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How to safely upgrade to latest version Thesis 1.8 ?

by Aky Joe

Latest version of Thesis WordPress theme was launched last year, which enhanced Design Options for flexibility in content management. In my recent post, I explained the Ease with Thesis WordPress Theme Design options panel, which you will find it in the latest version of Thesis theme.

Though upgrading to Thesis 1.8 is a click-a-way work, but sometimes a bit of lag can ruin a website or blog for functionality or SEO, which costs you an extra overhead. In this tutorial, I will guide you through about how to safely upgrade to Thesis 1.8 ?

Below is the procedure to upgrade thesis theme:

Step 1: Download latest Thesis 1.8

Thesis 1.8 version is available at DIY Theme Thesis admin area, where you can download the latest copy of Thesis Theme. Once you login to the admin area, you can click “Download Thesis for WordPress” and you will be redirected to the download page. On the download page, click to “download Thesis 1.8” and save the file to your computer, when prompted. You can also refer to the screenshot below:


Download Thesis 1.8 Version

After saving  the file, open it and cross check the Zip archive for CRC errors, which usually occurs when transferring files from internet.

Step 2: Backup Database and Settings

To stay at safer side, I suggest you to always backup your website’s database while making any updates or modifications in WordPress backend. You can simply use WordPress Export Tool (Dashboard Admin > Tools > Export) to download all Posts, Pages, Categories etc. in a XML file to your computer.

Though Thesis retains its options comprising Site Options and Design Options, after upgrading to Thesis 1.8, but you can backup them as well by using the Thesis Download Options (Dashboard Admin > Thesis > Manage Options) and save them to your computer. You can also refer to screenshot below:


Backup Thesis Options

Step 3: Backup Custom Folder

Once your are done with backup of database, another important step is to backup Custom folder Thesis theme. Custom folder contains all of the customization related to styling and functionality of the blog. In order to take backup of custom folder, login to your ftp client and navigate to path /public_html/wp-content/themes/thesis_17/ and further download the custom folder to your computer. Below screenshot shows the location of custom folder under thesis theme.


Backup Custom Folder Thesis Theme

Step 4: Installing Thesis 1.8

After taking the backup of database, thesis settings and custom folder, we move on to install latest Thesis version. As I have already explained in my Tutorial to Install Thesis Theme on a WordPress Blog in 3 steps, so you always go through the article and come back here.

After you have installed thesis theme, you can now restore the custom folder of old Thesis theme downloaded in Step 3. In order to restore it, login to your ftp client and navigate to path /public_html/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/ and add the custom folder in the current directory.

Once done with uploading the custom folder, you can check out your blog/website now, which is powered with latest version of Thesis theme. And with this we also come to the end of our tutorial, if you have any query or further assistance is required, you can post your comments as your feedback, or you can use the Thesis Theme Services for the upgrading Thesis for you.

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{ read them below or add one }

Felix March 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

Thanks for these steps. Nice.


Aky March 18, 2011 at 11:00 am

I appreciate your concern for the comment. I hope tutorial was helpful.


Nik August 27, 2011 at 12:32 am

Just implemented it on my test site. Pretty easy. Now getting the graphics sorted and move it to the life site.



Aky August 27, 2011 at 12:35 am

Just for your concern, Thesis 1.8.2 is available too. So you can get the latest version now and follow the similar steps. You can ignore this comment, if you have the latest version. 😉


jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa July 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Thank you for the tutorial. I am a total novice! I would simply like to upgrade from 1.6 to 1.85 (However, I’ve been told my menu looks like 1.5. Not sure about that!)
I’ve downloaded 1.85 and it is sitting in my themes options. But the live preview looks crazy!
I need to do the backup as you’ve laid out in your tutorial but my options panel does not have a manage button as in your screenshot. Any ideas? Thank you!


Aky Joe July 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Well, Manage option panel was introduced in later version of thesis 1.6. To safely update to 1.8.5 Thesis version, you’ll have to make sure certain things:

  • Any custom modifications via custom folder.
  • Configurations via Site/Design options.


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