First Impressions of Thesis 2.0

Thesis CSS Packages Yesterday was like Christmas for many in the WordPress community. October 1st marked the release of Thesis 2.0, an update that has been several years in the making. Like most of you, I refreshed the DIYthemes so often that I thought it might go down! After waiting most of the day for Thesis 2.0, I decided I’d go to sleep and check for 2.0 on October 2nd.

After spending a few hours with Thesis today and struggling to figure out how to implement a full-width framework, I am prepared to give my impressions of Thesis 2.0.

What Is Awesome?

Thesis 2.0 is radically different from any other WordPress theme I’ve used, even Thesis 1.x. In talking to my mentor about the new Thesis, we decided that Thesis could best be described as “revolutionary” (completely different) as opposed to the typical “evolutionary” (incremental updates).

Thesis 2 Post Box Options

For many reasons, this is amazing. The forward thinking in many of Thesis 2.0’s features will completely change the WordPress landscape. The ability to create boxes and visually edit templates is essentially a way of visually editing CSS.

The skin editor also allows you to easily implement features such as: Schemas, Hooks, Filters posts by author, Change order of posts, and much more. Because of this, Thesis 2.0 is very much a developer’s dream. It allows you to easily configure areas and add fairly complicated programming without lifting a finger.

Thesis 2 Query Box Options

The skin editor seems fairly intuitive to me. Yes, it will definitely take some time to get used to if you are used to Thesis 1.x, but I believe you will fall in love with the skin editor in 2.0 once you become familiar with it.

One of the things I like so much about Thesis 2.0 are all of the options under the “Site” button in your Thesis options. The “Site” button gives you options such as HTML Head, Tracking Scripts, 404 Page, and Home Page SEO. My favorite of these is the 404 Page option because it allows you to edit your 404 page just like any other page! Talk about easy :)

Thesis is also planning on releasing several Boxes, Packages, Skins. Documentation will also be coming shortly.

Thesis 2 Skin Editor

What Could Be Better?

Thesis 2 Skin CSSAs of October 2nd, there are no documentation, skins, packages, or boxes in the Thesis backend. On top of this, I felt like I was jumping into a maze as I was playing with Thesis 2.0. Chris Pearson was available through twitter to answer small questions, but why would there be an update released without having some type of documentation or tutorials in place?

Because of this lack of documentation, I don’t fully understand what many of the Thesis 2.0 features are. In a Twitter conversation that Matt Gross (@mattonomics) and I had, Matt said, “we are operating under the assumption that getting the software out there was more important than anything.” I believe this was a slightly flawed idea because if people don’t know how to use the new Thesis 2.0, then it is essentially useless.

Most confusing to me is the CSS section of the skin editor. I am assuming that the “Skin CSS” is a list of variables that correspond to the CSS packages on the right, but it is hard to confirm that as there is no documentation. Adding custom CSS is very similar to Thesis 1.x. You click the “Custom CSS” button, enter your css, then click “save and compile css.”

My Overall Impression

I love the DIYthemes team and I think they’re building something really awesome. I think that Thesis 2.0 is an amazingly powerful theme for those that want to learn how to use it. But, I don’t think it should’ve been released yet. I am also certain that the DIYthemes team will work their butts off to make Thesis 2.0 much more user friendly by releasing packages, skins, boxes, and documentation in the coming weeks.

This reminds me very much about the current Apple maps fiasco. For those that haven’t followed this story… In the latest iOS 6, Apple ditched the established map app using Google’s data to launch their own map service. Many people hate the new map app from Apple.

Very much like the Apple map app that was recently released, I think Thesis 2.0 is a solid product but it needs to be polished a bit more. Should you upgrade? That is ultimately up to you. Thesis 2.0 will give you some very powerful abilities that would be much harder with any other theme/framework out there. But be aware that, as of now, there is very little documentation and you will soldiering ahead mostly blind.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Have you tried Thesis 2.0 yet? What were your thoughts? Leave a comment below with your answer.

Written by Eric Binnion

Eric Binnion is a computer science student at Midwestern State University. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.



  • I am sure boxes and packages will take the development to a next level of theming. With everything good coming in Thesis 2.0 I have a few concerns.

    First, not releasing documentation was a big mistake. Thanks to everyone active in the forums that users were able to get it working.

    Second, now that everything is visual I find no way of using version control with it. Earlier, it was easier to keep a track of changes while continuing the experiments with custom files. But, now I am uncertain of how to deal the same way with all the options.

    Third, there is no way to export all the settings / skins. This could be a pain for developers.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Puneet,

      Thanks for the comment and the very valid points.

      • Thanks Eric! From my understanding so far, I can say that 2.0 has been able to survive just because there are a bunch of people helping users in the support forums.
        Rick’s introductory videos and some useful tips by Kristarella are two other reasons why people are still happy to use 2.0 without any documentation.

        • Eric Binnion says:

          Definitely Puneet,

          The support is still great in there. Although, I think happy is a relative term. Thesis 2.0 is going to be crazy powerful,no doubt. But, right now, the time I’d have to put in to learning Thesis is irritating. The next few weeks look hopeful though :)

  • I agree with what you came with Eric, and I think Thesis 2.0 will have a great future.

    Same here, I am missing boxes, packages, skins, and mostly the documentation to rock this awesome framework!

    My take is that there is no complete upgrading process yet, and probably I won’t be able to use it on my blogs, I imagine it’s good choice only for brand new sites that I will create in the future.

    Looking forward to develop for Thesis 2.0 though!

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Thanks for the comment Hesham!

      Like you, I’m definitely looking forward to develop for Thesis 2.0 ;) Curious to see how the next few weeks unfold…

  • Kinjal Shah says:

    I have had a similar problem. After activating the default skin, my website went white. I know nothing about the boxes and stuff and had to scratch my head to find out the possible clue. Only after an hour, I realized that there is no document available. I feel that they should have provided a default skin which doesn’t show a blank page.
    It may be good for developers, but think about a normal user like me for a second. We don’t want to get overwhelmed by features, but adaptability.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Kinjal,

      I noticed that the blank screen will happen until you go through a little setup process. But bottom line, you wouldn’t have ha an issue with it if there were some documentation or a proper walk though.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Keith Davis says:

    Hi Eric
    No documentation, no backup… sounds like an absolute nightmare.

    After two years in the baking, you would expect a decent cake.

    I’m a Genesis man and glad of it.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Thanks for the comment Keith. There’s definitely some great stuff in Thesis 2.0, but I do really feel they could’ve pulled the launch off better.

    • Zimbrul says:

      I have the feel this Thesis 2 goes into the wrong direction. I was speaking with many people, WordPress users like me (not developers) who know how to move some code around and all of them say: don’t get it.
      If Thesis 2 is a developer’s dream (so it is iBuilder, Headway Theme and so on) then I’ll keep away from it until I’ll become a developer myself.
      I think Chris Pearson has made an unwanted gift to the competition by waiting two years to release an incomplete product (because without documentation the theme is pretty much useless).

    • Don Donadio says:

      It’s a disaster alright. As a new user of Thesis2 it took me more than a month to figure out that I was never going to be able to learn this without any documentation so I asked for a refund of my money which they refused because it took me over the month’s money-back-guarantee period to come to the above conclusion. So I’m stuck with this piece of sh**t and have decided to just chuck the entire thing and go to the Headway theme which is way ahead of Thesis in tutorials, support groups and most importantly documentation. Such a waste of my time; it’s unconscionable that they would have released this software without ANY documentation whatsoever. Totally unprofessional in that regard and not having the good graces and sense of good customer service to refund me what I paid for this useless piece of sh**t.

