Thesis 1.8.1 Squashes Bugs and Saves Cache

by Chris Pearson · 48 comments

After our last article about optimizing WordPress category pages for search engines, tons of savvy Thesis users began adding unique headlines and content to their category pages.

However, in the process, they unearthed a display bug on the edit category page of the WordPress admin interface.

What’s that? A bug?!? Not in this house, mister.

To squash this, I whipped up Thesis 1.8.1, and I couldn’t resist adding a performance improvement as well.

Stylesheets Now Easier to Cache

In the past, Thesis added cache-busting query strings to the end of CSS links in your document <head>. The purpose of these query strings was to ensure that your visitors would always see the most up-to-date version of your CSS. On the surface, this sounds good, but there are two problems with “busting the cache” in this manner.

First, disrupting the browser’s normal CSS caching behavior is only desirableΒ if you’ve been actively changing your design. Most of the time, this is not the case, and clearly, it makes no sense to serve cache-busting query strings when they aren’t necessary.

The second problem with cache-busting is that, wellβ€”it busts the cache (or in this case, makes your CSS much more difficult to cache than it should be).

Speed and optimization are the central tenets upon which Thesis is built, and being cache-friendly is a big part of the performance equation. For this reason, I decided to remove the cache-busting behavior from stylesheet links in your document <head>.

If you’ve never heard of caching or are looking to implement it on your site, check out our article on improving website speed and performance.

If you’re a DIYthemes customer, you can download Thesis 1.8.1 here. Don’t have Thesis yet? Click here to see which Thesis is right for you.

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. Follow DIYthemes on Twitter for the latest tips and info on building effective websites.

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when is Thesis 2.0 getting pushed out???


*rant warning* Yeah, it’s been already 9 months since v1.8. In the past updates where much more regular. These days, all you get is “working on it” and “you’ll see it when it’s ready”. Like talking to a brick wall.


I uploaded the new version, and wow! Sure seems a ton faster to me (and maybe will help me with the throttling errors I was getting with my host!) Time will tell if this was the fix I needed.


My website using Thesis 1.,8 and Wordpress 3.1.2 is broken and I can’t seem to get any helkp on fixing it. The site broke as soon as I upgraded to WordPress while already using Thesis 1.8. Tried the forums, tried email and I can’t get any help. Bluehost has let me down, and so far Chris and the forum has let me down. I even tried going back to Thesis 1.6. HELP!
HELP! My Blog is broken and I have done eveything I can think of but I can’t fix it without help.

Wayne @ Southern California Web Development

THANK YOU!!!! I’ve been kicking around with minify a bit, and removing those params is surely going to help with that! Awesome timing dude. πŸ™‚

Chris Pearson

Cool, Wayneβ€”glad the timing was good for ya!



I answered your only recent post in the forums a couple of days back — four minutes after you asked for assistance. πŸ˜‰

While I have not yet heard back from you, if you respond to your thread, I’ll certainly be glad to continue to help you resolve the issue in the forums!

Jeff Sebring

Nice, I was hoping you would remove the strings from the filenames. Looking forward to 2.0.

Martin Malden

Wonderful – thanks Chris..!

Been dealing with both these problems for a while and, while they were not complicated to deal with, this fix will definitely improve my productivity πŸ™‚




“Once you’re ready, you can click here to download Thesis 1.8.1.” on my developer dashboard.

that’s great ! πŸ˜€ let’s update Our thesis theme πŸ™‚


I am with Sean, when is 2.0 due to be released and is there possibly a beta for it πŸ™‚
Happy Customer

Dave Doolin


Great to see you writing here.

I typically head straight for the source rather than mess around on the forums, which don’t seem to have too many questions on the source code anyway.

But I have a couple, starting with the html framework code.

In a nutshell, I like it a lot, it’s really pretty good, but it gets pretty snarly down around the sidebar.php level. Lot’s of if statements and complicated conditionals which to my simpleton mind could be better handled with a strategic callbacks. Specifically, the page versus full width code (I believe) could be tucked away somewhere out of view, which would clean up the whole mess. Make a single check for full width, register the appropriate callbacks, carry on as usual.

Specifically, I’ve written my own code on top of this and I’m wondering if the 2.0 release is going to “break” my API. That is, how much in the framework code has changed? And if it has changed, did you rewrite more as an API? And do you anticipate more changes on this API in the future?

Enlightenment much appreciated.

Chris Pearson

Dave, 2.0 will be completely API-based. Any output that cannot be handled through the API will be filterable (save for a very few exceptions)β€”the goal is to make it so you can achieve the output you want without compromise.

Your suggestion about the callbacks is an excellent one; when 2.0 drops, you’ll see a complete system overhaul that will make more sense on all levels πŸ˜€

Dave Doolin

Right on.

I’ve worked on fully automated deployments as well, but haven’t figured out a way to override layout.css without manually cycling through the UI or overwriting layout.css (which I would prefer not to do).


thanks for the release of this update. already updated my site and based on pingdom tools, my current load time is 2-3 seconds faster. nice!

