Zena documentation

Installing WordPress

In order to be installed, the theme requires that you have a working WordPress installation, locally or on you web space.

If you need help installing WordPress, you can head over to the official WordPress documentation page to get started.

If this is your first time using WordPress, you can also take a look at a few other pages that might help you understand the basics:

Technical requirements

To use the theme, the minimum WordPress version required is 4.4. From the technical point of view, your host must support at least the following:

  • PHP 5.2+
  • MySQL 5+

Concerning PHP, even if the minimum version required is 5.2, we strongly encourage that you use a newer version, such as 5.6 or 7.0, both for performance and security reasons. If you’re not yet on those, talk to your host and enquire about the possibility of activating one of those versions on your account.

Suggested PHP configuration settings

Every once in a while, you might encounter a problem that is somehow related to the configuration of the PHP that’s running on your host. In order to try to prevent those errors from happening, we suggest that you make sure that you have the following settings in place:

  • max_execution_time: 180
  • memory_limit: 96M
  • post_max_size: 32M
  • upload_max_filesize: 32M

Suggested WordPress configuration settings

In order to increase the memory allocated to your WordPress installation, you also need to follow these steps to set a specific memory limit.

Installing the theme

After purchasing Zena you can download the theme package from your ThemeForest “Downloads” section.

You can either choose to upload the theme to your server via FTP, or use the WordPress theme upload function. In either case, please make sure to upload only the archive file named after the theme, contained in the main package you downloaded (e.g. if the main package is called “Theme v.1.0”, you want to upload the “theme.zip” file contained in it).

If you are new to WordPress and have problems with theme you might want to check out this page on the Envato help.

Are you getting the “Theme is missing the style.css stylesheet error“? take a look at this page for explanation on how to fix this issue quickly.

Theme installation wizard

Upon theme activation, you will be redirected to the theme wizard installation procedure, which is intended to guide you in your first steps with the theme.

The one click installation procedure will install and activate all the required plugins in order to make the theme work properly.

If you mind to skip this procedure or something goes wrong with the wizard make sure to follow the instructions in the “Required plugins” section below in order to manually activate all the plugins needed by the theme.

Required plugins

In order to use all the theme features you need to activate the following plugins, which are required by the theme:

  • Evolve framework, our backbone option framework,
  • Zena plugin, which declares shortcodes, widgets and extra functionality used by the theme.

The following plugins are not necessarily required by the theme, but are strongly suggested to take full advantage of its functionality:

  • Zena demos importer, that will allow you to install our demo content.
  • Force regenerate, useful if you need to rebuild your media library thumbnails.

If you decided to skip the theme installation wizard, or something went wrong during the wizard installation, you’ll find links to enable the required and suggested plugins under Zena → Install Plugins, in the WordPress administration area.

Installing demo content

Zena provides one pre-built demo that you can import and use right away on your installation.

In order to perform the installation of the demo content, please make sure that the Zena demos importer plugin is installed and active, and then, from the Zena section on your WordPress backend, navigate to the Demo content tab to find a list of all the available demos.

In this page, the demos are displayed in a grid-like layout. Moving your mouse over an image will make two action buttons appear, to preview and install the demo: while the first is a simple link to the demo preview, by clicking on the Install button, an installation procedure will start and all the pages and images needed by the demo will be added to your installation.

Please note that the images used in the online demo will be replaced with creative commons images from Unsplash. Images are always intended for demo purposes only.

How to update

Zena is updated regularly, bringing in new features, providing security enhancements, fixing bugs, and generally be compatible with the latest and greatest WordPress version available.

When a new update is published, there are two ways for you to update your theme.

Auto updates

In order to receive updates notifications for the theme you’ll need to install the Envato Market WordPress plugin, which will take care of the whole process for you. Please refer to their documentation page about how to set it up correctly.

Auto updates work with child themes as well: in the case an update to the parent theme is available, you will be able to update it automatically and transparently without touching the child theme’s code.

