Tips and Tutorials on the Thesis Framework for WordPress

Tips and tutorials on using (and getting the best out of) the Thesis framework for WordPress.

Learning to use Thesis to its full potential is an investment well worth making, particularly if you want to run a number of WordPress sites or you create WordPress sites for clients.

The articles listed below describe the processes for customising various aspects of Thesis to get the best out of both it and WordPress.

Click the headline to read the full article and, if anything is not clear, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

If you’re not able to see the changes you just made to your Thesis theme design and layout, the chances are you’ve forgotten to resume Design Mode. Design Mode was introduced in Thesis 1.8.4. It’s a limited form of minification because it combines the style.css, layout.css and custom.css files into one in order to speed… . . . Read more

Landing pages (or squeeze pages) have a specific purpose: to create a conversion. Whether it’s to get a new subscriber or to close a sale, landing pages need to be free of any distractions that would give your reader an opportunity to leave the page without completing the conversion. By default, the configuration of WordPress… . . . Read more

Shortcut: if you want to go straight to the process for extending your navigation bar to the width of your content box click here. The process for extending it to the width of your entire site is here. Update – 18th August, 2012 The Thesis navigation menu bar system is being dropped when Thesis 2.0… . . . Read more

I did a Thesis upgrade recently for a new customer, because some core files in their Thesis installation had been altered. Altering the core files of your theme, or of WordPress, will always generate problems at upgrade time because your alterations will be over-written. That means the functionality that you created through the customisations will… . . . Read more

Update – 17 July, 2012 In Thesis 1.8.4 the concept of ‘Design Mode’ was introduced. If you make design or layout changes but they don’t show up when you check the front of your site, you’re probably not using Design Mode. See how to fix it here. Original article starts here: I was asked recently… . . . Read more

The header area of your website is incredibly important. It’s the first thing that new visitors see and it sets the tone for the entire site. Whenever I’m designing a new website for a client I always start with the header area and get their approval on that. Once that’s done, the rest of the… . . . Read more

Google released their +1 button publicly last week. It’s yet another attempt by them to get involved in the world of social media. Their previous attempts, it must be said, have not been successful. Wave was withdrawn after a year in which take up was pitiful, Buzz angered many because it made the contact details… . . . Read more

A little while back I published a tutorial on how to make use of the Multi-Media box in Thesis. Today I want to describe how to style your Multi-Media box. There are countless reasons you’d want to style your Multi-Media box, but probably the most obvious is when you want to use it to contain… . . . Read more

Back in version 1.7 Thesis introduced the ability to set custom META titles, descriptions and keywords for each post and page. As I wrote here, this enabled me to drop the SEO plugins I was previously using on this site. So for those Thesis users who are thinking of dropping your SEO plugins, or for… . . . Read more

Thesis gives you a lot of control over your navigation bar. You can adjust colours and fonts (which you do through the Design Options screen) and you can adjust the labels. Adjusting your navigation bar labels, and defining which ones should appear in your navigation menu, is done through the Site Options screen. Here’s where… . . . Read more

Setting up Teasers is one of the functions in Thesis that I always have trouble remembering – maybe because you need to select options in both Thesis and WordPress to achieve this. Anyway, you have some flexibility in how you configure your Teasers layout: You can have a front page which is all Teasers (as… . . . Read more

Displaying relevant ads alongside search results is what made Google rich. So if you’re promoting a number of different products on your blog how can you make sure you’re displaying the most relevant ad to your readers? It’s easy to take the shotgun approach and just display all your ads to all your readers all… . . . Read more

Update – 9th August, 2012 Note that Thesis versions prior to 2.0 gave you the choice of 2 menu systems: the Thesis nav menu and the WordPress nav menu. In Thesis 2.0 the Thesis Nav menu will be dropped so you are advised to move to the WordPress nav menu if you haven’t already done… . . . Read more

I often read people saying things like ‘I don’t want to use Thesis because Thesis sites are instantly recognisable’. So let’s look at some ways you can disguise your Thesis site. The reason Thesis sites are so often recognised is because the site owners haven’t bothered to change many of the default settings. Things like… . . . Read more

A while ago I took a look at the Thesis Feature Box. Today it’s the turn of the Multi-Media Box. The Multi-Media Box is a little more structured than the Feature Box – but only if you want it to be. You can use it to display a series of pictures that rotate whenever you… . . . Read more

Update – 17 July, 2012 In Thesis 1.8.4 the concept of ‘Design Mode’ was introduced. If you make design or layout changes but they don’t show up when you check the front of your site, you’re probably not using Design Mode. See how to fix it here. Original article starts here: The Feature Box in… . . . Read more

Interesting question in one of the forums the other day: I’m using Thesis – how do I customize my footer? The footer is an often-overlooked area of your web page that, if used properly, can help your on-site SEO. Some of the things you can use it for include: an additional navigation menu (good for… . . . Read more

The site layout controls on the Design Options page in Thesis offer the ability to completely change the layout of your site whenever you want. You can select the number and positioning of your columns (content and sidebars) and choose your page framework (full-width or page) just by selecting a few options. When you use… . . . Read more

Images add hugely to the visual appeal of a post and help to keep site visitors engaged. And if you’re using the Teasers option (magazine style layout) for displaying posts on your blog page, Thesis will automatically resize your post image to fit into the Teaser box. The Post Images and Thumbnails section on the… . . . Read more

Update – 17 July, 2012. In Thesis 1.8.4 the concept of ‘Design Mode’ was introduced. If you make design or layout changes but they don’t show up when you check the front of your site, you’re probably not using Design Mode. See how to fix it here. Original article starts here: The Thesis Custom CSS… . . . Read more

Update – 17 July, 2012 In Thesis 1.8.4 the concept of ‘Design Mode’ was introduced. If you make design or layout changes but they don’t show up when you check the front of your site, you’re probably not using Design Mode. See how to fix it here. Original article starts here: Although I’m focusing primarily… . . . Read more

The first thing I do when I create a new installation of Thesis is install the Thesis-OpenHook plugin. One of the most powerful features of Thesis is the custom-functions.php file. It enables you to move different elements of your page around and add bits and pieces wherever you want. But if you’re not a PHP… . . . Read more