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A Beginner’s Guide to the Thesis 2.0 Skin Editor – Part 13 – Question and Answer

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I’m going to answer Brian’s question about reference. So the reference is the link between the package and the compile list. This is the list of all packages that will compiled in the CSS. If the reference is missing from here, it will not be compiled in the CSS. So every package that you want to actually result in CSS needs to have its reference placed in here. You can think of the reference as if maybe you could drag this thing in and drop it in here. So you’d have… I mean, that’s how you’d think of it. I don’t… it would be great if he comes up with that scheme. But for the time being, the link between your library and your actual CSS is the reference. I mean, you should use the same kind of naming convention for your reference as you have classes and ids, all lowercase letters, start with a letter. You can use numbers and underscores but no spaces, that kind of stuff. Okay hopefully that’s a full explanation.

Okay Tara asks… Tara, I’m going to unmute your microphone here, hoping that you have one. You asked the question, “In Thesis 2, can I have multiple page templates for the same URL?” No, you cannot because a URL represents a single page or a single post, right? And so that single page can only have a single template applied to it. But your site can have as many templates as you possibly want.

Wilfred asks, “Can I show the URL where you can download skins?” Well, is the place where you can download this free skin. You might go to the forum and search, not my forum, but the DIY Themes forum and log in. Go over to the support forums and search for free skins and see what you end up with. Here’s Alpha skin by Volcanic and let’s see, obviously there’s a big conversation about where youc an get skins so you might come over here and take a look at that too. So that would be what I would suggest.

Okay, a couple of people asked what do I mean by wp loop? The wp loop has to exist on every single page… in every single template, I mean. And the wp loop is the essentially the thing that takes the post or page content and displays it. But the loop is the decision maker. It decides what the right content is. You know, it seems to me like it could have just as easily made this an automatic part of the single post box.

Yeah, I think I hear… Tara’s come online now.

Tara:  Shocking, but true.

Rick:  Perfect. There you are. So I’m just going to finish answering this question and I’ll get back to you.

Tara:  No problem.

Rick:  So the wp loop is the thing that adds the post or page content to the template. If you didn’t have wp loop, nothing is going to show up because the loop is the thing that gives… that makes the decision which page should be… which page’s content should be displayed. Now really, I think this should have been invisible but it’s not invisible. It’s something that has to be there and that you could theoretically not have on a page. But you shouldn’t not have it on a page. It should be on every template and when you put a post box in, it should be inside of the wp loop.

Okay, Tara.

Tara:  Yes.

Rick:  So did you hear my answer to your question about the multiple templates for a single URL?

Tara:  I did and as you started to go through that earlier when you were showing how to load up different templates, I started to understand that a bit better. My concern was just that I would have to have all of my pages looking exactly the same which I certainly don’t want.

Rick:  Right. Each template can be… what I hope that you got from this is that each template can be entirely different. There doesn’t really need to be any fundamental similarity between… from template to template, if that’s the way you want it.

Tara:  Yeah, that is the way I want it and I think I may be designing things a bit more complicated than I need to in my head. Maybe I need to work on that a bit more. Did you see I had a follow up question? I was wondering if I… and it’s a basic WordPress question which I hope is relevant to some of the other people listening and watching the webinar. But can I have more than one blog in a website? A WordPress blog.

Rick:  Well, not really more than one blog but you can have more than one page that looks like a blog page.

Tara:  Okay.

Rick:  Now in the first place, that’s really what archive pages are. Every archive page looks like a blog page, sort of automatically because what it does is it… the blog page displays your latest 10 posts or whatever. And an archive page displays yoru latest 10 posts in a certain category or that are tagged a certain way or based on a certain date or written by a certain author. So archive pages sort of fundamentally are what you’re talking about, that is, they’re the big blog that’s segregated into a smaller list of like grouped posts.

Let’s say you were a mommy blogger and you had…

Tara:  You can help me.

Rick:  You had posts about cooking and posts about childrearing and posts about getting along with your husband and post about you know… I don’t know, stuff like that. And you wanted those really just to be the standalone. What you would do is you would create an archive page for that and then categorize your posts in those categories.

Tara:  That’s what I’ve been thinking, okay.

Rick:  And so that’s not more than one blog though. That is the built-in WordPress behavior for what we call the archive pages. It’s a way of grouping like posts and displaying that group of posts together.

Tara:  Okay. Would you be able to explain, at all, how I can order my templates in Thesis?

Rick:  What do you mean order?

Tara:  How could… how is the subheader linked to the template, I guess maybe is my question.

Rick:  So…

Tara:  Like say I had an about… I created an About template and I create a Sales template and I create you know, one other template. How will I designate that page as the one that I have WordPress go to when on th nav menu, I have it say Sales, for example.

Rick:  Okay well you… the content for your Sales page is created here.

Tara:  I got that part.
Rick:  The template that is used by the Sales page is either the page template or is a custom
template that you select over here.

Tara:  Perfect. Thank you.

Rick:  So that’s how you assign a template to a page. Now in Thesis, unlike any other theme
know of, in Thesis, you can assign custom templates to posts. You can also assign custom templates to categories. So let’s say you’ve got this you know, this Mommy Blogger section on How to Beat Your Children and you’ve got a whole category on how to beat your kid. And you want that category to look different than how to get along with your husband. And so you can… in the category itself, you can select a custom template to be used just like you could if it was a page or a post. So if you want your How To Beat Your Kid category to be styled differently than How To Get Along With Your Husband category, you would style one of those as the default style and you’d style the other one as a custom template and apply that custom template to the category.

Tara:  Excellent. Thank you so much.

Rick:  You’re welcome. Anything else?

Tara:  Well, as long as we’re talking, do you have a live internet feed there that you could show on screen?

Rick:  Yes, I can make you the presenter.

Tara:  Let’s not get crazy here.

Rick:  Okay, you mean… can I go to a website you mean?

Tara:  Yeah. I’m wondering… and you’ve actually looked this website before and I actually took the site down or the skin that I built down because I decided to start from scratch. But even though I have decided to start over, I think it’s still a useful question. My site is

Rick:  Yeah, I remember this.

