Support » Fixing WordPress » WordPress Theme and Thesis

  • Hello –
    Confession – I am very new to the website building and WordPress world. I have some confusion on how to use my WordPress theme along with Thesis.

    Here’s where I’m at: I am using iPage as a webhost, and through them I created the my domain name. I found a WordPress theme I liked, purchased it, downloaded it, and activated it via WordPress. But I don’t know how to customize it the way I want, so I decided to purchase and download Thesis. But first their tutorial told me to install Filezilla and upload Thesis into “themes”. So I did. Specifically, these are the instructions I followed:

    * Upload the new Thesis 1.8.2 folder to your /wp-content/themes folder.
    * Locate the /custom-sample folder and change its name to /custom.
    * Locate the layout.css file inside your newly-renamed /custom folder, and change its permissions to 666.
    * [optional but highly recommended] If you’d like to give Thesis the ability to auto-crop thumbnail images for you, then you’ll want to change the permissions of your /custom/cache folder to 775.
    * Inside your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance → Themes, and then activate Thesis 1.8.2. [However, I did not activate yet bc I have another “theme” activate]
    * You’re done with the dirty work! Now it’s time for the fun stuff—check out the Thesis Options, which you can access from the Thesis links on the left side of your WordPress dashboard.

    Here’s my confusion:
    1. Upon returning to my WP Dashboard, Thesis is not in the control panel but in the “Themes” category waiting to be activated with it’s own theme.
    2. Can Thesis work with my current WP theme or am I forced to abandon the theme I purchased and now use a Thesis theme?
    3. Perhaps by following the Thesis tutorial, I uploaded Thesis into “themes” when I really shouldn’t have. I’m not sure.

    Can anyone help point me in the right direction?

    Thank you!


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  • Thesis is a theme, so you’ll have to abandon your current theme if you want to use thesis.

    It doesn’t matter if you’ve uploaded it there, it’ll just remain there until you want to use it.

    No matter which theme you use, to really customize it to exactly how you want, you’ll have to modify the code. Depending on your needs, it might just be the CSS file or you might need to modify parts of the template files. Some themes do have more menu options which make some scenarios simpler.

    With thousands of free WP themes, I’m surprised you needed to purchase even one, never mind two themes. Especially if you’re going to modify them a fair bit anyway.

    Basically, the situation is this. Themes are mutually exclusive. You can only have one active WP theme at any one time.

    There are three ways to establish a theme:

    • Design and activate a theme of your own
    • Download and install one of the thousands of free or commercial themes available for WP and use it unaltered
    • Use a theme you have downloaded as a basis for your own theme

    The first of these is probably not the way to go for beginners.

    The second method is fine if you can find a theme that satisfies all your needs with the theme as it stands or possibly via the theme’s own built-in configuration options; or at least satisfies the requirements that are important to you and you can live with the others unfulfilled.

    The third method is very common and is open to anyone with a reasonable knowledge of HTML/CSS and perhaps a little PHP. The recommended way of doing it is via a Child Theme. You can alter your chosen theme directly, but, as the WP documentation says:

    Making a child theme is very simple. Create a directory, put a properly formatted style.css file in it, and you have a child theme! With a little understanding of HTML and CSS, you can make that very basic child theme modify the styling and layout of a parent theme to any extent without editing the files of the parent theme itself. That way, when the parent theme is updated, your modifications are preserved.

    For this reason, child themes are the recommended way of making modifications to a theme.

    [The highlighting is in the original]



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