WordPress 3.0 and Thesis

by Martin Malden

WordPress LogoWordPress 3.0 was released towards the end of last week and brought with it some major changes.

The biggest is the integration of WordPress and WordPress Multi-User (MU) – previously two separate packages.

Some others were:

  • A new Navigation system, allowing you to add Categories or other special links to your navigation bar (the same functionality that Thesis has had for a while)
  • A new default theme (really very nice – takes full advantage of the new nav bar functionality and includes the ability to use different header graphics on different pages)
  • A centralised ‘Updates’ screen where you manage updates for the core code, plugins and themes
  • The ability to re-set your username in the Admin screen from the default ‘admin’ to something else on setting up a new site – a long-overdue improvement to security.

There are a lot of back-end improvements for the benefit of theme and plugin developers and, apparently, more than 1,217 bug fixes. That’s a lot of bugs..!

So, for Thesis users, how did the upgrade go and what problems popped up?

I upgraded all 5 of my WordPress/Thesis sites and they all went as smooth as ice.

Two problems have surfaced for Thesis users, and DIY are planning an interstitial release to address them. Until that release, though, here’s what you’ll notice:

Navigation Menu

When you access the new menus item in the WordPress admin area you’ll see a notice at the top telling you that the theme doesn’t natively support the new menus functionality.

Note that your existing menu continues to work absolutely normally – no need to panic!

What it means is that you can’t use the WordPress functionality to add categories or external links to your navigation bar – you’ll have to continue doing this via Thesis.

It also means that if you want to create a custom menu to appear in the new custom menu widget in a sidebar, the menu items will be styled in line rather than vertically.

Thesis Custom File Editor

When you try to access your Thesis Custom File Editor you’ll receive an error message:

‘ Fatal error: Call to undefined function use_codepress() in /homepages/18/d140152044/htdocs/wordpress/wp-content/themes/thesis_17/lib/admin/admin.php on line 42 ‘

The simplest fix is to comment out line 42 in the admin.php file by placing two forward slashes ( // ) at the beginning of it.

To do that you’ll need to download that particular file, make the change and upload it back to your server. Be sure to back it up first..!

Update: Girlie from the Thesis support crew has created a modified admin.php file that fixes the problem much more easily. Full details (and download link) here. (You’ll need to log in to DIYThemes before clicking that link).

A more detailed description of these two problems and how to fix them is set out here.

Upgrading from WordPress 2.9.2 and Thesis 1.7

Apart from those two items, and if you’re running an existing, single instance site on WordPress 2.9.2 and Thesis 1.7, you won’t notice any differences after upgrading other than a slightly lighter appearance to the admin screens.

And, of course, the new Updates and Menus items in the main menu bar.

All the processes for writing posts, managing widgets, creating links and everything else remain unchanged.

Before upgrading make sure you back up your database and site files, and deactivate all your plugins.

After upgrading reactivate your plugins manually, one by one. This is a much safer way of discovering if one of your plugins is causing a problem, because you’ll know which one it is..!

If you want to use the multi-site functionality you’ll need to edit your wp-config and .htaccess files, and you’ll need to get a fixed and dedicated IP address.

You’ll then be able to operate multiple sites as sub-domains or directories of your primary domain.

After activating the multi-site functionality you’ll see some more menu options. These are hidden if you’re using the single site configuration, which is why there are so few visible changes.

If you want more details on activating multiple sites, visiting the WordPress codex is probably a good place to start.

Summary

For Thesis users, then, the upgrade is smooth and problem-free apart from the 2 items I covered above.

That could easily be affected by plugins you’re running, of course – which is why you should deactivate them before upgrading.

In reality, though, those items won’t affect you unless you regularly access your custom file editor or want to create custom menu bars via WordPress rather than Thesis.

You may also notice an irritating quirk: whenever you login you’ll be notified (falsely) that there’s an update available. Irritating, but not the end of the world.

If you’ve come across any upgrade problems, particularly if you’re using Thesis, leave us a comment and let us know about it.

Cheers,

Martin Malden

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