Once you’ve installed Timeline Express you’ll want to head to the settings page to adjust the plugin settings to your liking. You can access the settings page from the WordPress dashboard, by hovering over the newly created ‘Timeline Express‘ menu item on the left-hand side, and clicking ‘Settings‘.
Once on the settings page, you’ll be presented with a number of options. Below, we’ll go through each possible setting and what it controls.
The time frame setting allows you to set which announcements to display on your timeline. By default, the time frame setting is set to Future Events which means that only announcements with dates set in the future will appear on your timeline. Once the announcement date has passed, all announcements with dates past the current day will not display on the timeline.
You can set the time frame of your announcements to Future Events, Past Events or All Events (past+future).
Future Events (default)
Setting your timeline to ‘Future Events’ will only display announcements with announcement dates set to the future. Once the current date passes the announcement date, the announcement will not display on your timeline. If you want to announce upcoming events, feature releases or milestones on your timeline and have them disappear once the date has passed – this is the setting you want to use.
Setting the timeline to ‘Past Events’ will limit the timeline to display announcements whose announcement date is passed the current date. This setting is used for displaying important milestones that your company achieves or important announcements but only allowing them to be visible once the date has passed.
All Events (past+future)
Setting your timeline to ‘All Events (past+future)’ does exactly what it says. All published announcements that you have ever created will be displayed on your timeline and ordered into chronological order by the announcement date. This is the most versatile timeline and allows you to display a wide range of dates from past to future without excluding any from your timeline.
You can set the order of how the announcements are going to display on the Timeline. Timeline Express will always sort your announcements in chronological order, but you can choose to display them in Ascending or Descending order.
Ascending order, is when your announcements go up, or ascend, in date (eg: start: 1980 end: 2020).
Descending order will cause your announcements to display the oldest dated announcement at the top of your timeline, and the most recent dated announcement at the bottom (eg: start: 2020 end: 1980).
Announcement Excerpt Length
The announcement excerpt length setting allows you adjust how long the excerpts on the front end of your site will be (character count). The minimum length is 25 characters. Additionally, you can check the box for ‘Random Length’, which randomizes the length of the excerpts on each page load.
The date visibility setting allows you to toggle the visibility of the date for each announcement on the timeline. By default all dates are visible on the timeline, but you can also set this to ‘Hidden‘ to hide the dates of the announcements on your timeline.
Read More Visibility
The read more visibility setting allows you adjust the visibility of the ‘Read More’ link inside of the announcement container. By default the ‘Read More’ links are visible inside of the announcement containers, but you have the option to set this option to ‘Hidden‘ to hide the ‘Read More’ links on your timeline.
Default Announcement Icon
The default announcement icon setting allows you to pick the default icon that will be chosen when you go to create a new announcement. Timeline Express comes bundled with the latest version of the Font Awesome Icon Set. That means you have the option of choosing between over 300 icons to assign to your announcements! If you find that you are often picking the same icon, you may want to set that icon in this option – so every time you create a new announcement you don’t have to scroll through all of the icons to get to your icon of choice.
Default Announcement Color
The default announcement color is the initial color loaded when you create a new announcement. If your a lot of your announcements are going to be the same color, you can set the default color here to avoid having to re-select the color for each announcement. The announcement color alters the color of the announcement icon container.
Announcement Container Background
The announcement container background is the color of each of the announcement containers on the front end of your site. If the default color blends in too much with your theme, your text blends in with the announcement container background or you just prefer a different color – you can adjust the setting here.
Announcement Shadow Color
The announcement shadow color is the color that displays at the bottom of each announcement container, to simulate a shadow. If you don’t want a shadow below each container, you can set this to the same color as the ‘Announcement Container Background’ color, or delete the value in this field and leave it blank.
Background Line Color
The background line color setting allows you to adjust the line color of your timeline. By default the color is set to a light blue, but chances are that won’t fit in with your theme. You can use the color picker provided to set the color of the line running down your timeline, connecting each announcement.
Pagination Style Settings
There are four options to style your pagination links from within the settings page.
Pagination Background Color – Set the background color of the pagination links, and the associated text above the pagination links.
Pagination Text Color – Set the text color of the pagination links and the associated text above the pagination links.
Pagination Hover Background Color – Set the background color of the pagination links when a user hovers over them and the background color of the current page the user is on.
Pagination Hover Text Color – Set the text color of the pagination links when a user hovers over them and the text color of the current page the user is on.
No Announcements Message
The no announcements message setting allows you to setup a message that will display when there are no announcements created, or set to display. This is a great setting to use in combination with the ‘Time Frame‘ setting, discussed above. Used in conjunction with the ‘Future‘ time frame setting, once all of your future announcements have passed the current date, your message will display back to the user – possibly letting them know to check back for upcoming announcements.
Exclude Announcements from Site Searches
Adjusting this setting will either exclude or include your announcements from being searchable on your site. Some users prefer their announcements to be searchable, while others may use Timeline Express internally on a private page, and may want to prevent users from finding their announcements. The choice is yours!
Disable Timeline Animations
You can disable the animations on the timeline, globally (all timelines on your site), by checking this option. This means that on page load the timeline items will be visible, and there will be no animations occurring as the user scrolls down the timeline. This disables animations on both the icons and the containers.
Enable Legacy Support
Some users prefer the layout of the free version over the pro version, so this option allows users to use the same layout method and styles as Timeline Express free.
Enable Announcement Comments
By default, all announcements have comments disabled. This means that on the announcement edit/creation screen, the “Discussion” screen option is not enabled. To enable the “Discussion” screen options, you will want to check this box. Once checked, on the announcement creation/edit screen you should now be able to enable the “Discussion” screen options checkbox.
Delete Announcements on Uninstall?
You have the choice to delete all of your announcements or preserve them when you uninstall Timeline Express. By default, the option is not checked which means your announcements will not be deleted when you uninstall the plugin. This is extremely helpful if you want to reinstall the plugin, or plan on re-using the announcements at some point in the future.
Additionally, if you check the option off – you’ll see the message then states “Yes, delete all of the announcement posts. They are dead to me!”. As it states, when Timeline Express is uninstalled, all of your announcements will be cleaned up and deleted from the database.