Before we dive heavily into customizing the Thesis 2 Theme, let’s fix up our sidebar as a warm-up. WordPress presents websites in a 2-column layout. The main content is on the left side of the site and “sidebar” items are on the right. This is the layout we’ll continue with. Not because it is easy, but because I prefer this layout. There has been a lot of ink spilled on the ideal layout and my opinion is that great content matters more than anything else. This is a personal preference so you will need to decide which layout works best for you.
WordPress calls the items in the sidebar “Widgets”. We will be working with widgets in this post. If you note our current site display, there are a couple of default items being displayed as placeholders in the right sidebar.
We’ll address the “Text Box 1” next. For now, we’ll address the widget as outlined in the picture above. From your WordPress Dashboard, click “Appearance” then “Widgets”.
On the right side of the Widgets screen you will see a small box labeled Widgets 1. This is what we will be targeting.
Next, look for the “Available Widgets” box.
Within the “Available Widgets” look for “Tag Cloud”.
Left-click on the title “Tag Cloud” and drag it into the “Widgets 1” box. It will expand and allow you to enter a Title. I like “Topics” as you are prompting your readers to dig deeper into the topics of your site. These are really WordPress “Tags”.
Here is what your site will look like with a Topics “Tag Cloud” widget. These tags are clickable and will take you to a page listing all posts with the tag you clicked.
Don’t worry if you can’t see anything on your site yet. You may not have any Tags set. We’ll cover these shortly. The purpose of this exercise is to get comfortable customizing WordPress.