Thesis Theme 1.8.3 and how it affects Thesis WordPress Child Themes

by Paul on February 13, 2012

Last week DIY Themes released Thesis Framework 1.8.3.

Fun. Not really.

I wrote a guide some time ago about creating Thesis Child Themes. One of the advantages I tout about child themes is the smooth upgrade path from one version of the parent theme to the next.

Unfortunately this latest release of Thesis 1.8.3 caused me a little bit of a headache because he changed the way he includes the theme’s CSS stylesheets.

In this quick post I’m going to show you what you can do to quickly offset any problems associated with Thesis Child Themes and stylesheets.

What changed in Thesis 1.8.3 with regards CSS stylesheets?

Honestly, I don’t know the exact answer to that because I haven’t delved into the code too deeply.

But, we know he changed things because he tells us he did, and also because I’ve reviewed a little bit of the code enough to see some significant changes for myself.

The best thing I can do is describe the problem as I see it, and how I went about fixing it.

Before we even download Thesis 1.8.3, let’s start with the child theme you have already created and are presumably running on your site.

If you’ll remember from the how to article on Thesis child themes, we created the critical styles.css in the root of the child theme folder.

This styles.css should have a single import line and will look something like this:

@import url("../thesis/style.css");

Pretty innocent huh? Well it is this line that fried my site.

You see it uses a relative path to find the parent Thesis theme – the “../” means “go up 1 directory level”.

However, with Thesis 1.8.3, with the way it is being included into the site, this relative path is failing and it’s not finding the parent thesis theme folder.

Not good.

The simple solution here is to create a full path to the CSS stylesheet file. The following line now replaces the line above:

@import url("//www.hostliketoast.com/wp/wp-content/themes/thesis/style.css");

As you can see, not too complicated. You just have to replace it with your URL and if you have WordPress files in a sub-folder, as I do with (‘wp/‘), then you need to include that also.

This wont break your Thesis 1.8.2 and prepares you nicely for Thesis 1.8.3.

Remember, when performing upgrades of your site, you should always create a backup of your website files in case you toast them.

Upgrading to Thesis Framework 1.8.3 for your WordPress child theme

Assuming you’ve created the backup of your theme files and WordPress database, download the new Thesis 1.8.3 and copy them into your parent thesis theme folder, overwriting all files when prompted.

Navigate to the thesis admin section of your WordPress site and run the database upgrade when you’re prompted.

All being well, your website should be seamlessly upgraded to run Thesis Framework 1.8.3.

If you hit a glitch, and your WordPress site isn’t showing the styles as you would expect, the only suggestion I have is to “rebuild” your CSS files.

Thesis 1.8.3 has a new “Design Mode” – I don’t care much for it because I use other means of optimizing my websites.

But it’s there and we have to work with it…

  • Go to Thesis ‘Site Options’
  • Expand the ‘Stylesheet Options’ section
  • Uncheck the box ‘Use Design Mode’
  • Save.
  • Re-Check the box ‘Use Design Mode’
  • Save

Now try reloading the site.

Other issues with Thesis Framework 1.8.3

I’m not the only person that has experienced problems with the latest Thesis upgrade, but I was able to work my way through it eventually. It was nothing too serious in the end.

If you do have more serious issues, you’re best to go back to 1.8.2 and sit tight. Or go to the Thesis Forums and ask for help from the great number of superb folks out there.

Or, you can write to me in the comments sections below, or contact us directly and I’ll see what I can do to assist you.

Remember to completely clear any website caches, and your browser cache if the site doesn’t look as you expected.

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