If you use Thesis as the framework for your WordPress blog, then you may have been notified that a new version: Thesis 1.8 has just been released. As with any upgrade, I always want to know what new and improved functionality will I get (if any), and I figured you would want to know the same before bothering to upgrade.
Feature 1 – Header Image Uploader
Yippee! One of the things that most of my WordPress clients need me to do for them when customizing their Article SEO optimized site, is to add their header image. This has been made totally easy with the new image uploader. And if your image is too big, Thesis will resize it to fit your site. This qualifies as a feature worth upgrading for.
Feature 2 – SEO Character Counters
Search engines only show a certain amount of characters in a search result. That’s why your titles and descriptions need to be air tight, but this feature will show you a word count and how many characters you have left. Typically like you see in an article directory interface. This is a pretty good upgrade for SEO novices, but pros pretty much know how to keep my titles, etc. short and sweet.
Feature 3 – New Google Fonts
Now you can give your site more personality by choosing the right font. We were limited to a few “boring” fonts, but now there are a lot more choices. Best of all, the fonts are all web-safe, directly served from Google’s server, and FREE! There were ways to get around the boring font thing, but this feature just makes things a lot easier. Go right to Thesis “design options” and choose fonts for different sections of your site. New look in 3 seconds flat!
Feature 4 – WordPress Nav Menu Support
This feature supports WordPress 3.0’s new navigation menu builder. I haven’t used this yet so I can’t say whether or not this is a great feature.
Feature 5 – Category/Tag/Taxonomy Page Options
This feature was in 1.7 but upgraded in 1.8. Basically in a nutshell, what this does is allow you to add SEO details to your category and tag pages. PLUS you can add a unique headline and description for each category and tag page. This feature also adds full support for custom taxonomies if you choose to use them. This SEO feature is great because I have ranked for specific search terms based on the fact that I had those keywords as one of my tags. I imagine if I tweak that tag’s SEO, I’ll probably rank even higher.
Bottom line – the new features added in 1.8 are totally worth the effort of upgrading or buying the theme if you haven’t already.
*If you want the advantage of good SEO but don’t want to put out the effort, I will be offering a new service that will address both of those issues really soon. Stay tuned!