Add a Graphic Header to the Thesis 2 WordPress Theme

The new Thesis 2 theme for WordPress does not come with a ‘box’ to add a graphic header. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to add one.

The Thesis 2 Theme

Thesis 2.0 is  has one most innovative template editors ever created on the WordPress platform. It packs a lot of editing power behind a very simple drag-and-drop interface, which makes creating different templates for your theme’s “skin” very straight forward.

Thesis 2 Skin Editor
Thesis 2 Skin Editor

Thesis 2 uses the concept of “boxes”, which you drag and drop onto a template canvas to build up the structure of that template. Thesis 2 come with a number of pre-built boxes, but if you are missing some functionality it’s very straightforward to create a custom box to serve your needs.

Text Boxes can contain anything from simple text, to HTML code, to PHP programming code, so they are a great starting point for adding new HTML elements to your website, such as a graphic header.

Thesis 2 Text Box
Thesis 2 Text Box

What’s VERY cool about Thesis boxes is that developers can create a vast library of boxes, each containing a specific functionality, and make them available to the Thesis 2 user community. All you do is download the box you want from the developer’s website and upload it into the Thesis 2 skin editor.

As of writing this post, I have not found any boxes available that can create a graphic header. So, you’ll need to do it yourself.

The Missing Thesis 2 Graphic Header box

To be honest, I was a bit dismayed that a box to add a graphic header to a Thesis skin was missing from the list of standard boxes. I’d have thought that this would be a common feature most Thesis 2 theme owners would want to have.

Any how, it turns out that, if you know a bit of basic HTML coding, it’s very easy to do.

I show you exactly how, step-by-step, in the following video:

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In the video, I show you how to type the HTML code you need to create an “image tag”. Here’s that code below for you to copy and paste, and modify for your own purposes:

<img src="" width="900" height="166" alt="Lucrative Internet Marketing" />


If you want to make this new graphic header clickable, to take visitors back to the Home page of your website (a very common shortcut), then you’l need to surround the <img> tag code with an HTML <a> tag, as shown in bold below:

<a href="/"><img src="" width="900" height="166" alt="Lucrative Internet Marketing" /></a>

Modifying all your Thesis 2 skin templates

As I explain in the video, you’ll need to add the new “Graphical Header” box you create to each template of your website. The Thesis 2 skin editor will remember all the boxes you’ve created, so adding them to the other templates in the skin is now just a matter of drag-and-drop.

It wasn’t immediately obvious to me how to access these different skin templates at first. As I discovered, you’ll need to click the Large button in the top left-hand corner of the skin editor screen:


Thesis 2 Template Chooser
Thesis 2 Template Chooser

Make sure you save your work evert time you edit your template by clicking the big green ‘Save’ button at the top right of the skin editor window!

A Happy WordPress User

As you can see at the top of this website, I have a clickable graphic banner at the top of my theme and I’m very happy. I’m looking forward to see what new boxes, skins and ‘packages’ (skin styles) will emerge over the coming months.

Thesis 2 in a very new theme for WordPress, but it’s off to an awesome start – even if you have to roll your own graphic header for now!

Should I Create a Website?

If you have some information, skills, or products that you are personally interested in and would love to share, then chances are that hundreds – or even millions – of people around the world would like you to hear about it. You should definitely create a website.

A website of your own is by far the most effective method of sharing what you have on a global scale. Better yet, a website of your own can easily be developed into a community around your interests – a place to trade ideas, take feedback  and, perhaps, make money on the things you create.

Woman sitting at computer
Create a website of your own to reach a worldwide audience

These days, a website sits right at the center of building a ‘brand’ and ‘authority’ around who you are and what you know.

If you’ve never considered yourself an ‘authority’ on anything before, don’t let that word deter you. It’s just a fancy label for “a person to go to, to find out about something”.

The bottom line is, if you create something that others want to consume, then you are already an authority in the eyes of those consumers.

What should I create a website about?

You should create a website about something you are passionately interested in. Why? Because the secret to a successful website – one which draws a large audience to it – is to keep it stocked with fresh content.

Be passionate about what you do
Be passionate about what you do

People are usually after some information or a solution when they visit a website. If you, the website owner, keep up a regular schedule of introducing new, relevant content to the site, your audience will keep coming back for more. This is how an audience is built.

However, creating content is not a trivial task. It takes time to plan, research and write articles and record videos. It takes time and money to source or develop products to sell. Without a passion for the topic or niche of your website you will soon find it a chore giving you little in return. It wont be long before you stop creating content and your audience stops coming.

Passion should be what drives you.

What Kind of Website Should I Make?

You should create a website that your audience expects to see.

