Learning as you go: me and my blog on Thesis

No, not that thesis as in dissertation … been there, done that … but the Thesis theme that graces this blog: DIYThesis a WordPress theme by Chris Pearson.

Now I bought Thesis ages ago because I wanted the freedom to customise my blog’s design without the pain of learning all that coding stuff. I happen to believe that good design matters a great deal. What I wanted was a theme that would provide me with the means to design the look I want – in this instance what’s known as a ‘magazine style.’  I was attracted to Pearson’s design work with other free WordPress themes. In fact I had used his Cutline and Neoclassical themes for quite a while on other blogs. They were clean, minimalist – my preference – and robust in the back end. See, I learned early on to toss the jargon round without necessarily having a clue about the back end of anyone’s blog, let alone my own. More importantly, I came to understand why, like a good auto engine, a good blog backend was as important, if not more so, than a shiny exterior. When Chris Pearson announced the release of the new Thesis theme last year, I was hooked – sorry, no pun intended. The hooks feature of Thesis is what provides the design’s flexibility as well as its functionality.  And Thesis continues getting better. Updates – it’s at 1.5 now – are released pretty regularly, and with each iteration, the theme gets easier to use. Once you’ve bought the theme, your upgrades are free for ever. Nice.

However, I’d be fibbing if I said Thesis was the easy ride I was expecting; it isn’t.  The good news is that there is a responsive Thesis community, and support for newbies like yours truly is provided along the way. I’ve taken my frustrations to the DIY Thesis Forums on several occasions. I’ve heard back smartly and with support from good sports like administrators KingdomGeek and godhammer. There are also some pretty crash-hot Thesis users like Kristarella and Sugarrae who have produced tutorial posts on tweaking the design of Thesis to get the look you like. Again, for a total tyro this is a fantastic resource. There are plenty more at work on Thesis sharing the expertise around. I’ve learned a heck of a lot as I’ve gone along, and I love learning.

So why am I writing this?  Well, I’ve had a successful day or two playing around in the back end – learning on the job – and been helped along the way by the resources that are out there. One thing eluding me was getting that magazine look design I’d craved at the outset. I trawled through the Thesis support forums, and there appeared to be lots of queries that echoed my own, but which didn’t quite answer what I wanted – exactly.  So I shot off a query not too long ago and back came the goods; I got the answer I wanted.  So, time to share the findings around.

In my next post I’ll take you through how I got to solve my problem. I’ll deal with prepping your images, choosing the best place on your domain to store them, and how to get them into your posts painlessly. I hope you will return.

Like a garden, and maybe even life – a blog is a work in progress!

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One response to “Learning as you go: me and my blog on Thesis”

  1. Brian Ginn Avatar
    Brian Ginn

    I really appreciate your words about this theme. It is very insightful. Funny how I know you, tweet my interests in this topic and you have first-hand knowledge of it! Life is great.

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