Thesis 2.5: Next-level Schema Support and the Google Global Site Tag

Thesis 2.5 is available now via automatic updates in your WordPress Dashboard, and you’ll want to update immediately to take advantage of a couple new cutting-edge features.

In this article, I’ll show you how Thesis has the best and most flexible Schema support of any WordPress theme.

After that, we’ll take a look at the new Global Site Tag, which massively simplifies the process of configuring your website with Google tools and services.

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Post/Page Schema Controls for Perfect Rich Snippets

Since 2013, Thesis has included Schema markup support, and Skins took advantage of this by specifying a default Schema on included templates.

For example, the Classic Responsive Skin runs the BlogPosting Schema by default, thereby adding rich snippet data to every post and page of your site. Search engines love this!

But what if you have a page that calls for a different Schema, such as NewsArticle or Product?

Prior to Thesis 2.5, the only reasonable way to do this was to create a new custom template and specify a different Schema for that template. You would then need to select this custom template on any post or page that called for this different Schema.

In my view, that’s too complicated to be a realistic option for most people. Even worse, the custom template approach is something that only applies to the current Skin. If you change your Skin in the future, these Schema associations will not carry over between Skins—not good!

Thankfully, there’s a much better way to do this.

Ideally, each piece of content should be associated with the Schema most pertinent to it. In other words, Schema is a content-level association and not a theme-, Skin-, or even template-level association.

Thesis Schema selector

That’s why Thesis 2.5 adds a new Schema selector to your WordPress post editor, enabling you to associate a particular Schema with each post or page of your site.

Now, no matter which Thesis Skin you use, your chosen Schema will take precedence over whatever defaults are defined in the Skin.

But that’s not all!

Some Plugins like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads (and many others) output their own Schema on certain pages. With previous versions of Thesis, this would have resulted in two Schema being output on the same page—the Skin default as well as the Plugin-specified Schema.

With the new Schema selector in Thesis 2.5, you can specify “No Schema,” and this will prevent your Thesis Skin from outputting any default Schema on this page. This clears the way for your Plugins to add their own Schema, ensuring you’ll have the most pertinent Rich Snippet data on each page of your site.

Pro tip: Both Post Boxes and Query Boxes (the two places where default Schema can be specified within Thesis Skins) now respect the post/page-level Schema settings. This means you’ll always have perfect Schema output everywhere!

Analytics Evolved: Google Global Site Tag

Over the past couple years, Google has greatly expanded the tracking and tagging services it offers to provide deep, actionable data for webmasters.

However, the negative side of this expansion has been that hardcore webmasters have found themselves needing to manage many different scripts and tags in their code. Some examples include:

  • Analytics
  • Site Verification
  • Tag Manager
  • Experiments

Even worse, all these scripts had different implementation requirements which turned this whole tracking/tagging process into a technical and organizational nightmare.

But now that Google has introduced the Global Site Tag, all of this is about to change for the better.

The Global Site Tag is a one-stop shop for Analytics and other tracking/tagging services Google provides.

Services like Analytics, Site Verification, Tag Manager, Experiments, and more are available through the Global Site Tag, and you can control all this stuff from your Google account.

In other words, there’s no longer a need to paste code in various places throughout your HTML to implement advanced Google services. Can I get an amen?

If you’re a Thesis user who was already using the native Google Analytics implementation, your site will automatically switch to the new Global Site Tag when you update to Thesis 2.5.

The Bottom Line

The internet is constantly in flux, and you need a theme that’s adaptable to this ever-changing landscape.

Thesis makes it easy to keep everything up-to-date with the latest web standards and specs, and this leads to faster loading times, better SEO, and easier maintenance over time.

On top of that, “instant upgrades” like granular Schema support and the Global Site Tag are poignant examples of how Thesis can level up your website in an instant.

Finally, if you’d like more information on what’s new in Thesis 2.5, check out the changelog.

If you don’t yet have Thesis, check out our freshly-updated Skin demo and then see which Thesis license is right for you!

About the author: Thesis creator Chris Pearson is obsessed with optimizing the web and making sure every last detail receives the attention it requires. Follow DIYthemes on Twitter for the latest tips and info on building truly awesome websites.

18 comments… add one
  • Thank you Jesus for post/page level markup schema! This was a nightmare before this upgrade. I had multiple templates to use of the same setup, but with different schema.

