  • Unlimited Colours
  • 6 Blog Styles and Layouts
  • 3 Full Post styles
  • 3 Header Styles
  • 12 Page Templates
  • Custom Landing Page
  • 57 Sidebar Positions
  • Choose Content or Excerpts
  • Custom Page Backgrounds
  • Typography Management
  • 3 Menu Locations
  • Social Networking
  • Show & Hide Page Elements
  • Customizable Excerpt Lengths
  • Custom Image Thumbnails Sizes
  • bbPress Ready
  • WooCommerce Ready
  • Jetpack Compatible
  • Scheme.org Microdata
  • Child Themes Included
  • Google Mobile Friendly 100%
  • Live Preview Customizer
  • Font Awesome Icons

The Importance of a Child Theme

This is often missed in documentation, but it’s also a very IMPORTANTpart of building your website with any of our themes. Before you get started, you need to give serious thought on whether you plan to make any theme custom changes to the files or code (other than just CSS) now or later in time. I would recommend you read more about child themes:

Child Theme Info

Then there’s my blog article: 

Why a Child Theme is Smart

Long story short, if you plan to use a child theme, you can install the premade one that came with your Influential’s package download. Install it, activate it, and do all your theme option settings from there. Make sure your parent theme “Influential” is installed first.

Recommended Plugins

Although not required, the following list of plugins will help give you a more enhanced theme like you see from the Influential’s demo website. The only exception is that if you want to take advantage of the forum and the shopping style you see on the demo, you will need bbPress and WooCommerce.

  • WooCommerce – Shopping
  • bbPress – Forum
  • Animate It! – For animation effects
  • Better Font Awesome – to add the ability to insert icons into your page or post content with an editor icon generator button
  • Black Studio TinyMCE Widget – A lot of flexibility with this because instead of a plain text widget, this one adds a fully functional editor
  • Breadcrumb NavXT – For creating breadcrumb navigation
  • Contact Form 7 – For creating forms like the “Contact” form on the demo site
  • Display Widgets – If you’re not using Jetpack, this plugin lets you publish widgets on select pages
  • Hide Title – Lets you hide page or post titles from the post editor screen
  • TinyMCE Advanced – A more robust editor with additional features and better editing of pages and posts
  • HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter – Displays HTML code in the editor’s text HTML view (Compliments the TinyMCE Advanced Editor)
  • Remove Widget Titles – Allows you to keep a title on your widget for the admin side, but hides it on the front-end. Perfect for banner images and sliders
  • Widget CSS Classes – Gives you the ability to add styling to widgets
  • Simple Custom CSS – Gives you the ability to override the theme CSS styles without losing your changes when a theme update comes along. Ideal if you don’t use Jetpack which has it’s own module for Custom CSS.
  • WP Google Maps – Create google maps
  • Image Widget – Makes adding an image to a sidebar easy

Most of the setup tutorials for Influential will go through most if not all the plugins listed above and to give you a brief introduction of each one and how I used them in the theme’s demo website. Again, the plugins above are recommended, but to achieve everything on the demo site, it’s best to take advantage of each one in your site.

Why Are these Plugins Not Built-in?

Some people may wonder why the above plugins and functions are not built into this theme (or any theme). The main reason is that maintaining a theme with all of that in it would be an absolute nightmare and become too overwhelming for most users. The best way, and a way that the people at WordPress strongly recommends (and requires), is that these kinds of functions should be “Plugin” based. It also makes it much easier to update a theme as needed, and when a single plugin has an update, it makes it much easier to update them individually.

NOTE This theme is a big one with a lot of elements built into it. My recommendation is to take it slow and one step at a time and try not to rush development. Remember that a theme is only a foundation, so what you do with your website and its content is going to be up to you to become creative and to customize it to your specific needs.