  • Dave says:

    When I see developers scratching their heads over how this thing works it doesn’t bode well for the complete novice. I’m a complete novice and I was sold by Chris’ hyerbole about it being the holy grail of stunning site design without the need to know anything about code.

    Even ‘with’ documentation, Chris’ claim is vastly overstating the reality. Every single bit of the UI is dominated with HTML and CSS language. I’m sure I could spend a day reading up on what classes, selectors and variables are and how they relate to each other, but the whole point of 2.0 was supposed to be that I didn’t need to.

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that the release has been organised by a bunch of high-fiving teenagers, with no appreciation for it’s target market and an emphasis on up-selling for maximum pre-launch conversions/sales.

    Chris should consider himself fortunate that the DIYTheme forum guys are doing a superb job trying to help as best as they can. If it were not for them I have no doubt he would be getting deluged with refund requests.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Thanks for your input Dave. The team at DIYthemes is definitely amazing. I’m looking forward to Thesis 2.0 in a few weeks after some documentation and tutorials are released.

      • Dave says:

        Well, here we are a few weeks later….. still waiting!

        Pearson hasn’t addressed any of his customers concerns via any official DIY channel (blog or forum), but has spent a good amount of time spouting drivel on twatter (sorry, twitter).

        The man is a joke.

    • Karen says:

      Couldn’t have said it any better, Dave. I’ve been with Thesis a while, and it is not the ‘easy’/wonder solution for all as they profess.

      I even recently paid for a separate package (not from DIY Themes) to learn how to utilise Thesis, then they’ve changed to 2.0. I thought I’d use 2.0 as it was meant to be so much ‘improved’ – it was a nightmare – taking my data limit over capacity on my host straight away, so I’m back to 1.8. I’m also kinda kicking myself for bothering to spend on learning about Thesis, when I might have been better off to suck it up and move on to a different and better-supported theme.

      Personally, I feel quite ripped off by Chris’ claims and feel like an idiot for being sucked into the hype by his affiliates (I did quite a bit of research before purchase).

      I do feel like it has been released exactly like you say ‘by a bunch of high-fiving teenagers’!

      Documentation should most definitely have been produced. Chris is lazy in leaving it to other members of the community to sort out. This was an example of a very poor release.

  • Zimbrul says:

    I love Thesis 1.8.x as much as I love Genesis Framework but honestly, Thesis 2.0 does not make any sense. If this is a drag-and-drop framework then this came late as there are plenty out there. As it stands today Thesis 2.0 is a developer’s heaven (as the guys say above) but for an average WordPress user like me just doesn’t click.
    The interface of Thesis 2.0 is not intuitive. I’ve got 4+ experience of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal but even Drupal is more intuitive than this Thesis 2.0.

    Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t upgrade to developer’s licence as I’ve got the feeling this is not going into the right way.
    I know, there are a lot of developers out there involved in selling, promoting and investing in Thesis theme but I’m not so I can speak up my mind here.

    I think Thesis 2.0 is just like iPhone 5: great expectations >>> confusing outcome

  • Krystal says:

    The way 2.0 was released shows how little Chris Pearson cares about his customers or customer support. We waited how long for the promised upgrade? He delayed previously, might as well have delayed some more and done it right. For this reason I am hesitant about continuing to use Thesis. And his snarky attitude in the DIY blog in response to people having difficulties only adds to my impression.

  • Rob Smith says:

    I didn’t buy yet but was just looking into if for the first time and I thought, why it the theme gallery down right after a major release? How can I buy something without seeing it.

    I know I’m a doubting Thomas because I’ve been burned by WordPress themes before, but this apparently was no resurrected savior. And why did they include a link to buy it that led to a page that said “Sold Out” when the sign up page on DIY’s site let’s you go through the payment process?

    Plus, this guy thinks he’s the king of Siam and I don’t even know what he’s selling. Is this really worth waiting for or is it just hype?

    • Eric Binnion says:


      Thesis 2 is really a powerful beast. The more I learn about it, the more amazing I realize it is.

      With that said, I still think it was a poor decision to launch the theme with no documentation, skins, packages, etc at the same time. This puts both novices and experience users in a tough spot because they are having to learn a completely new system with no roadmap, so to speak.

      And yes, Pearson does seem cocky, and I can understand your aversion to that. But, he has really pushed the premium theme market, and arguably established the market. So, I understand that :)

      Overall, I still recommend Thesis because of the sheer power it packs. As of right now, it’s a hot mess because of the documentation issue. But I know that the Thesis team will be releasing docs over the next couple of weeks as well as the bonus skins and packages.

      Hope this help.

      • Don Donadio says:

        so much for you assumption about the forthcoming documentation. As a new user, I’ve been waiting weeks and weeks for it and it still has not been released by the Thesis creator. The only way to learn this system is to pay additional money for the DIY tutorials which are hardly a systematic approach to Thesis2.

  • Barry Morris says:

    Without documentation, I found it useless. Still ‘rocking Thesis 1.84’ for now.

  • Ruan | FreelanceWritingTactics says:

    I have actually just started my new site design only days before the 2.0 version update was announced. At that stage I was pressured for time and new with all the waiting and anticipation that getting a new design done in the updated version wasn’t going to be done in a tick, so I stuck with 1.85 then.

    I do have a client site that needs to be started next week so I’ll give it a shot on there and see how it goes. As mentioned quite often above, updated documentation and tutorials are still quite scarce but have you guys seen this yet?

    Haven’t had time to watch through it all as yet but maybe it could help some of you who haven’t? I know in the past we’d all dive deeply into custom functions and css files to get these done and as I have said, haven’t had time to go through all these yet but by the sound of it things might have gotten a little easier with this big boy!

    Hope it helps some of you at least!

  • Hey Eric-

    I’ve been messing with 2.0 since the second it was released, and am still tinkering with it to see what’s what. As you stated, it’s a totally different product than Thesis 1.xx, which Chris said they’d keep support for. Essentially, he’s running 2 themes now.

    I have to believe that he must have either been counting on the Thesis community to rally and teach ourselves about 2.0, which we’re doing, and/or be smart enough and have enough time on our hands to just figure it out. I have a feeling he lost a lot of potential sales and happy customers by releasing an incomplete product, which isn’t as intuitive and user-friendly as he’s been hyping. If you don’t know the box-model and how HTML and CSS work, it’s got to be terrifying to look at. They’ve been rightfully careful in the wording when marketing 2.0.

    I have a bunch of sites I’m keeping on 1.85, just because they’re already set up, but I’m working on building a new site with 2.0 now (, coincidentally ;-)) to test just how versatile it is.
    I think you’re right in the forward-lookingness (I know that’s not a word) of Thesis 2.0, though. I believe it’s going to create a cottage industry for skins for the people that it just never clicks for, or don’t have the time to invest. And of course Thesis tutorials as well, a la Rick Anderson. With the size and skill of Thesis users out there, it shouldn’t take long to start seeing all sorts of skins, packages and boxes for us to download. So in that respect, Chris’ customers are saving him from a full-out mutiny and revolt. I’ve read more disappointment than cheer about 2.0 and his roll-out.

    Despite the bumpy take-off, I’m with you and believe that eventually the dust will settle and Thesis will be at least still be a leader in theme frameworks, if not THE leader, once a well-written user’s manual, skins, and deeper support are available.

