I’ve had the Thesis Theme for around a year now, and have used it several times for creating mini blog sites. Right out of the box, it’s a pretty awesome theme, but what I didn’t realize til recently is it’s potential is limitless.
Normally I would create a mini site, throw in some content, load up the Thesis theme and let the site index into Google. This works fine, but after some research, I realized how much I was missing out on by not utilizing theÂ true power of Thesis. I knew there was a lot of customization options available, but I wasn’t sure how to use them. Thesis isn’t like other wordpress themes. If you ever opened one of the source files, you’ll know what I mean. I’m used to manually editing the wordpress source files to get what I want done. When you open the source files for the Thesis theme, you are pretty much dead in the water for customization, as it wasn’t created for this type source code work. It was meant for much more.
Once I started doing some research on how to customize Thesis, it was starting to make sense. Instead of changing source codes, you are supposed to use “hooks“. “Hooks” were created for Thesis and once you get the hang of it, it actually makes things a lot easier. It’s just a matter of not being lost in the woods and knowing where to go to easily learn about Thesis and Hooks… which is why I wrote this post.
Open the Thesis index.php file and all you see is one line of code.
To best explain what “Hooks” are and how much more effective and time saving they are versus manually editing source code, do check out the video below. A simple plugin makes the process just a few clicks away.
– Thesis Open Hook Plugin for WordPress (Must Have for Thesis)
– Thesis Tutorial : Hooks for Dummies
– Thesis Hooks : A Visual Reference
Now that you have a good understanding how Thesis Hooks work, you should be able to start playing around with the Thesis design and making it look how you want. Before I got into playing with the Hooks, I went to google and searched around for “Thesis Themes“. You are limited in some areas, but with some time, you can have a site that looks nothing like the “out of the box” theme. Thesis is already a very popular wordpress theme, but there is a huge lack of resources for Thesis Themes (free and paid) and even Thesis designers at that. For anyone who specializes in Thesis or design, this would be a huge opportunity to generate some money.
The screenshots above are two sites that truly display what is possible with Thesis theme. Another excellent example is CopyBlogger.
As a last resource, I wanted to leave you with a set of excellent articles on how you can make a killer blog design using Thesis and Hooks.
– 8 Thesis theme design tips to make your blog better
– 10 Uncommonly Gorgeous Thesis Themes
– The Definitive List of Thesis Theme Tutorials
If you already have Thesis, hopefully some of these resources will further improve your use of the plugin theme. For those of you that haven’t given Thesis a try, I find it’s well worth the $87 for a personal license, or $164 for unlimited use on the developer’s license. Remember, I was actually quite happy with the Thesis theme even before I started using Hooks and made the most out of it. It’s worth trying out and best of all, if you don’t like it, you have 30 days to get a full refund.