* This Thesis Skin has been updated. Scroll down for update details. *
Well folks, I’ve been at it again. I’ve created another free Thesis skin!
Now I know, this blog is about WordPress and there’s actually been a release (version 2.8.6) since my last post but frankly, the news in the WordPress world hasn’t really been all that exciting to me lately.
I mean, how many GPL and Update your Installs type of posts do you guys really want to read anyway?
So instead, I decided to spend my time creating something that I hope most of you will get some actual use out of.
Now of course, if you haven’t listened to my constant gushing about the Thesis theme and you’re still not using it, well I just don’t know what to do with you.
For the rest of you, I’m pleased to introduce the Affiliate Skin for Thesis!
As the name suggests, I designed the skin with affiliate marketers in mind. The excerpt and post image of your latest featured post, say one promoting your highest converting offer, is dropped into Thesis’ built in Feature Box and displayed front & center on the home page. The goal of the skin is to draw attention to the featured offer, provide a clear call to action & help increase your conversions. Other than that, it’s a fairly simplistic skin. And, thanks to Greg Boser & the team over at 3 Dog Media, installing it is a pretty simple process as well, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
The only requirements for using this skin are the actual theme, Thesis 1.6, and Greg’s Thesis Import/Export plugin (v 1.2). That’s it!
Enter your name and email address in the field above. Don’t worry, we’re not going to be spamming you. We simply want to be able to alert you when we’ve updated the skin or released new ones you might be interested in. Once you’ve registered your information you’ll receive an email with a link to the zip file. You’ll need to unzip the file and drop the custom.css and custom_functions.php files into your custom folder.
Tip: Always save copies of your current files before uploading the new versions. They’ll act as a safety net of sorts in case anything should go wrong or you make a mistake.
Drop the affskin-bg-vert.jpg file (in the images folder) into the images folder inside your custom folder (should be something along the lines of thesis/custom/images). Install and activate the Thesis Import/Export plugin. On the Thesis Import/Export page (as seen in the screen shot above), select browse under Thesis Options and select the affiliateskin-thesis-options.dat file and click Import Options. In similar fashion, under the Design Options section select the affiliateskin-thesis-design-options.dat file and click the Import Options button to the right.
Warning! Importing these options will overwrite any of your current options. However, it also saves me from having to explain every single option I’ve clicked as I did with previous skins.
Once the settings have been imported, I recommend deactivating the Thesis Import/Export plugin until you need it again. The last thing you want to do is get your site set up just the way you want it and then accidentally overwrite something. The final step is to create a category titled “featured” and add the post of your choice to the category. This will determine which post & image is pulled onto the home page in the featured section.
Using the Skin
As I mentioned earlier the featured post function is placed within Thesis’ Feature Box and as such, you can decide whether to display the section site-wide or just on the home page. I’ve opted to only display it on the home page but once again, the flexibility that Thesis offers makes it a simple option to change. Also, I’ve made use of the built in thumbnail function to automatically crop any image used as your featured post to 560 x 282. This prevents larger images from breaking the layout while not requiring you to do any of the cropping manually.
Disclaimer: Images smaller than the 560 x 282 dimensions, or long excerpts (for those of you who drop the excerpt in manually) will cause some display issues in the featured section. There might be a better method for handling these types of irregularities but to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t figure one out. If you’re a CSS & PHP guru and have suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments or drop me a line via the contact form.
Customize to Taste
As with any of my Thesis skins, please feel free to make any changes or modifications that your little heart desires. But be sure to come back and share your adaptations here so we can all ooh and ahh over your fine work.
Of course, if you have any questions or run into any problems using this, or any of my other skins, please feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you sort it out. Although, I will admittedly be a bit more motivated to help if you haven’t removed my small attribution link in the footer 😉
Update 1.31.2010: If you’ve had a problem with the Featured Post section pulling your image automatically, you’ll probably want to redownload the skin. I’ve updated the zip file so if you have an old link to it, that’s fine. If you need to download it again, you’ll need to register using the form to the right. This is going to allow me to update you guys any time a problem like this crops up again.
If you want to make the change yourself, you’ll need to go to your custom_functions.php file and replace this code:
echo ‘<img id=”feat” src=”http://affiliateskin.wpblogger.com/wp-content/themes/thesis/lib/scripts/thumb.php?src=’.$image.’&w=560&h=282&zc=1&q=100″></a>';
with this code:
echo ‘<img id=”feat” src=”‘;
echo get_bloginfo ( ‘url’ );