    • Eric Binnion says:


      Thanks for the comment. I don’t think it’ll take that long for Thesis 2.0 to start getting the documentation and other goodies launched. We shall see in the next few weeks.

  • Lisa Casson says:

    I have been playing around and trying to work out Thesis 2.0 since it’s release. My first impression has also not been good. I have new websites to develop and a site that should have taken half a day, has taken 3.

    Today, I have finally figured the basics of the templates and packages, and it’s without a doubt revolutionary. I create my designs in Photoshop, and build Thesis around it, not the other way around like a lot other designers do. I needed to do very minimal CSS, and I can say without a doubt I am sure it is possible without the CSS I needed, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

    My build is almost complete and looks identical to my design.

    So while I agree the launch wasn’t the best, and like any new software it takes a bit of learning, I think DIYThemes have really put in some amazing development that is going to make putting websites together a breeze.

    Take a breath and wait for the release of their manual, and trust me, once you find your way around, you’ll see just how awesome it is.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Lisa,

      I agree with your first point about how it took much longer to build a website. This is a large part of the reason that we decided to go with Standard Theme instead of Thesis 2 on a separate project.

      I also agree with that Thesis 2 will be awesome.

  • It seems like a very good update and I’m excited to try it out and implement it on my current website but I can’t. I’ve modified so many things in my customs_php and customs_css files that won’t transfer over. I could play around with it on another domain until I get the hang of it but I’d rather just wait until documentations arrives.

  • Doug says:

    I’ve been with Thesis for 3 years and built a number of sites with it. For what it’s worth, here’s my $.02 on 2.0:

    1. Chris’s ego got in the way – he wanted to show off his powerful new invention without waiting for documentation. HUGE mistake and at this point I’m sure he knows it.

    2. Chris advertised this as an intuitive new tool without need of tech skills. Point of fact, it’s exactly the other way around, packed full of developer’s taxonomy that will scare away all the Luddites who just want easy site development. In other words, he’s scared away a big audience.

    3. On the other hand, I suspect the innate power of 2.0 will attract a big new audience of developers who will build for 2.0 and use 2.0 to build for customers. 2.0 will become a WP developers’ dream laboratory.

    Since I’m not a developer I am at last saying good-bye to Thesis (or at least waiting for Skins I might use). My days of tinkering with Thesis are over. There are simply too many very good, slick, sexy themes out there at modest prices with which I can build a killer site in hours.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Doug,

      I appreciate the comment. I value $0.02 from everyone ;)

    • Doug-
      You make some good points but got me thinking, along with everyone else that thinks 2.0 is going to appeal really strongly to developers. I think Chris is really painting himself into a tight corner with 2.0, because “real” developers will continue to use Fireworks, Dreamweaver, etc.. and just code their sites themselves. I don’t think most will need or want the learning curve that is coming with 2.0. Even with stellar documentation, which is hoping for the best, it’s an investment of time and resources that few professionals have. I’m a hobbyist, and am tempted to just dive deeper into Dreamweaver myself. But 2.0 is sort of a fun toy to play around with.

      Then, on the other hand, web designers may like it for it’s visual aspect, and minimal hard-coding, but it’s not going to release anyone from getting to know CSS and HTML pretty well. That’s a broken promise that Chris isn’t going to be able to hang his hat on anymore.
      It’s also is going to run off people new to web design, at least until there is solid support, a nice library of skins, and all the bugs are worked out. I can think of quite a few easy things that would make the workflow of 2.0 better that were overlooked.
      So, developers don’t need it, designers don’t want it, newbies are scared of it, and existing users are frustrated by it. That doesn’t leave a lot of people making websites out there. And free themes are pouring out onto the web by the truckload every day. This will be interesting to watch play out, from a marketer’s standpoint. (Sort of thinking of “New Coke”) And I’m with you RE: Chris’ ego. I’ll be looking for a way to remove the ridiculous photos of him and his dog that now permanently reside on the admin panel.

      There will still be support for 1.85, which is a solid platform. I know how time-consuming it is to write a good user’s manual, especially for the broad market Chris wants, so I’m not optimistic about any great documentation hitting the web anytime soon. By then, I’ll be able to teach it, most likely. But I know some video tutorials are on the way (quality: unknown as well).

    • Mark says:

      Absolutely! Spot on with this comment. I have used thesis for some time but I’m no expert and I particularly agree that I am no longer interested in ‘tinkering’ with it. The progression of theme standard available elsewhere, at very reasonable prices, makes this a poor choice now for the average person who wants to implement a unique wordpress theme.

  • Robert Tyson says:

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for a thoughtful post. I’m trying to fathom Thesis 2.0 on a secondary site of mine but won’t move my main site off Thesis 1.8.5 until I’m satisfied I can achieve what I want with the new version. Doesn’t look at all easy right now.

    Something that’s interesting to me – and this launch is a prime example – is the way a lot of internet businesses seem to have just totally abandoned the concept of user manuals/support/whatever… they just dump their stuff out there and let users fend for themselves or self-organise through e.g. third party forums. Google and Facebook PPC is the same – if you’re a small advertiser with an issue there, you can forget it – your emails will literally go unanswered.

    I find that whole approach quite strange, but still, I guess it creates an opportunity for the rest of us!

    • Eric Binnion says:

      There is definitely an opportunity here to pull in some traffic by helping Thesis 2.0 users that are frustrated. Thanks for the comment!

  • Fiona Prince says:

    I’m a newbie to Thesis. I purchased 1.7, but didn’t get very far before I was pulled into other projects. Because I like to design and maintain my own sites, I upgraded to 1.85 and spent many hours watching tutorials on YouTube and even purchased a design guide that helped me update the look of my site and reorganize the content, before I was pulled into other non-techie projects.

    So, my learning cycle will start again with Thesis 2.0…and I don’t mind a bit. I have more time this fall and I know if I can get the basics down, I’ll be good to go. Thank you to all you folks who share your knowledge in the forums and on YouTube.

    I’m now managing 6 non-profit wordpress sites, as wells as two of my own. I’ve chosen a free theme for the non-profits — Graphene — because it gives me some of the features I wanted to create in Thesis. But I’m sticking with Thesis for my own sites.

    I’ll get back to you in a few weeks with my feedback on Thesis 2.0.

    To everyone who is complaining, I would like to say just relax. I’ve been working with websites since Netscape 1.0. I started with Notepad and BBedit; then moved on to HotDog, FrontPage, Dreamweaver. For corporate websites I worked with RedDot CMS.

    The changes are going to keep coming, and the learning curve is always steep. The folks with the smarts to build the technology don’t necessarily have the best people skills, so cut them some slack. They are doing what they do best when they develop their software.

    Compared to where we were 20 years ago…well…Wordpress is amazing. If you don’t like one theme, find another. There’s lots of good ones that are free; and lots of good ones that cost money. All of them require some learning.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Fiona,

      Thank you for the comment. I do disagree with you though. I don’t believe I should cut a company slack when they choose to release their product into the wild with absolutely no documentation. That is fine with open source software, sure. But, Thesis is not open source. In the end, people will vote with their business, and there is no shortage of great themes on the market.

      You are absolutely right that we must always be relearning and refining our skills. But, when I make a living using software… I can not afford to take the extra time to learn it when there is no documentation.

