Getting Started with Tracks

Not sure where to start? Follow this guide to discover Tracks' features and how to use each of them on your site.

If you need help installing Tracks, please follow this tutorial first: How to Install & Activate Tracks.

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will teach you how to customize your site with Tracks. Starting from the top, you’ll work your way down your site, customizing and tweaking as you go. The tutorials are newbie-friendly, so every step is explained in detail.

It's recommended that you follow along with your site as you read.

By default, the menu will contain all of the published Pages on your site, listed in alphabetical order.

As you publish new Pages, they will simply be added to the menu. You can create a custom menu to change this.

With a custom menu, you get full control over which Pages are included, and in what order. In fact, you can even add links to Categories, Posts, or anything else you'd like.

The tutorial below will show you how to:

  • create a custom menu
  • reorder menu items
  • add submenus
  • and more...

Tutorial: How to Customize Your Menu

When you installed WordPress, you were asked to provide a "site title". That same site title is displayed at the top of your site, in the header.

With Tracks, you can replace the site title with your logo instead. If you don't have a logo, you can skip to the next section. Otherwise, follow this tutorial to learn how to upload your logo:

Tutorial: How to Add Your Logo

Note: You can edit your site title any time from the General Settings menu, or in the "Site Identity" section in the Customizer

Add Your Social Icons

There are two types of social icons:

  1. Icons that link to your profile
  2. Icons/buttons that share your content

Most themes, including Tracks, have a way to add social icons that link to your social profiles. This provides a stylish way to link to your profiles, so your visitors can find and follow you on your social networks. These icons are usually included in the header or in a widget.

Social sharing icons/buttons are added to make it easier to share your content. They are typically added with plugins, like Simple Share Buttons Adder . These icons are usually included before and/or after Post content.

As mentioned, Tracks provides a simple way to add icons in the header linking to your social profiles. Follow this tutorial to add yours:

Tutorial: How to Add Your Social Icons

In WordPress, every Post and Page can have a Featured Image. It's simply a way of assigning one image as the primary image for the Post/Page.

Tracks places Featured Images next to the post content on the Blog, and above the post title on Post pages.

If you'd like to add Featured Images to your Posts, follow this tutorial:

Tutorial: How to Add Featured Images

Customize Your Post Excerpts

When you first install WordPress, your Posts will show on the homepage. The page with your Posts can also be referred to as the Blog or Posts Page.

With Tracks, each Post on the Blog will include a 15 word excerpt using the first 15 words in the Post.

Tracks gives you a lot of control over what text you want shown in the excerpts. To learn how to fully customize your Post excerpts, check out this tutorial:

Tutorial: How to Customize Post Excerpts

Edit the Post Meta Display

Your Posts display some information besides the title, image, and excerpt. They also include the date they were published, the author who published them, and the category they were published in.

This information is called the Post Meta because it tells you more about the Post.

With Tracks, you control what Post Meta to show, and what to hide. For instance, you can hide the author name, but leave the date and category displayed.

If you want to customize which Post Meta information shows, check out this tutorial:

Tutorial: Edit the Post Meta Display

Edit the Post Author Box

When viewing a post, you'll see a box after the content with some info about the post author. By default, it might look kind of empty, but here's what it can look like when completely filled out:

If you want to learn how to customize, or simply remove the author box, follow this tutorial:

Tutorial: How to Customize the Post Author Info

Change the Comment Display

Comments are shown on Posts, Pages, and Attachments (image pages) after the content.

The trouble is, the comment section is really tough to hide with WordPress' default options. This is why a feature was added to Tracks to hide comments by page type.

With Tracks' comment control feature, you can hide comments on all Posts, Pages, and/or Attachments. If you'd like to hide comments on one of those page types, follow this tutorial:

Tutorial: Change the Comment Display

Add Widgets

Widgets can be used to add any type of content you want to your site. WordPress includes a handful of default widgets, such as categories, most recent posts, and tags. However, there are thousands of other widgets available.

You can add any type of content imaginable with widgets, like Youtube videos, weather forecasts, product reviews, tweets, and more.

Note: widgets are added to your site as "plugins". You can add new widgets through the Plugins menu in your dashboard.

In order to add a widget to your site, it has to be placed into a "widgetized" area of the site. Tracks has three widget areas:

  • After Post Content
  • After Page Content
  • Footer

Follow these tutorials to learn how to add widgets to the widget areas in Tracks:

Tutorials: Add Widgets to Posts & Add Widgets to the Footer

The footer text is the text found way at the bottom of the site. By default, it reads, "Tracks WordPress Theme by Compete Themes".

While we appreciate the link to our site, you are free to replace the footer text with whatever you'd like. Follow this tutorial to change the footer text:

Tutorial: How to Change the Footer Text

Conclusion

You're finished customizing Tracks!

If there's anything else you want to change about your site that wasn't covered, check for an article about it in the sidebar to the left. Otherwise, there's probably a free plugin available for it on wordpress.org .

Check out our WordPress Resources page to find awesome plugins and tools we recommend, and if you want to try using CSS to customize Tracks, we've got some pre-written snippets for you to get started with in the Tracks CSS Snippets Collection.

Upgrade Today: Want even more features and flexibility for your site? Upgrade instantly with Tracks Pro.

Additional Resources

  • Tracks WordPress Theme

    Download a copy of the latest version of Tracks.

  • Support forum

    Ask questions and find existing solutions in the support forum.

  • Changelog

    Review recent and past updates to Tracks.

  • Tracks on Github

    Review Tracks's commit history and project files on Github.

  • WordPress Resources

    Check our recommended resources to find great plugins and solutions for your site.

  • Codeable.io

    We can help you with minor changes on your site, but if you need a highly customized version of Tracks, we recommend finding help through Codeable.

  • WordPress Tutorials

    We've published nearly 100 tutorials for using WordPress. Head over to the blog and search for any WP-related topic you need help with.

  • Create Your Site

    If you've never made a WordPress site before, follow along with our step-by-step guide for creating, customizing, and launching your first website.