Updating to The Arcadian v2

Plugins

Some functionality that used to be located within your theme has been relocated to plugins. So, this includes the following free plugins you’ll want to install after updating.

  1. Theme Blvd Layout Builder
  2. Theme Blvd Sliders
  3. Theme Blvd Widget Areas
  4. Theme Blvd Widget Pack
  5. Theme Blvd Shortcodes

It’s important that installing these plugins is the first thing you do after updating. In order to avoid losing data associated with the functionality moved to plugins, don’t edit any pages, widgets, theme options, etc, before you’ve installed these plugins.

After updating your theme, you’ll see a notice linking you to download these five plugins. Initially, it will appear as if your custom layouts, sliders, etc, are gone, but don’t worry. After installing and activating the five plugins, everything will come back, as it was previously.

Checkout our updated installation video for more info on using the theme’s plugin installer for recommended plugins: https://vimeo.com/70304478

And here are some of our new plugins that are worth checking out to use with your updated theme:

  1. Portfolios — A tools for managing grid items you want separated from standard posts.
  2. Tweeple — The new standard for incorporating Twitter into Theme Blvd themes.
  3. Theme Blvd Post Template Options — See all the custom fields for Post List/Grid page templates.

Remember to check your WordPress Admin’s Plugins page for any updates to Theme Blvd plugins you were using previously.

Layout Builder

After installing the Theme Blvd Layout Builder plugin, your previous custom layouts will come back and should remain attached to any current pages. However, moving forward, it’s important to note that the steps for applying custom layout to a page has changed. — See video

Sliders

In moving Sliders to the Theme Blvd Sliders plugin, we’ve done a lot of re-structuring within to allow sliders to work more efficiently and be much more extendable for developers.

This is not required, but after installing this new Sliders plugin, your current sliders will run much more efficiently on your site if you go to each in the Slider Manager and re-save them.

Theme Options

The theme has a few new options it didn’t have before. So, make sure to checkout your updated Theme Options page to see if there’s anything you’d like to adjust.

WordPress Admin > Appearance > Theme Options

Lightbox Integration

This update makes Magnific Popup the new default lightbox for our themes. This lightbox is nice, simple, and performs much better responsively at various viewport sizes.

This change does not effect how lightbox functionality is integrated with featured image options and galleries. However, using rel="themeblvd_lightbox" will no longer work.

See the lightbox integration section of your updated documentation in your theme’s download package for more information on incorporating lightboxes into your pages and posts manually, with the new system.

To get prettyPhoto integrated again with featured images and galleries along with use of rel="themeblvd_lightbox", you can simply install and activate this plugin: Theme Blvd prettyPhoto

Google Analytics

Google analytics has been removed from your Theme Options. This is something we’ve wanted to pull out for awhile, as it isn’t really something that should be in a theme.

To get Google Analytics running on your site again, we’ve got a really simple plugin we’ve just released you can use that will continue working no matter who’s theme you switch to in the future. After installing our plugin, Simple Analytics, go to WP Admin > Settings > Analytics and simply input your Google Analytics Tracking ID (i.e. UA-00000000-0).

Portfolio Module

We’ve added a new “Fancy Thumbnails” option that you’ll see when configuring your Portfolio Module in the Layout Builder. To give your portfolio items a little more meaning, this will display the title and excerpt of each item when hovered on.

Also, the portfolio module element can now be setup to pull not only standard posts, but Portfolio Items from the use of our Portfolios plugin. This give you the option to keep your blog posts separate from your portfolio items, if you wish.

If you’re looking for a quick way to convert certain posts from your site into Portfolio Items after installing our Portfolios plugin, checkout the Convert Post Types plugin.

Future Updates

If you’re using a theme purchased from ThemeForest, we now have automatic updates built-in, moving forward, with your theme. See this article on setting this up: Theme Updates

Developers

If you’re working from a Child theme, you need to be aware that this update marks a huge update for the theme framework’s codebase, moving you from 2.1 up to 2.3. Make sure you’re not updating your Parent theme on a live site, and that you’re testing all of your Child theme modifications on some sort of testing or staging environment.

Here are some things to look out for when updating. –

  1. Twitter Bootstrap integration and CSS customizations.
    Along with the integration of Twitter Bootstrap has come a complete CSS overhaul with every theme. Also, the mobile responsive.css file for each theme has essentially been re-written.

    Also, note that we now use more standard viewport scaling to go along with Bootstrap. Tablets are considered 979px to 768px, and mobile is considered 767px and below.

    So, make sure to check that your CSS customizations still work as you intend and make any necessary tweaks. Also note that you can now utilize style.css of your Child theme in the same way you can the custom.css file. So, if you like, you can move your CSS customizations there.

  2. Template part files no longer use global variables.
    If you've been editing any content-{part}.php files in your Child theme, these used to have global variables passed to them for relaying options from the theme. These have all been replaced with the use of themeblvd_get_att(). So make sure to checkout the updated template part files of your theme and compare them to those of your Child theme. -- See video.

  3. header.php and footer.php have been re-structured.
    If you've been editing header.php and footer.php directly from your Child theme, opposed to using action hooks, be aware that these files have been completely re-structured.

  4. Main theme files have been re-structured.
    All primary theme files like page.php, single.php, archive.php, etc, have been re-structured. So, if you've been editing these files directly from your Child theme, opposed to using template parts, make sure to note the changes in the updated versions of these files.

  5. Not all pluggable functions are still pluggable.
    This was sort of a tough call to make, but we realized that people were taking advantage of pluggable functions in incorrect places, which is our fault for putting them there.

    We've cleaned this up a bit by making functions that clearly should be extended via a filter not pluggable any longer. So, if you come across any "cannot redeclare function XYZ" PHP errors, this is most likely what its from. Find the function in the theme and re-assess how you're modifying it.

If you have questions about your updated theme, don’t hesitate to post in the support forum.

And if you have questions about a specific customization you’ve made that used to work and no longer does, feel free to post in the support forum.