Another Thesis Theme Review

What is Thesis?

Thesis is a theme for your self-hosted WordPress website or blog.

the Thesis framework for WordPress

A theme is part of the inner workings of your web presence that introduces flexibility and efficiency when it comes to stylizing your unique web presence. By stylizing, I not only mean the colors, fonts, etc. (referred to as the look & feel) but also how you share information on your website (referred to as Information Architecture).

Most people get stuck on thinking design is merely colors, font choice, and use of imagery or custom design artwork (i.e., branding elements such as logos, header banners, sidebar buttons & banners). However both look & feel and Information Architecture comprise Design.

Why is this important for you to know?

One of the things I stress a lot on my own web presence, is the inevitability of change. Whether I’m helping women get their tech-savvy on or people in general discover alternative strategies for helping them improve their quality of life, it all revolves around that one important word. Change.

“The only constant is change.” Heraclitus, Greek philosopher

I won’t go all philosophical on you. But it’s true. The biggest “attachment” my clients come to the table with is the idea that once they create it (a web presence or whatever), it’s done.

And after years of working in Corporate America and trying to live by that standard, I nearly drove myself crazy until I embraced the idea that it’s never done. In fact, this is my number one guideline for staying optimystical during your webification process.

Learning how to detach from the outcome “it is finished” will help introduce the space for your creativity to emerge. A space that is undefined and in the process of becoming more defined as it oozes out of the artist.

Because change is the only constant, you’ll want a web presence that is flexible; able to grow with you and your business. And along with flexibility, you’ll want to keep in mind scalability. How easy will it be for me to continue extending myself or business on the web?

Thank the blogging gods for WordPress for providing a powerful foundation for managing your web presence. And then, hold the door open for a wide-welcome of the Thesis theme.

The Thesis theme makes it easy for you or a designer to make simple-to-radical changes almost effortlessly.

So let’s break it down even more, shall we?

Information Architecture

Today, you want three columns on your web presence. A big juicy “content” column and two “sidebars.” No problem.

Tomorrow (or next year), you change you mind and decide two columns is better. One juicy content column, one sidebar. Again, no problem. A few clicks on your WordPress dashboard at your Thesis options. Done!

Or let’s say you decide you want to keep three columns, but you want the layout to be skinny sidebar, juicy content, skinny sidebar. A very popular approach. Again, click click click. Done.

In the past, when a web site was built from the ground up… meaning every last bit of code is custom, these simple changes would mean a significant overhaul. Or, paying a skilled technician (web coder) to rearrange the code for you to get it to display the way you want. Time + money.

Because Thesis makes these types of changes so easy, you can do it yourself (really); saving yourself (you guessed it) time and money.

Look and Feel

From the look and feel side of the house, changing fonts and colors is, again, as simple as a few clicks. Whether your want the body text or sidebar text affected, those options are provided for with Thesis.

Introducing a custom header banner… again, once you have the artwork, it’s a matter of cutting & pasting the code into the right place on your WordPress dashboard.

But Mynde, what about free templates all over the web?

Yes. There are free themes and templates all over the web. It’s true! So why spend $87 bucks on Thesis?

Free templates are great. Really. I used a few of them for WordPress and many, many more for Blogger.

I encountered three big problems when I was using free templates.

#1 – A free template is too cookie-cutter for most people who want a unique web presence that represents who they are, what they do. They feel constrained by certain limitations that come with each individual free template. You invest some time and energy into making it un-coookie-cutter only to run into some very real blockages for growing forward that can only be solved using a more flexible content management system and/or template.

Thesis solves all of this. Simply scroll to the top of this article and begin reading from “What is Thesis?” :-)~

#2 – Any code tweaks I made to the free template, and believe me, you will have some because there is always something on the free template that you need modified or changed slightly. Rarely have I seen the free template utilized in its entirety straight out-of-the-box (or, after you’ve downloaded and installed it).

When WordPress introduces upgrades to its platforming technology (which happens all the time because the people at WordPress are constantly working to maintain their state-of-the-art content management system with security upgrades and functionality enhancements, to name a few), this can wreck havoc to your custom free template tweaks. Many times causing complete re-work of the tweaks. Or basically, re-investing the time, energy, resources that made your free template custom for you, all over again!