Manual updates

As soon as a new update comes out, the new updated version will be available on your ThemeForest Downloads section, making sure to download the Installable WordPress file only.

After you got a copy of the updated theme, you have two options:

Log into your site via FTP or cPanel and delete the old theme folder and then upload the new archive you’ve just downloaded and unpack it in the themes directory.

Make sure you make a backup of the old version of your theme just in case something goes wrong.

Another choice that you have is to rename folder that contains the now old version of the theme. This will allow you to successfully upload the new version of the theme.

In the case you’re manually updating the theme, make sure to only update the main/parent theme, not any child themes that you might be using.

Updating the required/suggested plugins

When a new theme update comes out, the required/suggested plugins, even when they’re distributed as a bundle together with the theme itself, may require to be updated as well.

Should that happen, a warning sign will be displayed near to the Zena item in the WordPress admin menu. By going to that page, you’ll see a notice that will tell you which plugins need to be updated and will give you instructions about how to do it.

Child themes

You might be wondering, “Should I install a child theme?

This is a good question and the answer is a resounding yes! If you’re not familiar with child themes, here’s a good place to start knowing them a little more.

Long story short, activating a child theme allows you to receive all the theme updates available, without compromising your customizations, because they would be in fact done on a different theme.

This is also why the version number of the child theme will never change: in order to perform an update to your theme, even if you’re using a child theme, you’ll always only need to update its parent theme.

Widget areas

Widgets are fully supported in Zena and they can be used in the drawer, available when the user clicks on the menu icon.

Zena allows you to create additional Widget areas, with a sidebar creation tool that’s integrated in the Appearance → Widgets section of the WordPress admin and that will allow you to create an unlimited number of sidebars.

After a Widget area has been created, it will appear under the User-registered widget areas panel in the Widgets administration screen.

Theme options

The Zena global options can be found under the Zena → Options page in your WordPress admin area and are divided in Global options and Post Type options.


If you navigate to Zena → Options → Header you will find options that will allow you to specifically configure the header portion of your website. If you need to upload a logo image or enable the tagline visibility, you can open the Customizer panel instead.


If you navigate to Zena → Options → Footer you will find options that will allow you to specifically configure the footer portion of your website.


If you navigate to Zena → Options → Menu you will find options that will allow you to specifically configure the menu portion of your website.

You can choose which Sidebar must be displayed in the drawer and if you want to have a background image as decoration of the drawer.


If you navigate to Zena → Options → Layout you will find options that will allow you to define the page layout for all the loop pages like the Index, Archives or Search.


Under the Zena → Options → Social page you will be able to set your social networks addresses. These social networks will be used by the Social widget that you can use in the theme’s widget areas.

Post format gallery & Albums

There are two ways to present your images in Zena: by using your blog creating posts having the post format set to gallery or using pages with the Album page template.

Both Albums and gallery posts share the same “Gallery” & “Lightbox” options under the “Options” metabox.


You can show your images in three ways:

  • A simple vertical stream of images
  • A two or three columns simple or masonry grid
  • An horizontal carousel

For each mode, you can define the image size to be used for your images.

You’ll also be able to choose what you’d like to do with the featured image: you can use it as first element of the gallery or use it as cover of your album.

Please note that the “cover” mode is not available for the carousel gallery type.

With the Carousel and Simple gallery type you can enable “captions” for your images.

If you are using the Carousel gallery type in combination with the “Column” page layout, you have an extra option that allows you to make the carousel expanded by default.

When enabled, the built-in lightbox functionality can be customized to display captions or the sharing options.

Portfolio pages

The Portfolio page template allows you to create a collection of selected albums composed with the post format gallery or the page template “Album”.

After the page save you will find the Collection options under the “Options” meta box.

You can present your albums in two styles:

  • a “grid” like style, with a nice slideshow (limited to the first 5 images of the album) displayed when the user move the mouse over the block
  • a small “thumbnails stripe” mode that creates a stacked series of thumbnails with the album title on top