Having some problems with Thesis + MU

Hello everyone.

I am working on my first MU project, a blog network for all our real estate agents in our company.

I would like to use Thesis as the base theme. What I am trying to accomplish is being able to use Thesis for all my member blogs, being able to customize each instance of the blog with different background colors, header image and a custom footer.

Using the Thesis open hook plugin, I am able to accomplish most everything I need. The Thesis design options however are controlling ALL the blogs in the network as opposed to the individual installs. So when I switch to a 2 column layout, it changes all the sites using Thesis to a 2 column.

A workaround I thought of is to have two separate theme folders, a 2 column and a 3 column. But there could be other problems down the road that I have not discovered yet of one site's settings trickling into the other sites.

Has anyone here used Thesis as a base them, and if so, what did you do to solve the problem with the options in each blog affecting all the others?

Researching the Thesis forums, still have not found an answer.

  • drmike
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Haven't used it myself (although *cough* I do have a *cough* copy of it somewhere. *cough*) but to be honest I'd ask in their forums as chances are someone has used it on mu. And of course you;ve paid for it. *cough* *cough*

    My guess would be though is that the settings for the theme are being saved to the wp_sitemeta database table instead of the specifics blog's wp_#_option database table. The theme may require some fixing.

  • georgef
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hi briantercero,

    I'm using a customized Thesis theme for my wordpress mu / buddypress site.

    I've asked about something similar in the thesis forum, but the only response I got was to be aware that it's against the thesis TOS to install thesis on multiple sites on WPMU without them purchasing an additional license ($40).

    Just thought I'd mention that in case you run into the same situation.


  • Brian Tercero
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    I have an active thread in the DIY forums, so far I have not been hammered on the TOS.

    I had a very useful reply that explained how to create a button that would save all the thesis options into a dedicated css file, then I would have to pull in that css file into the header of each unique install.

    Im working on the code, I hope it works.

  • eyecool
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    The filtering is for bad css?
    I can see needing to filter and audit am and pro-am theme developers css. The guys doing Thesis look like they know what they're doing though. I've never worked with that theme, but I've seen some fantastic results using that theme.... in the hands of bloggers who know what they're doing.

    I thought Thesis was a framework with child themes, there are several sites that claim it is. After digging up more info last night, I learned it's not a child/framework but more of a DIY (no pun intended) theme with am integrated cheat sheet.

    I've purchased some themes through envato, but never used on in production. I don't get the feeling support for the themes will be there as WP continues to evolve. It almost seems like modifying the Farm Pack themes or going with a well kempt theme like Thesis would provide adequate theme longevity. Even though the ideal scenario would be child themes, but so far there's not Farm Pack or market place for child themes.

  • Brian Tercero
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    I do have an update. There are 2 possible solutions right now that I have found. One member on the DIY forums is offering a solution he coded, but is trying to decide how much he wants to charge for it.

    Another offered her solution for free, the tutorial she wrote can be found here: http://www.kristarella.com/2009/09/using-thesis-with-wpmu/

    The only problem I see with Kristarella's solution is that it will take some time to setup for each user. Im not sure how much time right now because I have not implemented it yet. But even if it takes 5-10 minutes per blog, its just creating another problem when the network goes big. Im trying to automate as much as possible, and 5-10 minutes will add up.

    I am guessing with the number of inquires about Thesis and MU that the developers over at DIY will come up with their own native solution, but its hard to guess how much time it will take them to get it done.

    I look at Thesis as framework more then a theme. Learning how to customize Thesis with its hooks is a learning curve in itself. But its worthwhile to learn because as I upgrade to future versions of Thesis and Wordpress, the customizations I make on the design level SHOULD move forward almost without a hitch to future versions. That will save a significant amount of time, and it will allow me to keep my network up to date without worrying about fixing design issues with each new version.

  • James Farmer
    • CEO (of WPMU DEV, honest)

    To be honest we'd like to be able to provide a theme framework or themes that work just as well as Thesis here... and which are a little easier to manage :slight_smile:

    If you could let us know your requirements of such a theme / framework... as well as where we could improve on Thesis we'd be more than happy to take a look into it.

  • georgef
    • The Incredible Code Injector


    I have a solution for you if you are still searching for it.

    The developer that designed my thesis theme for buddypress came up a solution for a few bucks.

    Just paid for it a minute ago and should have it up and running later today.

    Let me know if this is still something that you are after and I'll post a update on the details.