Thesis is built with this very thing in mind. Every custom tweak you implement on Thesis is saved in a way that helps minimize the need to re-customize everything all over again when WordPress (or the Thesis template itself) introduces an upgrade.

#3 – Support. When a free blogging template is born, it’s usually been created by a single developer who may or may not have the time to answer your specific questions about how to use it, how to fix issues that are introduced as a result of upgrades. This varies from free template to free template, of course.

With Thesis, a gynormous community of people who are already using the Thesis theme comes with it. This means forums for getting your questions answered and in some cases, by the Thesis developer himself (@pearsonified on Twitter and http://www.pearsonified.com/ on the web).

Not to mention, so many professional web designers are using Thesis for their clients, you can easily find other people in the same space I am (providing custom Thesis designs) to help you take your Thesis theme to the next level.

For me personally, I’m a starter-outer. I get you going without breaking the bank plus teach you how to use your WordPress dashboard including your Thesis options.

Why am I writing about Thesis?

Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support CommunityWell, it’s true, that throughout most of my articles, I’ll provide an affiliate link. That means, I get a small kick-back from people who decide to purchase (in this case) Thesis for their WordPress blog using my Thesis affiliate link.

Yes, affiliate income generation is a popular strategy on the web. But it seriously does not pay my bills. It does, however, offset my overhead. And this is a good thing!

So my intention with my blog and anything I write about is not to make money by writing about the product itself. Yes, I’m here to make money, no lie. However, I enjoy making money by being in service to others. Leveraging my own life experiences to help you round corners and jump out of window ledges.

I wrote this article because so many of my best clients really need some support with the language of web technology, i.e. domain names, URL, hosting, Thesis theme, etc. All words you hear, but may not comprehend when you are just starting out. Which is my ideal client.

So Thesis is a theme. It’s utilized to make changes to your web presence more efficient. It’s flexible and scalable. Helping your web presence grow with you and your biz. It’s not free, but you get what you pay for. And the $87 bucks is a wise investment in a theme that is widely used and supported. And all upgrades to the Thesis theme are free after you purchase it.

It’s why I choose Thesis for my own WordPress web presence and why I recommend it to my best clients. Not to make money by selling it to you. But to help you make the best decision for you right now. So you can take the first step to getting webified more easily and confidently head in the direction you are wanting to go with you and your biz.

Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped to demystify some of your webification process. If you like my optimystical approach, I’d love to help you get your tech-savvy on. You can find out more about that under the Expand Your Biz tab.

And one last time, here’s where you can get Thesis. And if you’d like to contribute to lowering my overhead, Thank You and use this link instead.

Optimystically Yours,

Mobile Notary Tales

In between helping women get their tech-savvy on and talking with others about personal living strategies and astrology, I am also a mobile notary.

If you follow me on Twitter, I may have mentioned this a few times. And I don’t really talk about it at all on my website.

So this post is for those of you who may have wondered what the heck I’m doing driving all over Southern California…

Living My Dreams & Making Ends Meet

It’s taken me a while to figure out how to be an entrepreneur.  I’m still figuring it out. And in all honesty, I don’t think we ever do. Figure it all out.

One of the things I resisted for a while was making money in any other way, other than how I saw my dream job explicitly being. I wanted the “don’t quit your day job” people to eat crow.

Eventually, one day, I woke up and realized that my technical skills were in demand in the market I was working (and playing) in. And I let go of how I thought things should be and decided to show up with what is.

And a whole lot of worry, fear and anxiety shifted.

I figured out I can do a lot more of what matters when I feel good about myself and embrace what is with an attitude of acceptance.

Opening To What Is Available, Right Now

This sounds so easy. Like I simply changed my mind.

But there really is a whole complicated mess in the background I’m sifting through. The more complicated and messy it gets, the harder it is for me to access my own Jedi. Which is why getting support becomes so essential.

Early last spring, as I writhed around in anxiety over not being able to generate enough income to legitimize continuing to show up and do what I love everyday, my girlfriend suggested I get my notary commission.

The idea was that in between coaching sessions and teaching online workshops for creating your own web presence, I could make some money simply by helping people sign their loan documents on their home purchases or refinancing deals.

