WordPress Thesis theme

Since adopted the blog engines like Blogger, Plog (now Lifetype) and WordPress instead of writing HTML pages for my weblog, one never-ending task is to find the right theme for the blog – a theme that you can change the look at ease, with good support in widgets, and perform well in SEO.

I used the Mandigo theme as my WordPress engine for quite some time, reckoned it is about time to change it to another one and started the search for couple of weeks. So far, the best I can find is the Thesis theme from DIY Themes. This is not a free theme, but I think it is OK as I am willing to pay some money for good works and support. And in fact it is not a very good looking theme (unless you a follower of minimalism), but it is extremely versatile in changing the look, setting the SEO parameters and believe it or not, quite programmer friendly with the “Hook” concept. So I like it and hope you like the new look of this blog as well.

But same as in any other theme implementations, I made quite some changes even in the version one of the new look, so here are the things I did after I downloaded and installed the theme. Hope it is useful to any of you that also want to try out the Thesis theme.

Settings in Thesis Options

  • Change windows title structure;
  • Add homepage meta tag;
  • Change number of feature posts;
  • Change text of “Read more” link;
  • Add Google Analytics to Footer script;
  • Turn on Pages in navigation menu (tabs); and
  • Change save button text.

Settings in Design options

  • Change font and font sizes, you have to try many many times to find the one you want;
  • Change “Size layout” (column width), make it to fit your biggest images / slides;
  • Change the column order (now content column on the left);
  • Change the teaser attributes and teaser date format;
  • Remove image rotator, for now, but uploaded lots of picture for future use

Change background color, add border (add in custom.css)

body.custom { background: #F5F5F5; }
.custom #container { margin-top: 2em; margin-bottom: 2em; padding: 0.3em; background: #e6e6fa; border: 0.4em solid #dcdcdc; }
.custom #page { background: #fff; }

Change header image, add border (add in custom.css)

.custom #header #logo a { display: block; height: 222px; width: 1004px; background: url('images/church.jpg') no-repeat; outline: none; border: 2px solid #dfdfdf; }
.custom #header #logo, .custom #header #tagline { text-indent: -9999px; }
.custom #header #tagline { height: 0; }
.custom #header { padding: 0; }

Change side bar color and widget heading sizes (add in custom.css)

.custom #sidebar_1 {background:#F5F5F5 none repeat scroll 0 0;}
.custom .sidebar h3 {font-weight: bold; padding: 0px 5px; background: #F5F5F5;}

Swap heading image and navigation tab (add in custom_functions.php)

remove_action('thesis_hook_before_header', 'thesis_nav_menu');
add_action('thesis_hook_after_header', 'thesis_nav_menu');

Change 404 page content (add in custom_functions.php)

function my_404_title() {
echo "Ooops ... where is the content ?";
remove_action('thesis_hook_404_title', 'thesis_404_title');
add_action('thesis_hook_404_title', 'my_404_title');
function custom_404_page() { ?>
<h3>No worry. Try one of the followings:</h3>
<li>Hit the "back" button on your browser. It's perfect for situations like this!</li>
<li>Head on over to the <a href="http://www.michaelyung.com/">home page.</a></li>
<li>Use the search box on the right!</li>
<?php }
add_action('thesis_hook_404_content', 'custom_404_page');
remove_action('thesis_hook_404_content', 'thesis_404_content');

Update 1: Change the order of the comments

In file comments.php

Insert $comments = array_reverse($comments, true);

before foreach ($comments as $comment) :

Update 2: I just undo the changes in Update 1 above, as I can achieve the same with WordPress Discussion settings.

Update 3: Remove the Thesis Attribution link in the blog footer

Add this line to the custom_functions.php

remove_action('thesis_hook_footer', 'thesis_attribution');

Update 4: Remove the WordPress admin link in the blog footer

Find the program footer.php in /lib/html directory and comment out the line thesis_admin_link();

From Pine to Gmail


Yesterday, Google released some themes for their Gmail platform … in fact, 30 new themes. Many of them are simply new color schemes but some include beautiful backgrounds. It really spices up my “email world”. I picked the “Mountains” theme as my default Gmail theme for now, but I have to admit the “Terminal” theme is really really cool for old dogs like me. 

It reminds me the good old days back in 1990s when the Pine (Program for Internet News & Email) from University of Washington was my favorite Internet tool.

Try it out !!