Thesis Review: Thesis WordPress Theme Video Review

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Still not Using Thesis?

If you aren’t using Thesis, chances are it is because you are skeptical about the price and the whole idea of paying for a WordPress theme when there are 1000’s of free ones out there.

Now I definitely don’t blame you for being a bit leery, but deciding not to use Thesis purely because of its price tag could actually be costing you more in the long run.

What is Your Time Worth?

Let’s face it Your Time is Valuable! The second you realize that spending hours tweaking a free theme is actually more expensive than buying Thesis, you should applaud yourself.

Not only will you start to save time with Thesis, but in my experience sites just rank better in search engines. Now when I sat down to record this video review of Thesis, I began to look back at how it changed the way I work. After some inspection it really became apparent how drastic of an impact Thesis had made on the way I built profitable sites.

Here is a quick outline of how I worked “Before Thesis” and “After Thesis.” I think this illustration will really help demonstrate the value in using Thesis.

Building Websites Before Thesis

In the past I would have spent at least 2 hours searching for a “Free” theme which looked like it could be “minimally” tweaked to meet my new site’s needs. I would then learn how the CSS and XHTML layout worked and then start making changes. This would often entail editing quite a bit of PHP.

The whole process often took ~10 hours and on many occasions several days to end up with a site design/layout that I was satisfied with.

On top of that I would then have to spend even longer making it SEO friendly by replacing various “markup flaws” which is a huge hassle and guessing game in itself!

Building Websites With Thesis

I simply install Thesis through the WordPress theme area. Then I venture over to the Thesis Options/Design Options, (this is the fun/easy part) and tweak the general layout and color scheme to meet my needs. I am confident that Thesis is SEO friendly and is ready for content. This whole process has never taken more than an hour.

Thesis Saves Time

All in all Thesis really does save you time in the long run. If you are still working the way I used to, you can bet that Thesis will change the way you approach building websites and save you more time than you ever thought possible.

Thesis Has Outstanding Support

Now you might be thinking, “What if I want to do something that isn’t offered in the options panel?” Well DIYThemes and Thesis have an outstanding support team which have successfully helped tons of people customize Thesis to suit their needs. When this post was written there were 5,626 threads in the “Customization” section and 1,989 threads in the “Support” section of the DIYThemes forum. If this doesn’t prove to you that Thesis has above average support then I don’t know what does.

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Written by Nick Reese

Nick Reese is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who believes anyone can transform their business and life they they've got guts and hustle. He's also the co-founder of Broadband Now which aims to simplify the broadband shopping process.

Comments

  • Ron says:

    I want a WordPress theme that is suited for a website with multiple pages. Would Thesis be a good choice. I am also considering Flexibility as a WP theme. Can you address the two points please.

    Best Regards
    Ron

    • Nick Tzu says:

      Ron, after looking at most of the Premium themes on the market, Thesis still stands head and shoulders above other themes with regard to easy of customization. I would need to know the specifics of your needs to better address whether it would suit your needs perfectly.

      I personally have not reviewed Flexibility, but if you are doing anything out of the ordinary with your site I would recommend Thesis because of its support.

      This is by far the best part about Thesis. It’s support community is unrivaled. If you have an issue they are more than happy to help you with it.

      If you are looking to do sales pages. I would also suggest thesis because you can easily use a “no sidebar” format to make a clean sales page. Trust me, it converts well. :)

  • Renee says:

    I’m a neophyte to wordpress and websites in general. I had a website built last summer, realized for SEO I need to integrate a blog, and hired someone to do that who transferred my website to a free wordpress blog theme. I’m still working on SEO and marketing, both of which are relatively new to me. I’m wanting to do things like be able to create landing pages, create custom call-to-action buttons to get to those pages, and generally be able to play and experiment with what seems to be working to convert visitors into customers. I want to be able to make changes myself without always having to pay someone and it taking weeks!! Would Thesis be the way to go even though I’m not a web developer?

    • admin says:

      Renee,

      If you are interested in tweaking your website (yourself) and want the best on-page SEO you can get from a theme I would definitely suggest Thesis.

      The main factor supporting this recommendation is the fact you will have the Thesis community behind you when you do customizations. If you are already tweaking a “free” wordpress theme then I am sure you will like the idea of Hooks which makes Thesis, incredibly easy to customize.

