How to Customize Your Site Intelligently with Hooks

This article is deprecated! Any technical information refers to software versions that are now obsolete. Please visit the DIYthemes Blog for current updates, or check out the old Thesis Blog for a treasure trove of website marketing insights.

Back in the old days, if you wanted to modify your theme, you had to make all of your custom HTML changes to individual template files. Then, if you ever had to upgrade or – god forbid – change your theme, you had to make those same HTML changes all over again.

I think we can all agree that the “solution” above is terrible, but why? Ultimately, it’s a poor customization solution because it’s so unforgivably inefficient. Your changes are thrown in alongside core template code, rendering your entire theme a hacked-up, vulnerable mess.

If you’re concerned about running an efficient, well-oiled machine of a Website, then you have to do better than this. Specifically, you’ve got to have a framework that allows you to make HTML customizations that are:

  • futureproof, or immune to upgrades
  • standardized for easy inclusion and formatting
  • easy to manage
  • easy to understand

Designed with these principles in mind, the new Thesis hook system allows you to make intelligent, powerful, and efficient customizations that have never been possible before. The sky is the limit here, as evidenced by the completely-revamped Pearsonified design which now runs on Thesis!

To help you learn how to use hooks effectively, we’ve prepared a detailed, example-based tutorial for the User’s Guide:

Also, we’ve added a couple of new reference pages for the Thesis hook system, including:

If you haven’t upgraded to Thesis 1.3 yet, you should really consider doing so in order to take advantage of the hook system. I’m using it here on DIYthemes to handle all the customizations you see, including the login bar at the top of the page and even a few of the sidebar widgets.

The bottom line is that no matter how big or how small the customization, using the hook system to implement it is the intelligent choice.

In other words, it’s what a ninja would do 😀

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