      • Fiona Prince says:

        Thanks for your response Eric. I agree with you. Since I my income doesn’t come from designing websites I am not affected as much by the omission of documentation as you are. Also, I do most of my learning from users who share their experience in blogs and youtube. I just search for what I need to do and often a generous soul has shared their solutions.

        After reading many of the comments to your blog post, I am going to hold off on upgrading to 2.0. I was just learning 1.85. I’ll wait to see what happens.

        Good luck with all you do. Thanks for your blog. :-)

  • jools says:

    I have had a short play with 2.0, as a previous 1.8.2 user, and to be honest it seems pretty un-intuitive.

    My main concern about the whole Thesis 2.0 thing is fragmentation.

    WordPress is brilliant. There’s already the Theme industry, which is a fair way of developers making a living off the back of an open-source project, and there are some incredible themes out there which, with a little CSS skill, you can tweak to your necessary requirements and get incredible results.

    These new skins within Thesis confuse matters. Its another cottage industry, that’s essentially sitting on the back of the open-source WordPress, but the money is going into DIY’s and skin maker’s pockets. It just seems like a slightly corrupt extension of the WordPress idea and pointless in many ways. If developers could create child themes (similar to thematic) and sell their whole package, without the end-user having to buy Thesis, then that would make sense, but having already invested a good deal of money in Thesis in the first place it seems like a kick in the teeth to have to spend more on skins.

    The great thing about 1.8 is the that all the info on hooks and many other Thesis resources were offered for free – content/feature boxs etc – and seemed more open-source in their ethic. This info is useless with 2.0 – the whole product functions in a polar opposite way – and tutorials are scarce to be seen.

    Obviously this will all change when people start getting to grips with 2.0 and DIY bother to release some clear documentation so it’s a little easier to understand. For the time being, I’m very happy with my 1.8 site and look forward to reading more about 2.0 in the distant future.

  • Great post.

    To be honest I am thrilled that Thesis 2.0 was released even without the documentation.

    I am definitely not a coder, although fortunately I have access to some great ones through my company, but even without documentation I was able to come up with a problem I had been having for a long time quickly and easily.

    This theme definitely does have the potential to be a complete Game Changer and I rather suspect that a lot of website developers might be quaking in their boots.

    This gives a huge amount of power to the end user, and once the documentation is in place and a few more boxes are released I suspect that there is nothing that this theme will be unable to do.

  • Raj says:

    I hope that everything will be sorted out in no time, its very early to judge the future of this framework but I am sure that this time DIYThemes have got the right thing like they did when they have first launched Thesis..

  • Claire says:

    I know no html or CSS, but I have tinkered around with wp themes for a few years and created a few sites. I bought Thesis 1 after falling for the ‘anyone can do it’ hype and was immensely disappointed. Not with it’s potential, just with the fact that it was marketed as something ‘anyone’ would be able to tackle without code. What rubbish. To do anything decent with it you need to get into the code. So I thought I’d check out 2.0. Once again it is a great hype fest. It’s NOT for the people they claim it is for. It is a dream for developers, but that’s it. If you don’t know the vocab of code and development, it’s far too steep a learning curve.
    I think they may well have alienated most of the customers they aimed all their hype at. Seems like a giant marketing fail to me. Pity!

  • MJ says:

    I have to say that I am incredibly frustrated with Thesis 2.

    An interesting question was posed on an official Thesis forum, “Does Thesis 2 Suck?” The answer is who heck knows!

    To release a product marketed as a DIY template suitable for everyday people without any documentation is a nearly unforgivable breach of customer support.

    You see rushed and confusingly structured tutorials from third party Thesis affiliated people where even the presenter is struggling at spots, and you’re left scratching your head saying, “I’m supposed to that?”.

    Ask specific questions on Thesis forums about simple documentation and get zero answers, ask moderators direct questions and get logged out of the forums altogether.

    I have to say, although I really want to like this product that I paid good money for, I get the feeling that I’ve been had. Keeping my fingers crossed for some kind of good news though!

  • Shari says:

    i have been using the custom_function.php and custom.css for customizing thesis in older versions for my clients. But now there is no custom folder in version 2. How can i insert my codes in this version and where? or i just need to use visual options?
    Kindly explain.

    • Eric Binnion says:


      As I understand it, you will not have custom functions/css files anymore. You will need to add these in the skin editor using container boxes (most likely) and the CSS editor.

    • Doug says:

      That’s correct (unless a major change comes). You will essentially need to rebuild your 1x sites using the new 2x framework. This is not a new ‘version’ per se, this is an entirely new machine. In fact, I’m not entirely sure why they didn’t introduce it as something entirely new – maybe “doctorate” or something ;-)

  • Shari says:

    Thanks Eric-

    So what happens to my custom work if i upgrade 1.8.5 to V2 or is there a specific way to upgrade that will not affect my custom work?


    • Eric Binnion says:


      You will still be able to use much of the same code. BUT, you will have to use custom containers in the skin editor instead of the typical custom_functions file. Doug left a good comment about how Thesis 2 is completely different.

  • Shekhar says:

    For non-programmers guys like me, Thesis 2.0 is a very big Let Down !

    In Thesis 1.x, changing a three column layout to a two column layout was a matter of choosing just one option with your mouse.

    In Thesis 2.0, it requires… (as per this video from an expert :
    (1) Going to Skin editor,

    (2) Add a new box named 2 column,

    (3) Shifting one column from the original box to new box

    (4) Then Removing the 3 column box

    (4) Then create a package and then reference it in the master CSS file

    which of course requires a knowledge of CSS (class, ID and what not…)

    Even then, you are not sure with the final outcome

    Is this the dream framework for which we waited for the last 4 years ?

    In his bid to make everything customizable, the developer has created a a complete mess .

    Anyone please suggest a good alternative for guys like us who want to create content for the web.. not code for their blog

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hi Shekhar,

      There is a LOT more flexibility, but you’re right that it’s definitely harder to get things done. With that said, right now I am in love with Standard theme. It’s one of the most affordable themes out there. Allows unlimited sites. Has great support. And allows just enough options on the backend to be flexible, but not confusing.

  • Thesis 2.0 is so different that the lack of documentation makes it very difficult to use.

    I decided to use Genesis on a project that I am currently working because I just couldn’t figure out a couple of things that I easily could accomplish in Thesis 1.85.

    I am going to hold off from further Thesis development at least until documentation comes out.

  • Chris says:

    I have also played around with Thesis 2 now, and I’m not a coder either. Super confusing without any documentation, and the few videos online show there are so many steps required!

    Either way it doesn’t much matter to me so long as coders CAN figure it out. I outsource all my design and code work. I’m worried the guys who I used to hire for Thesis jobs will now be confused.

    Anyway, big question: if I hire someone to build me a skin is it upload able as a single package of files as with the previous “custom” folder? Or does a dev now need to manually adjust everything to recreate his work on my site? The answer is probably the former but I don’t know because there isn’t any documentation!

    I definitely agree that the marketing behind this theme isnt accurate. It is NOT for novices at all and looks like it never will be.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Chris,

      When I go to the ‘Select Skin’ section, there is an option to upload a skin. So, I would assume that the skin is either a zip or data file and can be exported by your developer. But, I don’t know for sure.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Vishal Rai says:

    Hi, I am going to start my new blog and I am going to use thesis platform. After the thesis 2 release I am bit confused which to use. Many people saying it is good and many saying its messy.
    I am not a coder. So which version should I use 1.8.5 or 2.0. and also is SEO is improved in 2.0 or is same as 1.8. my basic concern is SEO. Designing is not my concern as I will hire my friend for free :D

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hi Vishal,

      SEO would definitely be better in 2.0, mainly due to the schema and Google author support out of the box.

