What’s New in Thesis 1.8.5, and What’s the Deal with Thesis 2?

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It’s that time again, folks. Last week, WordPress dropped version 3.4, and today, we’re releasing Thesis 1.8.5 to keep you on the cutting edge.

Of course, we’ve also been extremely busy with Thesis 2, and at the end of this post, I’ll share an update on our progress. But first, let’s take a look at Thesis 1.8.5.

Our team has been working hard to ensure Thesis has the best WordPress Multisite integration in the business, and many of the changes in 1.8.5 improve on an already-awesome multisite experience. Here’s what’s new on that front:

  • Fixed theme preview in WordPress 3.4 for normal and multisite installations
  • Improved multisite post thumbnail handling on a wider variety of server setups
  • Resolved layout.css error message in multisite that appeared (wrongly) due to certain user permissions

Next, we’ve made three small modifications that will help you keep search engines happy while providing some additional layout flexibility:

  • Updated the author microformat in post bylines so it passes the Google Rich Snippet Tool without any warnings
  • Basic HTML tags are now allowed inside widget titles, so you have more presentational flexibility in those areas
  • In previous versions, if you added a nav menu via a widget, it would display horizontally like the default nav menu. Now, menus added via widgets will display just like a normal vertical list of links, so you won’t have to waste time undoing undesirable styles.

Also, WordPress improved image captioning in version 3.4, and this affected the way Thesis displayed captions. In previous versions, we used a shortcode hack to get them to display properly, but thanks to WordPress 3.4, we no longer need that shortcode.

By upgrading to Thesis 1.8.5, you’ll be able to ensure that your image captions will display just as they always have.

An Update on Thesis 2…

There are a zillion reasons why I’m excited about Thesis 2, but the biggest reason by far has nothing to do with Thesis 2 itself.

Instead, I’m excited about what Thesis 2 is going to allow us to do for you.

Since we released version 1.7, we’ve averaged one update every four months or so, and most of those updates have been minor (by our standards).

However, once Thesis 2 is out, we’re going to increase this pace by offering new skins and other features that you can add to Thesis any time you like.

With all these new parts available, Thesis will turn into a “living” piece of software that you can enhance regularly rather than something you can only update on an infrequent basis.

Best of all, we’ll be releasing skins and add-ons all the time, so there will always be something new from us that you’ll be able to check out and sink your teeth into. It’s gonna be a heck of a ride.

Now, with that out of the way, I’ll answer the only question that matters right now: When can you get your hands on Thesis 2?

We’ve got about 120 hours of development and testing left before the alpha (only available to DIYthemes staffers) will be ready. Based on experience, I think we’ll probably have another 60 hours of development on top of that plus a couple of weeks out in the wild before the beta is ready for release.

With that information in mind, I think Thesis 2 will probably make its world debut in August.

And it will be one hell of a debut 😀

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.