Professional WordPress Themes

General WordPress Help

For information on our theme policies and licenses check out the Pro Theme Design General help page.

Theme Installation

  1. If you are unfamiliar with WordPress then read the getting started guide
  2. Download and unzip the theme files from the accounts control panel
  3. Unzip and and upload to your ‘/wp-content/themes/’ folder (more info on using themes is available on the WordPress Codex)
  4. Log into your WordPress control panel with the details provided to you when you installed the software
  5. Go to the Appearance menu and select “Themes”
  6. Select the theme you want
  7. Enjoy your brand new theme!

Next Steps

Once you have installed WordPress you will want to look at becoming familiar with the software. Luckily WordPress.org has quite a comprehensive guide on becoming familiar with WordPress so I would recommend following through that if you’re not sure where to go next.

Child Theming

A child theme is simply a set of files that overrides the properties of a parent theme (ex: Elemental), while also inheriting much of its power. The reason we absolutely recommend using child themes to modify our themes. This is so that your design changes are maintained separately from the parent theme templates. Then when new versions of parent themes are released, the modifications you made aren’t overwritten.

How Do I Create a Child Theme?

Let’s take the Red Earth child theme as an example.

  1. First I created a folder in /themes/ called ‘mimboproredearth’
  2. Inside it, I created this CSS document which recognizes Mimbo Pro as the theme parent, as well as overriding things like colors and typography.
  3. With both parent and child themes now installed, I can now go to Appearance > Themes and select Red Earth

Additional resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do your themes work on WordPress.com?
    Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, themes can not be uploaded to WordPress.com – which in turn means that our themes don’t work. We would recommend picking a host and getting your own website. This is more work and expense, however you will then have full control over your website and be able to customise things much more (use any themes/ plugins).
  2. What is the difference between single site and multi site licenses?
    Single site licenses means we will give you support for a single website domain, whereas a Multi site license will give you access to support for many websites. Multi site licenses also give you access to the theme PSD’s which allows you to make changes to the themes more easily.
  3. Why do some styles require the “!important” flag?
    Sometimes the styles defined in a parent theme are fairly specific (ex: “#content p a:hover”) and a simple child theme override doesn’t work. In those cases, adding “!important” tells the stylesheet to give the style a hard override.
  4. How do I insert my logo?
    By default, some themes like Elemental or Mimbo Pro come with a custom header/logo tool, but in order to override that successfully, a child theme must specify a logo image in the child theme. For example, if you wanted a centered logo with a bit of padding and a flexible height, ala Dispatch, you would add this to your child’s stylesheet:

    #masthead {
    background: url(images/logo.gif) no-repeat 50% center !important; 
    height:auto; 
    padding:15px 0 21px
    }
  5. Can I override files other than style.css?
    Since the release of WordPress 2.7, any child theme file is capable of overriding its corresponding parent theme file. Don’t like the Mimbo Pro sidebar? You simply create a new sidebar.php file and drop it in your child theme folder.

  6. How do I know what styles affect which elements?
    We highly recommend the Firefox extension Firebug which lets you inspect the code on any page with an “x-ray” view. It’s an overall valuable tool for learning more about HTML and CSS, and eventually, creating your own child themes.

  7. How do I translate my website?
    Firstly you need to grab the relevant translations from the theme page, and then you need to set your blogs language settings. You can read how to do this on the translation page on the WordPress Codex. In addition we have an article on translating our themes here on the website.
  8. Can I test the themes?
    There are two things you should do to test the themes. Firstly, check out the theme of your choice on the Pro Theme Design preview site, and secondly – install WordPress on your server and make sure it functions correctly. If WordPress runs, and you have a theme you like, then you will be good to go.

Recommended Plugins

Many people ask us what plugins we recommend for use with WordPress. In general we would say to only use what you need, each website is different and the beauty of WordPress is that plugins can extend your site in the directions you want.

However there are a few plugins we would recommend, and these will help keep your site running smoothly and efficiently, and improve the experience for your readers.

  • WP Super Cache

    WP Super Cache is probably the best known caching plugin. Caching is a really useful way to speed up the loading of your website. Without this plugin WordPress will have to do lots of complicated processing and database interactions. However with WP Super Cache installed these operations are only done less often, with the page content being saved as a static file on your web server.

  • Akismet

    Akismet is a vital spam-blocking plugin, developed by Automattic, the creators of WordPress. You are required to include an api key on your site however these are freely available from WordPress.com

  • Subscribe to Comments

    Subscribe to Comments is a great method for keeping the people who use your website up to date on the comments on your blog – which in turn keeps the conversation flowing and increases user engagement.

  • Order Category

    One of the more common requests we get is being able to order categories and, unlike pages, this isn’t something that is built into WordPress. Order Category is a really simple plugin but it has everything you need to get your categories in order.

  • Google Sitemap Generator

    Google XML sitemaps is great for keeping your site up to date on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and all of the major search engine providers. You can get more information on the XML sitemap protocol on the official Sitemaps website.

  • After the Deadline

    An awesome system for spell checking and grammar checking your blog posts. It picks up all the errors you miss and helps make your blog posts even more interesting. To be honest we can’t believe it’s free.

Activating Custom Templates

Most Pro Theme products for WordPress come with a few custom Page templates. To enable them, simple log in to your control panel, go to Pages > Add New, create a new page and make sure to choose the corresponding template from the “Templates” pulldown menu to activate it. No additional content or editing is required.

Upgrading a Theme

Upgrading a WordPress theme generally just requires overwriting the existing folder in /wp-content/themes/. The files can be accessed via your user account. Because you don’t want to overwrite any important core functions, this is another solid argument for using child themes (see above).

Translation and Localization

All of our WordPress themes have been optimized for translation to other languages. This requires the corresponding language files (.po and .mo format) to be included inside the theme folder and the required changes made to your wp-config.php file. There is more information on translation here on Pro Theme Design.

About Us

Pro Theme Design began in 2007 as a collaboration between two web designers...

Darren Hoyt
Darren Hoyt

Charlottesville, VA, USA

Established in the WordPress community for projects like Mimbo and Agregado, Darren also has 14 years experience designing websites for businesses and startups. His role at Pro Theme is taking what Ben builds and making it beautiful and simple to use.

Ben Gillbanks
Ben Gillbanks

Exeter, England, UK

Ben is a WordPress ninja, best known for creating Regulus. More recently he took over the development of the image-resize script TimThumb. He spends his time at Pro Theme Design turning Darren's ideas into reality.

Email us general questions or visit the support section with product questions.