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Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

I’m going through the process of learning to customize my site using Thesis 2.1.  As I go along, things are starting to get quite a bit easier.  A big part of the puzzle is just figuring out which elements effect each other, and where to change different things.  Honestly, it’s a lot easier than the old Thesis, it’s just confusing at first.

My first big roadblock was a really dumb one, so I wanted to post about it.  I wanted to start adding in elements from my site that weren’t native to a WordPress installation.  This is things like ads, my top navigation bar with links to all of my different sites, and even some additional footer info.  This seems like it’d be super easy… but for me it wasn’t.  Once you know what to do, it’s a piece of cake, but I’m not sure where the heck you’re supposed to find the info to tell you this stuff.  I’ve been going through the steps posted by an awesome blog I mentioned in my first Thesis 2.1 post, called Thrifty Zizel.  He’d done the steps with 2.0, and a few things changed in 2.1, especially packages and the way you manipulate a text box.

Adding a text box is done through the Thesis Skin Editor.  First you may need to create an HTML Container (if it’s a new area on the page).  Use the box on the right, and select it from the “Select a Box to Add” drop down menu.  Add the box, then shift drag it on to your page.

Next up is to add the text box, which is Text Box in the drop down menu.  Shift drag it in to your new container, or wherever else on the page you’d like it to live.  Once it’s placed, rename it from Text Box, to something that makes more sense for what it’s going to be (you’ll see why in a moment).

Now here’s the trick.  In 2.0, you’d open it here and add your HTML, but that’s changed now.  In 2.1, you need to go to another Admin area to make this change.

Navigate to the Thesis > Skin Content page.  You’ll see a list of Classic Responsive Skin Content items.  Your new Text Area should appear here.  Click it and add your code.

To style it, you have a couple of options.  If your code has classes and IDs already, just add new CSS to the CSS page and you’ll be good to go.  However, the new thesis wants you to give this Text Area a class or ID when you add it in, which will help automate certain things as you expand your site.  To assign these classes or ID’s, you use the Thesis Skin Editor, click on the gear icon of the Text Area, and name it there.

Hopefully this makes some sense.  I had a hell of a time finding the answer to this seemingly simple issue.
Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

  • Dan Coggins July 14, 2014, 4:51 pm

    Thank you so much for this information. It was humbling to be stymied by such a tiny thing. Glad I wasn’t the only one!

    You might add, that when you get to the Thesis > Skin Content page, you might need to refresh the screen. At least I did, because I’ve put my most popular Thesis windows in separate tabs — to cut down on all the clicking required to get something done. (At least for this Thesis newbie.) Compared to Dreamweaver, Thesis has a real “clicky” interface. I guess that’s the tradeoff to have a blog and content-management system built in.

    The next thing I’d like to see a solution on is how to make the Front Page the default page in the Skin Editor. Do you know of one?

    Thanks again!

  • Jeremy July 25, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Glad I could help Dan!

    I have wondered about changing the default page, as well. To this point I haven’t found a way. I don’t use my blog posts as my home page, so I’d much rather see the Front Page first, too.


  • Chris April 10, 2015, 11:12 am

    Thanks so much for this. I was pulling my hair out over this and almost started breaking things in my house out of rage. Seriously thanks so much!!!! You have made my day and saved me from a break down!

  • Danka January 31, 2016, 10:29 am

    Very grateful for your explanation! I was quite confused with the same question and I was searching the internet to find this simple answer, but I couldn’t until I found your post. So easy once you know it. Thank you writing it down!

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