Element Theme Documentation

General Documentation


Theme Setup


Element may be used either as a standalone theme or as a child theme alongside of a parent theme. If you choose to use Element as a standalone theme, automatic updates will be disabled. This is to ensure that you do not lose any of your customizations.

To use Element as a child theme, install both the Element parent theme and the element-child theme (included in your download package) and activate the child theme. For developers, please see the accompanying functions.php file for advanced layout customizations.

Formatting Tips

WordPress has its fair share of quirks. If you find that WordPress auto paragraph formatting (wpautop) is getting in the way of your markup, simply add a custom field to your Page or Post named “wpautop” with a value of “false”.

Page Titles

Element has a Designer Page template which will hide the Page title and sidebar. If you want to just hide the title of a Page or Post, simply create a custom field named “hidetitle” and set the value to “true”.


Element has several built in shortcodes. You can see them in action on the shortcodes demo page.


A callout is (by default) a rounded cornered styled inset box. It has two arguments:

  • align - aligns the callout left, right, or center
  • width - Only use this parameter if you must. Defined widths will not scale properly on all devices. Instead, consider embedding them in one of the column shortcodes.
[callout align="center" width="400"]
This is a 400px centered callout box

[callout align="left" width="200"]
This is a 200px left aligned callout box

[callout align="right" width="100"]
This is a 100px right aligned callout box

This is a callout that will expand the entire width of its parent container.

Fluid Columns

You’ve seen these before. The fractional shortcode combinations allow you to insert scalable columns into your content. The only rule here is, the last column must have a suffix of ‘_last’. See the example below.

// Three Columns Example
Column One - Add anything you want here

Column Two - Add anything you want here

Column Three - Add anything you want here

Available Options – Up to 6 columns

  • one_third
  • two_thirds
  • one_half
  • one_fourth
  • three_fourths
  • one_fifth
  • two_fifth
  • three_fifth
  • four_fifth
  • one_sixth
  • five_sixth

Cross-Browser CSS3 Buttons

Tested in IE7,IE8,IE9,Webkit, and Mozilla browsers. Preview all colors and sizes

[button align="center" color="white" size="small" link="http://www.simplethemes.com"]Small Button[/button]


You can create tabs content within your content as well. Each tab needs a unique id (identifier) in order to work.

[tab title="Tab 1" id="t1"]Tab 1 content[/tab]
[tab title="Tab 2" id="t2"]Tab 2 content[/tab]
[tab title="Tab 3" id="t3"]Tab 3 content[/tab]

Accordion Toggles

See them in action here.

[toggle title="Button text One"]
Toggle Content One

[toggle title="Button Text Two"]
Toggle Content Two

[toggle title="Button Text Three"]
Toggle Content Three

Latest Posts

Insert a list of your latest posts from specified category(s) into any page with optional thumbnail and excerpt.

[latest excerpt="true" thumbs="true" width="50" height="50" num="5" cat="8,10,11"]

Insert a list of related (tagged) posts.



Sometimes the WordPress editor will strip out your more advanced markup. This can be a real drag. By wrapping your code in [raw] tags, you can eliminate this issue.

[raw] YOUR SAFE HTML CODE [/raw]


If you ever need to clear an element, you can use the “clear” shortcode below.


Clear with Horizontal line:

Similar to “clear”, this does the same thing but adds a horizontal line below.


Layout Customization Hooks

You can find a list of these hookable actions and functions throughout functions.php:

  • st_above_header // Hook to add content before header
  • st_header_open // Opening header tags
  • st_header_extras // Additional content to be added to the header
  • st_logo // Override the theme logo function(s)
  • st_header_close // Closing Header tags
  • st_below_header // Hook to add content after header
  • st_navbar // Opening navigation element and WP3 menus
  • st_before_content // Hook to add content before content
  • st_after_content // Hook to add content after the content
  • st_before_comments // Hook to add content before comments
  • st_after_comments // Hook to add content after comments
  • st_before_footer // Hook to add content before the footer
  • st_footer // The footer (includes sidebar-footer.php)
  • st_footernav // Footer navigation menus
  • st_after_footer // Hook to add content after the footer