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Blog Makeover: New Thesis Theme In Action

The Geek Stuff gets a little face lift with the help of thesis theme. Following are some of the changes done:

  • New G Logo.
  • Better readability.
  • Faster loading.
  • Removed Ads inside content.

Please browse around the site and leave a comment with your feedback and suggestion on this new layout.

For bloggers who are interested in how I’ve done the customization read below.

Thesis Theme

Thesis Theme Review

Get Thesis Theme

The previous theme on this blog was a free wordpress theme with my custom modifications, where I ended up modifying some of the wordpress core php files. In thesis theme, most of the layout changes and configurations can be easily customized using a friendly UI.  In thesis theme there is no need to touch any of the wordpress php files. For advanced customization, you have to modify only the following two custom files that comes with thesis theme.

  • custom_functions.php – Define custom functions and call thesis hooks in this file
  • custom.css – Define custom CSS style-sheet properties in this file

Following are some of the thesis hooks that I’ve used in the custom_functions.php:

  • thesis_hook_before_content_box
  • thesis_hook_footer
  • thesis_hook_after_header
  • thesis_hook_header

Thesis hooks are very easy to use. For example, the default thesis theme comes with the navigation bar above the header.  To move the nav bar below the header, I used the following two lines in the thesis custom_functions.php

/* Custom 5: Move the Nav bar below the header */
remove_action(‘thesis_hook_before_header’, ‘thesis_nav_menu’);
add_action(‘thesis_hook_after_header’, ‘thesis_nav_menu’);

Thesis gives different layout options (1 column, 2 column and 3 column). You can also choose the width and the location of the main content area and side bar. All of these can be done from the thesis design UI without having to modify any php files.

Overall, I’m very glad I switched to thesis theme and I strongly recommend Thesis Theme for all bloggers who are using wordpress. It’s worth every penny.

You’ve just seen how I’ve used thesis to customize this blog. There are lot of ways to customize thesis theme. Visit the Thesis Demo Site to see other big name websites that uses thesis theme.

WordPress Plugins

Following are the wordpress plugins I’m using:

All in One SEO Pack (AIO) – This is a must have plug-in. Typically thesis theme handles SEO.  The reason I’m continuing to use AIO plugin is because of it’s “Autogenerate Descriptions” option that generate the meta description  tag automatically for all the posts. Thesis does not conflict with the AIO plugin. Thesis will use AIO plugin if it is enabled.

Subscribe to Comments – Readers can subscribe to comments section of selective posts, which will send them an email automatically when someone adds a comment to that post. This is helpful for readers, who are interested in following a particular posts that is of interest to them.

What Would Seth Godin Do (WWSGD) – This is an excellent plugin, if you want your new visitors to take some action. For existing readers, you can choose not to display any message.

WordPress Popular Posts – Previously I was manually adding popular posts to the sidebar based on Google Analytics data.  I installed the plugin just now. This looks very promising with lot of customization options.

Yet Another Related Post Plugin – This is a fantastic related post plugin. I highly recommend it. I liked the custom template feature provided by this plugin. As you see at the bottom of this post I ‘ve added my free eBook and related posts together to save some real estate using the template feature of this plugin. For default usage, you don’t need to use template at all.

WP125 – There a lot of plugins that does the 125×125 ads on the sidebar.  I’ve not tried many of those. But, this one definitely satisfies my needs and has easy and straightforward customization options.

Apart from the above plugins, I also use the standard XML-Sitemap Plugin to generate the sitemap.xml,  Akismet to filter out comment spams, cforms for contact form submission, SRG clean archives for my archive page.

Please leave a comment and provide your suggestions and feedback on the new layout and theme..

Add your comment

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amol July 6, 2009, 5:13 am

    If we have an option for printable view then it will really help.

    Thank You for all the great contents.

  • Eduardo Heredia July 6, 2009, 1:18 pm

    In fact, i never mind the aesthetic of the site since ever has been very useful in its contents, but i agree with the new design =).

    P.D: The logo in the download’s window book still have the older logo.

    Cheers guys !

  • Ramesh Natarajan July 8, 2009, 6:51 pm

    @Amol, I’ve added the print option to my list of things to do. Thanks for your feedback.

    @Eduardo, Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll put the new logo on the 101 hacks ebook down load page.

  • TimM July 17, 2009, 1:13 am

    The site looks good, man. The changes to the stock thesis layout are nice. I rock the thesis theme as well.

  • Harsh Agrawal October 3, 2009, 6:00 pm

    I have been using Thesis from 4 months and I highly recommend this theme to all.
    It’s SEO and typography is amazing, more over Customization of Thesis might feel little
    tricky at the beginning but once you get kick of it, you will enjoy editing and modifying this theme.

  • mktanny October 29, 2009, 10:07 am

    Just bought it and its really awesome-pretty easy to customize.

  • Shubham December 25, 2009, 7:57 am

    Thesis the best framework..! Well I love it and personally recommend it to any Wordpress user..! Things are really easy..!! No mixing.! Only the custom folder to handle with..! In short thesis Rocks..!