  • keno says:

    Hi there,

    I am really new to Thesis but I bought the license which allows me to implement the theme on any webpage I personally use – so I spent some money on it.
    Because I am not a coder at all and don’t have too much idea of how to programming a site from scratch I am really upset now waiting on a documentation which explains me how Thesis 2.0 really works and I am about to cancel my purchase.
    How can anyone release a software without documentation!


  • Glen says:

    Thesis 2.0 is a huge cluster*^&k if you ask me. It’s bad enough that it doesn’t have documentation and isn’t as intuitive as it claims to be. Ok, developers will come out with instructions eventually, right? But you can barely load the theme up without problems. It took me forever to even get to the point where I could tinker with it.

    I’m really hoping things get better soon. I’ve been looking forward to 2.0 to work on new site ideas but every day I’m waiting is another day I just might plop the money down for Genesis, which I hear is truly intuitive for the non-developer.

    • Campbell says:

      Hi Glen,

      You are going to find that Genesis is definitely not for beginners who don’t want to learn how to code!

      I own Genesis, Headway, Catalyst Thesis and many more top frameworks and all of them require that you learn the vernacular associated with web design and creation.

      I think that those that are searching fro the Philosophers Stone of Website Creation are going to be looking a long damn time . The chances of you finding what you seek is about the equivalent of turning lead into gold….it aint gonna happen I will tell you that right now if no one else will.

      Everybody should accept the real truth of the matter here which is that, if you want a custom website you either …

      A: Need to Hire a Developer

      B: Learn how to use PHP, CSS , HTML & Java Script

      C: With Thesis 2.0 you can accomplish a Custom Designed Website with some basic required learning of the Terminology being used.

      Pick Your Poison it’s entirely up to you but nothing in life comes FREE regardless of how well you dress it up and that’s just simple logic nothing more. : )

      Oh yeah, the whole documentation thing is just ridiculous and I cannot believe that it was not available 2 days MAX after the release of Thesis 2.0.

      • Glen says:

        I’m not expecting Thesis 2.0 to not need some form of coding and instruction. After all, “user friendly” all depends on the user and there are many different users.

        Still, on my site I’ve been able to do pretty good hacking out a site I’m proud of. But looking at 2.0 makes me wonder if it will be worth the time. Right now the one site I have the theme on won’t even load the classic theme for me to play with. I’ve deleted the files and uploaded them again but it’s no use. Then I find out that there are files in the database for the new Thesis. How is that easy for the average person?

        • Rahul says:


          You are not the only one who is disappointed with Thesis 2.0. I purchase this theme for $197 on the premises that a newbie can design their site (or any part of their site) without touching any coding just with drag and drop feature. Surprise, surprise you are made fooled.

          you did not even get the documentation for the theme even you have paid $200 for it. Comm on even free theme provide some kind of documentation.

          Every new things has a learning curve but what kind of learning curve is this when we are not handed even a documentation from the owner of the theme.

          I purchase this theme on the premises of making sites without coding and using drag and drop feature. but the hell is that i do not know how to use the drag and drop feature. If you see this theme from the stand point of a newbie than you know that how difficult it is. I communicate this on their forum and find that even developers are not able to make a simple site with drag and drop without touching code.

          I purchase another theme called Ultimatum Theme just for $57 although it is available for $125 (developer version), It has learning curve, yes sure it has. but i am able to make my site from scratch within 3 days. It is still simple site but using their drag and drop feature i can changes any part of the site. For your kind information i do not do any coding because i am completely noob in technical area.

          Before encountering the Ultimatum theme i thought that idea of using Boxes and Packages is revolutionary idea but i am surprise to see that it is available in Ultimatum theme with different names. I am really surprise. I am still learning how to use Ultimatum to design the site according to my need or desire but it is lots of easier as the time goes.

          I am still have some hopes for Thesis but if the die hard fans of thesis theme closed their eyes does not mean that thesis is perfect theme.

          By the way i am a newbie and completely noob in technical area. But i find that spending $57 is much more profitable in every single way than spending $200 on Thesis.


          • Glen says:

            Speaking of Drag & Drop – does it bother anyone else that you have to hit Shift first in order for drag and drop to take?

  • Doug says:

    Glen is dead-on with his observations. Personally, I think too many folks have been depending on their sites to win converts, customers, etc., vs. focusing on the content that actually goes into them. Better, in many cases I think, to focus on something far more rudimentary and get damned good content out there. In fact, if you look at many of the most popular sites they are sans bells and whistles but packed with good eatin, so to speak. For my own purposes I still use 1x Thesis for a few sites but increasingly have been using the U-Design theme sold at for my builds. Incredibly flexible, phenomenal support and documentation, and you can have a beautiful site up in hours (he’s sold more than 20,000).

  • Eric Hempler says:

    To me it seems like there’s always a lack of documentation with any theme or plugin and unless you have a lot of experience with wordpress and web design you’re stuck trying to figure things out.

    To some degree I wasn’t surprised there weren’t directions, but at the same time I thought there would be a little bit more available.

  • Steve & Sally Wharton says:

    Like Shekhar, Rahul and many participants here, we are (or should say “we were”) in the same boat. We paid for Thesis Developer Edition–falling for the hype and promises. After attempting to dive in and get going, we parked our website via a temp redirect and awaited version 2. Suffice it to say, our experience and thoughts mirror those already expressed so well here.

    If it’s any help to other non-coders, here is where we’ve gone as a result of the abysmal T-V2 fail. We are now developing again–with Genesis Framework, and the Dynamik for Genesis child theme. You might want to check out Eric Hamm’s Dynamik–it appears to offer all the tweaks and customization possibilities (for non-coder/non-CSS folks like us) that Thesis 2 promised. It has been supported, updated and maintained for over a year(?) now. With no hype–just personable, consistent support and professional videos, etc.

    We’re NOT affiliates, just very grateful former Thesis users.

    If you’re using Genesis and a child theme already, Mr Hamm (creator of Frugal/Catalyst theme) has released his Dynamik plug-in for Genesis…offering most of the customization tweaks without coding or tweaking CSS via the plug in too. Pretty cool.

    Hope that helps somebody…we like the respectful tone and interaction on this blog, btw. Very refreshing as well as helpful. Thanks for that Eric! Cheers

    • Campbell says:

      Your saying that you can navigate through all of those settings on Dynamik with the margins, paddings, font hex codes, etc, etc but you cant figure out Thesis 2..? You have to be kidding me Steve.

      That’s just absurd that you can navigate and understand all of that but a drag and drop easy to understand Framework like Thesis 2xxx you can’t figure out…C’mon already with that!

      • Steve & Sally Wharton says:

        Hey Campbell,
        Thanks for your reply to my original comment. Let me just say–related to the whole Thesis version 2 debacle and not responding to any personal-related comments–that the whole issue was highlighted and summed up perfectly by Derek Halpern, self-described psychology and marketing expert and DIYThemes marketing/blogger guy.

        In an email/posting from Mr Halpern to DIYThemes owner/members, he stated a recommendation that Thesis Version 2 was NOT ready for implementation; suggested holding off upgrading, and to await the ‘polishing up’ (or words to that effect) of Thesis version 2…which would likely ‘take some time.’

        To me that’s the official state of the release–from a core member of the theme/framework company itself.

