A 1.4 Sneak Peek: Killer Recent Entries

by Chris Pearson · 37 comments

For most of Thesis’ life, it has contained a wonderfully flexible function, thesis_widget_recent_posts(), which allowed the display of recent posts from defined categories in the sidebar. However, this has never been a true widget and, restricted to widgets, most people only ever use WordPress’ built-in “Recent Posts” widget.

With Thesis 1.4, we aim to make the display of recent posts much more flexible with the aptly named Killer Recent Entries widget. And yes, this is a real widget that you can add or remove right from your Widgets panel.

Killer Recent Entries

The widget’s options allow you to title the widget, choose whether to only show posts from a certain category, select how many posts to list, and choose whether or not to display how many comments the post has.

And unlike most widgets, Killer Recent Entries is a true multi-use widget — you can add as many instances of the widget as you’d like to your sidebars.

I know we’re all excited about the new homepage/feature controls being introduced in 1.4, but I didn’t want you all to miss out on this great new feature!

About the Author: Chris Pearson, Thesis creator and DIYthemes founder, is obsessed with optimizing the web and making sure every last detail receives the attention it requires. You should follow him on Twitter here.

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This looks awesome! This killer widget will be so useful… it’s killing me to wait for V1.4 but I know it’s going to be so worth it!!! Keep up the great work guys… I have a feeling V1.4 is going to open all kinds of new doors for functionality and useability. I know it will set the NEW standard for premium themes!!! Man I can’t wait… LOL


Sounds like a nice little widget that a lot of people will make use of. Now all I need is a popular posts widget that can connect to WP Stats AND filter by category and we’re away.

Keep it up and I can’t wait for the next release.

Chung Bey Luen

Nice feature. Any other feature in v1.4? I’m very excited to find out what are the other features will be included in v1.4. Can’t wait to test it out.

Thesis Web Graphics

Hey Guys, Really looking forward to v1.4, I bet it will be amazing and I can’t wait to see all the awesome functions that we come to expect from thesis.
Cheers The Pro Designer.

Thesis users help make your blog stand out and get noticed. “SPECIAL THESIS GRAPHICS from only $39”

Kingdom Geek

Chung Bey Luen: Any other new features? Of course! πŸ™‚


this one is great but I think there more usefull things like ability to use lokalization files, threaded comments, shortened posts on main page (auto tag e.x. after 200 words)…

I am looking forward…what you have done to this point is marvelous as it is but you know people still want something new a more complex πŸ˜›


I mean…(auto ex. after 200 words)


Looks great Rick!

@Libidonous – if you’re after excerpts on the front page, you can do that with your custom_functions.php. Check out the code here, it’s as simple as copyin’ and pastin’. The function there is configured to auto excerpt at 55 words, but you can adjust the figure as you please. πŸ™‚


Could someone deliver a projected release date? The reason I ask is because I just purchased a copy of Thesis, and I’m in a tough situation wondering whether I should begin customizing it or whether I should wait for the next release.


Kingdom Geek

The beauty of Thesis is that you can do all of the customization you want w/o worrying about it being overwritten when you upgrade, provided you keep all of your customizations to your custom/ folder.

Just keep in mind that Thesis 1.4 will contain higher-level homepage controls, which could potentially make some home page customizations obsolete.

As for a projected release date, I’m personally expecting within a day or two, but ultimately only Chris knows for sure.


Well there’s no point customizing the theme now if I knew that 1.4 will have different layout which means different customizing … that’s why I wait …

Simply Mike

That Killer Widget thang is aptly named and VERY useful.

I can replace a plugin or two with that sweet lil puppy.

Thanks Chris !

And thanks for the Spy Photo Rick !


A “recent posts” widget with selectable categories would indeed be a killer widget. Like all of Thesis, the core seems to be rock-solid.


Can’t wait!

Posh Living, LLC

This is great! A lot of us have been using a PHP-friendly text widget plugin with some code that Chris posted at Pearsonified awhile back. This new Thesis feature eliminates one more plugin. Using categories intelligently and putting direct links to your articles in front of your reader really works.

Sebastian SjΓΆberg

Excellent news, thanks for a continously improved and ever better Thesis. Keep it up!

Lisa Firke

Very nice! I have this hard-coded in several of my installations; will be lovely to make this option available to clients.

