From our entire team at VolThemes, we want to personally thank you for purchasing/upgrade Marlin Theme!
If you have any question that is beyond the scope of this documentation, Please feel free to create a ticket on the Support Forum.

This documentation covers everything you need to know to get the theme up and running in no time. Please read the documentation thoroughly.

NEW in version 3.0
* NEW: Demo Import
* NEW: Enable Transparent and Padding Option for Topbar
* NEW: Typography Option to customize Featured Slider. Option can be find at “Featured Slider Settings”.
* NEW: Auto-updates

Quick note:
Installation Requirements

  • This theme required WordPress at least 4.3. It’s highly recommended that you have the latest version of your WordPress installed.

All set? Lets roll! 🙂


To install your new theme you must have a working version of WordPress* already installed. For information on how to install the WordPress software, please visit the WordPress Codex Installing WordPress.
*Preferably the latest available version of the WordPress software.

Installing Theme

When you are ready to install your theme, you will need to extract/unzip the theme package first that you’ve download from Member area or Marketplace (where you purchase the theme).

Make sure you are uploading only the installable theme (that inside the package you download which is called through your WordPress admin section.

When you have uploaded the theme, you will need to activate the theme itself.

There are 2 ways to upload your theme files:

Step 1: Install Theme Via WordPress Dashboard

1. Go to ‘Appearance Themes’ section
2. Click ‘Add New’ and select the ‘Upload Theme’ option

3. Choose the file and press ‘Install Now’.
4. Click Activate it.
5. Go to ‘WordPress Dashboard Appearance Customize‘ to get started customizing theme.

If you face any problem during upload through dashboard, please upload the theme using FTP as guided below.

Step 2 (Alternative) : Install Theme Via FTP

1. Access your hosting server using an ftp client like FileZilla
2. Go to the /wp-content/themes folder of your WordPress installation
3. Extract the file in the theme package and put in /wp-content/themes/ folder
4. Go to ‘WordPress Dashboard Appearance Themes‘ section, Click Activate to use your new theme right away.
5. To get started customizing the theme, go to Appearance Customize

Child Theme

It is better to use child theme as if you need to modify anything you modify in child theme only. This way you can easily update your parent theme whenever new update becomes available. Read more about Child Themes.

We have attached a basic child theme to the download package which contains the minimum of required files. If you are planing any code customization we highly recommend to do this inside the child theme! Learn more about Using Child Theme.

For minor CSS changes, you can also make use of the Custom CSS field inside the Theme Options Panel. A very simple and mighty tool. The advantage of this technique is quite simple. If you are running a theme update this data is stored inside the database and does not gets overwritten with the next update!

Installing Child Theme
To install child theme, you need to upload the and activate it in the same way as you uploaded and activated the parent theme’s

Setting up your theme
Once you have uploaded and activated your theme, you’re ready to set-up your brand new theme.

You’re one step closer to getting your site up and running with Marlin theme!

Activating Plugins (Required & Recommended)

After you have installed and activated the theme, there’ll be a message of Required & Recommends plugins at the top of the WordPress dashboard.

*Click image to enlarge

Click on Begin Installing Plugins and it will take you to Appearance Install Plugins.

– Select Plugins you would like to install (we recommend activating Contact Form 7, Jetpack, Vafpress Post Formats UI and Smash Balloon Instagram Feed, as they work well on the Demo site)
– Click Install
– Click Activate

Image Sizes

If you are migrating to Marlin from another theme you may wish to resize your images first so that they fit better within the new theme.

To do this, please install Regenerate Thumbnails WordPress plugin.

In your WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to “Plugins >> Add New.”

Type “Regenerate Thumbnails” in the search box, install and run the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.

Regenerate Thumbnails

Import Demo Content

To see how the theme works, importing the demo content can be helpful as the starting point to make your website. You’ll be able to delete everything at any time and only keep what you need.

Note: We do not recommend to import demo content if you have existing content in your WordPress installation.

To import Marlin demo content, required “One Click Demo Import” plugin installed. see Activating Plugins section.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, navigate to “Appearance Import Demo Data ” in your WordPress menu.

marlin import demo

Choose the demo you like, and click “Import” button.
*you don’t need to import each demo.

1. Go to “Appearance Menus”
2. Select “create a new menu” at the top of the page.
3. Enter a name for your new menu in the Menu Name box.
4. Select the “Pages” by clicking the check box next to each “Pages” that you want to include in the menu.
5. Click the “Add to Menu” button located at the bottom of tab to your menu.
6. Click the “Save Menu” button.

Note: if you want a new menu just click “create a new menu”, then you can move the items from the left side.
At the bottom “Menu Settings Display locations”, checklist the menu position you want to display “Topbar Menu or Primary menu” and click “Save Menu”.

marlin setup menu

Header/ Topbar Settings

in version 3.0, you can now enable transparent Topbar and customize padding size in Appearance >> Customize >> Header/ Topbar. to customize color, navigate to: Appearance >> Customize >> Color Settings >> Header/ Topbar.

