With its bold Featured Images and vibrant, cheerful colors, Dara is the perfect theme to enhance your business website.
Setting Up Your Front Page
Set a Static Front Page
Upon activating Dara, your homepage will initially display posts in a traditional blog format, unlike the demo site, which showcases a static front page. To replicate the demo site’s look, follow these steps:
- Publish two easily memorable pages, such as “Home” and “Blog.” You can do this by navigating to My Site → Pages → Add Page.
- Go to Customize → Static Front Page.
- Select “A static page” and choose the two pages you published in Step #1 as your Front page and Posts page.
The static front page includes the following elements:
- A captivating Featured Content area with a slider.
- Three Featured Pages, which you can set in Customize → Theme Options.
- The Testimonial area, configured under Customize → Testimonials. This area displays two testimonials. To add a testimonial, go to My Site → Testimonials → Add. If no testimonials are added, this section will not be displayed.
Featured Content Slider
The Featured Content slider appears on the front of your site. To set it up, follow these steps:
- Navigate to Customize → Featured Content.
- Choose a single word to use as your Featured Content tag and enter it in the provided text field. We recommend using a lowercase word, such as “featured.”
- Click the Publish button to save your changes.
- Create several posts that you’d like to feature. For each post, use the Tags & Categories area of the editor to add the tag you chose under Customize → Featured Content. With Dara, you can also tag pages and portfolio projects to be displayed as Featured Content in addition to posts.
- Set a featured image of at least 1180px wide for each post, page, or portfolio project you added to the slider.
For a comprehensive guide and video on setting up Featured Content, please check out the full Featured Content setup guide.
If no Featured Content tag is set, the featured image set for the front page will be displayed in this area instead.
Front-page Featured Pages
On the theme demo, this section showcases three Featured Pages, each with a title, Featured Image, and excerpt. To achieve the same appearance, follow these directions:
- Publish the three pages that you want to feature on your front page, and upload Featured Images for each page.
- Go to Customizer → Theme Options.
- Use the three drop-down menus to select the pages you’d like to feature.
- Click Save and Publish.
The pages featured in this area will automatically occupy the entire width of your site. For example, a single featured page will occupy the entire column, two Featured Pages will divide the space into two columns, and three Featured Pages will divide the space into three columns.
Please note that if you choose your posts page as one of the featured pages, the front page will display the excerpt and featured image of your latest blog post.
Custom Page Templates
The Full-Width template provides ample space for showcasing your content, making it ideal for galleries of images or videos. Don’t forget to take advantage of the stunning full-width Featured Image. To utilize the Full-Width template, follow these steps:
- Edit or create a new page.
- Select the Full-Width template under Page Options.
The Dara demo site employs a gallery on its Full-Width Template page:
Grid Page Template
The Grid Page template displays child pages in a visually appealing grid format. To begin, create or edit a page and assign it to the Grid Page template from the Page Options panel. The content of this page, along with its Featured Image (if set), will be displayed above the grid.
To add items to the grid, create additional pages and use the Page Options box to set the grid page you just created as their parent page. Remember to set a Featured Image for each child page if you want an image displayed within the grid. Repeat these steps for each item you want to showcase in the grid.
Here’s an example of the grid page template on the Dara demo site:
Dara includes one Custom Menu in the header, which you can configure via My Sites → Menus. If you haven’t assigned a menu, this area will display a default list of your pages.
Social Links Menu
Dara offers the option to display links to your social media profiles in the header and footer. To showcase these links, set up a Social Links Menu.
You can link to any of the following sites, and Dara will automatically display the relevant icon in your menu:
- Email (mailto: links)
- RSS Feed (urls with /feed/)
Dara offers four widget areas to enhance your website:
- The optional Sidebar, which appears on the right in blog view and on pages using the default template (excluding a Static Homepage).
- Three optional Footer widget areas.
If the Sidebar area is inactive, the theme will automatically adjust to a single-column layout.
The demo site utilizes the Contact Info widget, Text widget, and Custom Menu widget within the footer widget areas:
Brand identity is vital, which is why Dara supports the Site Logo feature. To add your own image, navigate to Customize → Site Identity. The logo will appear in the header, above the site title.
Dara beautifully incorporates testimonials in two ways:
- The dedicated Testimonial Archive Page showcases all testimonials in reverse chronological order, with the newest displayed first.
- The static front page highlights the two most recent testimonials.
To add a testimonial, go to Testimonials → New. Testimonials consist of the testimonial text, the customer’s name (added as the testimonial title), and an image or logo (which can be added as a Featured Image).
Testimonial Archive Page
All testimonials are displayed on the testimonial archive page. You can add this page to a Custom Menu using the Links Panel. A frequently asked question is, “Where is the Testimonial archive page?” Here’s an example URL for a WordPress.com site at https://darademo.wordpress.com/:
The URL of the testimonial archive page would be: https://darademo.wordpress.com/testimonial/
You can add a link to the testimonial archive page to your menu as a custom link.
You can further customize this page by adding a title, intro text, and Featured Image via Customize → Testimonials. This content will appear above the testimonials list.
Dara allows you to choose between a custom color, pattern, or a stunning image for your background. To modify the background, visit Customize → Colors & Backgrounds.
Embrace Simplicity with Dara
Dara encompasses qualities such as simplicity, personalization, cleanliness, responsiveness, and versatility. Whether you’re a writer, blogger, business owner, freelancer, or organizing an event like a wedding, Dara caters to your needs.
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