        Now, from a business ethics/integrity pov, it’s literally dumbfounding. This isn’t freeware or shareware we’re talking about here. After official company communication from Thesis2/DIYThemes (#thesiswp) such as that, how is it that DIYThemes’ web site apparently currently continues to sell and take peeps money for Thesis 2? This is a product which the company itself communicated NOT TO USE at this time and is a product release which is not yet ready for prime time? Yikes.

        Of course, I respect others’ difference of opinion here. But for us, that’s the issue. From here on out, we’ll speak with our wallets. Cheers! Enough said.

    • John says:

      Thanks for the Genesis heads up. I lost my whole freaking site due to the 2.0 update and had to park it. I am not sure what happened but all my posts vanished and or were corrupted. I will give that a shot.. I now offically hate DIYTHEMES and all the falsehoods they stand for. Derek, Chris can go ……fill in the blank.

      • Alex says:

        I messed around with Thesis 2.0 quite a bit and found it very complicated. Boxes, packages, css variables wth? like the old saying goes, keep it simple stupid. Def non dev friendly

        Now 1.8 is prob the best theme I ever had, I was able to create a very nice site in less then a day. Everything was straight froward and I liked how I didn’t have to touch any css to make a nice layout. They could of just heavily upgraded the current 1.8. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

        I’m also a Genises owner great framework and awesome child themes

  • Dale Lawrence says:

    After reading the warnings, I chose to download XAMPP and install wordpress on my desktop to play with Thesis 2.0. I am very glad I did. I can see a lot of potential for this, and see that it gives wide berth for the creative types that have understandings of skins, boxes, html, CSS, but the average blog user I believe would be seriously lost. On previous versions, I could just install thesis and could have a generally nice blog site rather quickly. If I wanted to be more creative later on, then I could be with some learning. However unless you have some previous experiences with web editors or some programming, then I feel you will be lost with the 2.0. I agree that a release should of been accompanied with documentation and a few default designs, skins, boxes, etc. Nonetheless, in the long term this revolutionary potential…

  • Danny Brown says:

    Interesting discussion in the comments, great discussion starter Eric!

    I’ve been curious to see how Thesis 2.0 would shape up – I recall hearing about it when Headway was first released, and they’ve gone through a huge amount of updates before the Thesis 2.0 one. So to hear of these issues is a bit of a disappointment.

    Having said that, Chris has always oversold the simplicity of his products – Thesis has never been about the everyday blogger (in which I place myself). I can copy some CSS but that’s about it.

    It’s the main reason I use Genesis and child themes on all my sites. I can get up-and-running really quickly while still being able to differentiate a little bit if needed.

    Sounds like this was a rushed job to try and placate users going elsewhere – which makes me wonder if Chris has actually sped up that process as opposed to avoiding it, with this botched released.

    Thanks for a great discussion!

  • Danny Cruz says:

    I have a feeling that while Thesis 2.0 might be awesome, it should have been released as a completely different product, with a completely different name.

    I would’ve launched a heavily upgraded version of Thesis 1.8.5 as Thesis 2.0 adding all the features that people have been asking for. Think of how Photoshop has evolved over the years.

    In turn, I would’ve then launched what is now Thesis 2.0 as a completely separate product called something else 1.0, and sold completely separately. You know what I mean?

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Thanks for the comment Danny.

      This is not the first time that I’ve seen this mentioned. But, the reality is that Thesis 2.0 is completely different and bottom line is that it has a ton of power and is worth the time taken to learn how to use it.

  • Max R says:

    I am an amateur web designer / developer and have no idea how to work Thesis 2.0. I will be very excited when Thesis release some free and more likely ‘premium’ themes but at the moment I am completely stuck. I saw someone had created the ‘Myra’ theme already if you Google ‘Thesis 2 Skins’… If anyone out there in the world wants to help me, I would very much appreciate it! Max, London.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Max,

      We will be covering Thesis 2 in more depth here on Art of Blog. If you give me some ideas of content that you’d like to see, we’ll consider publishing them!

  • Arafin Shaon says:

    Oops late in the party! Hlw@Eric loved your overall impression on thesis 2.0. When very 1st i installed it i was kinda confused not getting anything. To be honest now I’m totally loving it man. Because I’m pretty much used to it. After install it most impressive thing seemed to me not Drag & Drop not additional skin support, its ad-dons. Because i was pretty much sure about Drag & Drop and additional skin support gonna come with thesis 2.0 version. After it got released my assumption became true :)

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Arafin,

      Thesis 2.0 definitely is pretty awesome. I’m starting to like it more and more ;)

  • MikeH says:

    Because of this lack of documentation, I don’t fully understand what many of the Thesis 2.0 features are. In a Twitter conversation that Matt Gross (@mattonomics) and I had, Matt said, “we are operating under the assumption that getting the software out there was more important than anything.” I believe this was a slightly flawed idea because if people don’t know how to use the new Thesis 2.0, then it is essentially useless.

    I am with the people that are less impressed. In fact I feel ripped off and and totally PO’d that I spent nearly $200 on something I can’t figure out how to use. And I am pretty darn good and figuring out complicated things. I don’t have any more time to waste trying to play around with things and figure them out through trial and error. I have clients to support and projects to get done.

    As exactly pointed out above, releasing a product with no documentation is a stupid move and Thesis 2 is useless at this time.

    Why can’t CP take a few minutes of his precious time to respond to the growing list of complaints that are piling up on the DIY support site? This makes no sense on a personal or professional level. At least show the people who paid their hard earned cash some level of courtesy. And NO twatter/twitter responses are not an acceptable form of communication in this situation.

  • jg says:

    So far, I really hate Thesis 2.0. I installed it on a new site a few days ago and ended up uninstalling it and using 1.8.5 instead.

    2.0 is too visual for me. I prefer to write code. With 1.8.5, I can use the design options to quickly set up the basic layout of the site and then I can code the design in custom_functions.php and custom.css. With 2.0, I couldn’t get off the starting line (at least not fast enough to satisfy my admittedly short attention span).

  • Edward says:

    As a small quibble, I disagree with the notion that releasing software before all the paperwork etc is ready is a bad idea from the business POV: it can be very effective marketing when used in cooperation with skilled people who have an influence in your audience. They can keep the “early adopters” engaged while the business catches up with the details needed to win over less savyy customers. Bottom line: an unfinished but released product is worth something. A perfect but unreleased product can sink your company.

    • Eric Binnion says:


      I definitely think that’s what Thesis is going after here. They have one of the best support groups out there. But it’s still a gamble to release software without at least some documentation if customers have no idea how to use the product.

      All in all, after putting some time into Thesis, I’m really liking Thesis.

    • MikeH says:

      That incomplete release can also kill a business. In this case, CP is selling Thesis 2, and hyping it, as a COMPLETE product and one that was supposed to be easy to use and come with some “extras” for buying the full package. To date it is still missing documentation and the extras! Not only that These 2 obviously is no where close delivering on the marketing hype. Maybe if he had done a “controlled” release to some of those early adopter things would be different. The vast majority of comments and reviews are not positive.

      Luckily for me, Appsumo refunded my money and I have moved on.

      • Don Donadio says:

        You were lucky. DIY would not refund my money because it took me more than 30 days to figure out I could not figure Thesis2 out and they have a 30-day refund policy. Talk about lack of customer sensitivity.