Creating Posts

Make sure the “Vafpress Post Formats UI” plugin installed and active. (see menu section number 5. Plugins Suggested)
Marlin supports the following post formats:

– Standard
– Image
– Gallery
– Video
– Audio

marlin post format

To learn more about post formats: WordPress Post Formats

Sample Video Post Format:
– In the WP Dashboard, Add New Post and select Video tab and enter full video link url or Embed Code under post title.

Sample Audio Post Format

Add Featured Post

Featured images also known as post thumbnails are a popular feature in WordPress themes.

To add a featured image in a WordPress post, simply create a new post and scroll down a little to see if there is a meta box called featured images on the right hand side of the screen.

This will open the WordPress Media Uploader. You can use that to upload an image from your computer or use an existing image from your media library. Once you select the image, simply click on Set Featured Image button.

*For Standard Blog layout, Ideal Image size: 800x533. (width:800px – height:533px)

Post Excerpts

Since marlin version 1.0.2 and as many user feedback, the availability of this theme can create full article without ‘read more’ button or excerpt post.

To edit a post that already exists on your site, go to Posts > All Posts in your WordPress dashboard. Click on the title of the post you want to edit in the list provided.

Place your cursor at the spot in the post where you want the More Tag to appear.
In your Visual Editor’s toolbar, click on the the “Insert Read More tag” button. You can find the More Tag button in the first row:

Display Category Description

Categories can help you get better SEO results. And also, Categories come with another interesting feature – the description.
This function will return the description of a category defined in the category settings screen for the current category (Posts > Categories). Category Description only show on the category archive page.

To add category descriptions, go to "Posts Categories". This will take you to a page containing all the categories of your website.

Click “Edit” on the category. On the resulting page, provide the description, and click “Update“. This will add the description to the category. You can add descriptions to all of your categories.


It is also possible to add descriptions to your tags. To do that, go to "Posts Tags". Similar to the categories, you can add a new tag with descriptions, or add descriptions to the existing tags by clicking the “Edit” link.


Marlin theme currently have 6 additional widget:

– [Marlin] About Widget
– [Marlin] Ad Widget
– [Marlin] Latest Post Widget
– [Marlin] Recent Comments &
– [Marlin] Social Widget
NEW in v2.1+ [Marlin] Newsletter Widget

About Widget

Marlin About WidgetTo add The About Widget,
1. Go to Media > Add New
2. Click on “Select Files”
3. Upload a square or circle image of you. (Ideal size 250x250px)
4. Click on “edit”
5. Copy the link from “File URL”
6. Go to “Appearance > Widgets”
7. Move/ drag the “[Marlin] About Widget” to the Sidebar
8. Paste the url in the “Image URL”
9. Write a text in “About Description”
10. Add the url of your social profile
11. Optional upload Signature Image and adjust the size
12. Click on “Save”.

Latest Post Widget

To add The Latest Posts Widget,

1. Go to “Appearance > Widgets”
2. Move/ drag the “[Marlin] Latest Post” widget to the Sidebar
3. Select a Category you want to display and enter Number of posts to show.

Setting Instagram Feed

*Required “Instagram Feed” plugin installed. see Activating Plugins section.

1) Once you’ve installed the plugin click on the Instagram Feed item in your WordPress menu

2) Click on the large blue button to connect your Instagram account.

3) Once you’ve connected your Instagram account you can use the associated buttons to add or remove it from your Primary user feed, or to add it to another feed on your site.

4) Navigate to the Customize page to customize your feed.

To setup like it’s demo:
Width of Feed: 100%
Height of Feed & Background Color: Leave empty

Number of Photos: 6. (Ideal number of photos to show: 6-8 )
Number of Columns: 6
Padding around Images: 0/ Leave blank
Disable mobile layout: Check/ Enable

Show Feed Header: Uncheck/disable
‘Load More’ Button: Uncheck/disable

‘Follow’ Button
Link Follow Text
Show the Follow button: Check/enable.
*You can customize Button Background & Button Text Color.

Disable Icon Font
Scroll down to bottom, above “Icon Method”, Checklist: “Disable Icon Font”

*Another settings are Optional.

5) Once you’ve customized your feed, go to “Appearance > Widgets”,
Move/ drag the “Text” widget to Instagram Footer Widget.
Copy and paste: [instagram-feed] shortcode into widget, and click Save.

Social Widget

To add Social Widget,

1. Go to “Appearance > Widgets”
2. Move/ drag the “[Marlin] Social Widget” to the Sidebar widget
3. Enter your social profile links to displaying social icons in the sidebar. (Leave blank the text boxes to not display icons.)