      Also remember that Thesis has a money back guarantee. I would definitely give it a spin.

  • Renee says:

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I don’t want to have to have my current website down while I’m creating a new one. How easy would it be to be copying images, CSS, or text from one to the other without being a website developer??

  • admin says:

    Renee, I typically set up a separate testing server to move the content over and get the design right. Moving a site from one theme to another can take time.

    This is exact reason is why Thesis’s “future proofing” will help a ton. That way when you need to make changes or redesign in the future your underlying source code will change very little.

  • Allan says:

    Hello Nick. I am interested in starting an investing website or blog – not sure which one at this point, as I am still researching the pros and cons. If you have an opinion please share. It sounds like I must first create a WP account in order to use Thesis for a blog. Is this correct? Or, can Thesis be used as a stand alone application? Must I obtain a domain name first? Secondly, and most importantly to me, can Thesis support advertising in addition to Google Ads? Thanks.

    • Nick Reese says:

      Allan,
      It sounds like you could use a few pointers. :) After reading this comment definitely check out our One Week Blog Series. I think if you follow it you’ll learn a ton and be better suited to get started in making a successful Finance blog. Markus talks about Domains, Themes, and a ton more!

      As far as Thesis is concerned. You’ll want a self hosted wordpress account (covered in the series). Thesis is a “Theme” for WordPress which basically adds a ton of features to the core of what WordPress offers.

      With Thesis, you will have access to a “multimedia box” which can work great for serving advertisements, but a real Thesis ninja can do some pretty slick things around the whole site as Thesis is incredibly flexible if you have some basic CSS/PHP knowledge.

      Best of luck to you! Feel free to comment on the series if you have more specific questions.

  • Eric says:

    I know what it’s like to spend hours looking for a theme you like but want to tweak and spending more hours tweaking it.

    Then spending even more hours out there trying to get your stuff noticed by people who hopefully appreciate what you have to offer. I haven’t tried Thesis yet however, when I do have the money I think I will definitely give it a shot for it’s money.

    I know HTML and CSS to a point and I know it can be a long time to get anything up and going that is even on the line of what could be called “ok”.

  • Adrian says:

    I’m a business planner, not a webmaster and I don’t want to spend months learning code. I installed WordPress and built two sites using free themes, but both have serious flaws. For instance, using DarkBlue 1.3 by William Sutanto I built my branded site adrianbray.com. The landing page is a static page, with the blog on a subsidiary page, but I can’t get “comments” to appear on the blog page. Some minor code fix is no doubt needed but it shouldn’t be that hard to get basic functionality going. There are many other similar problems like a date appearing at the top of my static page (in Mozilla) as if it were a blog entry. Turning to Thesis, the demonstration videos show a lot of cool formatting tools (tweaking colors etc.) but is the basic functionality intuitive? One recurring theme I see with WordPress is that because it started as a blogging platform, all the forum comments seem to refer to how someone has built a great blog using it. But does Thesis make WordPress work as well for basically static sites?

    • admin says:

      Adrian,

      To date, I feel Thesis is the easiest to learn blogging platform. I will admit that it does have a large amount of features which can take some adjusting to. Out of the box Thesis has many powerful options but you will have to tweak them yourself. I would say “take the plunge” and give Thesis a try and if it doesn’t suit your needs they do have a Money back Guarantee.

  • Norm says:

    Hi Nick, Thanks for the overview of Thesis.
    We are adding blogging / article contribution to an existing B2B directory site. We want to share adsense revenue with contributing authors. To do this we want to insert a piece of code from Google Ad Manager (which will rotate our adsense code with our contributing author’s adsense code ) either on the page sidebar or in the post itself (probably on the full post page, not on the excerpt) I assume we could insert this in the multimedia box. However I need to match the GAM code to the specific author. Each other has a different piece of GAM code. So I guess I’m asking can we manage information presentation in the posts and sidebars by author?
    Also I don’t see much about plug-in integration. Does Thesis work with the more popular plugins?
    Thank you , Norm

    • Nick Reese says:

      Norm,
      You can definitely do what you are trying to do with some custom PHP. Sounds pretty straight forward.
      As far as plugin integration, Thesis has support for widgets and several other popular plugins. If not I am sure there are work-arounds in the forums.