It’s quite important to present your information in a design your audience can grasp in just a few seconds. This is because they will intuitively understand the type of website that they have come to and know what they can do here.  If your website is too confusing to navigate – or the design is too “way out” – then they will leave and look for another website they can use.

The kind of website to set up is quite simple: create a ‘Shopping’ website if you create and sell products; a ‘Review’ website if you promote other people’s content or products; and a ‘Blog’ website if you publish your own information about your interests or skills.

Once you decide on the kind of website to make, you can then look for a design that fits one of these basic categories. One of the reasons I recommend WordPress as a website platform is that there are thousands of different ‘themes’ (website designs) to choose from. They are easily installed, and you can try out many themes very easily to see which one works for your information and your brand.

Should start blog?

This is a question I’m often asked. The short answer is yes. Even if you are in the business of selling products rather than disseminating information, you should start a blog on your website.

A blog is an excellent way of infusing your personality into your website. It is a place where you can communicate who you are to your visitors. Blog about yourself, your company, your interests, feedback you have received, and even your future product plans. Keeping people engaged is the key. If you audience can see you care enough to reach out to them on a regular basis, they will remain loyal to you – and they will play their own part in widening the community you are building around your website.

Remember, people are more likely to buy from people and brands they can come to know and trust.

(And, by the way,  blog is also an excellent way of introducing new content to your website, even if the rest of your product site changes very little).

Of course, if you create a website to give out information or teach skills rather than selling products, a blog is a great choice. By regularly publishing content in your area of expertise, you will be achieving your goal contributing to the global community.

Just because your website is a “blog”, it doesn’t have to look like some boring list of posts. If you think about it, even a newspaper or a magazine website is a kind of blog – regularly publishing information, created by expert authors. They have simply designed the website around this information to look like a magazine.

Example of a News Blog
Example of a News Blog

These days your blog design can be a vibrant and media rich as you want it to be. Create a website with a pizzazz that reflects the content and, you, its author!

Tweaks to Facebook Comments Mean More Traffic for You

If you run a website then you should also run a Facebook Page. This is your ‘social presence’ on the world’s largest social network and should be a place where you use Facebook comments to post links to your latest content and build a community of people around what you have to offer.

Man standing on a soapbox
Use Facebook, not a soapbox, to build a community around what you have to offer

The trouble is, it’s hard to keep track of conversations on Facebook because there are no conversation ‘threads’ – posts on the Facebook timeline that are linked as a series of posts and replies. Presently, a user must scroll to the bottom of a list of Facebook comments to leave a reply and the thread of the conversation can often be lost – particularly if there are lots of comments.

“Write a reply” to Facebook Comments

It may seems like a small thing, but Facebook are testing a new comment reply system for  that could explode the use of Facebook as a discussion forums, particularly for communities built around Facebook Pages.

Facebook's Write a Reply feature
Facebook’s Write a Reply feature

Since Facebook is all about user engagement, this feature has been a long time coming.

Samantha Murphy of Mashable writes:

The move would make it much easier for users to respond to individual comments left on wall posts… as well as a prompt to “write a reply.”

The last part of her statement is important.

If this feature is released from it’s current limited testing to the wider public, then replies to comments will at last become contextual and much easier to follow. Coupled with Facebook’s invitation to “Write a reply…”, it will encourage interaction between visitors, building a stronger, more socially engaged community.

Ranked Facebook Comments

Coupled with is addition is another feature under test: moving high ranking comments at the top of the page.
You’ll already have a sense of this feature in your own Facebook news feed, where posts can be sorted by “Top stories” or “Most recent”.

Placing Facebook comments at the top of the page, of course gives them more exposure, and popular comments are a magnet for engagement.

As Samantha Murphy writes in another post:

If the test sticks, it would allow Facebook to promote more interesting and engaging content, as well as enable more conversations about posted content across the site. The concept is similar to how users on Reddit rank posts by “upvoting” and “downvoting” content.

Facebook love comments. So should you.

Understanding which threads are the most popular on your Facebook Page will also give you some great marketing insight. Knowing what your visitors are passionate about is pure gold. You should be tailoring your website content around these high ranked conversations, since these are clearly motivating engagement in your visitors.

Facebook graphics

You should also use the subject of high ranked conversations on your page as a source of ideas for producing Facebook graphics – memes that will go viral through the passion of your audience.

This will help you build an even larger community for your Facebook Page and, ultimately, more traffic for your website.

Dartyh Vader on 'SpaceBook'
Spacebook: Building a Community Across the Universe

Facebook comments from WordPress

If your website is based on the WordPress platform, you should absolutely enable Facebook comments for your website visitors.

There are a number of WordPress plugins that will enable Facebook users to leave comments on your website – comments that are also placed on their own Facebook timeline. This means their friends will also see these comments, who may be interested in visiting your website as well. This is viral social proof at its best.