Newsletter Widget

This form works with any Email Marketing services like AWeber, ConvertKit and MailChimp, etc.

To create a Subscribe form/Newsletter Widget:

1. Go to “Appearance Widgets”
2. Move/ drag the “[Mrlin] Newsletter Widget” widget to the Sidebar

please only paste the pure/minimal form code, only put:
<\form>, <\input> and <\button>. without: \

No extra CSS styles and Javascripts.

Example code:

*See example code here.

To cange custom background images, go to “Appearance Customize Theme Settings Newsletter Settings.”
Remove or Change file with your own images.

Add an Author Info Box

The theme have built-in support for author bio boxes. which is no need to install additional plugin.

Login to your WordPress dashboard and Go to “Users Your Profile.” Under the Contact Info & About Yourself title and Fill out the the form with your information.

This is example how the author info box looked on our demo site.
marlin new author profile

Contact Page

The theme supports the popular plugin Contact Form 7 to easily create working contact forms.

Please read this to learn more: How to create a working contact page in WordPress.

Page Templates

In an empty page you can choose some page template under “Page Attributes –> Template” Full-width ( No Sidebar), and Home (Slider/Promobox).

for example, see below

Fullwidth Page template

To create a Fullwidth Page:

  • Step 1 – Go to your wordpress admin >> Pages and click the Add New button or Edit the page you need to make Fullwidth page.
  • Step 2 – Find the page attributes box and locate the template select box and choose “Fullwidth”.
  • Step 3 – Save or Publish the page, by click the appropriate button in the top right of your screen.
  • Step 4 – You will see a page that looks like the one below. Edit the fields for the desired output.

How To Create Tiled Galleries

To use Tiled Galleries, first make sure the Jetpack WordPress plugin installed and the module is activated in your Jetpack dashboard. (see section number 5. Plugins Suggested)

With Tiled Galleries you can display your image galleries in three new styles: a rectangular mosaic, a square mosaic, and a circular grid. The rectangular and square tiled layouts also have hover-over captions to save space while making captions accessible.

You can create your Tiled Gallery by following these steps:

1. Make sure the module is activated in your Jetpack dashboard
2. Create a new gallery with the “Tiles” option selected.
3. Optional: To make all of your galleries tiled by default, go to “Settings > Media” in your blog’s dashboard and select the box next to “Display all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic.“tiled gallery

The Customizer

All of the options provided in Marlin theme are handled using the WordPress Theme Customizer, which was added in WordPress version 3.4. This provides numerous distinct advantages over 3rd party options panels, including:

  • Utilizing native WordPress features.
  • A simple, intuitive interface.
  • Live preview of options changes before committing them.
  • Cutting down on code bloat.

To get to the WordPress Theme Customizer, go to “Appearance Customize” in the WordPress Admin Panel. Once you are there, you will be presented with a screen consisting of the options panel on the left and the preview of your site on the right. It should be noted that nothing you change in the Theme Customizer will be committed until you select “Save & Publish.”

This is an incredibly handy feature as it lets you to view everything you’re changing on your site before any of your visitors see anything you’re updating, allowing you to get 4 things exactly the way you want them before making them live.

Start using your new theme
Once you have uploaded, installed, active and set-up your theme, you’re ready to start using your new theme!


Theme Options/settings can be found at: “Appearance Customize Theme Settings

To upload custom logo, Click on Site Identity and Upload/Select logo (this is also where you can can upload a favicon – Site Icon). Click on the Save & Publish.

Header Image

In the “Appearance Customize Theme Settings Header”, you can upload a custom header. The Customizer tells you the sizes suggested.

1. Click on “Add new image”
2. Click on “Select files”
3. Select your header image
4. Click on “Select and Crop”
5. on the bottom, select “Full screen header images” to make the header image fit the container
6. Save & Publish to apply changes.

Marlin Header Image

To make Header Images change randomly, simply click on ‘Randomize uploaded header’ button under recently uploaded images and then save your changes.
You can now visit your website and reload it to see header images change randomly.

Blog Settings – Layout

Homepage & Archive Page Layout option:

– Standard Blog Layout
– 1st Full Post + 2 Col Grid
– 2 Col Grid + Post excerpt
– 2 Col Grid + No Post excerpt
– 3 Col Grid + Post excerpt (NEW in v2.1)
– 3 Col Grid + No Post excerpt (NEW in v2.1)

There also option to Hide Sidebar on HOMEPAGE, so you can make variation like example below.

Marlin Layout Variation

featured slider settingIn the “Appearance Customize Featured Slider Settings,
Here you can activate slider that will appear on the Home page.

– Checklist “Enable Featured Slider
– Select Slider Type (2 variation)
– Select Featured Category or Select by post/page IDs number
– Select/ Enter Amount of Slides
– Scroll down to bottom, there’s an Post meta, Color settings and Typography options too.