Tara:  And you can see… yeah you can see that the header is… I think it’s 4 pixels off to the right and the menu is 4 pixels off to the left. Any idea why?

Rick:  It’s more like 11 pixels.

Tara:  Okay actually I think it’s 12, now that I remember it.

Rick:  Yeah and that is caused by the padding around your header. And so…

Tara:  Oh, around my header. I kept fixing the padding around my menu.

Rick:  No. You’ve got… it’s 13 pixels. You’ve got 13 pixels of left and right padding. Now this is something different. I think… I’m not quite sure why that doesn’t line up.

Tara: I made sure they were… that they came out mathematically. They should be the same length.

Rick:  Yeah, they aren’t quite. You can see where there’s this little white thing right here and it doesn’t go all the way over to the edge. And I think part of that is caused by some kind of padding here. I’m trying to figure out where that padding is. There’s some padding… okay we don’t… I don’t really think we need… oh, that’s it. This is display block stuff. Did you… oh, it’s the align middle. I would just get rid of… I would choose align none for that image.

Tara:  Okay.

Rick:  Because you’re not really aligning it to the middle. It’s exactly the same size as its space so it’s just sitting in there.

Tara:  Okay.

Rick:  So that’s the first thing I would say about that and that actually solves really the problem except for the white line. And I think the white line goes away automatically too as soon as you… as soon as it’s align none.

Tara:  Alright.

Rick:  I’m guessing that that will go away. See the thing is that that’s where that… that’s where this little margin over here comes from was that align left and align middle. And so I will just say make it align none and it’ll be fine.

Tara:  Okay and I think that’s a textbox as well. I’d be going in and fix that HTML.

Rick:  Yeah.

Tara:  Okay, alright.

Rick:  Okay. Anything else?

Tara:  This is exciting. No, I think that’ll hold me for a minute.

Rick:  Okay great. Well, thank you for joining us.

Tara:  Thank you so much for unmuting me.

Rick:  It’s my pleasure. Okay, have a good day.

Member:  The other question I had… well, I don’t know if you can do it because I don’t know if you have the access to the page or not.

Rick:  Well, go ahead and ask.

Member:  I’m still a little confused on some of the labels for the structural elements. I’m not even sure if I’m looking at a defective formula or if I had a question.

Rick:  Well, we could look at it this way because I’ve got screenshots of the whole thing. Okay.

Member:  So one question is that wp loop, is that a label that needs to remain that label or could that be like you know, fishsticks 3 or something?

Rick:  Yeah, you don’t… you can’t actually change wp loop.

Member:  And can you explain…

Rick:  And you can’t create one either.

Member:  So is that always the container that sits inside the outside jacket? You know, what you call fishsticks, is the next one always going to be wp loop?

Rick:  No. It just happens to be the structure of the Thesis classic theme.

Member:  Okay.

Rick:  It’s not at all… there’s nothing… none of that structure is inherent. The blank theme has absolutely nothing in it except wp loop and a couple of other things.

Member:  So a different skin would not… maybe not use that.

Rick:  I would assume, generally assume, a different skin would be different, yeah.

Member:  Okay, alright. And then would you ever use… so you’ve got these… the dots and the… what are they called?

Rick:  Are you talking about the class and id designators?

Member:  Id. Can you talk a little bit more about that but I’m still a little bit not clear there.

Rick:  Well, any box you want to style needs to have either a class or id assigned to it.

Member:  Okay.

Rick:  If you’re not going to style it, you don’t worry about it. You know, if it’s just something that’s going to be you know, as big as it can be which is what happens if you don’t style a box. It will just expand to be as big as it can be. If you… and so if it’s inside something that’s 200 pixels wide then it’ll be 200 pixels wide. If it’s inside the body then it will be as big as the body. So if you don’t give it a class or id, you can’t style it because it… because the only way to style it is to style it with a package. And the only way a package can style a box is if the package is using the selector that the box is using.

Member:  So the selector is basically the name of the… either the id or the class, right?

Rick:  Yes.

Member:  Okay.

Rick:  With the designator.

Member:  Right. So then you said package, reference name has to be unique but css selectors do not.

Rick:  Yeah because you may… just like I did with that footer widgets thing, you may use the same class over and over and over again. That’s the whole point of having a class.

Member:  Right. That makes sense. Oh, I see. So you can… oh, I see, yes. Okay, I’m sorry. I just had to hear it a different way to get it. I think I get that now. Okay.

Rick:  You asked about landing page and you said the landing page is the same as the front page. Are you comfortable with your… with the right answer to that question now?

Member:  Well, I think if you have your front page being blog post, it is a home page. And if you have it being a static page, it is a front page and I’m not sure where a landing page sits in that.
Rick:  It doesn’t sit anywhere in that. Landing page is just a custom template that came with… that comes with this skin.

Member:  And so…

Rick  that can never be applied to either the front page or the home page.

Member:  Is a landing page sort of like a…

Rick:  His landing page is essentially the no sidebar template that he called landing page. The name of it is whatever you want it to be. He named it landing page but really, it looks to me like it’s the no sidebars template.

Member:  Okay. So if you were using a static front page, I mean… you just wouldn’t use the landing page template then. Obviously, it’s one or the other, right?

Rick:  No. the landing page template has… can never be applied to the front page or the posts page. It can’t ever be applied to those but could be applied to anything else. The name landing is misleading you. Landing is… you could name landing page fishsticks too.

Member:  Oh okay. Yeah, it is misleading. Okay, I get it now.

Rick:  It’s a custom template. The critical thing here to understand is that it is a custom template which means it can only be applied by selecting and it cannot ever be applied to the front page or the home page. Never.

Member:  Got it. Okay, cool.

Rick:  Okay?

Member:  Yeah, thank you so much.

Rick:  You betcha. Talk to you later. Bye bye.

Member:  Bye.

Rick:  Okay, let’s see. Who’s next? Angelique. I appreciate everybody just hanging out here. Angelique, I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Angelique:  Alright, thanks.

Rick:  You’re welcome.  So what can I answer for you?

Angelique:  Well actually, she just sort of answered… you just sort of answered that landing page question that was confusing to me which brings up the question… so some people have people come straight to their landing page. Is that just because they’re tweaking the URL that they’re distributing so that that’s what people are going to?

