Upgrading Thesis Theme for WordPress from version 1.6 to 1.7

by Kinetic Webs on April 29, 2010

I use the Thesis theme for WordPress for all of the sites I deploy so an upgrade to a new version means a lot of sites need this upgrade activated. The instructions on the theme website seemed awkward and I’ve found this method to be easier and works like a charm. Here are the simple steps (this assumes you have an FTP program installed; if you don’t you can download FileZilla for free).

  1. Backup your database; if you don’t have a database backup plugin installed, now might be a good time to do that. Schedule regular backups while you’re at it!
  2. Navigate to www.diythemes.com and login with your assigned user and password and download the 1.7 version to your hard drive.
  3. Unzip the file.
  4. Login to your website via FTP; your host can provide you with access information which will include the FTP address along with a user/password combination. I use bluehost for hosting; so using them as an example, the FTP address would be ftp.yourdomainname.com (substituting your actual domain name). Your  user and password are the same as those created to login to the bluehost Control Panel. Contact your web host for these specifics as they may vary widely depending on hosting platforms.
  5. Locate the unzipped version you just downloaded to your hard drive in the left screen of the FTP program. Open until you can see the ‘custom’ directory.
  6. Browse through the files you’ve connected to on the right to get to your current Thesis themes directory. This may depend on your web host, but for bluehost, it would be public_html/wp-content/themes/thesis_16/
  7. You should now see a ‘custom’ directory in the right panel that displays files on the server.
  8. Delete the ‘custom’ directory from the new unzipped  version 1.7 in the files on the left (your hard drive).
  9. Drag the ‘custom’ directory from the version 1.6 on the server to your hard drive to replace the directory you just deleted.
  10. Go up one level in both panels so that you are now viewing the folder for Thesis 1.7 on the left and your current installed themes on the right.
  11. Drag the thesis_17 folder into the themes on the right. You should now see theme directories for both 1.6 and 1.7
  12. After the theme has finished transferring, login to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to Appearance/Themes. You should now see the 1.7 listed as a choice. Select and Activate the theme. It may not look accurate in this display; view your actual site and it should look the same as before.
  13. Your Thesis Theme section in the admin menu should now have five sections for managing the theme.
  14. DO NOT DELETE THE OLD VERSION – Your custom stylesheet that is located in the ‘custom’ folder may have web addresses that direct it to files in the Version 1.6 custom/images directory; either modify these addresses in custom.css in the new theme to reflect the new version number or make sure you keep the older theme files so that your images continue to display for any of these addresses.

If you have issues with this method, revert back to the older Theme version. This has worked seamlessly for upgrading over a dozen sites but not all installs may be exactly the same. You might want to try the instructions located in the www.diythemes.com site or try the forums for alternative methods depending on your situation.

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