Thesis Theme was my first choice when I started to look for themes for this blog, the reason for that is the flexibility and speed it provides.
There can be many reasons for having thesis theme, its SEO functionality, it can decrease the page loading speed and gives you design flexibility for your blog.
But If you are wondering how can you get most out of your thesis theme, here are few tips which can help you.
1. Understand Hooks and Filter
It’s the very first thing which you will need to use thesis theme correctly. Let see what are the official definition for these.
Hooks are provided by WordPress to allow your modifications to ‘hook into’ the rest of WordPress
So these are the way to add your modifications to WordPress and make them run as part of WordPress functionality. This is a good way to extend basic functionality.
There are two kind of Hooks, Action and Filter hooks. Action hooks are for any new action which you can add to WordPress and filter hook is for modifying the existing actions.
So if you want some action at specific place which is not available in WordPress, you need to add an action hook. If you want some modification to the existing text or anything else you need to create a filter hook.
Yes, that’s it. Remember these two things and it will save you time in deciding what you want to use for your modifications. You can check the complete list of action hooks and filters which is supported by thesis theme.
2. Documentation at DIYThemes for Thesis Theme
This is another good place to start, DIYThemes has good documentation for the small modifications you want to make to your blog. It is actually a good place to start with.
Once you understand these modification and does some of them, you will be comfortable in doing big modification for your blog. You just need to have an idea about copy paste and you should be good to use that documentation.
You may want to read those even if you don’t use it.
3. Install a Test Blog at Localhost
This is one of the thing, which most of the webmaster miss. Your live blog is not a test-pad, it is a place where your readers come and interact with you.
Many people test their modification on live blog with the assumption that if it will not work they will just change it back. You need to understand few things, one small mistake can stop your blog from loading.
You don’t know what you will loose in 5 min of downtime, Google might crawl away your blog or can loose some sale. So do yourself a favor and install WordPress on localhost. Check the guide on how to install WordPress on Localhost for details instructions.
4. Understand Admin Options
Thesis theme Panel comes with a wide range of options and you can change basic design and lot of other things from the Thesis option panel.
Explore those options and understand them. You can define the layout, colors, feeds, navigation menu etc. There are specific options to add tracking scripts so it won’t slow the blog, adding extra scripts so that it runs after loading the content. You need to understand those options so that you can set them correctly.
The options are setup in a way that you can design the layout of your blog from the admin panel, you can also optimize your blog with the SEO options. So you need to understand each option and than decide if you want it for your blog.
5. Thesis Skins
Skins are similar to child themes, which gives specific design and functionality. It can give some additional function and a great design with ease to your blog. Only thing is that it costs additional to Thesis Theme, as it is not included in the initial costs and you need to buy from other places.
If you do not want all the work by yourself than this is a very good option. I have done lot of work on the look of my blog before I decided to stop spending time and bought Avenger theme from Thesis Awesome.
Thesis Awesome has some of the great looking skins with the aided functionality, which can be helpful in setting up the blog.
6. OpenHook Customization Manager Plugin
Though These Theme comes with the custom editor for the file but OpenHook Customization Manager plugin can make the task really easy for you.
It has all the hooks define, you just need to add your code in the place and activate the hook to make the changes. This is an real easy way to add your functions rather than update your custom function file.
With the latest update of Thesis Theme, lot of changes has been done to custom file editor module. This will make it bit easier to update the file from the admin panel itself.
These things has helped me in understanding Thesis theme, try them out and let me know if it helps.
Image Credit: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net