Rick:  Well, if you want your main URL to look like a landing page then you just change your… the template for your static front page to look like that.

Angelique:  Okay.

Rick:  Now having said that, is there a reason… I mean, to use a landing page like that? You know, this has really nothing to do specifically with thesis. But conceptually, the reason why you have a landing page is because you want somebody to do a single thing. You want them to buy something, you want them to sign up for something, or you want them to look at something or fill out something. It’s a page where you want somebody to do a specific thing. But that’s really a generic term, right? it doesn’t have anything to do with the template except that that’s what the guy named it.

Angelique:  Okay.

Rick:  And you can create landing pages, right? That’s why I created that sales page. I created the sales page because I wanted to show you how you could easily just take everything out and only leave the content in and then assign it to a page.

Angelique:  Okay so I guess you just… I just take your front page and just take it, strip it you know, strip it bare of all that stuff.

Rick:  If that’s what you want your front page to be then yes, that’s how you would do it.

Angelique:  Okay. The only last question I had was getting different color widgets in your footer. So I know you talked about a single element and then a widget element and I’m wondering if it has to do with that or what.

Rick:  So you mean you got these widgets and you want one of them to be a different color?

Angelique:  Yeah, I like the background of each widget to be a different color like it’s a blue box and an orange box and a red box or something to that effect.

Rick:  Sure. So in that case, you would need to… okay, we’ve got our footer columns and footer 1 has a class of footer 1 so you need to create a package for that. we’ll come over here and add a single element package and the selector is going to be .footer 1. The reference, we’ll make it a footer 1. Options, we’ll just go down to background and background color, say it’s that color. hit save and then I just have to come down here and add my reference. And with that reference, now everything with footer 1… oh, isn’t that interesting? We’ve got footer 1 twice here.

Angelique:  Oh, you know what? I know why. Earlier when you were clicking in your name, you got a little sloppy and put 1 instead of 2 when you were doing 2.

Rick:  Okay so that’s what happens. So now it’s styled both of those the same.

Angelique:  Okay.

Rick:  Okay?

Angelique:  Alright, thank you.

Rick:  You’re welcome.

Angelique:  I think that’s good for me. Thanks for your answers.

Rick:  You bet. Have a good day.

Rick: Next, we have Zenith Rose. Zenith, I have just unmuted your microphone.

Zenith:  Hello? Can you hear me?

Rick:  I can hear you just fine.

Zenith:  Great.

Rick:  So you have a couple of questions too?

Zenith:  Yes, I do. Several, I think.

Rick:  Well, fire away.

Zenith:  Okay, I don’t even remember what I was typing in the boxes.

Rick:  Let’s see, more than one page that acts like a blog page. I think maybe I’ve already answered that one.

Zenith:  Yeah, you kind of did so like could we start possibly by looking at a site that is a theme that I’m using and as a beginner, if you could just basically quickly look at it and see if I should forget about even trying?

Rick:  Sure.

Zenith:  Because the problem I have is having different… having to create different subdomains because of having different themes. And so it’s

Rick:  That looks right, okay.

Zenith:  Okay now, would this be difficult for me, as a somewhat beginner and little… knowing a little bit code to change this to a Thesis theme? And what it is, this is a video blog so each one of those are posts.

Rick:  I don’t think so, no. There was just recently a post on the… I’m sorry. They just created a new tutorial on the user guide that talks about how to make teasers go side by side.

Zenith:  Oh okay.

Rick:  And that’s essentially what this is. You know, you’ve got… you would essentially create… you would define your post box as displaying you know, an image and a title and an excerpt. And then have that show up you know, and then define it as being wide enough so that 3 of them can stack side by side and that is here.

Zenith:  What reduces the photo to that size?

Rick:  Well probably, you would use the featured image and…

Zenith:  It’s like a thumbnail, right? Okay.

Rick:  Well, that’s what the featured image is. The… if you use the featured image, that generally is understood as the thumbnail and as long as you’ve got one specified for the post, it will work just fine there because you can pick featured image as you’re setting up that post box.

Zenith:  Okay.

Rick:  So if we come over to the User’s Guide here, here’s how to make 2 column teasers using the query box. Well actually, youc an make 3-column teasers exactly the same way except that they’ve got a width here where two will fit in. You just change the width so 3 would fit.

Zenith:  Okay.

Rick;  That’s all there is to it.

Zenith:  Okay so alright, I will look at that and see if I will attempt it because I would like to change that style and that’d be hooked into that like… because that’s all I can do with the banner across the top. No… and that’s the other question. In Thesis, how do you make the top header go all the way across like how that brown is going across?

Rick:  Yeah, you should watch my videos on how to create a full width skin because that’s what I’m doing in there is creating a full width skin. And that is one of the seminars that’s published… I mean, it’s one of the seminars that I taught that made it clear to me that I need to figure out how to describe this in beginning terms. But now that you’ve seen it in beginning terms, the chances are, you could follow this. But that’s essentially what this is doing is showing you how to do that.

Zenith:  Okay great, right. So then following up on that same question, early like in your earlier… I don’t know if it was launc seminar or the beginning seminar, when you were doing a background in the css, doing a… let me… I’m going to go to it in a second. In the css that time, you had… you suggested using a page background as a package. Is that… will not need to do that now and can just use a container?

Rick:  Well, that’s… the skin has changed. The skin here is called… uses the term container instead of page. It’s the same concept, it’s just a different box name.

Zenith:  Right. So but one doesn’t have to create a separate package, name page background then.

Rick:  No.

Zenith:  Okay. In the body package, the selector didn’t have a dot or a pound sign. Is that…

Rick:  Well, body is unique in that because the body is not a class. Body is an HTML element called body and… that’s why I glossed over it because it’s not something you’re ever going to repeat. So body is an HTML element… ti’s you know, body is unique for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is it’s always here. You can’t change it. You can’t rename it. You can’t move it. It’s on every template.Now you can add a class to it if you want and then you could have a different background for this template than you’ll have on another template. But all by its lonesome, it’s simply body.

Zenith:  Okay. Now in the launcher, one of them when you were doing sidebars, at that time had it by doing columns 3 2 or making it 2 columns. And now you’re using sidebar because I found that to be very problematic trying to do it the other way as far as getting the columns to go to the side. So could you….