  • Reading this post, and all the comments, has made me feel better. I’ve spent COUNTLESS hours learning Thesis 1.x with plenty more to learn. I’ve grown to love this framework, and appreciate the forums and many other sources of support available.

    I knew there’d be some new stuff to learn with 2.0, but instead – like so many of you said – it feels like starting all over again, from scratch, with very little guidance. It feels like all the hours I put into 1.x don’t transfer over to 2.0.

    I thought *I* was nuts when I tried poking around in the backend of 2.0 expecting to NOT need to know code, as promised, and couldn’t figure out how to do anything with it. I was left wondering “if not code, than what instead do I need to know in order to work this thing?”

    I don’t see the value in essentially putting all of my projects on extended pause while I figure out how to do everything with 2.0 that I do with 1.85.

    I’m not sure what my next step is. Look at Genesis? Wait until 2.0 is improved and better supported, and find a large chuck of free time (yeah, right) to learn it all? Stick with 1.85? Is there a danger in sticking with 1.85? Will it become obsolete and leave my clients screwed?

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Heather,

      1.8.5 is still a REALLY solid theme. IMHO, better than many other paid themes on the market. I don’t there is much danger there. There are other options out there for you though.

      Genesis is a solid option that many of my developer friends use because of its extensibility and unlimited license. Also, one of my favorite themes is Standard, which comes with an unlimited license also.

      That being said, Genesis was not the easiest thing to learn for me. Standard has been a breeze.

      • Teresa R says:

        Hi… Maybe you can help. This is the site I need to redesign… The current (terribly old and outdated site…) is – Problem is I need a main menu at the top and multiple custom menus on the right for each link on the main menu. I see they say you can do it in Thesis 2.0 but after reading everything I think Standard/Genesis might be better options. Do you think that would be possible in either of those two? I do not want to spend the $200 on Thesis if it will take me ages to learn and then I might not even get it to work…

        • Eric Binnion says:

          Hi Teresa,

          You can definitely use multiple sidebar menus and a main menu on top with Standard. And although I do not use Genesis often, I am certain you can do it there too.

          I believe there is a default pages widget that will allow you to create a custom menu and then add it to any widgetized area.

          Hopefully that helps.

        • Danny Brown says:

          Hi Teresa,

          Yep, it’s simple with Genesis. Simply install this plugin:

          Genesis Simple Sidebars:

          Then create your sidebars (say, Nav 1, Nav 2, Nav 3, etc), which will then appear on your Widgets page.

          Create the Custom Menus you want to use, and then simply use the Custom Menu widget, drag to chosen sidebar, use the specific nav menu and you’re good to go. :)

  • Given that Thesis 2.0 was released in October, I’m having a hard time trying to find many sites that are actually using it.

    Does anyone have a showcase of Thesis 2.0 sites?

  • Greg says:

    I just purchased Thesis 2.0 the other day, and I can’t figure it out. As a novice, I thought it would be easy to drag-and-drop, and have everything set up for me. Definitely not the case. I feel like I”m in over my head here.
    I’m considering switching to Genesis – is that easier for novices who just want a functioning site? I really don’t want to have to pay for a developer to see things that I thought I would be able to do.

    • Don Donadio says:

      I’m with you man. I bought Thesis2 when it came out in October, tried to get it to work for two months, finally gave up and asked for my money back. My advice to you is to ask right now for your money back because they have repeatedly refused to refund mine because it took me more than the 30 days to figure out they had misrepresented the ease of the product. I just bought the Headway theme and I can tell you it is really a click and drag theme. I’ve programmed computers since 1967 and I can tell you that without any documentation(two months later and still none) it was impossible for me to figure out.

    • Alex says:

      All my sites currently use Genesis, its pretty easy to use don’t really need to code much. And the child themes they have are awesome

  • Alex says:

    I played around with Thesis 2.0 and I don’t have the slighted clue on how to use it. Can’t even create a simple two column layout. Dunno with these boxes or packages nonsense is.

    Isn’t drag and drop supposed to mean drag and drop? not Drag hit return then drop. Been two months still no promises skins or documentation.

    • jg says:

      LOL. That was my reaction to boxes and packages as well. I’ve been using Thesis for years and can build a site in 1.8.5 in my sleep, but I couldn’t sort out this new interface at all.

  • Roy says:

    I’m with Greg, Don and Alex. This program is utterly opaque to the novice like me. I have wasted so much freaking time on this. No more. I’m opening a new Container and calling it “REFUND.” Do I have to put a # or a $ or a & or a . in front of that?

    • Don Donadio says:

      Doesn’t matter what you put in front of it. They would not give me a refund, the assholes. I worked on it for two months before I gave up.

  • Grafel says:

    This is what my order confirmation email from AppSumo says:

    100% money back guarantee! For any reason. Anytime before you die.

    • Don Donadio says:

      wow. wish mine said that. I bought mine from DIY themes and they only give you a 30-day window. You’re luckier than I was then.

  • Don Donadio says:

    My thoughts are this: In spite of the author’s comments about documentation coming shortly, almost three months have passed and we still have no official documentation, no codex as it were. In spite of all the tutorials out there by users there is still no systematic way to learn Thesis2. User tutorials usually stick to one function and that does not really help to learn the system overall. I frankly have been asking for a refund for months now and have given up and gone to the Headway theme which is truly click and drag.

  • Alex says:

    Its been 3 months and still no promised skins or boxes. Those who want a refund should get it since they haven’t been fulfilling their obligations in a timely manner no way to run a business.

    • Don Donadio says:

      I’ve been trying for months to get a refund since they never delivered what I would consider a complete package but they refuse to give me my money back staging it’s because it was past the initial 30-day trial period. What can I do? They have been sticking to that position although I have written a request every day for weeks and weeks.

      • MikeH says:

        “What can I do?” Do what I do, make sure you tell colleagues, clients, friends, and family how awful the Thesis 2 / DIY Themes product and customer service is. Post your story on your favorite blogs (like this one), twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social channels. Be sure to mention how much the owner, Chris Pearson, is acting like a douche bag in keeping people’s money that are not happy with his crappy software.

        Unfortunately, it won’t help get your money back but the more people learn about the crappy product and service that Thesis has become it will have a negative impact on them.

        • Don Donadio says:

          Glad to see your comments on here Mike. I’ve done just what you suggested; put negatives comments out on every site I could find as well as writing to my friends about the mess that is Thesis2. In fact, I even copied dozens of the negative comments from similar users, put them in a single document and sent them as well. You are right about Pearson, he’s a douche bag all right, and nothing has been heard from him in the way of an apology or even what might be coming in the way of documentation or new features. I’ve never seen anything like it in this business. I finally gave up and went to the Headway theme and have gotten my initial site up in just a few days.

  • Mateo Eaton says:

    I have heard great reviews about thesis’ features. But I haven’t think of applying it on my website since I am not sure if I could adapt with its cool feature. That’s why I just settle with the simple wordpress theme. Maybe I will try thesis if it became more simple to understand to non-technical kind of person like me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and findings of Thesis 2.0 .

  • AL says:

    I’ve been messing about with Thesis 2 for a few weeks now. At first I hated it, then I spent a couple of days learning more of it and kind of began liking it, but now I’m pretty sick of it. This is definitely not user freindly if you’re a novice so don’t waste your money on it.

    • Don Donadio says:

      Isn’t this the most disgusting deceit ever put forth by a software company? After two months of screwing aruond with Thesis2, I finally gave up and asked for a refund which they will not give me. I finally bought the Headway theme which is actually click and drag and allowed me to develop a website in short order. These people should be put out of business.