I know you hate these words, but I have to ask: ETA?

Mark Mac

This is a sweet feature. When I set up my blog recently, customizing categories in the sidebar like “Must Reads” was one of the first things I did. Although, I don’t know any code, php ect., I was able to do it through the tutorials on this site. However, this beauty of a widget makes things even easier.

What I would love as an add-on to this widget would be an image upload field to replace the widget title with. This still dominates though.

The Bible Post

This is excellent!

Is it possible for you to do this with pages too?

The reason why I ask is because that would allow users to put pages into certain categories on the sidebar (under different headings) without having them all together under the same heading.


Re: 1.4. I recently installed Wordpress 2.7 on a new site and put Thesis on it.

The new 2.7 control panel means that the Thesis Options and Design Options are rendered very badly and so it is much harder to set up the blog how you want.

I know you are probably already aware of this – but wanted to point it out as it will be a problem for me from this point on.


Kingdom Geek

Kieren, are you using Thesis 1.3.3, the latest available release? The issues with WP 2.7 & Thesis’ admin panels have been resolved in that issue.

In case anyone’s missed it on Twitter, Thesis 1.4 will require WordPress 2.7. Using Thesis 1.4 on a version of WP prior to 2.7 will result in a site that will not load. In other words, if you’ve not upgraded to WP 2.7, now’s the time.

Regarding an ETA to 1.4… Well, I really do hate to say, but from what I’ve seen, it’s nearly ready for completion. I know you all hate to wait — and so does Chris — but we believe that the delay is worth it. The foundations that are being laid with the new code in Thesis 1.4 should allow for all sorts of great growth in the future. Your patience for the release is, as always, appreciated, and you guys totally rock for sticking with us through dev!


@ Kingdom Geek: Ach, my fault – I just checked and I’d installed 1.3.1. Thanks – sorry for bothering you.



Why on all Chris’s themes normal size letters are small? For example when I want to write down something on custom field-custom ( sidebar) ?

BTW I can wait for 2 months if you say that it will be in 2 months, but it’s not all right to say that update is coming next week and then nothing. I purchased this theme because I need it for my projects not because I want to play with it. .. My projects are delaying because I wait for this layout, I need that one … it’s maybe naive of me because I don’t know how it will look like but I have faith, a lot πŸ™‚ .. if it’s going to be white, clean and simple like 1.3 then I’m sure it will be perfect for me …

The Bible Post

Actually, now that I think about it, I can just turn my pages into posts, since the widget can be used as much as we want to use it.

I have to say, this has got to be one of the best features of Thesis. This theme is without a doubt the best there is!

Dave C

If this release is as good as all of the others, I am sure we won’t be disappointed.



Wow this looks awesome Rick. Do you know if it’ll be possible to assign this widget to different pages/posts?

J Warner

I feel excited and a little committed to the idea that you guys are a tease! I–CAN’T–WAIT! Thanks for letting us know. This really helps me, I’m in the middle of planning the layout of my next blog, and you have just saved me some mental and physical effort. Appreciate it!


Will 1.4 allow users to change the background or add a banner without having to use hooks? I only ask because I can’t even figure out how to do the basics with the hooks. Any plans for a video tutorial of some kind that can take you through it step-by-step? That said, I am looking forward to the next version.


Now this is a real live widget! Does just what I’ve been looking for. Multi-use and able to pull certain categories: awesome! Impatiently awaiting the new Thesis…

Jeremy Vaught

And is 1.4 the dawn of the Magazine option?

Michaela Conley

Question: Has anyone tried to get the Toksta sidebar widget to work? I’m unclear where this code should be placed in I assume would be one of the open hooks?

I’m trying hard to be as geeky as possible, really I am… Please help πŸ™‚


Are blog post titles h1 or h2 with Thesis?

Aaron Brazell

Eliminate the confusion. REPLACE the built in Recent Posts with your version. You have to unregister the old widget from within your functions and register the new widget with the same name. Poof. No more confusion. πŸ™‚

Chris Pearson

ChasingSanity β€” On single entry pages, post titles are served inside <h1> tags. On index and archive pages, they are served inside <h2> tags.

Aaron β€” You are money, holmes.

Dante Layton

Investing in Thesis is clearly one of the best decisions I’ve made for my developing my presence on the internet. Has anyone adapted the features and teasers feature yet on their website?