A clean, responsive, retinized magazine / personal blog theme made for the serious reader/writer in you.

Welcome to the Harper WordPress Theme

If you run into any issues that aren't covered in this documentation, you can open a support ticket at mediumandmessage.ticksy.com. We want you to love this theme as much as we do - we're here to help!

Installing Harper Theme

You can install this WordPress theme using two installation methods:

  1. Using WordPress Administration Panel
  2. Copying theme files via ftp


Using Harper.zip found in ZIP file you downloaded from ThemeForest.com you should perform the following steps:

  1. Login to WP admin
  2. Go to Appearance > Themes option and click on it to load new page
  3. Select Install Theme tab at the top of the panel to load new page
  4. Click on Upload option at the top of the panel to load new page
  5. Click on Browse button and locate Harper.zip on your file system
  6. Click on Install Now button
  7. Once installation is complete you can activate Harper theme


Using Harper directory found inside of Harper.zip file located inside ZIP file you downloaded from ThemeForest.com you should perform the following steps:

  1. Using FTP client you should login to server where your WordPress web site is hosted
  2. Using FTP client you should navigate to /wp-content/themes/ directory under your WordPress web site’s root directory
  3. Using FTP client upload Harper directory to themes directory on remote server
  4. Once installation is complete you can activate Harper theme

Installing plugins

Follow the on-screen instructions once your theme is activated to install the post formats plugin and the contact form plugin. Please note: due to some hosts' server settings and/or the use of caching plugins, you may need to install and activate the plugins one at a time. If you get an error trying a bulk install of plugins, they will install one at a time.

In the General Settings in the Theme options, you can set your favicon and logo image. Click upload and choose the image you want for a logo and a favicon and then hit Save.

In the "Layout and Post Settings" in the Theme options, you can

  1. set the layout of your posts on the homepage;
  2. choose whether or not to display the site title on posts and pages;
  3. choose to display the author name or not (most useful for sites with multiple authors) ;
  4. choose to display the popular posts or recent posts blocks on single post pages;
  5. set a default thumbnail image to use when your post doesn't have an image;
  6. style the dropcap;
  7. style the custom excerpts on posts;
  8. set whether the category and archive pages display posts in a grid;
  9. and set the excerpt length (number of words that display of a post).

In the Fonts Settings under Theme options, you can choose different font style for every element in the site: body, menu, post entry category, and headings. You can also style it according to your preference, you can change font weight and style, font subsets, alignment, text transform, font size, line height and letter spacing.

In the Colors and Styles Settings under Theme options, you can customize the look and color of your site. You can choose what color to use for the background or you can upload an image to set as a background. In this settings you can also change the color of the elements on the site, links, buttons, etc.

In the Social Settings in the Theme options, you can choose whether to show social media icons on your site and set its colors. Then scrolling down you can see where to put the links to your social media accounts.

This theme comes with a number of custom widgets, including an About Me widget, a Custom Image widget, a Bloglovin widget, and a Image Categories widget. These can be set up in the widget page. Drag and drop the widgets into the sidebar or footer widget areas where you want them to appear.

To add an image to the About Me widget or Custom Image widget, upload your image to the media library. Then, copy the File URL for the image, then paste that link into the image URL box in the widget. See screenshots.

This theme includes cool custom post type management tools. Embedding audio and video is as easy as choosing the post type from the tabs at the top of the “New Post” screen, and inserting the URLs to the media in the custom box that appears.

Custom Excerpts

On the post page, click the dropdown box in the right top corner labelled "Screen Options". Then check the "Excerpts" checkbox, which will make a custom excerpt box appear on the screen. Enter your text in this box, and save; it will now appear in the custom excerpt space on the post. You can style the font, font color and size of this text in Theme Options >> Layout and Post Settings.

To include a pull-out quote that stays in one column, simply wrap your text in


Creates this:

Icons - Font Awesome

Icons can be used anywhere on the site thanks to Font Awesome being built in.

  • You can see the available 479 icons here.
  • Click on any icon on the site which will show you the basic code for imbedding the icon, which will look something like this:
  • Usage examples are located here. You can use many different sizes, animate your icons, etc!
  • Images

    Images can span both columns by being set to "alignnone" under edit image. Or you can align images to the right or left column by chosing those image align properties in edit image.

    Harper comes packaged with a number of shortcodes to add neat elements to your posts, including dropcaps, bold first lines of a paragraph, callout boxes, custom excerpt “teaser” styling, text highlights, buttons, and notification boxes. See the demo shortcodes page for examples.

    Please note you need to enclose the text when using a shortcode, meaning you place the shortcode before and after the text/images, for all shorcodes except the divider (which doesn't get placed around text). To end a shortcode, enter [ /SHORTCODE NAME] after the text. See examples below.


    Bold First Line

    Custom Excerpt Style

    Text Dividers

    Text Highlighting


    Notification Boxes

    Column codes include [one_half], [one_third], [two_thirds], [one_fourth], and [three_fourths].

    You can add columns to pages using these shortcodes, when editing or composing, in the “text” view. Please note you need to enclose the text (place the shortcode before and after the text/images.) These work best placed on their own lines.


    One Half


    One Third/Two Thirds


    Three Fourths

    The contact form is a separate plugin, Contact Form 7 (https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7/). To set it up to look like the demo, put the text below in the “Form” box. Some people have issues with Contact Form 7 due to the settings of their hosting providers, in which case, you may also need to install WP Mail SMTP (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-mail-smtp/). A google will show how to implement this fix. Should you have problems with the plugin, please see the forum for the plugin at wordpress.org linked above. Because we are not the creators of Contact Form 7, we can not help with implementation issues. However there are a large body of users in the internetosphere who have probably posted a solution somewhere for you if you run into problems!

    Setting up your shop is as simple as installing the WooCommerce plugin for Wordpress (https://wordpress.org/plugins/WooCommerce/). You can use the shop for affiliate links to external products sold on other sites, for drop-shipping, or sell things yourself to help monetize your blog. Once you've installed and activated the plugin, follow the prompts to install the WooCommerce pages.

    To change the colors of the buttons and other elements in the shop, see the Woocommerce Theme Settings, as illustrated in the screenshot below.

    There's also a great video on getting started with WooCommerce below.

    Harper is made to play well with The Events Calendar and The Events Calendar Pro. The Events Calendar is a free download from the Wordpress Plugin Repostiory (https://wordpress.org/plugins/the-events-calendar/, while the The Events Calendar Pro has many enhanced features, which you can read more about on their site.