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Complete Guide to using Thesis 2 with WordPress

In this post we’re going to add a featured content badge to our Thesis 2 WordPress site.  You’ve been working hard on adding great content to your site.  Now it’s time to draw attention to it.  Maybe you’ve added a custom landing page.  Or, you’ve created some cornerstone content that you want to be ranked on.  Adding a call-to-action badge is a great way to help get your featured content found by your visitors.

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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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