Rick:  It doesn’t really matter what those names are. Those names are irrelevant. I’m just saying a name, whether it’s a sidebar or a column or fishsticks. It doesn’t matter to the column.

Zenith:  So how do you get the columns to go side by side versus underneath each other?

Rick:  By creating a package, a columns package… let’s go over to our page. Remember, here’s our footer. Footer columns, again, it doesn’t matter what I called it but I gave it this class. Okay and then I gave it the class of footer columns. Again, it doesn’t really matter what that is as long as it’s the same as the package over here. And I came over to my package and I created a columns package and I gave it the selector of footer columns. And then I came in here and I said what I wanted to have happen, how wide the columns are, that kind of stuff. And then…

Zenith:  Okay. Sorry…

Rick:  And then I gave each column its own class. Now I didn’t have to do that. I could have left that blank but I think that’s not useful for you to know. I think it’s better for you to know that this selector should match the column selector. Now the very first time I taught this ,you didn’t’ have this choice. This is something that’s new in 2.0.1.

Zenith:  Oh okay.

Rick:  And it’s a better idea for you to simply give this a class and make sure that the class matches the class that you used here for you column. So here’s our column. I gave it a class of footer 1. This is what you use as a class, as a selector in the columns package here. Okay, that same class you go there.

Zenith:  Sidebar column is set up exactly the same way then?

Rick:  Oh, it’s set up similarly in any case, yeah. It’s a columns package. It’s two columns. It’s got a css selector of sidebar 1 for column 1 and a css selector of sidebar 2 for column 2.

Zenith:  And the upgrading of Thesis, can that be done in WordPress or do you have to go download them from a Thesis site?

Rick:  What do you mean? Upgrading from 2 to 2.1?

Zenith:  Right.

Rick:  That can be done inside the dashboard.

Zenith:  Okay great.

Rick:  And if you’re using the 2.0 site right now, you should see a message up there that says you know, there’s a new version, 2.0.1 and it should be right up here at the top.

Zenith:  I don’t know if I… I don’t see that on mine and I don’t hav the manager.

Rick:  Is your… do you have black or red?

Zenith:  Let’s see, oh I see the update now. It’s… I see it now on the admin, okay.

Rick:  Okay.

Zenith:  Great.

Rick:  Perfect.

Zenith:  Okay I think that was it. Thank you.

Rick:  You betcha. You have a great day.

Zenith:  Thanks. You too.

Rick:  Bye bye.

Rick: Okay, let’s see. Carl has asked, “How do I know which boxes are on all pages and post pages?” I don’t know. You just have to look, I guess. I haven’t really talked about that. I mean, you can look at each template and see which boxes are there. But I’m not sure that you can tell… you can’t tell really, which… by looking at a single template, which boxes are on the other templates.

Greg… is Greg here still? Greg is still here. Greg, I’ve just unmuted your microphone. Hi Greg.

Greg:  Hey.

Rick:  How are you doing, Greg?

Greg:  I’m doing okay. Sorry, you caught me totally off guard. I muted it because I was working on something.

Rick:  Sure.

Greg:  And I just… I was like, “Oh.” Wow, you’re a marathon man. You’re still going.

Rick:  I guess I’m still going, yeah. So you asked a question about packages?

Greg:  Yeah. My question is really about packages. I’m just trying to go back and forth between you know, Thesis 1.85 and Thesis 2.0. And it seems like packages were similar to kind of like your… what was it called? Widget Styles plugin. Am I on the right track there?

Rick:  Well, packages are more flexible than widget styles. Packages are really you know, they’re dialogues that allow you to style certain boxes. And they you know, they’re only going to style a certain kind of box. So the… in the Skin Editor the you know, horizontal drop down menu is only going to style that you know, horizontal drop down menu and it won’t style anything else. A single element style can be used to style anything but it’s only going to style one element. The horizontal drop down menu will style most of the elements in the menu. You know, post formatting probably styles more than anything because it styles all the headings and the text and the lists in the post and all kinds of stuff like that. So some of these… but you could never use post formatting box to style a menu. It only styles the post formatting… a post box.

Greg:  Okay. So it’s… you have to have the right type of package to style the element that you’re going after?

Rick:  Yes. And specifically, in this case, from a beginner’s perspective, you want to pick the package that will style the box that you want to style. Now in a more expert level you know, you can use this to style things that are… that you didn’t create boxes for but that WordPress nevertheless creates. But that’s a… that’s not really a beginner’s task.

Greg:  Yeah, I could say crawl, walk, run.

Rick:  Yeah, exactly.

Greg:  Just… I didn’t have this question out there but since you called here, real quick… I’ve got a couple of sites that I was going to… that I’ve been going here from basically the get-go and that’s part of the reason why I’m diving into Thesis 2.0, just… I mean, I know 1.85 trying… obviously, continue to be supportive for sometime. But 2.0 seems like obviously where the company is fousing a lot of their effort. Have you heard anything… I mean, is Thesis 2.0 a good enough non-buggy enough site to build commercial sites on?

Rick:  Yeah. If you’re starting a new one now, I would absolutely use Thesis 2.

Greg:  Okay great.

Rick:  Yeah. But if you’ve got one that’s you know, mostly completed and you don’t really want to go back and redo it, Thesis 1.85 is going to continue to be developed. Yes, they are spending all their time now on 2 but that’s because they don’t’ really need to spend any time on 1.8. But 1.8 is going to… 1.8 will continue to be developed. My plugins will continue to be maintained and I’ll continue to teach how to use 1.8.

Greg:  Okay yeah, that’s great. I have no… believe me, I don’t want to go back in to a couple of ones that are operating really well right now. But I was just like… there’s some blank canvasses out there and the choice is 1.85 or 2.0. It seems to me that 2.0…

Rick:  The one reason why you would do 1.85 is because you already know exactly what to do and so you can just nail it quickly. But 2 is the future and if you’ve got time to learn how to use 2, I would use 2 because when it comes right down to it, 2 is going to be just way more powerful. You’ll be able to do way more things with it.