  • Uster says:

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work

  • Farnoosh says:

    Super super! I totally agree that Thesis pays for itself in no time! While all of us could figure out PHP and HTML and the coding, it is indeed the *time* we spend that we need to really be cognizant of. I am so happy I got Thesis. Great video and instructions. Thanks!

  • Is Thesis similar to Thematic?
    Can you compare these?

    • Nick Reese says:

      Marc,

      We checked out Thematic before deciding on Thesis. We decided to go with Thesis because overall it looked like a better solution and it was developed by Chris Pearson and endorsed by more SEO’s than you can shake a stick at like Sugarrae, Michael Gray, and even Matt Cutts uses it. (If that isn’t an endorsement I don’t know what is)

      We personally have had great success with Thesis and I won’t be launching a site on a different theme for the foreseeable future.

      It looks like Thematic has similar features without a pricetag, but as I mentioned in the video. Free themes always have a pricetag, so if that is your deciding factor I would give Thesis a long hard look.

      I’d recommend getting the personal version of Thesis and giving it a spin. If you don’t like it take them up on the guarantee. I highly doubt you will be disappointed.

  • Anton Uhl says:

    Everything about Thesis is very exciting. What I don’t understand is why NO ONE mentions that the theme is only useful if you use wordpress.org and not wordpress.com. It is a simple but significant distinction. How many times must DIY deal with disgruntled customers requesting a refund because this wasn’t made crystal clear to them? Maybe a simple REQUIREMENTS paragraph would suffice?

    • Bob says:

      I don’t quite understand why you would even want to put this theme on a wordpress.com blog, from what I understand about that blogging venue is that you do not have as much control over your site as a self hosted blog and is they if they feel that your linking or is inappropriate, they can shut you down without notice and all your content is gone forever.

      I think they do not like internet marketers that link out using their affiliate links.

      Not a place where I would want to set up business.

      Sorry, but I will stay with my self hosted site that I have full control over.

  • Kathy says:

    Great review! I’m sold!

  • […] Obviously, Thesis ships with some pretty amazing customization tools. You can change colors, add and remove borders, change sidebar layouts, and more. Before you ever get your hands dirty with any CSS/HTML/PHP code, check this video for help with basic customizations using Thesis options. […]

  • RoX says:

    Do I need to pay something extra directly at WordPress or I get to upload Thesis on my “free hosted blog”??

    Thanks! :)

  • RoX says:

    Thanks Nick! Nobody told me before…

  • Paul Stephenson says:

    Hi Nick
    We want to be able to offer our clients a wordpress blog of their own, using the Thesis theme. It sounds like we can do this, but what are the rules concerning use of developer edition Thesis?
    The Thesis reg page says “A single Client Site Option is $40, but you can also purchase 5 and 10-site Client Options for $36/site and $32/site, respectively”
    But I’ve also seen mention that there is no re-seeling ‘allowed – what do you mean by re-selling exactly – I presume you mean that you can’t just download a copy and then flog it to someone else.

    Your clarification appreciated.
    cheers
    Paul Stephenson

    • Nick Reese says:

      Paul, you would need an exact response from someone at DIYThemes, but from my conversations with Chris, I understand it that every site you don’t personally own or have a business/client relationship you will need a developers license. So if you wanted to work with clients to set up a WordPress blog using Thesis you would need a client site license for each one. As far as if you charge your client’s more than the $40 that is up to you. Hopefully this makes it clearer.

  • Jorge Ferrin says:

    Very nice program, I like better than SEO.

  • Simeon says:

    Nick,

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been sitting on the fence for awhile now regarding investing in Thesis, but I think you’ve now made up my mind for me. With the money back guarantee, it seems I have nothing to lose and everything to gain :-)

    Sim

  • Ensar says:

    For seo purposes, can you recommend a theme?
    I heard Thesis is so powerful in seo way. but any other suggests?

  • Syafrizal says:

    Hi Nick. Nice review and I’m really interested on using Thesis as my main tools for creating blogs. But can Thesis help me on creating minisite? Or something like that.

    • Nick Reese says:

      This really depends on what you mean by mini site.

      • Syafrizal says:

        What I mean by mini site is creating long single page contains long sales letter as what normal mini site would normally do and with no columns, no sidebars, and no widgets. Can Thesis help me to do that?

        • Nick Reese says:

          Syafrizal,
          Thesis can accomplish what you want to by selecting the “no sidebars” layout on a page and making that page your home page.

          You could probably set it up in under 5 minutes.

