I’m really excited to say that I have installed Thesis on The Garage and modded it to resemble the previous version. I’ve done it. Me. Techno no mind! The more recent versions of WordPress are so user friendly, that when combined with a killer theme like Thesis, even a guy like me can look like a pro. I didn’t have to hassle my IT guru once through the process!
The previous version of TG used the Cutline theme with a bunch of hard coded mods. This was done a long time ago, before plugins etc became so easy to use. The problem with that setup was that we were using hard code. In other words, I couldn’t make any changes myself, so I had to bother Jaimie and wait for help.
The design elements of Thesis are manipulated by a bunch of super simple drop down menus for the most part. Some stuff, like header images has to be coded using CSS, which is enough to make a new guy like me cry. Fortunately, there is a super network of developers who work with Thesis and most offer tutorials for just about anything you might want, complete with cut & paste code, along with instructions on where to put said code. Very cool and very easy!
The breadth of available plugins for WP has grown so much over the past couple of years that you can accomplish just about anything you might want. We’ve been using Nextgen galleries for some time now, but now that the theme is free’d up I have been able to add a galleries page to keep all of our cool photos in one place for our readers. I’ve added in Contact Form 7 to make it easier for readers to contact us and I’m really excited about Flickr Feed Gallery which draws in content from our Flickr group pool. I’ve never been convinced that Sociable was the right plugin for TG and have replaced it with Sexy Bookmarks, which looks…well…sexy.
This new revamp is going to be a work in process over the next couple of days. We have some more ad spots to put in place and I’m going to be adding a big fat footer for our blogroll and maybe a spot for featured videos. I also need to start working with the SEO features of Thesis, but I need to get the visual and functional in place first.
Overall, I’m perfectly happy with Thesis. It has truly opened my eyes to what I can do and is already opening some doors for me.