The Thesis Admin is the primary control center for Thesis, and you can access every part of the software from here. To visit it, log into your WordPress dashboard, and then click on the Thesis link in the navigation menu on the left.
The Thesis Admin consists of four main parts:
- Skin Menu, for controlling and customizing your current design
- Site Menu, for managing aspects of your site that always remain the same, regardless of your design (such as Google Analytics, Google Authorship, and other SEO concerns)
- Boxes Menu, for adding functionality to your website and extending your Thesis installation
- More Menu, for your license key, information about your Thesis installation, and troubleshooting
For a detailed look at each section of the Thesis Admin, check out the documentation below.
The Thesis Admin Skin Menu contains the primary, day-to-day controls you’ll use most frequently, especially when performing design-related tasks. The sections below correspond to the links available in the Skin Menu.
Not all Skins will show the exact same links in the Skin Menu. For example, Skins that do not support header images will not have a Header Image link.
The Skin Content page gives you unprecedented control over some of the content in your Skin. To access it, click on the Content link in the Skin Menu.
If your Skin contains display options, they will appear at the top of the Content page. The display options are essentially on/off switches for the basic content in your Skin—elements like your tagline, author avatars, category and tag links, and more.
The bottom half of the Skin Content page contains links to editable Boxes that are currently active in your Skin. Clicking on any of these links will take you to an associated options page for that Box.
The Skin Design page contains intuitive controls that you can use to customize your site. To visit it, click on the Design link in the Skin Menu.
The available options are dependent upon the current Skin, and there’s really no limit to the kinds of design controls you may find here in the future.
Basic options you can expect to see in any Skin include color scheme controls, font options, and even layout options that can radically change the look of your Skin.
If your Skin supports header image functionality, you’ll see a Header Image link in your Skin Menu.
On the Header Image page, you can select an image from your WordPress Media Gallery or drag-and-drop a new image to serve as your header image.
If you wish to make design customizations beyond the options available on the Skin Design page, you should do this in the Custom CSS editor. To access it, simply click on the Custom CSS link in the Skin Menu.
By placing your design customizations in Custom CSS, you can ensure that your modifications will never be overwritten during a Skin update.
In addition, if your Skin supports advanced CSS capabilities like Variables or an SCSS/LESS preprocessor, you’ll be able to take advantage of those inside Custom CSS.
There’s really no limit to what you can achieve via Custom CSS—the more you understand CSS, the more is possible with the Thesis Custom CSS editor.
Finally, be sure to check out the Live Preview mode when working with Custom CSS. When you click on the Live Preview button, Thesis will launch a new window that will show your design and update it as you type your Custom CSS!
(Many Thesis users claim this is the easiest and most fun way to learn CSS, so be sure to check it out.)
All Custom CSS is saved relative to the active Skin. Keep this in mind if you switch Skins and find yourself wondering where your old Custom CSS went!
The Thesis Admin Site Menu contains links to mission-critical site tools that can positively affect SEO and also help you further refine and optimize your site. Most of these tools require only infrequent or one-time actions, such as adding a snippet of code or text to establish “proof of ownership.”
The Site Menu tools are independent of the active Skin on your Thesis site. In other words, even if you change your Skin, the data for your Site Menu tools will remain the same.
The tools available in the Site Menu include:
- Google Analytics — track your site’s statistics with Google’s free (and awesome) analytical service
- Google Authorship — connect your site to your Google+ profile and get an avatar image placed next to search results from your site
- Site Verification — verify your site with Google and/or Bing Webmaster Tools
- Tracking Scripts — place additional tracking scripts on your site as needed (click tracking, split testing, etc.)
- Favicon — extend your site’s branding with a favicon
- RSS Feed — if you’d like to use a non-default RSS feed, you can supply that here
- Blog Page SEO — add
<meta>details to your home page; this is especially applicable if you’re running a static front page
- 404 Page — select any WordPress page to serve as your custom 404 page
- HTML Head — modify and/or rearrange the items in your document
Some Site Menu tools may require free registration with other sites or services, like Google.
Thesis Boxes enable you to extend your Thesis installation by adding any kind of functionality to your site. You can install, activate, and manage your Boxes from the Boxes Menu.
To install or activate a Box, visit the Manage Boxes link. Any add-on Boxes you’ve installed will appear on this page; to activate a Box, simply tick the checkbox next to a Box’s name, and then click the Save Boxes button in the upper right.
Finally, some of the add-on Boxes you install may come with associated options pages. If so, these pages will be available as links in the Boxes Menu. You can see an example of this in the video linked above.
The More Menu contains three items you’ll need to reference from time to time: your license key, system status information, and current Thesis version number.
All Thesis versions 2.1.8 or newer require a license key for automatic updates, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve entered a valid license key. For more information, check out the documentation for the Thesis license key page.
Whenever you submit a support request, you should include your system status information. This will help us serve you more quickly and accurately.