*To display full image size, minimum image size: 1170×780

You can feed slider contents from following sources:

  • Select Featured Category (Post Category) – It will attach properties to your slides (Very easy to use)
  • or Select featured by post/page IDs (Post/Page IDs) – You can display slider by entering Post/Page IDs (Multiple ID use separator: comma).
    example: 208,1907,1656,1407,2011

How to Find the Post ID in WordPress?
The easiest and quickest way to find a post ID is done from the All Posts screen.

In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Posts.
Simply hover your mouse over the post you want to find the ID for. And take a look in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

How to Find the Post/Page ID in WordPress

More specifically, the post ID is the number that comes after the post= and before the &

Fonts Settings

Go To “Appearance Customize Font Settings”, Select section that you want to change Font (Site Title, Site Tagline/ description, Site Fonts, Menu Navigation, etc). And select the font name from the dropdown menu selector.

For example in the image below:

Select Google font name, Font Weight, Font Size, Font Style, Text Transform & Letter Spacing

marlin font setting

*Multiple fonts allows you to use all of those fonts in your menu/page/post/widget. (But don’t go overboard; most pages don’t need very many fonts, and requesting a lot of fonts may make your pages slow to load.)

  • Important: Not all fonts support every Font-weight, Font Style & Text Transform.

Color Settings

You can change the colors of a lot of sections and elements like Topbar Background, Header, Menu, Link color, Post titles, Widget Title, etc…

Footer Settings

You can display social profile, disable “Backtotop Button” and change with the custom Footer Credits text. You don’t need to credit or link us back.

Custom Scripts

Add Custom Code or Scripts in this section.

– Use Header Script (For example: meta tag verification, google fonts url,etc)
They will be added before < /head> tag.

– Use Footer Script (For example: google analytic, histats,etc)
They will be added before < /body> tag

Additional CSS

You’ll be able to add you custom CSS if you want. Add any custom css here. It will override the default values.

To add additional CSS go to “Appearance Customize Additional CSS” and simply put your CSS here.

marlin custom css

You may also like: Master The Basics Of CSS3 Video Guides

Additional Features/Options

If you have followed the above mentioned steps of this documentation, you have completed the basic theme setup of Marlin Theme. Now you can start creating amazing content.


Although Our themes are in English, you can easily translate your new theme you wish.
We recommend that you download and install POEdit to translate your theme.
Once downloaded, open up the application.

Within the theme files, we have included a .pot file that you will need to use to translate the theme. To locate the .pot file, unzip and open the ‘’ folder and locate the Language folder. The .pot file will be inside this Language folder.

In POEdit, click on the ‘Create New Translation’ button and then open the .pot file.

Next select or type in the language of the translation.

Once you have selected the language, you can start performing the translation of the theme’s strings. Go through each line of readable text in your theme and enter in the translated text in the Translation field to the language that you have chosen. There may also be some translation suggestions that you can choose from in the panel on the right.

When you have translated each line, go to File > Save and save this .po file into the same folder as the original .po file.

Please note, POEdit automatically changes the file name to reflect the language selected, for example if you have chosen to translate the theme to French, the file name will be fr.pot. However you may need to adjust it to your selected language. POEdit will also automatically create a .mo file.

You can now change the language in your WordPress admin area. Go to Settings > General > Site Language and then choose the language you want to load for your website and click Save Changes. To get the theme strings to change language too you now need to upload your edited language files from POEdit to the /language/ folder on your live website.

Share your language files with others

If you’ve already translated a theme then many of our users would be delighted if you could share your translation files with the community. Just get in contact with us via our Support forum or send an email to:
“support [at]” and we will include the translation files in the next theme update if possible.


If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact us!
All of our Product Support is conducted via our Support Forum.

Channeling all requests at one place keeps and makes it simple, easier and even more effective for every customers to get quick help. All issues, requests and questions can be discussed and answered at one place.

Please follow the steps below before submitting a support request.

  • Make sure you are running the latest version of the theme and the latest version of WordPress.
  • Have a close look at theme documentation for the answer to your question.
  • Have a close look at the support forum whether the question has been asked before.
  • Disable all additional 3rd party plugins that you are using to check if it fixes the issue.

If the above steps didn’t fix your issue please post your ticket at Support Forum.

Support includes:

  • Responding to questions or problems regarding the item and its features
  • Fixing bugs and reported issues
  • Providing updates to ensure compatibility with new software versions

Item support does not include:

  • Customization and installation services
  • Support for third party software and plug-ins

Each of our themes is a final version when offered for sale to you. If you’ve got some issues – we gladly help you out.
Eligible customers get support for free. However, there are extra charges for customization. If you are interested in having a product customized, email us.

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