When browsing other WordPress blogs with awesome themes, I always find myself wondering how someone handled a particular aspect of the layout or functionality. This is especially true with the Thesis Theme, because of the difference in setup due to the Thesis hooks system. So for anyone browsing Kikolani, I wanted to answer the question of “how did you do that” in a new series on WordPress Thesis Theme Customization.
Part One: Options
The Thesis Theme comes with two sets of options: Thesis Options and Design Options.
- Document Head – This section controls the title tag, NoIndex, and canonical URL’s. My homepage title is set to show the name & tagline, as determined by the Settings > General > Blog Title & Tagline of my site. All other pages are to use the title set within the custom SEO details fields for each post / page, and then Append site name (or Blog Title) to titles using a “|” as a separator. For the NoIndex, I have everything but “Add noindex to category archives” checked. I also have “Add canonical URLs to your site” checked as well, which should resolve https://www.kikolani.com to my Settings > General > Blog Address & WordPress Address URL > https://kikolani.com.
- Design Customization – Since I have several more customizations to the CSS than is available in the Design Options, I have checked the “Use custom stylesheet” option. Now I am able to add custom styling, or modify current styling of the Thesis theme in one stylesheet. Thesis does not allow you to modify their main stylesheet. While it sounds inconvenient, it is really so that you can upgrade the Thesis theme core files without losing your custom content.
- Syndication / Feed – This section allows you to enter your custom RSS feed. So if you use Feedburner, for example, you would enter your Feedburner URL here.
- Stats Software and Scripts – This section allows you to add custom code (such as Google Analytics or other tracking / statistical information software) to your head or footer code. You can also do this via the custom-funtions.php or the Thesis OpenHook if you are like me and would rather directly input the code yourself.
- Home Page – This section controls your homepage meta tags (description and keywords), and homepage display in terms of featured posts. Because I wasn’t a fan of one large featured post / excerpt, and smaller teaser articles on the homepage, I opted to set “Number of featured posts to show” as 10. Under Settings > Reading, I have “Blog pages show at most” as 10 also.
- Display Options – This section allows you to set the information that shows in your header, featured post bylines (or the information about each post in terms of author, date, etc.), featured post display, archives post display, tags, comment options, and sidebar options. Because I have a custom header, I don’t need the header options to show Blog Title & Tagline, but those are still checked. Under Bylines, I have “Show author name in post byline,” “Link author names to archives” and “Show published-on date in post byline” checked. Under Posts, “Display post excerpts” and “Show previous/next post links.” Under Archives, “Post excerpts.” Under Tagging, “Show tags on single entry pages” and “Add nofollow to tag links.” Everything under Comments is checked, and everything under Sidebars and Administration is unchecked. All of my sidebar is custom, except the Searchbox which is the one widgetized item.
- Navigation – The navigation options allow you to customize what will appear in your main menu. Prior to customizing my menu, I had selected pages, categories, and additional menu links (created by going to Links > Add New Category and adding any links I wanted in my menu into that new category) included in my menu.
- Thumbnails – I do not currently use this feature, but it allows you to standardize thumbnails for each of your posts.
- Big Ass Save Button – Finally, once you’ve made all of your changes in any part of the Thesis Options, you hit the big button to save it all.
The Thesis Design Options control the overall look and feel of your site, assuming you do not want to use the custom style sheet like I have chosen. You can customize the following from this panel.
- Fonts and Font Sizes – This section controls the font style and size throughout your site. I have chosen Verdana for most of the options, except for anything within <code>.
- Site Layout – This section controls the number, size and order of the columns in your layout. Mine is set to 2 columns, 600px for the content and 320px for the sidebar on the right.
- Teasers Display – This section controls the format of your teaser posts. I wasn’t a fan of the layout of the teasers, so I did not choose to display any, opting with featured post formats on the homepage and archives instead as selected in the Thesis Options above.
- Feature Box – This is another section I chose not to use, but it is a good place to put a greeting for the homepage of your site, generally used to welcome new visitors and invite them to subscribe to your blog.
- Multimedia Box – Again, another section I am not utilizing for my site, but this one is a rotating image that appears in the top of your sidebar. You can upload custom images to go into these spots instead of the default.
- Framework Options – This allows you to customize the framework of the HTML. I am using the Page Framework with 1.0 Outer Page Padding.
- Big Ass Save Button – Finally, once you’ve made all of your changes in any part of the Thesis Design Options, you hit the big button to save it all.
About the WordPress Thesis Theme Customization Series
Originally, I had planned on making one comprehensive article about my Thesis Theme customizations, but after only finishing two sections, I realized that this article would be a bit overwhelming if it was a all in one job. So instead, I’m breaking it up into a series:
- Part One: Thesis Options & Design Options
- Part Two: Plug-ins
- Part Three: Thesis OpenHook, Custom Programming & Styling
- Part Four: Thesis Resources
If you have any questions regarding customizations of the Thesis Theme throughout the series, please let me know via the comments. If I get enough questions, I may add a Part Five of Q&A. And other commentators, if you see a question you can answer, go for it! I’ll add your name & link to the Part Five post, assuming there are enough questions.