Ahmad Wali

Wow! long wait I was thinking about Thesis 1.9 to be out soon. Thesis 1.8.1 is out with more performance oriented features. I am going to upgrade, thanks.


Thanks a lot πŸ˜‰

I can feel the new speed on my site πŸ˜€

Maninder @

This is a great new that thesis 1.8.1 has come with edit category bug fix and much improved performance. I would like to wait for few days and would like to upgrade only after seeing it has stabilized as I don’t want to take any risk my with my live blog. However, new users can straight way buy this and start using this.

Chris Pearson

Maninder, Thesis 1.8.1 does not include any major changes from 1.8, which was the most stable release in the history of the theme. Because the changes are so minor (bug fixes here and there coupled with the cache-busting query strings), this is considered a stable release.

Eric Rusch

Wow is right. My video players load a ton faster in 1.8.1. I’m psyched. Thanks!

Chris Pearson

Killer! That’s what I like to hear πŸ˜€

Shubham Dev

Nice fixes. I hope thesis 2.0 would have many more useful build-in features like sitemap, page navigation etc.
Eagerly waiting for it’s release πŸ˜€

The Big K

Thanks for the update, Chris. Would you mind hinting at Thesis 2.0 release? πŸ™‚ . I’m sitting with my developer license, wanting to take a preview of Thesis 2.0.

Rob @ Atlanta Real Estate

Very cool brotha, will implement this over the weekend.

Nice video BTW with SugarRae. I know the intent was not to be funny but the gaffs in that thing were priceless.

Chris Pearson

Quality is job 1, but entertainment is definitely job 2 πŸ˜€

Meg Geddes

This zip file extracts to thesis_181, which then has another thesis_181 with all the subfolders. My thesis_18 opens directly to those subfolders and files (custom-sample, etc) Is that intentional?

Chris Pearson

I’m not getting this behavior when I download the Thesis zip file on my Mac. Can anyone else on a Windows machine confirm this behavior?

Chris Pearson

Just checked my Windows test machine, and the zip file behaved normally there as well. There’s a ghost in your machine, Meg!

Meg Geddes

Weird. Well it wouldn’t be the first time.

Sreejesh @techgyo

Cool. more reasons to buy a license soon. I will soon get pass to Thesis Club!!

Karleh Light

Hi, I know this has no relevance to the blog post but I really need some help from you guys! I have bought the pro version of Thesis as I run multiple websites but I have a problem and I can’t find how to get intouch with support! Please can you advice? Many thanks, Karleh

Chris Pearson

Karleh, have you tried our support forums yet? I see that you have some erroneous code showing on your site (as a result of a domain masking script you’ve installed), and that’s just the kind of thing we’ll be able to help you with in our forums.

Ahmad Wali

I don’t know what changes you have made, but I don’t know why I am seeing much better quality of images on my blog after upgrading. Slide show is running smooth and images loading smooth. Another WOW!!


Hi Chris,

thx 4 the update!!

Greetings from Stuttgart/Germany πŸ˜‰


New upgrade means time for a makeover πŸ™‚


Updated my first site just this morning. 1.5 sec loading time, sweet!



Are there any special provisions that need to be adhered to when upgrading to not screw up a multisite configured rollout?


Hi, sorry to contact via comments but have screwed up my site big time by trying to add a wpnavi to php file, saved it and didn’t back up. this is what showed up:
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘<' in /home/content/89/7530689/html/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/custom/custom_functions.php on line 31

I have super new to thesis and have no idea how to retrieve it, and i'm freakin out!! any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks, will

Derek Halpern

You should post that in the forums, and one of the support reps will be able to help.


Thanks Chris for the update. It surely speeds up my site a lot. Eagerly waiting for 2.0. Will soon get a developer license for myself. πŸ™‚

BTW, one question will there be any 1.9 in between the release?

ron chordigian

thanks for the updated version and fixes…


You know it would be great if you can have a date associated with your posts. As a new user I did not know when this post was written, etc. and if I (who justed downloaded) 1.8 – should be looking at downloading 1.8.1 (dates are just missing)


I’ll take a look at the code but is there any kind of after_intro hook for category pages? Thanks.


Long time ago I wait for this fix.

Now I updated for all my blogs.

Thank you.


I upgrade to thesis 1.81. but stylish css more difficult to edit. for example in 1.8. for h3 sidebar just write ul#id h3 {bla bla bla… } in 1.81 it mas .sidebar #id h3{bla bla bla..}, copying css style from 1.8 to 1.81 also not work… fiuh….

Kristen B.

I have heard so many interesting insights about thesis theme. But I didn’t know that there is a version of thesis, which could squashes bugs and saves cache. I am going to remember that I should use thesis 1.8.1 in the near future so that I won’t have problems in having bugs and I could be able to save my cache too. I will definitely check out how to improve website speed and performance.

Sunny Gupta

Hey Chris,

I am hearing this new from long time thesis 2.0 is going to be released and all. If you see the date today, It has been too long from when you said.

Would you mind to update us all when it is going to release actually?



No doubt why it has become popular, easy user interface multiple options with upgrades.