I’ve been tweaking my site design a bit lately which involved learning some of the fancy advanced features of the Thesis theme.
In other words, I had to learn how to use hooks and functions.
Sounds kinda scary, huh? Like calculus or trigonometry.
I have to admit, I’ve only just got my head around html and css so I was a bit freaked out by hooks.
But as any diligent autodidact knows…
It’s easy when you know how.
You just need to be brave and use Google to find the good stuff.
In a sec, I’ll give you a few links to the slick resources that helped me out. But I just wanna summarise what you really need to know about customising Thesis.
There are a ton of default settings within the wordpress dashboard so you change the general look and feel of your site. And for most standard sites, this will be enough.
But when you want to optimize your website and get a bit more strategic with your site structure, you really need to delve into the code a bit.
Here’s what you’ll need to edit (from within wordpress):
- custom.css let’s you add your own css to over-ride any other styling on the site.
- custom_functions.php let’s you add content and alter the general layout of the site.
To help you shortcut some of my googling, here’s a bunch of posts that I found extremely useful:
1. ThesisHooks is the the best place to start. It’s a visual guide that helps you understand what a hook is and what it does. A hook is basically a place where you can add something on your site.
2. Sugarrae wrote the perfect tuturial on how hooks and functions come together. This is the post that made me stick with thesis. Rae includes some useful examples of how hooks syntax works so you can play around and create your own.
There are 2 components – the function and the hook:
- The hook is the position you place something.
- The function describes the thing you put in there.
3. Marko Saric describes an idiot proof way to create a sales page with thesis. With just 10 or so lines of code in the custom.css file and 1 tweak to a page, you can remove anything that don’t want on your sales page. It gives you a totally blank canvas. I used that to create my page for the 1% project.
4. Tech For Luddites is a bit more advanced than Rae’s post but it goes a bit deeper into setting up conditional rules that make your thesis modifications only appear of specific pages. I created a conditional rule to add an optin-form to the bottom of every page, except the 1% Project (where I have a very focused call-to-action).
5. w3 School If you’re totally new to html and css, I’d recommend you get some help from somebody at fiverr or odesk. But if you know your way around and just need to check your shorthand syntax, this will keep you right.
6. The official Thesis blog has a ton of sweet tutorials on there too.