  • I absolutely love the new Thesis 2.0 theme. It does take a little getting used to if you’re familiar with previous versions but the power that it gives you is unmatched!! Great job DIY.

  • Doug says:

    I call b.s. on Ryan’s post unless he EXPLAINS the ‘power’ of 2.0 and perhaps shows us all some of the amazing, cutting-edge websites he’s built with it (you know, the stuff we simply could not have done without 2x in our lives).

    Smells like a canned testimonial from a DIYer trying to squelch the flames of CP’s self-immolation.

    • Danny Brown says:

      Click through to the awesome site built on Thesis 2.0 on his comment URL. Oh, wait… ;-)

    • Don Donadio says:

      I totally agree with you on your comment. My first impression of his appraisal of Thesis 2 is that he either worked for them or he got paid to write that. After hundreds of negative comments, it just did not seem kosher to see this positive remark.

  • Alex says:

    I haven’t seen that many sites using the new 2.0 platform maybe a handful that CP has plugged on twitter. But other then that I haven’t stumbled on any on my own.

  • zimbrul says:

    Having read the messages above makes me feel good and feel right. I firstly commented on the article on the 10-Oct-2012 few days after the release of Thesis 2.0. I can see now my gut feeling was right and so it was my first and second and 10-th impression on this theme.
    Unless Thesis is going to become a CMS by itself I cannot see it becoming big deal as a WordPress thing. It does not look like WordPress, period.
    What amazes me is how Chris Pearson could get it so wrong after Thesis 1.8 was such a success and loved by many bloggers and developers.

  • andra says:

    I am really frustrated with thesis 2. I don’t care how powerful it is, if I don’t even know how to make the nav. bar. It’s not intuitive and it doesn’t rock my world! I can’t believe they made such a fuss and released this without instructions. It makes me want to switch to something else entirely. I’m an upset and disappointed thesis them client.

    • Don says:

      Bravo Andra. I’ve been complaining about this product since I got it back in October. After two months of screwing around with it, I gave up and asked for a refund which they still will not give me. I finally went to the Headway theme and as it’s truly click and drag, have been able to get my website working very well. What a joke this Thesis2 is.

  • Linda says:

    Hi Eric – I downloaded – and tried to upgrade my sites – all on 1.8x – should have read a few reviews first or paid greater attention! It was easy enough to revert back though -just inconvenient. Of course now my curiosity is getting the better of me and I’d like to learn how to use it. But I’m a little perplexed. Where is the documentation available for Thesis – I’ve done a quick search but there only seem to be a couple of sites with documentation but nothing obvious on the Thesis site. Have you found anything?

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Linda,

      Here is some documentation –

    • Don says:

      Too bad you did not read all these comments before you upgraded. I’ve been trying to get documentation since October when it first came out. It’s ridiculous, of course, to release such a drastic change without proper documentation and even worse to announce that it’s a click and drag theme. Get outta here. Well there is no documentation from Mr. Pearson; only a tutorial here and there that users put out and more from a company that charges an arm and a leg for them. The would not give me my money back. Good luck with anything you try to do with the theme or the company.

  • Alex says:

    I still don’t see any sites using thesis 2.0 besides the ones CP plugs. Does anyone have a list of any well known ones that are rocking 2.0?

    • Don says:

      I doubt anyone has figured out how to use the product without any documentation. Chris Pearson or whatever the developer’s name is seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth without so much as an apology for the false advertising of this piece of sh** software.

  • It seems that Thesis 2 is very powerful but requires quite a steep learning curve especially for those that don’t know anything about html/css. Thesis 1 was much more user friendly but Thesis 2 is more powerful.

    • Alex says:

      It might be the most powerful out there but whats the point if 90 percent of the people who use it don’t know jack about it.

      Thesis was always centered on being simple so the average Joe could create a nice site without much work the framework did all the heavy lifting which 1.8 pretty much did.

      Unless CP does a complete overhaul of thesis 2 then its prob not gonna go anywhere.

      • Don says:

        Bravo. I totally agree with your comments on Thesis2. It not only needs a complete overhaul but some documentation would certainly be required. Interesting that CP has been virtually silent since this product came out; a sort of take-the-money-and-run attitude on his part. I’ve written to this blog every few weeks and have asked for my money back since it first came out but no refunds have been forthcoming. It’s the worst fraud that has been put on the technical community I have ever seen with apparently no interest in coming clean and fixing this issue.

  • Cheryl says:

    Wow, so glad I happened along this review and comments. I am always looking for interesting themes and Thesis looked amazing until I happened along here. Putting my thoughts of buying on the back burner.

  • outlook says:

    Thank you! Very good article!

  • Reginald says:

    Hi Eric!

    Nice writing. When I first got my hands on Thesis 2.0, I thought it was the biggest mistake I ever done! Ouch but coming from Genesis for a few years, you got my point.

    I got Thesis 2.0 cos I saw the drag and drop thingy. I am not techie guy so that definitely worth something. So, I spend about 600 bucks (my local currency exchange rate) and within an hour, I gave up. Can you believe it. And yes, very less documentation to help me with.

    Scout around and saw a few very good videos on creating it from scratch. Of course, I am doing with Blank so, yeah.

    Nonetheless, first impression is bad. I mean c’mon! DIYThemes should do better than that! However, if you really take sometime to learn (I took 2 weeks thanks to my full time job), you will probably be doing fine.

    Hey, thanks for sharing the above and take care!

  • Mitz Pantic says:

    I like it! BUT!

    I have Thesis 1.85 and I am happy with it.. I played with customizing my site with Thesis 2 and then got stuck on a few edits.. they were things that I really needed so I decided to switch back. I wasted too much time.

    I can see how amazing it is though, but I am not a web designer so my time is best spent on what I do best, blogging. :)

    • Great bit of information here regarding Thesis 2.0. I am pretty new to blogging, but decided to go with Thesis 2.0 and had a question.

      Whenever I try to select options from the HTML Header from one of the boxes all I get is a bit of text stating: “show/hide box options” when I hover over the gear icon.

      However, nothing is accessable when I “click” it. I’ve tried from a macbook pro and a pc with pop-ups “unblocked” as well. Oddly, I can access the boxes using my Surface tablet with no problem.

      Any idea what might be the cause? I am sure I am missing a setting of sorts.

      Any feedback would be great. Thanks again for posting this information. It’s been quite useful.


      • Doug says:

        Jeff, if you purchased Thesis you should be asking for Thesis-related solutions on their forum (which are actually quite good compared to the platform itself). I think if you read this thread you’d see that most are NOT recommending Thesis at this point.

  • Alex says:

    They they came out with a new version 2.1. its pretty much the same thing in my opinion they just changed some stuff around. I still don’t know how to use it

  • Rahul Chaudhari says:

    I have installed the thesis 2.0 however I am unable to install these like marketing delight etc.

    Please explain the steps

  • Ryan says:

    I’m far from computer illiterate and have built a pretty decent site previously with thesis 1.85, but as I’ve upgraded to the new thesis for a new site I’m building I have to say that this is far from user friendly. Something as simple as turning my front page from full length posts to teasers is something that’s causing me to have headaches. This wouldn’t been super simple in the old version.

    Users don’t want to learn a whole system, they want something that is easy to use without spending a week teaching themselves hooks and codes. Thesis may be “better” in the upgrade, but it’s definitely not easier or more user friendly.