So like before, I decided to show up with an attitude of embracing what is and subsequently #mobilenotarytales began.

What Shows Up, When You Begin To Look

I’ve met some interesting people along the way. Getting out from behind my laptop and headphones and out into the world. Breaking up and through the anxiety and worry of not being able to sustain myself doing what I love (coaching).

Mostly, in the people I meet, I see generosity. I think on some level, it’s my personal experiment with each #mobilenotarytales assignment… to allow myself to notice what else I might be able to see.

To practice being open to the people I meet. The stories they share with me. Sometimes even the food from their kitchens!

Seeing more “enough” in my world when just moments (thoughts) ago I was experiencing the opposite.

Just for today, what could you start seeing, if you began looking? I think sometimes, challenges feel so big, I don’t ever consider something so small, like changing my focus, as having an impact. But it did. And does.

RSS And Our Friend, Feedburner

Are you ready to get your RSS stuff figured out (or understand better what it is and why you want to use it)? I’m writing this post just for you (well actually my client Rebecca Morehead who got her tech savvy on with me and created a niche website for her upcoming Law of Attraction book).

She sent me an email asking about RSS and basically wanting to get her head around it so she can do better with it on her web presence.

What It Is

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.

It takes lots of information (such a blog articles or news content) and gets it published easily in a common format that requires a reader. Lots of readers are available. I use Google Reader because it’s free and Google’s products are usually pretty easy to use.

What’s Important About It?

It’s an option for your visitors (or readers, sometimes called prospective clients). It helps more visitors of your website or blog get access to regular updates without requiring them to take the time to come visit your website first. Instead, this visitor logs on to their Feed Reader account (like Google Reader) and all the updates for blogs or websites they’ve chosen to receive are automatically fed to their reader. Time savings!

After a while, you start to see other creative ways to use an RSS feed. For instance, you can populate a widget and feed content to your website based on certain keywords (like sports, astrology, cooking). I have even burned a feed just for posting a mobile picture to my Flickr account.

Burning A Feed With FeedBurner

Did you just say “burn a feed?”

Yes. You can make a feed for just about anything as long as it’s submitted in the right format. Feedburner makes it super easy to do and manage multiple feeds if you need them. Most blogs have an RSS feature built in, so you will get to figure out what your original RSS feed is and then turn it into a Feedburner feed. This way you can also leverage Feedburner’s cool tools for analyzing and managing your feeds and subscribers.

So I got my blog feed burned, now what?

The other cool feature about Feedburner is it has an option that allows you to offer your web visitors a method to subscribe using email (you can see mine in action in the far-right hand column at the top just under the big picture). This is a great option for your less techie visitors but still takes advantage of the same great idea. And that is, instead of relying on your visitors to check for updates and new info on your blog, they can sign up to receive automatic updates in their Inbox using a Feedburner gadget you install on your blog.

So RSS is basically a way to reach your web visitors in a more efficient way… and that is after you post something new on your blog. RSS updates your visitor’s feed reader (where multiple feeds are gathered) or issues an email that is the content of your latest post directly to your visitor’s Inbox.

It’s an essential component for your blog once you’re up and running, especially if you plan on building relationships using your blog. Each time you post on your blog, you are reaching out to your visitors and reminding them of your products or services. It’s a much more proactive way to use the web as opposed to putting up a static website and waiting for your phone to ring.

Special Video Tutorial Bonus

Hey! Guest what? So I’ve talked a lot about the cool technology I use that helps me help you get your tech savvy on. And to show you just how awesome it is, and how possible it is for you to do it too, I’ve created a short 5 minute video explaining how to install that Feedburner email capture form to your Blogger blog (and in case you have WordPress, it’s basically the same process and I did include a few tips in video.)

http://content.screencast.com/users/CStars4U/folders/Jing/media/27881e37-67cc-4180-81af-e42ddb21aa5f/jingswfplayer.swf

Need more video help like this?
Check out the Video Library!

For a fullscreen version of the tutorial, visit http://screencast.com/t/T4klXYjI. And for more info on Feeds, Google does a great job at explaining the nitty gritty.