Greg:  Yeah, no okay. That sounds like a… you answered my questions and I’m not concerned about it. I mean, it wasn’t much of a concern. I didn’t think it’d have something I’d think to be really kind of bad.

Rick:  Okay.

Greg:  So that’s great.

Rick:  Okay. Well, talk to you later then.

Greg:  Thanks very much.

Rick:  Bye bye.

Rick: Okay so let’s see, who else do we have here? John’s got a question. Hello John Greg, this is Rick. I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

John:  Oh hi Rick. Can you hear me?

Rick:  I can hear you just fine, yes.

John:  Oh great, good. Yeah so I think my question really is that I’m… I’ve been building a site for a little while on 1.85 and I really don’t want to continue… I really want to move across to 2 because to be honest, I didn’t… I mean, it took me ages to kind of learn it but I’m not sure I learned it that well. And you know, just… I prefer to move on to 2 really. But I’ve got you know, I’ve sort of got some way with it. It’s quite a bit of work put in and I would really like to see how I could shift it across into 2 without… I suppose without it being too much heartache.

Rick:  Well the chances are that almost everything you’ve done on your site can be done without any code in 2. What’s your… is your current site live?

John:  Yeah it is, yeah.

Rick:  Okay.

John:  It‘s

Rick:  Okay, yeah. So this, your heading, is going to just… it’s going to fall right into place. And in fact, I can send you a data file that will split the sidebars like this. You know, right now the classic skin has both sidebars on the same side. But I can send you a data file that’ll put sidebars on one side, one sidebar on one side, one sidebar on the other.

John:  Right, okay. Fantastic.

Rick:  And then really you know, all the rest of this stuff is probably just going to move directly into it pretty easily for you.

John:  That’s great. I mean… you know, there’s kind of a lot missing still in the things such as I want to put in and the social media stuff you know, that needs to go in there.

Rick:  Right. Well, send me an email and I’ll send you back a file that you can use to upload that.

John:  Okay, brilliant. Yeah, that’s brilliant. The other question I had is is there a sidebar drop down menu?

Rick:  You mean a horizontal fly out menu kind of thing?

John:  Well because here, I’ve had to build on the treatment side, if you look down there, I had to kidn of build each one of those as a separate, little kind of box with the you know, with the code in, the HTML code.

Rick:  Well, I taught a class… was it just last week? It might have been just last week, I taught this class on how to do that. Let’s see, that would be under Live Answers. I don’t know if it actually… if it’s made its way onto the site yet or not. No, it’s not there yet but it’s going to be there soon, how to do the.. how to use the horizontal fly out menu, horizontal drop down menu in 2. So yes, you can do it in 2 and I’ve already taught how to do it. And it’ll make it to the site shortly.

John:  And do I need to do that to my site?

Rick:  Well, I don’t know if you absolutely need to but… I mean, this could just as easily be a… I mean, this is probably a widget right now, right?

John:  Yeah, it’s a widget.

Rick:  Well, so that widget is just going to stay like it is. You’re not going to lose that widget.

John:  Okay so I can just keep doing the same thing basically, just move down the page. I’ve got quite a few treatments that need to go in there too.

Rick:  Yeah so you could do it that way or you could use a menu in a widget and then change it so that it doesn’t look like this. Don’t use the horizontal menu to style it. So it could just be menu items rather than individual piece of code. I’d be glad to show you how to do that, if that’s what you’d like to do. I mean, not right now but…

John:  Well no, I understand.

Rick:  You know, maybe on a Wednesday morning or something.

John:  Okay, brilliant. You know, maybe this is… linking text, is that easy to… say if you click on a piece of text somewhere on a page somewhere and you want it to take you somewhere else on your site, is that easier to do in 2 than 1.8?

Rick:  No, but if it’s not easy for you to do then we need to review it because it’s a very… it’s very simple to do. It should be… you should be able to create a link without even thinking about it. Here I am on my sales page. Let’s say I just want to go to my… I want to go to another page. Here is the link text I want to use to go to that page. I”ll just come over here and click on the insert edit link. And then I can either put the URL that I want to go to here or I can click this thing, link to existing content. And I can scroll through here to find one of my pages, select that, add the link and it’s done.

John:  Yeah no, actually what I was trying to do is go to say, you know, I’ve got something to say about anxiety on a page somewhere. So I don’t want them to look through the whole page. I want to take them to that particular heading on a page or paragraph on a page.

Rick:  Okay, that’s called an anchor and if you do a little search on my site for anchors, let’s see… let’s do a little search, anchor. Well, you can see I’ve done this before for somebody wo asked the same question.

John:  Okay.

Rick:  And how to use anchors within a WordPress page or post, there’s a little video and stuff like that.

John:  Okay, brilliant. Okay so just.. and that’s the same… I mean, you’re just using a WordPress picture really.

Rick:  Yes, absolutely. That’s what you’re doing.

John:  Excellent.

Rick:  Okay, anything else?

John:  Wonderful. I think that’ll keep me going right now.

Rick:  Good.

John:  Like I said, that’s terrific and it’s great I found this you know, terrific site. Fantastic.

Rick:  Well, sign up for one of the.. it’s going to be Wednesday evening for you but sign up for one of those Wednesday evening sessions and then just tell me in the sign up that you want to do the vertical menu and the sidebar. And I’ll plan on demonstrating it.

John:  Yeah okay well I’ll try and catch you in the morning because your evening’s a bit late for me.

Rick:  Well, that was what I was referring to is your evening.

John:  Right, okay. Brilliant. So great, well thanks. I appreciate it. This is brilliant.

Rick:  You’re welcome. Talk to you later. Bye bye.

Rick: Okay, let’s see… Mr. Jim. I just unmuted your microphone.

Jim:  Rick?

Rick:  Yeah.

Jim:  Okay, thank you so much. Basically, I just need you to walk me through how to take a static page and make it the home page, the default home page and then we need to create the blog page. So for instance when you say go to dashboard settings, I guess you’re going to go there right now, correct? Are you clicking on that?

Rick:  Yeah, I’m just trying to find where I am so yeah, settings…

Jim:  If you could go to that, that would help out. If just go to…

Rick:  Settings and Reading…

Jim:  Reading, yeah.

