Got a fresh install of WordPress and Thesis?
Don’t know what to do next?
We can help!
WordPress and Thesis are a match made in heaven, and when you figure out how to fine tune your Thesis theme, you’ll have a website that not only runs great, but looks amazing as well. This is at the top of the list for the best WordPress themes available.
Since Thesis looks rather unimpressive out of the box, we’re going to give you 5 simple, yet powerful thesis customizations that you can implement right away.
Let’s get started.
Thesis Customization #1: Change the colors.
Now this might not sound like an amazingly cool thesis customization, but it’ll immediately breathe life into your site and help you start building your brand right away.
So, if you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to select a color scheme that you want to use with your site. And the best tool to help you do that is, COLOURlovers.
Once there, just go to, “Browse” and then select, “Palettes”. Then look at the, “Most Loved” or, “Most Favorites” and you’ll easily fall in love with something there.
In order to make the Thesis customization, just go to, “Thesis”, and then, “Design Options”, and finally, “Fonts, Colors, And More!” There you can change the background colors, and text colors.
Thesis Customization #2: Change the layout.
Again, I know this isn’t revolutionary stuff here, but it will make a huge difference in the way your site looks.
It will also affect how your visitors interact with your content; which can determine whether or not they find what they’re looking and how long they stay on your site.
So to change your layout, just head over to, “Thesis”, “Design Options”, “Site Layout”, and do the following.
- The number of columns.
I recommend that you keep it simple and limit yourself to two columns. It’s important to eliminate distractions and only keep what adds value to the page.
- The width of the columns.
You’ll have to decide on a width that suits your needs. Just don’t make your content column too wide as it’ll create long sentences, which are hard to read.
- The order of the columns.
Since we read from left to right, put the most important stuff–your content–on the left, and the less important stuff–your sidebar–on the right.
I also like to add an extra navigation menu to the footer in Thesis.
Thesis Customization #3: Create a custom header with your logo.
You could stick with the default text header that Thesis creates for you… but that’s boring and doesn’t make an impression on your visitors.
What you want is something that adds some style and screams your brand at the same time. You can do this by creating and uploading a custom header image for your next cool Thesis customization.
So bust out Photoshop, or even Paint if you have to, and make that branded header image. You don’t need any fancy graphics. Just create a simple text-based logo with a cool font. or try Logonerds for $27. Just make sure to incorporate colors from the palette you chose earlier, and you’re on your way.
Thesis makes it extremely easy to insert your newly designed header by giving you a place to upload it. All you need to do is go to, “Thesis”, “Header Image”, and click on the, “Browse” button to select your custom header file. Heck, Thesis even tells you the optimum size that the header image should be, before you upload it.
Thesis Customization #4: Remove the Thesis attribution link.
Okay, sorry Thesis. We like you and everything, but we just can’t have you moving in on our branding action. So, we’re going to have to say, “Audios” to that Thesis attribution link in the footer.
But wait… is it okay to do that, and how exactly do you remove it?
Well, first, make sure you have a developer’s license. Once you’ve confirmed that, just follow these steps:
- Go to, “Thesis”, “Custom File Editor”.
- Select, “custom_functions.php” from the dropdown menu.
- Click the “Edit Selected File” button.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the file window.
- Add the following line: remove_action(‘thesis_hook_footer’, ‘thesis_attribution’);
- Then click the, “Big Ass Save Button”.
That’s it for this Thesis customization!
Thesis Customization #5: Install the Thesis OpenHook plugin.
The way I see it, with 33 reviews and 5 stars, I had to at least check it out.
What the Thesis OpenHook Plugin promises to do is eliminate the need to open and edit your custom_functions.php file. (Which we just did in #4. Man, what a pain.)
And boy does it ever deliver on that promise.
In fact, if you had already had the Thesis OpenHook Plugin installed, you could have done the #4. Thesis customization by just scrolling down to the, “Footer” hook, and checking the box that says, “Remove Thesis Attribution”.
See how easy that would have been… install it, activate it, and start loving your life with Thesis!
Bonus Thesis Customization: Put a newsletter signup form in the Multimedia Box.
I knew there was a good use for the Thesis Multimedia Box, I just couldn’t decide exactly what to do with it… until a few days ago.
I finally figured out how to integrate a newsletter signup form that I had created with my mailing list service provider, MailChimp.
Here’s the quick and dirty on how to do that:
- Create a free account with MailChimp.
- Create a new list and form with MailChimp.
- Grab the code for the form from MailChimp.
- Paste it into the Thesis Hook for Multimedia Box (using Thesis OpenHook).
If you suffer from OCD, like me, you may have to fiddle around with the CSS to get it just how you like it. But otherwise, it’s a simple way to have a newsletter form showing up on every page of your site.
As promised, we’ve looked at 5 cool Thesis customizations (and one bonus one) that will get you started with creating a website that not only looks amazing but is extremely functional as well. I fully recommend you keep this Thesis theme in your premium themes toolbox.
No doubt, there are many more that you could do, but be careful to not get too wrapped up in getting everything perfect before you start adding content. You can make other customizations as you go along.
Most important of all, always remember to… keep it SIMPLE!
If you have any questions about a specific Thesis customization that I’ve written about here, or another that you’re trying to use, please ask in the comments below.
And my final question to you is…
Which Thesis customization are you going to implement first on your new WordPress website?
Photo by: Elsie esq.