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XAMPP

In this step, we’re going to install WordPress and Thesis 2 on our hard drive.  This will give us complete control over a test site where we can test website changes before going live on our real site.  In Step 56 we learned how to set up test posts, pages, and templates for testing small changes.  This can be done on our live site.  However, this may not be ideal for larger scale changes.  For these types of changes we want to test in a separate location, not our live site.  We can do this a couple different ways.  We can buy a domain and set up a test site just the same as we did for our real site.  Or, we can install WordPress and Thesis 2 locally using XAMPP.  This allows us to test our changes without the possibility of the public finding our test site.

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Crash Test

Photo by mariordo59.

We don’t want our website to look like the crash test pictured above.  So, how do we test changes to our site without wrecking our site?  Unless we host a separate test site, our changes go live immediately when we click the green Thesis 2 save buttons.  When I used to program, we had separate installs to work in and only after thorough testing were we allowed to go live with our changes.  Working with Thesis 2 and WordPress, our changes are immediately available to the public and we may not want this.  Maybe we are working on a new look that we don’t want everyone to see until we’re ready.  Read on to see how I solved this problem.

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Google Page Speed

DIY Themes make the claim that Thesis 2 loads fast.  They may be right.  Google is now incorporating site speed in search engine rankings.  This means that we need a fast web host and fast software.  There isn’t much we can do to make WordPress faster.  Or is there?  While building this site I ran a couple speed tests, just for fun, using Google’s page speed analyzer.  I was very surprised by the results.

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Meta Robots

Photo by davedehetre

Thesis 2 Meta Robots

In Step 37 we looked at noindex options in WordPress.  In this step we are going to look at Thesis 2 Meta Robots.  I have found a difference in behavior for nofollow and noindex with Tags.

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Thesis 2 Author Comments

I like to make the post author’s comments stand out from the visitor comments.  This helps our visitors to see that the post author is engaged in the comments community.  In this step, I’m going to change the font color for post author comments.  My goal was to add a border to the author comments too.  The way Thesis 2 is structured I’ve not been able to figure this out.  It was possible in Thesis pre-2 using CSS/PHP if I remember correctly.  I am working to avoid PHP in this guide.  Both, for myself and others learning Thesis 2.  I’ll update this step if/when I can figure this out.  For now, we will change the font colors to give some contrast to the post author’s comments.

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