          -Nick

  • cheri says:

    Just got Thesis and am excited to get started. I want to build a landing page with a video that goes to an opt in once the video plays. Most examples I see of Thesis are for blogging. Do you have any advice on how to get started? Thanks!

  • This is a great review and maybe the best reason to purchase thesis: the time=money argument. I’ve spent at least 100 hours customizing my non-thesis theme and it’s still quite so so.

    I’m on the fence, but I’m about to jump off. Thanks.

  • Sal says:

    I’m looking to redesign several sites and create about a dozen new sites. Can one install of WordPress and Thesis do this? I have access to a web host with sufficient rights/space. I don’t want to have to handle individual installs of both for multiple domains.

  • I’ve been running my site using Cutline for nearly three years now and am thinking about moving over to Thesis (your review was very helpful in this respect). Where’s the best place to look for advice on the best way to manage the transition (which will also involve updating the version of WordPress I’m using) to minimize disruption to my site and ensure I don’t lose content? Also, where can I find out how to handle podcasts using Thesis so that all the meta-data is shipshape? Thanks

  • Bob says:

    Have been trying to remove myself from the notifications on this web site, no luck.
    Can you please remove the email on this comment
    Thanks
    Bob Gaboury

  • […] SEO around. If you haven’t purchased Thesis make sure to check out our extensive video review of Thesis 1.6. For those of you who have purchased Thesis theme we created this guide to help you run make the […]

  • Boldis Media says:

    I love Thesis for it’s simple use!

  • Shelly says:

    We currently have a blogger site, but want to change over to WordPress with Thesis. We bought and downloaded Thesis today but can’t figure out how to upload it to our WordPress account. Is it necessary to have a 3rd party ftp server for this? (blogger doesn’t require this, so it’s all new to us).

  • Steve says:

    Your SEO-fu is strong, stumbled onto your site again.

    Working on some cool stuff, skype me when you’re in town

  • Robert Walsh says:

    Is it me or is there a lack of documentation for Thesis?

    I am currently working on a site with the Thesis theme and for the life of me, cannot figure out how to:

    • Put new images in the (I think it is called) Multimedia boxes. You know the balloons, and pie picture that come with the theme? I know how to upload new media to the library, just can’t figure how to put my own photos in that box on the sidebar. Or what size to make my jpg’s to fit that box. Or how to get them to stop rotating.

    Very frustrating, spent much time trying to figure it out.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • sharyn says:

    Great information here, I am so grateful, and will look forward to an answer on the multimedia question above.

    On another point I have watched squeeze page videos 1 and 2 and am frightened off by the need for all the coding. I have seen a clickbank product wpsqueezepage.com – would this work with Thesis – cost is $47 which I would be happy to pay to avoid the coding.

    Again thanks for your amazing help with thesis

    • Nick Reese says:

      Sharyn, this will not work with thesis however you can probably find someone who would put together a squeeze page for you at that price.

  • rajesh singh says:

    i want thesis on developing of dynamic college website. please hurry.
    Thank You!!

  • I’m thinking of using Thesis to put together a site for my wife and to update my own site.
    This is probably a dumb question, but will I be able to create several different page templates with it?
    I know I’m going to want:
    – a landing/sqeeze page probably with some featured images
    – a blog section
    – a gallery page(s) for my wife’s artwork
    – some static pages,
    each of which would need a different layout but a cohesive design.
    Is that possible with Thesis?

    Thanks,
    Nick

  • Came across the page looking for custom template.

    This looks pretty cool and can’t wait to start playing with it.

    I like the idea of being able to change the the layout to have one post for my sales page on WP to be able to get the added seo affect on all the plugins I use.

    Thanks
    Josh

  • The Huge Thesis Compilation| Skins , Resources , Tutorials says:

    […] Thesis Review: Video Review of Thesis 1.6 […]

  • Jason Ellis says:

    In terms of systematizing my niche sites, Thesis has been hands down the simplest way to publish my content and drive conversions. The way it modularizes all of your site components in a clickable customized interface takes all the techie out of being a site owner.

    What’s more is, if you do want to customize, their support has a bazillion css and php snippets to copy and paste from.

    Although I don’t think thesis is as beautiful a theme as many others out there, in terms of cranking out niche sites and intellectual property, there’s nothing more efficient that I’ve found.

    Thanks Nick!