  • Brian Tercero
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Thanks for offering to share, I still would like a solid Thesis + MU solution.

    Right now I am using Thesis open hook for individual customizations on blogs. Then using two Thesis theme install folders, one for a 2 column one for a 3 column. Its working for what we need, but upgrading to newer versions of Thesis is going to be a problem.

  • Brian Tercero
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Just re-read my post up above... YES it is something I am still after, lol... It sounded like I want interested, that's not what I meant!


    When you have a chance, lets talk about your solution and how its working for you. I would love to implement it on my sites.

  • georgef
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Great. @briantercero @eyecool

    Sorry for the late response...

    Ran into an error with it earlier, but now seems ironed out and working great.

    Going to test all aspects of it today to make sure it's 100% on all users that use Thesis.

    You can contact me here: me at georgefourie dot com

  • georgef
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Sorry guys, this script does not seem to be working.

    Been trying to use it with separate custom.css and custom_functions, but keeps on changing the main site.

    Will update if I can get it working 100% otherwise I might just have to get a refund for this.



  • Brian Tercero
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    I have a solution working, but it is dependent on the Thesis Open Hook plugin. I cannot use the custom_functions.php or custom.css, because those files change all the sites in the network.

    What I did, was install Thesis open hook, and enter my unique code into each blog from there, and it works.

    The problem with this method is that it is not going to upgrade well. Im worried upgrading to Thesis 1.6 will ruin all the changes I've made.

    The other problem with this method is that users cannot mess around with the column layout, or the widths because again it changes all the sites in the network.

    So what I did is upload two copies of Thesis, one that I hard coded to be a 2 column with the widths that I wanted, and the other a 3 column. So when I turn on a new site, I select the 2 Column version of Thesis or the 3.

    So far this is working great, until one of my users wants to do something completely different, which case I will just tell them NO that's not possible. lol...

    Or I guess I could upload a 3rd Thesis copy and activate that one.

    @georgef - I talked to a couple different people about coding a solution like you mentioned. Where when they save any settings in Thesis, it writes to a unique custom.css with the blog ID tied to it. Then Thesis needs to be modified to pull custom_functions.php and custom.css with the blog ID. Im sure once the programmer gets this done properly, it will work perfect.

    The issue is going to be upgrading to future versions of Thesis again. Every time we upgrade, we will have to make some changes to the core code to make it work.

    Im starting to wonder if Thesis is really worth all the hassle. I hope the solution works out, let me know if the programmer gets it working for you.

  • Jonathan Elijah
    • Flash Drive

    To be honest we'd like to be able to provide a theme framework or themes that work just as well as Thesis here... and which are a little easier to manage :slight_smile:

    If you could let us know your requirements of such a theme / framework... as well as where we could improve on Thesis we'd be more than happy to take a look into it.

    Sorry to bring up such an old thread, but; yes, please! I've grown attached to my Thesis, but if something were released with the same, or better, power behind it when it comes to seo and such, then I would jump all on it.

    One of the most desirable features for me in a theme would be an OpenHook-like plugin which lets you control all the custom functions and layouts through the plugin. I personally hacked the OpenHook plugin to let me modify not only the custom_functions, but also the layout and custom css files.

    I think all the options provided with Thesis are worthless, simply because I use my own css to change these options, I merely want a strong and powerful framework which could be heavily modified through plugins more than built in options. I believe Thematic was at one point going to implement a plugin to control such things, but it hasn't been discussed for months. I think the most needed features are solid seo options, which could be finely tuned by the user, but work beside your seo plugin seamlessly (by this I mean letting the plugin do its job but giving the user the options to fine tune it).

    Another note to this, let it be a sandbox theme (I don't mean the Sandbox, but I mean a blank canvas for css designers), but with a clean default layout. Thesis takes more work than should be to strip it of its default layout. Also, if this theme were coded with both WordPress and BuddyPress in mind, then you would have a powerhouse release for sure.

  • member1
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    I'm running a model that has 13 blogs on it all using thesis. each blog forms part of the one brand, but we wanted to be able to customise the layouts and header images in each one to match the purpose of the content.

    I ran with the solution provided by Kristarella.com (link above) and I have to say it works well. Is does take a few minutes to set up custom folders for each blog, so I wouldnt recommend it if you wer offering it to clients to create their own blogs. Besides, doing that would conflict with Thesis TOS anyway.

    We're going to build on a user blog network as well, but offer other themes to clients for that and keep Thesis for own on branded blogs.


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