    Does this upgrade include auto-markup for pictures, videos, etc? If not, will this be included in future upgrades or is that included in Google’s Global Site Tagging?

    • Chris Pearson

      Kevin, glad you’re digging the Schema upgrade!

      Regarding images, if you specify a WordPress Featured Image, it’ll include Schema markup in the output.

      Other images in your content do not receive automatic Schema markup. The reason is because image Schema is supposed to indicate one “important picture” that is representative of the content.

      It’s easy to make a value judgment about the featured image—it’s obviously very important—but it’s not as easy to pick out a single image (among potentially dozens) within a piece of content and identify it as important or representative of the overall work.

  • Am I understanding that all we have to do is choose a valid schema for each new post from the list and that’s it? We don’t have to add any other info or configure the schema settings??

    • Chris Pearson

      Julie, that’s all you need to do (and you don’t even have to select a Schema if you don’t want to).

      Each official Thesis Skin from DIYthemes includes default Schema markup—usually BlogPosting or Article—that will accompany your posts and pages.

      Even if you don’t specify a Schema for a particular post or page, it’ll still receive the default Schema treatment.

      If you do specify a particular Schema, your Skin will use this instead of the default. Easy!

      • Gotcha. But I’ll get a little extra “oomph” from Google if I pick the right type of schema for each post if we do news, reviews, and articles. Right?

        • Chris Pearson

          Absolutely! Wherever possible, you want to select the Schema that’s most closely associated with your content.

          I just don’t want people reading this and thinking they have to select a Schema every time they create a post or page.

  • rick

    Chris, this is all fine and good but i’m waiting forever for Flex to be updated to integrate woocommerce. When this will finally come out?

    • Chris Pearson

      Rick, Flex creator Matthew Horne went a bit crazy with upgrades and new features.

      Some of his changes—implemented before we had even considered adding WooCommerce styles—are such a major departure from standard Flex functionality that they cannot be released under the same name.

      In other words, Matthew innovated so much that we had no choice but to bifurcate the Skin.

      This has forced us to roll back some functional changes to the original Flex Skin while incorporating new WooCommerce styles. In addition, we are setting up everything (downloads, docs, etc) for the new Skin, so this has become quite the undertaking.

      • rick

        Chris, so when this will finally be ready? I’ve been checking daily the flex changelog since version 2.0 was in pending release since august i think.

        I’m eagerly waiting for this because finally there’s an option to show different menus for different post and pages and this is something i always struggled to achieve.

  • Ron

    I’m running Thesis 2.4.1 with Pearsonified 1.3 and already see the schema selector (“Markup Schema”) in my post editor. I’ve been happily specifying “BlogPosting” for posts and “Article” for pages. Does anything change for me upon upgrade to 2.5?

    • Chris Pearson

      Ron, nothing changes for you, and you can just keep doin’ what you’re doin’!

      • Ron

        Great, thanks Chris.

        I have a related question. If I take one of my pages (with my Thesis schema set to “Article”) and put it through Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool it says there are still a few bits of structured data missing, these being: author, image, publisher. Is there a setting so I also have these items supplied by Thesis?

        • Chris Pearson

          Ron, the “completeness” of your Schema data depends on what your Display settings are for Pages.

          Visit Thesis Admin → Skin → Content, and then you’ll see the Display Options at the top of the page. Click on the “Pages” button to bring up a list of items that are displayed on Pages.

          Author and WP Featured Image are the two items you’ll need to enable if you want to round out your Schema markup.

          Keep in mind that not every property is necessary—not every Article calls for an image, and it’s not “wrong” to omit a Schema property.

          But generally speaking, whenever people encounter a situation of incomplete Schema data, it’s because not all properties are currently displaying in the active template.

          • Ron

            That’s a big help, thank you.

  • Many thanks Chris,

    Love the individual Schema Markup option on pages – great job!

    Also, by the by, I recently re-did a site with Woo Commerce and that integration worked smooth as butter as well.

    Thanks and cheers,

    Martin.

    • Chris Pearson

      I recently re-did a site with Woo Commerce and that integration worked smooth as butter as well.

      Excellent news!

      And I just checked out your business site—you are really crushing it with Thesis these days. Keep up the awesome work!

  • sandeep sharma

    THANKS, CHRIS! I have always been a great fan of DIY themes. They not only look great but they work flawlessly. Keep doing the great work…moreover, the theme integration of themes with woocommerce is awesome and smooth as butter!!

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