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Theme Documentation

Welcome to your custom NationBuilder theme, built by Van City Studios. Included below is some documentation and some best practice tips for using your new custom theme. If you have any questions about your custom theme, or require additional support, contact us by email at sayhello@vancitystudios.com or by phone at 604-229-5562.

One of the great things about NationBuilder is that they’ve developed an extensive library of resources that you can use to learn how to effectively use the NationBuilder platform. NationBuilder also offers free online workshops that are a great way to get more familiar with their platform or refresh your NationBuilder skills. You can check out their library of resources and workshop schedule here: nationbuilder.com/support.

Your custom NationBuilder website & theme has been built to work with NationBuilder's page template system, which is designed to make it easy to add and manage many different types of pages to your website via your NationBuilder Control Panel. You can learn all about NationBuilder's website features here: http://nationbuilder.com/ht_website.

Page editing basics with NationBuilder

NationBuilder website pages are rich with tools to help you build a beautiful, robust, and interactive site. Every page includes a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor, making it easy to apply basic styling to your content with the click of a button. Click here to learn the basics of creating and editing pages on your website.

Advanced page editing

If you're familiar with HTML and CSS, NationBuilder also includes an HTML editing tool in the WYSIWYG content editing toolbar. Your theme uses the Bootstrap 3 framework, which means that with a little bit of HTML and CSS know-how, you can easily use advanced layouts and styling (like responsive columns and buttons) directly within NationBuilder's content editor. To learn more about what you can do with Bootstrap and NationBuilder's HTML editing tool, check out getbootstrap.com/css

Your homepage is a highly customized page that has multiple elements that you can edit using the methods described below.


Homepage logo

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The logo that appears on your homepage is controlled via the Site settings options in your NationBuilder control panel. The actual logo image can be changed using the settings under the Logo tab. The "Teamsters Local 117" and "John Screarcy, Secretary-Treasurer" text that appears beside the logo can be controlled using the Long name and Subheadline fields found under the Basic tab.

Featured content slider

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The Featured content slider on your homepage can be controlled via the Featured content sliders options found under the Settings tab for your homepage. A few things to note about your featured content sliders:

  • The recommended image dimensions for you sliders are 1140px wide by 558px tall.
  • The large yellow overlay text for a slider is controlled using the Label field, and the small subtext below it is configured using the Headline / Action text field.
  • Remember to use images that have as small of a file size as possible to ensure quick loading times for your website.

You can read more about how Featured content sliders work here.

Supporter nav buttons

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The three yellow buttons that appear below the featured content slider on your homepage are controlled using the Supporter nav tab in your NationBuilder control panel. 

Latest News section

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The Latest News section on your homepage will display the latest pages or posts on your website that are tagged with "feature". The thumbnail image that appears for a post is the image that is uploaded as the Thumbnail image for Facebook, etc. under the Settings > Social media tab for that page or post.

Secretary-Treasurer's Message

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The Secretary-Treasurer's Message section on your homepage will display the latest post from your blog tagged with secretary.

Upcoming meetings & events

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This section of your homepage will display upcoming events from your calendar. 

Social media links

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The social media links on your homepage will link to the facebook and twitter accounts of your website's primary broadcaster.

Top level pages on your website will appear in your website's primary navigation menu when they are published, and they have the "Include in top nav" option checked (found under the Settings tab for each page).

Subpages of top-level pages will show up in both the drop-down menus, and the secondary navigation menu that appears on inner pages just below the primary navigation menu, when they are published and have the "Include in top nav" option checked.

You can also include a tertiary navigation menu that will display links to sub-subpages in a column on the left-hand side of your inner pages. To activate this tertiary menu, simply tag the subpage page you want the menu to appear on with the tag layout2. When the menu is activated, and sub-sub pages that are published and have the "Include in top nav" option checked will show up in the menu.

If a page has the "Show sidebar" option checked, another sidebar will show up on the right-hand side of the page. Any page that has the "Include in supporter nav" option checked will show up in this menu.

The content and links that appear in your website's footer are controlled via the options found under Site settings > Footer in your NationBuilder control panel. Note that your custom theme is built using the Bootstrap 3 framework, and the columned layout in your footer is generated using Bootstrap's responsive grid system. When editing the links and content in your footer, using the HTML editor option found in the content editing toolbar is highly recommended.

NationBuilder includes some great tools that allow your supporters to share your website via their social networks. You can read about how to optimize each page on your website for social sharing here: nationbuilder.com/optimizing_your_content_for_social_media

Your custom theme includes an expanded set of page-level sharing tools (we've added options to share by email, Pinterest, Linkedin, StumbleUpon, and Reddit.)

We've also added a feature that allows you to include a "sharebar", which promotes the prewritten tweet that is configured for that particular page at the top of the page. To turn on the sharebar, simply add the tag "sharebar" to that page.

A sharebar is a special feature that we've developed that allows you to add a prewritten tweet near the top of your pages, making it easy for your supporters to share your website and key messaging on Twitter and Facebook. To turn on the sharebar for a page, simply add the tag "sharebar" to that page. You can configure the prewritten tweet text by editing the Default post content found under the Social media settings tab for that page.

Events on your NationBuilder website are managed through Calendar and Event pages. You can read more about Calendar and Event pages by clicking the links below:

http://nationbuilder.com/how_to_calendar

http://nationbuilder.com/setting_up_an_event

To learn about how to manage and track donations on your website, check out these links:

http://nationbuilder.com/how_to_create_a_donation_page

http://nationbuilder.com/how_to_fundraising

Please note that one of the limitations of NationBuilder's donation pages is that one-time donation and monthly donation options must be set up as separate pages. However, we've created a custom solution that allows you to include the option switching between making a one-time and a monthly donation from directly within your donation forms.

To activate this custom feature, simply create a new donation page that is either a one-time or a monthly donation form, and then create a second donation page as a subpage that is the other type of donation form. For example, if you create Donation Page A and set it up to collect one-time donations, you would then create Donation Page B as a subpage of Donation Page A, and configure Donation Page B to accept monthly donations.

First, check and make sure that the changes you've made are published. If you're still having trouble, you may need to clear your website's cache. From your NationBuilder Control Panel, navigate to Website > Site settings > Clear cache.

Sometimes when making changes to a page or publishing a new page, the links in your site's top nav may automatically rearrange themselves. If this happens, you can change the order of the links in your navigation menu using the method described here.

NationBuilder includes some great tools you can use to make sure your website is search engine friendly. You can read about optimizing your website for search engines here: nationbuilder.com/organic_search_ranking_optimization