Rick:  And…

Jim:  Because… okay, perfect.

Rick:  So let’s just say… this is default, your latest post. We’ll go ahead and save changes to that. So now when I’m at my site… okay, here’s my home page at my site and it is my blog post page. When I click on home, that’s where it takes… oh and when I click on home, it’s taking me to the page, Learn To Build a Website Just Like This because that’s what I named the menu item. But it’s only because that’s what I named the menu item, not because what it’s really doing. And the articles page now is just a blank page, it doesn’t have anything in it. So if I click on my… to go to my real home page, it’s displaying blog posts. Okay so that’s the default position.

And then what I want is a static front page. So I come over here and I say I want to create a static home page and I click that. And then I have to pick a page to be my front page and I’ve been using this one here. But I could just as easily say you know, use the services we provide and then I have to pick a post page. And as we said before, my articles page is blank so I just pick articles, hit save changes, come back over, refresh this. And now the services we provide page is my static front page and my articles page is my blog page.

Jim:  Okay but if you start from the very beginning as I need to do, of course, because you’ve just skipped a little bit in the beginning. Not much but when I do it, Rick, what happens is I don’t know how to just… I mean obviously, in WordPress and Thesis, I could do this. But I don’t know how to take you know… because you’ve used the blog template. You’d create a page or let’s just start here. We’re here on this page and let me just tell you what happens. I start with a static page so I don’t have…

Rick:  Why don’t I make you the presenter?

Jim:  Okay, alright. Thank you so much.

Rick:  So we can see what you see. So all you have to do is share it now.

Jim:  Okay so we’re going to be on my site somewhere?

Rick:  Well, I’m going to be looking at your computer.

Jim:  Okay, let me get to the page first. Okay, here we go. Do you see what I see?

Rick:  I see what you see.

Jim:  Okay so what happened was it was kind of a catch 22 in the beginning. So when you go to Skin Editor…

Rick:  Hold it. You actually have to pick pages here though. You haven’t picked a post page yet.

Jim:  Okay, I hear what you’re saying but I have to start somewhere. So I’m just going to start here then. Either way…

Rick:  But don’t start there. You really need to start at Reading Settings, selecting a page for your front page and selecting another page for your posts page. That really is the place to start.

Jim:  Okay, alright. Even though that’s not going to obviously… okay so let me go to Settings and Reading, correct? Okay. Now, I wasn’t able to create the front page because that template was not available to me under pages.

Rick:  Select the post page now.

Jim:  Okay, a post page… I’m just going to click blog.

Rick:  Perfect.

Jim:  Okay.

Rick:  So now you have actually assigned your About page as your front page and your blog page as your post page.

Jim:  Correct.

Rick:  Now hit save changes.

Jim:  Okay, alright.

Rick:  And now you’ll actually be able to see those in action. Before you did that, you would not have been able to see those.

Jim:  It makes sense, okay. Let me click here. Okay we should go to the About page. Okay, that works. That’s fine. That’s cool.

Rick:  Don’t use the nav bar. Click on the Thesis 2 Demo Site tab there. Oh okay you’re on your front page and that’s your About page. Okay click on your blog then.

Jim:  This… okay this, Rick, this was the home page. This is like the home page template and what this is is a text box because I was trying to create a static home page and obviously got convoluted. So I’m not sure how to create a blog page that has the blog loop in it. I don’t know how to do that.

Rick:  Okay, click the home edit down below.

Jim:  Oh okay, gotcha… because that’s the home plate page template. Okay, we’re there.

Rick:  Oh, it’s set up… it’s still set aside for you here. So in your container header 2 columns… so just go take your column 1 on the right hand side there… no, on the right hand side, the far right. Drag that into the container.

Jim:  Okay, just click and drag into container.

Rick:  Yeah okay.

Jim:  Okay.

Rick:  So now move your nav menu up where you want it and your header up where you want them.

Jim:  Okay, we’ll just put that there and we’ll put the header above that. I’ve got some sense, okay.

Rick:  Okay so now it’s organize. Go ahead and save your template and go look at the page. You’ll have it.

Jim:  Okay, save template and I guess I’ll just go back or we can just click here, I guess, and refresh, correct?  See how smart I am? Okay now if I click here, it should work, correct?

Rick:  Yeah.

Jim:  Okay and that is the test post.

Rick:  So scroll down…

Jim:  Okay.

Rick:  There’s more test post.

Jim:  Right, okay so that’s… and this is that text box but that’s a little confusing. I’ll just get rid of that. Now in terms of like this home page, the home page and the about page obviously, I just want you know, one of these to say home page for the default, not both of them. I don’t know how to get rid of this home page thing because I don’t know if it’s in the menu or… you know what I’m saying?

Rick:  It is the in the menu. All you have to do is go to the your menu and remove it.

Jim:  Okay, remove the home page and then….

Rick:  No, no just go to your menu and you’ll see.

Jim:  Okay like menus, okay. Menus and then home, that’s the custom home page so I should just remove that.

Rick:  Well, I’d remove the about page if your about is your home but that’s fine. It doesn’t matter.

Jim:  Well, should I just rename this or do something else?

Rick:  Sure, rename it to home.

Jim:  That’s fine. Okay and then save… no, not that one. I think this one. Okay, I thought I had saved the menu. We’ll just do it again or…

Rick:  It’s saved. Now you need to go to the… go see the… look at it.

Jim:  Okay so the home is there. It’s the about page… okay alright. I think I got it. So basically, what we did is we started down here first. We went to Reading and then we designated a page. I guess what I was trying to figure out is… or this helped me a lot, don’t get me wrong. But one thing that threw me a little bit was that originally, I didn’t have the… when I went down here under page, I didn’t have that…

Rick:  Sure.

Jim:  Now it’s flipping over to… let me see. So I’m going to page… well, you have a page underneath this in a 404 drop down. I guess we’re on the front page.

Rick:  Go ahead and click on that plus.

Jim:  Oh, the plus. Oh my gosh. Okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you clicked on the plus. That’s what I missed. That’s a critical key element. Okay, I think that answers all my questions. Thank you so much.

Rick:  Hey, you’re welcome. Have a good day, Jim.

Jim:  Great seminar. Great webinar, by the way. Awesome.

