Installing Thesis for the first time can be a daunting task, especially if you have little experience with WordPress, FTP programs, or file permissions. But setting up Thesis is not hard, and this guide offers step-by-step instructions to installation, along with plenty of illustrations to help you. The tutorial follows the standard Thesis installation process.
Before you start the installation
1. Make sure WordPress is installed on your server. This may sound silly, but there are more than a few support requests on the forum where the user has not installed WordPress yet.
2. Download the Thesis zip file from DIYthemes and unzip it on your computer. There will be a Thesis folder after you do so.
3. Be sure you know how to change file permissions. If you’re uncertain, read the article “How to Change File and Folder Permissions.”
4. Make sure you know how to upload files. If you use an FTP program on your computer, usually you can just drag the folder from your computer onto the proper place in your FTP program and drop it. If you are using cPanel or a similar host program, refer to “File Management Using cPanel.”
If you haven’t thought about an FTP program for your computer yet, maybe it’s time to do so. Check out the articles “FTP Programs and Text Editors for Windows Users” or “FTP Programs and Text Editors for the Mac” for free FTP and editor programs. They will make file operations and customization a lot easier.
5. Read all the instructions below before you start.
Now, for the DIYthemes instructions and my comments:
1. Upload the new Thesis 1.5.1 folder to your /wp-content/themes folder.
1. Locate the /wp-content folder in your root directory. Inside it will be a folder called /themes. The folder structure will look like Figure 1.
2. Upload the entire Thesis folder you unzipped on your computer to the /themes folder. Do not upload individual files!
3. When you are finished, you will see the /Thesis folder within the /themes folder, as in Figure 2.
2. Locate the /custom-sample folder and change its name to /custom.
1. Open your /Thesis folder and locate the /custom-sample folder within it.
2. Rename the folder “custom” as in Figure 3.
When you are done, your Thesis folder should look like Figure 4. If it doesn’t, I recommend you delete it and start over.
3. Locate the layout.css file, and change its permissions to 666.
1. Find the layout.css file within your /Thesis folder and highlight it.
2. Most FTP programs allow you to right-click on the file to bring up a dialog similar to the one in Figure 5. Choose “Get Info,” “File Properties,” or similar wording. Refer to the cPanel article mentioned above if you are using that program.
3. A file properties dialog will pop up like the one in Figure 6. Choose “Permissions” or similar wording.
4. If there is a box that you can enter the file permission numbers, enter 666. If not, set file permissions to Owner: Read, Write; Group: Read, Write; and Others: Read, Write. “Owner,” “Group,” and “Others” may be worded differently, but they will be close enough to figure out.
5. Click the “Apply,” “Save,” “OK” or similar button to save your changes.
4. Change the permissions of your /custom/cache folder to 775.
The full instructions read:
[optional] 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.
Trust me, you will want to have Thesis to do this for you, so you need to change the permissions!
1. Locate the /cache folder. Open up your /custom folder. The /cache folder is inside the /custom folder within your /Thesis folder as shown in Figure 7.
2. Use the same procedure you did when changing the layout.css file’s permissions: Highlight the /cache folder, right-click on it, and get to the “Permissions” panel in the file dialog.
3. If there is a box that you can enter the file permission numbers, enter 775. If not, set file permissions to Owner: Read, Write, Execute; Group: Read, Write, Execute; and Others: Read, Execute. Note that Others: Write will be the only option left unchosen. “Owner,” “Group,” and “Others” may be worded differently, but they will be close enough to figure out.
4. Click the “Apply,” “Save,” “OK” or similar button to save your changes.
5. Inside your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes, and then activate Thesis.
1. To get to your Administration panel, type “your-domain-name/wp-admin” in your browser. For example, I type in the following to get to the Thesis Theme Tools Admin panel:
2. From your Administration panel click on “Appearance,” then on “Themes.”
3. Click on the Thesis theme image. You will be taken to a simulation of how it will look (but believe me, it never looks right!). Click on the button to make Thesis active.
4. You will be taken to the Thesis Options panel. Although it’s not strictly necessary, click on the “Big Ass Save” button at the bottom of the panel to complete the installation.
6. You’re done!
The full instruction reads,
You’re done, but make sure you check out both the Thesis Options and Design Options pages that now exist inside your WordPress Dashboard. You’ll be able to do things like set up your navigation menu, set fonts and font sizes, select your layout, and much, much more. To put it simply, this is the part of Thesis you don’t want to miss!
Now it’s time to see your blog in Thesis for the first time! It will be the spartan look of the fresh install, but you will change that, won’t you?
I hope these instructions have been clear and helpful. Feel free to make a comment, or if you want to email me, click on the “Contact” button in the nav bar.
©2009 Michael L Nichols. All rights reserved.
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