Glamourise Your Thesis Site With the Multi Media Box

by Martin Malden

Thesis Theme for WordPressA 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 load a new page, to embed a video or to contain custom code.

Using custom code will enable you to do anything you like with it, just like the Feature Box.

By default the Multi-Media Box will appear site-wide when you activate it, and it will sit above the sidebars.

But, if you use the Custom Code option, you can also use custom functions to make the Multi-Media Box only appear where you want it to.

This could be on posts or pages you select individually, or you could define a function in the custom functions file that would make it appear only when certain criteria are met.

For example, you could create a promotional video for a product and then create a function in your custom functions file to display that video in the Multi-Media Box only on posts assigned to a specific tag or category.

So How Do I use the Multi-Media Box

As with the Feature Box, the first thing to do is to create the content you want to display in it.

Generate your content source code if you’re using the Custom Code option.

If you want to rotate images or display videos do the same – meaning find and upload the images you want to rotate (to the /custom/rotator folder) or get hold of the embed code for the video.

How do I Activate the Multi-Media Box

Go to your Thesis Design Options page, find the Multi-Media Box section, expand it, click the drop down menu and select the option you want:

Multi-Media Box

Rotating Images

If you’re going to use it for rotating images, some default alt tags will appear in the boxes when you click ‘Rotating Images’, as long as you’ve already uploaded them:

Multi Media Box Images

(If you haven’t uploaded them, as in the image above, now would be a good time to do so!)

Add (or edit) your alt tags and create links for the images if you want to.

Click Big Ass Save and you’re done. Every time a new page is loaded on your site a new image will now appear in the Multi-Media Box.

Embedded Video

If you’re going to use it to show a video then paste your video embed code into the box provided:

Multi Media Box Videos

Hit the Big Ass Save button and you’re done. The video will now be displaid on every page and post, site-wide.

Custom Code

You can do something very simple with your custom code – such as add an optin box like I’ve done – or you can get way more creative.

Whatever you do, you need to paste the code you generated for it into the box provided:

Multi Media Box Custom Code

Alternatively, instead of pasting the code into the box in the picture above, you could create a function (which would be the code you’ve created, wrapped in PHP tags) and add it to the thesis_hook_multimedia_box hook

This would enable you to automatically control when the content of your Multi-Media Box would be displaid.

For example, you could define the function so it only displaid the Multi-Media Box on posts which were assigned to a particular tag or category.

If you’re not comfortable using the custom functions file (it does carry a health warning) you can use the Thesis OpenHook plugin – which I wrote about here.

In this case just paste your code into the box that comes up.

If you’re specifying conditional statements to make the content only appear on certain pages, you’ll need to define that statement in PHP, as part of your source code, and enclose the entire code block in PHP tags.

And you’ll still need to click the ‘Execute PHP’ box.

Summary

The Multi-Media Box is a feature that carries enormous possibilities because of the flexibility it offers.

As with everything in Thesis, the more code you know the more you can do with it, but don’t let this become an inhibitor.

I’m certainly not a code ninja, so what I do when I need some help is go into the Thesis forums and ask there for the code I need. Someone has always come back with the answer in a matter of hours.

The other thought I’d leave with you is this: if you don’t have a development site, get one.

Just create a new MySQL database and a new installation of WordPress in a separate folder on your server, install Thesis and use this as your sandbox.

You can experiment to your heart’s content and, when everything is working as you want, simply copy the code and paste it into your live site.

You’ll save yourself a ton of stress and heartache this way 🙂

Cheers,

Martin Malden

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