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Upgrade a Thesis 1.8.5 Site to Thesis 2.1 Using the Classic Responsive Skin

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Part 1 – Install Thesis 2.1 on Development Server

Good morning everybody and welcome to this live presentation on upgrading a Thesis 1.8.5 site to Thesis 2.1 and making it responsive in the process. Today, what we’re going to do is take this site,, and we are going to convert it into a Thesis 2.1 site.

Start on a Development Server Then Move to a Live Server

The site was developed in 1.8.5. It has some custom code and it uses a number of my plugins, which sort of stand in for custom PHP. We’re going to be working in a development server first. Then, once we’re done with the development server, we’re going to transfer over to the live server.

This is my recommended system for doing this. If you don’t know how to make a development server, I recommend you come on over to my site and look under Seminars, I have a whole bunch of seminars here, and probably the best one for doing is the BackupBuddy seminar which is down under Plugins, Backup, Restore, Clone & Migrate with BackupBuddy. This would be a good place for you to start learning how to clone your site and being able to create a development server.

Thesis 2.1 Seminars

I do want to draw your attention to 3 of my Thesis 2.1 seminars. We have the Thesis 2.1 Launch Party seminar, Thesis 2.1 for DIY Website Builder and Thesis 2.1 for Web Design Professionals. All of these are free videos you just need a free membership in order to watch these. This is about 8 hours of video. If you don’t want to register, you can find the same thing also on  BYOBWebsite’s blog.

These videos will give you a good foundation in how to use Thesis 2.1 and understand all of its components. Obviously, I’m not talking about all of that material here today. I am assuming that you are already familiar with Thesis 2.1 by having watched all these videos.

Some of this conversion is going to be code related; it’s going to require a little technical work. So, if you have a site that you are converting that is like that, then this is probably going to be helpful to you.

To help me out, if you get benefit out of this I’d love it if you would come over to my Thesis 2.1 Launch Party videos and either Like, or Google plus or tweet it. I would really appreciate it.

Step 1 – Deactivate Plugins

With that said, I’m going to dive right in to this site. This is the live site and this is the development site. We’re just going to come on over to the dashboard and get started. Before we install Thesis 2.1, we have a number of BYOB Thesis Plugins used here that we need to deactivate. If you’re using some of my plugins, you should deactivate them prior to installing Thesis 2.1, otherwise, you’re going to get errors.

So we’ll come over and deactivate all the BYOB Thesis Plugins. It’s Footer Widgets, Full Width Background, Landing Page, Nav Menu, Shortcode Content Widgets, Simple Feature Box and Simple Header Widgets. We’ll go deactivate all of those. And once we do that, you’re going to see that the site is quite a bit different.

Step 2 – Download and Activate Thesis 2.1

Now we’ll go to and download this. You can see that Thesis 2.1 is now officially available for download. I am going to come down and download this. Thesis 2.1 has never been installed before on this site so it’s not a process of upgrading, it’s simply a process of downloading and installing.

Notice this here, where it says, Thesis=1, that means there’s another version or another copy of Thesis installed but sitting in my downloads folder. So, before I do anything I really need to change this because I can’t use this. I have to go find the one that is named and rename it and then rename this one. We’re just going to do that now.

What Your Zip File Should Look Like

So, details and we are going to go by name at the moment. This is the old one and this is Thesis 2.1 beta and this is Thesis 2.1 real. I’m going to delete that so that the file says, okay? This is what your zip file needs to look like. If you’re on a mac it’ll automatically rename this to something that won’t work. And obviously if you already got this, another copy of Thesis in your folder, we’ll do the same thing too, so you have to watch for that.

Upload and Activate Thesis 2.1

Now that we are going to come over to appearance and themes and install the theme, upload it, there it is. We are uploading it in a zipped format not unzipped and we’ll go ahead and activate it. Once it’s activated this is what it looks like. We know that we are using version 2.1 because it says so here and if we come back over and just refresh the site, it looks a whole lot different now.

Christine asks, are you going to be notified by email with a link to download Thesis 2.1? Yeah, I’m sure it’s going to be a big email post, blog post, blast kind of thing that’s going to happen here at some point today. But for the time being until you get that email you just go over and log in the DIYThemes.

The other thing to say about this is that, if you don’t have an upgrade notice yet in your dashboard but you still want to install it what you need to do is follow the manual installation procedure. I’ve got a video here that talks about how to manually install it. So just follow the manual installation procedure rather than the automatic procedure if you are trying to get it. And if you can’t find that video just search for “manual install thesis 2” and you should be able to find it.

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