Rick:  Thank you.

Okay let’s see… okay. So let’s see, who else has questions now? Charles, still here? Hi Charles, I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Rick:  There you go.

Charles:  Are we there?

Rick:  Yeah, you are there.

Charles:  Okay yeah, I unmuted it on my side so I had to unmute it.

Rick:  Okay so what can I do for you?

Charles:  Well, I guess you answered a couple of questions already that I had posted there. The question about you know, being able to see the boxes pertains to using them on the different themes so there’s no real way for someone to know which boxes they’re using on which theme. You just have to go to each theme and see what box you’re using.

Rick:  Yes, that’s right. I mean, you can look at it in preview, right? You can have one… you could have… let me just go do that. You can have one theme that’s currently active and then you can come over and look at the other theme in preview mode. And look and see you know, what that stuff looks like in preview mode, right? So now I’m looking at my you know, I’m looking at this other theme or skin, I’m sorry. I’m looking at the other skin that I created so I can see what boxes I’m using here in this other skin. And then if that was useful to me, I can switch back and you know, stop previewing this in preview mode and then go back to the other skin. And you know, maybe copy something or something like that. But…

Charles:  And in a theme as you create the boxes, they then apply… they show up in that right hand box for every theme within the skin.

Rick:  For every template.

Charles:  Every template.

Rick:  I’m sorry, I was… I misunderstood what you were asking. Every box that you create inside of a given skin is either going to be on the template itself someplace or on the right hand side. If it’s on the right hand side, that’s because it’s not… it hasn’t been added to this template. And if it’s not on the right hand side, that’s because it has been added to the template.

Charles:  So to go… like for example, front page and then if you had an About Me page, say you loaded a box into the front page, now you’re working on your About Me page. You want that same box to show up in the same position. You have to place it there.

Rick:  That’s correct.

Charles:  Okay, simple enough. So I think that’s really my….

Rick:  So when you’re starting from scratch, really what you do is you build the first page the way you want it. And so you… you know, in this class I’m teaching on Thursdays, all we’re doing is editing the page. We started with an absolutely blank skin with no boxes anywhere and we’ve been building up the page. Once the page is done then we will migrate that to all of the other core templates and then change those core templates. So you want to sort of create your main version, the one that’s the closest to typical first and then copy that to all the other templates and then make modifications to those templates as necessary.

Charles:  Okay. That makes sense.

Rick:  Yeah.

Charles:  Cool. Thank you.

Rick:  You’re absolutely welcome. Have a good day.

Charles:  You too.

Wilfred, are you still with us? I thought I saw that you had gone away. Oh actually, I’m going to go back to Andrea.

Andrea:  Hi Rick.

Rick:  Hi Andrea. So…

Andrea:  I had a question about the wp loop. Can you use it more than once on an active template? Not the same template but on different templates?

Rick:  Well, in fact, you just about have to use it on a template.

Andrea:  No, I mean can you use it more than one time?

Rick:  No.

Andrea:  Okay.

Rick:  Every other use of the template would… I mean, every other use of the loop would use that query box.

Andrea:  Okay, I see. Then that would be php.

Rick:  No, it doesn’t really require php but let’s see… test.

Andrea:  Because I have a site that I design in Thesis 1.85 and on the front page, it has the 2 latest posts at the bottom of the page. It’s a static page except for that. And then I also have another page that actually has the… it’s a blog post but shown as teasers so that’s the you know, news page. But I do have a php.

Rick:  Well, here you just use a… box.

Andrea:  Okay. Sounds simpler.

Rick:  It’s way simpler. You can choose the post type. You can choose the basis of the query. So say I want to show categories. I can pick a category. I can set the number of posts. It’s way easier.

Andrea:  I noticed that the select post type also has media. So could you set up a portfolio or gallery this way?

Rick:  Absolutely.

Andrea:  Okay, perfect.

Rick:  Anything else?

Andrea:  No, that’s good. Thank you so much.

Rick:  You’re welcome.

Andrea:  I really appreciate you.

Rick:  I’m happy to do it.

Andrea:  Okay.

Rick:  Bye bye.

Rick:  Well, Wilfred I just unmuted your microphone.

Wilfred:  Yes, I’m here.

Rick:  Perfect. Boy, we’re going a long time, aren’t we?

Wilfred:  Yes, last week. I’m a newbie and I bought Thesis and now I see more. I understand more and I only wanted to know which… what should I do first and which lessons shall I study first? Because it’s a lot of stuff what you are teaching and I want to learn it step by step.

Rick:  Yeah, are you… you are comfortable with WordPress, aren’t you?

Wilfred:  I understand WordPress so I’m doing it some months, still.

Rick:  Yeah so I would say that probably the next thing for you to do would be to look at some of the seminars that we’ve already done and see if they make more sense to you, now that we’re finished with this seminar. And see if you can try to do some of those things in that seminar and then here, very shortly, I will be advertising the next class. And the next class will be more of a step by step from the beginning of the stie to the end of the site. And that will probably… I mean, really be the next thing you’d want to do. But unfortunately, I don’t have that class ready yet.

Wilfred:  Okay, it’s no problem.

Rick:  But it’s coming very, very soon now. The only thing I have to do is finish creating the skin that I’m going to use as a basis for it and then we’ll start teaching it.

Wilfred:  Okay. Thank you.

Rick:  Okay, you’re welcome.

Rick: Let’s see, Kun Li is still here, I think. Do you have a microphone? Okay, you said, “My Thesis does not have a drop down menu. What do you think is wrong?” And what’s wrong is you need to actually create the menu in WordPress first. So you would come over here to Appearance and Menus and then create your menu. And once you have your menu here then you’ve got something to choose from. But you actually have to start by creating a menu.

Now if you don’t know how to create a menu, go over to the How To Build A Professional Website Using WordPress and Thesis. And even though this is using Thesis 1.85, the method of creating a menu is still exactly the same. And I believe that’s in Lesson 7 or it’s either Lesson 7 or Lesson 8. It’s Lesson 8, I’m sorry.

And Lesson 8: Create A Menu and start there. Once you’ve created the menu then the rest of it’s kind of fall into place.

