Thesis tweaks with a little community help

About 15 months ago, I implemented the Thesis theme for WordPress on this blog. It’s  a premium theme (you pay for it) and a powerful one as it gives you access to the means to customize many aspects of the look-and-feel of your WordPress site and its functionality without your having to know much about PHP, CSS and such things.

Since developer Chris Pearson released the new version 1.6 last month, I’ve been tinkering on and off with it over on my Testing Thesis blog, a place I set up to aid my learning of what I can do with Thesis (and where others can help out, too, notably the great help earlier this year from my friend in Portugal, Bruno Amaral).

mmbox Today I’ve made some small tweaks to this blog and added the welcome box at top right of your screen beneath the banner. Thesis 1.6 makes it easier to see how to do this – what I did was customize the multimedia box option – but I still needed some hand-holding for specifics on getting it looking more or less how I wanted it to.

Things like padding and margins, font size, background tint: some of which just meant clicking some choices in the Thesis Design Options admin page, others needing code entering into the custom.css file.

So thanks go to all the Thesis users in the Thesis support forum whose relevant questions and posts pointed me in all the right directions; and specifically to Thesis Hacker and to Marko Saric at HowToMakeMyBlog for their invaluable tutorials.

And special thanks to Jonathan Wong who created the social media icons you see in the welcome box.

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Upgrades to WordPress and the Thesis theme

wordpress-logo A new version of WordPress was released last week and I’ve upgraded this blog to that version, 2.8.5. As always, I followed my 6 tips to upgrading WordPress to ensure a smooth and trouble-free upgrade.

The WordPress developers say that 2.8.5 is a hardening release as it tightens up on some security areas. As with all such security-related releases, you ought to upgrade if you run WordPress.

If you’re a regular visitor here, you might notice some differences in how the site looks. Nothing radical – no new design – just some tweaking that I’ve had in mind for a while but couldn’t figure out how to do until now.

thesiswp I’ve been using the Thesis theme for WordPress on all my blogs for over a year. It’s a premium theme and you have to purchase a license. I have the developer license which lets me use Thesis on multiple sites.

The latest version 1.6 was released last week, which I’ve upgraded to here – and it rocks. I like developer Chris Pearson’s elevator pitch description of this new version:

Thesis is unique because it solves a wide array of problems that affect everyone who runs a website. In addition to conquering mission-critical tasks like SEO, site speed, and layout flexibility, version 1.6 now offers design controls that allow you to change the look of your site—think colors, borders, and backgrounds—without touching a bit of code (not even copying and pasting CSS!).

So finally, it’s easier to do things like change the width of the page area, add another sidebar, change fonts and sizes, and lots more, all without knowing anything about PHP or CSS – just choose options from the Thesis admin pages within the WordPress dashboard. Of course, if you do know CSS and coding in particular, then you have even richer opportunities to customize your Thesis to the maximum extent.

The new feature that attracted my interest most is the drop-down menus you can enable in the primary navigation system you see at the top of each page, above the header image. I’ll be re-doing that nav system soon.

So a bit more tweaking to come as I get to know Thesis better.

(By the way, none of the links above to Thesis contains affiliate or hidden codes of any type: if you click and go, it’s a standard web page link. I get no referrer fee if you click. Just wanted to be transparent and clear about that.)

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