WordPress Theme and Plugin Configuration Exercise #8324

In this exercise, you will download and configure a free WordPress theme, and some plugins. You are welcome to use the Internet or your notes.


First, please download this sample duplicator package and install it in your MAMP testing environment. Make sure to add yourself as a new ADMIN user in this process. Also, please download the screenshots package.

The content is approximately 12 posts, with feature images and summaries. Each post has a youtube video right at the beginning.

Finally, download, install, and activate the following:

  • the Ryan theme
  • the Ninja Forms plugin
  • the Yop Poll plugin

If you are at Langara College, don’t forget that we have to install themes and plugins manually, owing to network restrictions.

You may not install any other plugins.

You job is to make the site look like the one in the screenshots.

A lot, but not all, of what you will do will take place in the theme customizer.

Front Page ( 5 marks )

The front page is NOT a static page.

Use the theme customizer to enable the slider. The images are included in the Duplicator package you have already installed: reuse feature images from three articles. Make sure that no heads get cut off.

For the text that appears on those images, use the names and the quotes listed below:

  • Billie Holiday: “When you sing, always tell the truth.”
  • Miles Davis: “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”
  • Sonny Sharrock: “When I walk out on stage, my intention is to make the first four rows bleed from their ears.”

Because the images are black and white, make the necessary CSS changes to make the text in the slider more legible. Try to match the effects below as closely as possible. Click any image if you need to see a bigger version.

Use the theme customizer to set up the three featured content areas that are underneath the slider. Use the same icons and text as below.

Do not link the featured content to anything (we don’t have any pages to link them to at this point).

Featured Content Design

If the front page is not showing article summaries instead of the long articles, make sure that it does.

Menus (2 marks )

Make the menus in the header area like they in the screenshot below. Click for bigger image. The screenshot top menu has the HOME link in a dumb place: in your menu, make HOME the first link.

For the social page links, just link to the Langara Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

Posts Data ( 1 mark )

Change the publication date of all posts to be within the last year. Remove any tags that are not explicitly music-related.

Another User ( 2 marks )

Make another user with Editor access level. Give that author the name Walter White and the email walterwhite@kevinmc.ca.

Assign all posts to this user.

At the end of every post (in single view), make sure that the author bio and gravatar is displayed: “Walter White is a very enthusiastic jazz fan and small businessman.”  It will look similar to the one below:

The Favicon ( 1 mark )

Included in the Media Library of the site you have installed is a PNG file. Make it work as the favicon on the site (visible in in the browser tab in Chrome, for example).

Working Favicon


Body Text  ( 1 mark )

Change all paragraph type to the typical georgia font stack.

The Sidebar in Posts Full Views (2 marks )

When we see a post in full (single) view, make sure there is a sidebar with only Search, Recent Posts, Categories, and Archives, in that order. 

Single View

Contact Form ( 1 mark )

Using the Ninja Forms plugin, make a Contact page. Make sure you that the CONTACT link in the header goes to that page.

BONUS MARKS ( 5 marks )

For 1 bonus mark, figure out how to make the videos not show related posts when they finish playing. Make that solution happen on the Anita O’Day post.  Remember that you may NOT install any other plugins than the two used in the exercise.

For another 4 bonus marks, use the Yop-Poll plugin to make three polls. Use the text below. Put them at the bottom of every page in the site (arranged and styled as they are in the screenshot below). Configure the polls so that anyone can vote: they do not have to be logged in.

Weekly Reader Poll 1

What is the best ever jazz record?

  • Miles Davis: Kind of Blue
  • John Coltrane: A Love Supreme
  • Sonny Sharrock: Ask The Ages
  • Ella Fitzgerald: Cole Porter Songbook
  • Charles Mingus: Mingus Mingus Mingus
  • Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch!
  • Theolonious Monk: Monk’s Dream
  • Ornette Coleman: The Shape of Jazz to Come

Weekly Reader Poll 2

Who is the best ever jazz vocalist?

Weekly Reader Poll 3

What is the best ever jazz album cover?

  • Dave Brubeck: Time Out
  • Miles Davis: Tutu
  • Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder
  •  Verve: Jazz At the Philharmonic
  • Freddie Hubbard: Hub-Tones
  • Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch
  • Duke Ellington: Anatomy of a Murder
  • Billie Holiday: Billie Holiday


Your work must include the color treatment of any poll results, as below:



Hand It In

When you are done, make a Duplicator package of your site. Put the installer and the zip archive in a folder with your name + midterm in the name, then hand it into studentshare (PUBL 1232, if you are a PUBLISHING student).

Make sure that you are in CHROME when you are making the DUPLICATOR package: Safari (and maybe other browsers) will automatically unpack a ZIP when you download it, thereby making it unusable by Duplicator.