Okay, let’s see, Barry. And Barry, I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Rick:  Hi Barry. I can almost hear you.

Barry:  Okay, is that better?

Rick:  That is better, yes.

Barry:  Thank you so much. Like everyone has indicated, you are a true champion and much appreciation.

Rick:  Well, great. What I can do for you?

Barry:  Well, my query was really just associated with, I think, one of the very first question. It was when she was asking relative to how do you… can you put a blog post page in multiple locations on your site?

Rick:  Sure, okay.

Barry:  And so I was just trying to indicate to that query. It seemed as if what she was asking was how do you get posts appearing on multiple locations? And you indicated that the post function is relative to the wp loop and it can only appear in one place on your site.

Rick:  Oh no, I didn’t mean to communicate that. It is relative to the wp loop but you could actually create as many copies of your blog post page as you want, really. There’s nothing… I mean, the template for the homepage, that can only appear once. But the function of that template could be applied to any template you want it to be applied to.

Barry:  So in other words then, just for the sake of the argument, let’s just call it the front page is a static page introducing a concept, principle, whatever it is. And then the follow up pages, a page A, page B, and page C could actually… page A could be a blog post about a particular aspect of that principle.

Rick:  Yes.

Barry:  Page B could be a separate post about a completely distinct aspect of that.

Rick:  Yes and…

Barry:  So you could have a site that was very blog post oriented but was categorized and presented distinctly and separately.

Rick:  Yes. And actually, WordPress does that automatically, really. As long you’ve created posts and categorized them, that is assign a category to them. WordPress automatically generates the page that displays all of the posts in that category.

Barry:  Even though on the settings, when you go into reading and you distinguish, ‘I want the front page to be a static page’ and then ‘I want my post to appear on the drop down selector’, are you choosing one of those pages as where you want those to appear? So how do you get…

Rick:  You’re choosing one of those pages where all the posts appear.

Barry:  Gotcha.

Rick:  But if you want to add a category to… let’s say I have categories here of… I have a category working with an architect. Okay I could display all the categories… all the posts assigned to working with an architect by adding that to my menu. And actually, what I really want to do is add it to my main menu because I’m not used to the footer menu. But we come down here and just say add that to the menu, save the menu, come over to the page now and refresh the menu. And now I’ve got this menu item which displays all of the posts that I have categorized as working with an architect.

Barry:  Wonderful.

Rick:  Automatic WordPress behavior.

Barry:  I see. And so that’s literally how you would distinguish your posts or your orientation towards… if you had a particular site and you had different aspects and you wanted to deal with those aspects separately, this is how you would do it.

Rick:  Yes especially if you are… especially if that content is like ongoing, right? So you’ve got a handle of posts about it now but you know, next week, you’re going to write another one. And you want the last one you wrote to go up to the top. You know, so they see the last post first, the latest post first.

Barry:  And similarly then, for instance, if you wanted to have a site that would invited guest bloggers, this would be an opportunity for you in that situation to give these guest bloggers their own position.

Rick:  Because you would make them an author and just like WordPress will display all of the posts in a single category, it will also display all the posts by a given author. So if they’re actually an author then you can say show all of Rick’s posts. And it could be a menu item and it will display all the posts that I was the author of.

Barry:  And so then you put then the menu title would correspond to you as the author.

Rick:  It could correspond to anything because the title can be anything you want it to be. You can change the title but yeah, I mean, it would… you’d want it to be meaningful. But this is too long a menu title, right?

Barry:  Correct.

Rick:  So I’d have to change the style of my menu or you know, somehow make the…

Barry:  Come up with something catchy to make it… right.

Rick:  Exactly.

Barry:  Excellent. That’s a very, very, very good point.

Rick:  Okay.

Barry:  I appreciate that.

Rick:  Anything else?

Barry:  No. Good work. Oh one more piece, one more piece.

Rick:  Sure.

Barry:  When you talk about the follow up to this particular course and I think last week or something, you had said, “Okay next week, we’re starting on Monday and we’re going whole boar.” The follow up to this course is when and what?

Rick:  The follow up to this session right now is going to be the How To Build A Professional Website Using WordPress and Thesis 2.0. And as soon as I have my skin ready to use, we will start teaching that course. This thing I’ve taught today was a precursor for it because I needed to experiment with teaching these basic concepts without talking about code. And…

Barry:  I’d like to indicate you did a very, very good job of cleaning up that lexicon.

Rick:  Well, good. I appreciate that because the truth is, I’ve never prepared as much for a presentation as I prepared for the day. Really you know, we went… and in fact, it’s never been as collaborative either because my wife and I kind of went through this stuff over and over again… went to a friend’s place who you know, has listened to me teach and started you know… went through the concepts again. Because I just felt like I needed to make this as… even though we’ve been going for what, 4 hours now, I want this as succinct as possible. It’s because… as code free as possible. And I needed… I felt like I needed to do that before I started teaching that other class.

Barry:  Well, having been in the first round and experienced the… it’s fair to probably call it a bit of muddledness, that muddledness has certainly been declarified. So it may not have been as succinct as you wanted it today but it was certainly far more clarified.

Rick:  Yeah well that’s good.

Barry:  Yeah, thank you very much.

Rick:  Okay, you’re welcome.

Thank you very much everybody for hanging with me here and for participating. I’d like to remind you again, just if you want to do something nice for me, you can come on over to my.. . that seminar page where you can download the cheat sheet and the Beginner’s Guide to Thesis 2 Skin Editor and like it or +1 it for me. And that would be absolutely terrific. And this will be taught again yet so if you feel like you need to have it reviewed, we’ll be teaching it again here soon.

So everybody have a lovely day. I look forward chatting with you again. Bye bye.

2 Comments… add one
2 comments… add one
  • Jennifer Rolle November 8, 2012, 1:16 am

    Hi Rick,

    Great beginners guide to thesis 2.0 – I am truly enjoying the course.
    I have noticed that part thirteen: “Question and Answer” is missing its
    download link. I got an error stating “The specific key does not exist”

    Just wanted to bring that to your attention.

    • Rick Anderson November 8, 2012, 6:31 am

      Thanks for letting us know, Jennifer. We’ve fixed the problem. Glad to hear you are enjoying the course.

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