Thesis Tutorial: Deleting Preferences and Resurrecting Them Again


I have been working within WordPress for a few years and with Thesis since the start of 2009.

Recently I upgraded my version of Thesis to the latest ‘stable’ release, verison 1.5. I had been running version 1.4.2 just fine and had been playing around with some of the beta versions too. However, somewhere along the way things got a bit “mucked up.” My teasers were not showing on my website.

I had been writing a new tutorial for unlimited custom sidebars and ran into this issue that got me sidetracked. I thought the experience would be good to chronicle and publish as a tutorial. So if you ever need to “clean out” your Thesis install but want to keep all your settings in place, this is the tutorial for you.

What Was The Deal?

I wanted to use the ‘teaser’ function in Thesis and when I tried I would get the following error showing up on my home page wherever a ‘teaser’ should show:

Warning: call_user_func(thesis_teaser_1) []: First argument is expected to be a valid callback in /home/4395/domains/ on line 65

Needless to say this was a bit frustrating. Whenever things don’t just work it’s a pain.

First thing I did was to re-download Thesis and do a clean install. This did not help. Still had the errors.

I changed my theme to the default and back to Thesis, still no luck.

I went to the superb Thesis forums and was able to get the help of kingdomgeek, the Thesis OpenHook creator, who got me off on the path that provided my solution.

So What Did You Need To Do?

It was an easy solution once I figured it out. I needed to delete the entries in my WordPress database that pertained to Thesis.

You need to have access to your database. I use an application called PHPMyAdmin that allows me GUI access to the database.

Most webhosting companies have a tool that will allow you to access and edit your database.


One caveat. This procedure is not for the faint of heart. If you are not comfortable mucking around in a database then I suggest getting in touch with someone who is. You may be able to send these instructions to your webhost and have them do this for you. Again, if you have any doubts, don’t say I did not warn you!

What’s Next?

There were a total of four entries I deleted from the “‘wp-options’ table in my database.

  1. thesis_options
  2. thesis_design_options
  3. thesis_widgets
  4. thesis_widget_subscriptions

In your case I believe you will not see the ‘widget’ entries:

First step was to login to admin, go to design options for Thesis and open that in a new browser tab. I then opened Thesis options in another browser tab. This way I could see all of my current settings. (Do NOT close these tabs!! You will need them open to retain memory of your settings).

Once that is done I then go to themes and activated the WordPress default theme. I then confirmed that I had that running by visiting my live website.

Not showing Thesis? Good, proceed.

Then I log into PHPMyAdmin to manage my database . I went to the WordPress database . Then to the table wp_options.
Then browse the table by sorting the option_name(s) so that all the thesis_[name] options show up together. I checked the boxes then clicked the red “X” button and deleted those DB entries.

After that I went back into “themes” and activated Thesis. Visited the blog to confirm that Thesis is indeed running. Yes!

Then I went back to Thesis options and compared the new options page to the previous settings I have opened in the tab from the beginning. I went through step-by-step and re-activated all the settings as I had them previously. I then repeated the process for the “design options” tab as well making sure that all the checkboxes and pulldown menus matched what I had previously.

Everything checked out as it should and I am now running properly. I now have my teasers and features showing as they should.

Hope this helps.

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