Thesis 2.0 WordPress Theme Review

Review of: Thesis Theme
Theme by:
DIYthemes, LLC
Version:
2.0
Price:
Starts at $87

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On August 26, 2011
Last modified:September 25, 2013

Summary:

Thesis is a very flexible framework for WordPress that comes backed with lots of options, great SEO, and the best online support community I know of! We like Thesis so much, it's what we personally use for our websites. We have temporarily moved Thesis to 3-stars until more documentation is released.

Chris Pearson launched the Thesis WordPress Theme just a few years ago. It took traction… pretty much right from the start.

Thesis already has the pedigree that other WordPress Themes don’t have. Top sites and bloggers like the Domino Project, Tony Hsieh and Matt Cutts use Thesis as their Premium WordPress Theme of choice.

As we all know… building a new site is hard.

Its even harder when you look at the sea of WordPress Themes, and the fact that some of them are pretty bad. Even the premium ones! That’s why I wanted to take a serious look at Thesis.

Chris Pearson has a great sense of design aesthetics… so I’ve always been a big fan. Going back to his free WordPress Theme days.

You may be asking yourself… “Is Thesis worth $87?” Especially since WordPress has thousands of free themes, even Chris has free themes available for download.

I hope to answer these questions and give you my honest review of the Thesis WordPress theme below.

This review has been continually updated since it was first released in 2008.

A little backstory, I kept seeing Thesis everywhere. I decided to pick it up and take a serious look at it. Immediately I saw its potential and wanted to using it on some of my other sites.

I had first bought the single user license. So I wound up upgrading to the developer’s license so I can use it on this site and on my other blogs.

So here are my takeaways from having used Thesis on a number of sites:

Flexible Design

Thesis 2.0 is so much more than just a theme. With the release of 2.0, Thesis is now more of a template engine that will allow you to build your own designs from scratch. No longer are you starting with the base Thesis design then overriding HTML and CSS to get your preferred design.

This was a brilliant idea on Pearson’s part.

I love the fact that I can now easily add widgetized areas to my website by dragging a box onto the skin editor. This simplifies my life and makes for much less coding.

Thesis Page Skin Editor

The DIYthemes will also be releasing Thesis add-ons including packages, boxes, and skins that will help you quickly build beautiful websites.

Best in Class SEO

One of the biggest selling points of Thesis is that it’s developed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. Wordpress by default is one of the most search engine friendly blogging platforms out there.

However, it’s still not perfect and how your theme is laid out affects how search engines see your site. What does that all mean? It means that your customers are going to find you a lot easier.

I’ve seen themes out there with crazy code bloat, doing things that are terrible for search engines. Thesis is very clean and presents your content well, it uses a clean code structure, canonical urls, and the like.

Thesis has the ability to specify each post’s title tags and meta tags without a plugin like All in One SEO Pack.

Thesis also has built-in Schema and Google+ Author support which will help your website be better indexed by Google, and in many cases appear higher in search results.

Thesis Home Page Seo

Unique Features

As of 2.0, it does appear as if the Multimedia Box is still included in the theme. But, much of the same functionality can easily be replaced by using a container box in the skin editor.

Thesis 2.0 is now an entire template engine, and as such there are several unique features. Some of these are:

  • Skin editor which makes building a website from the ground up insanely easy.
  • Add functionality anywhere in your theme by dragging a “box” in the skin editor
  • Visually edit the output of HTML Head
  • Customize your 404 page just like any other page

Also:

  • You can specify which pages appear in your navigation menu and reorder them on the fly. This part is really flexible – you can even use a specific category’s posts or add a custom blogroll to it.
  • Configure how your Title tag is laid out.
  • Add Mint or Google Analytics tracking code without messing with your files.
  • Specify a post image and how it should be used in the layout. Just to name a few.
Thesis HTML Head Editor

Under the Hood

As impressive as the user-interface side of the feature list is in the new iteration of DIYTheme’s theme is, the inner workings might be even more impressive.  Full support for WordPress 3.x features such as the navigation menu are in place, Page Options has now grown into a complete tool that allows the easy tagging, categorizing, and taxonomy of pages, all of which are important for SEO purposes and come complete with optional per-them/per-category/per-taxonomy page headlines and SEO tags.

Easy to Understand SEO with SEO Character Counts

Back on the SEO front, SEO character counts are now available for the title and meta description fields.  These figures are important to keep track of for anyone who is optimizing their site. If you are one the few who aren’t, here is a guide.  Also important is the use of the all-important favicon, which can now be uploaded simply in the new HTML Head editor.

Support

This one is one of the biggest advantages of the Thesis WordPress Theme over other themes.

Support is stellar!

A big win for Thesis and future upgrades are FREE, also if you have any questions about the theme, Chris and the Thesis community is really good at helping you out.

I checked out the forum – Chris and his team have been answering all the questions they have been asked and have gone out of their way to really help people customize their sites. (You simply don’t get this from a free theme).

It’s Almost Perfect

Thesis is by far the most impressive theme I’ve seen out there when it comes to design, SEO, and features. After playing with Thesis 2.0 for several days, I feel confident saying this is one of the most powerful themes I have used.

With that said, the interface for Thesis 2.0 is confusing. Unfortunately, the DIYthemes team did not include any documentation with the launch of Thesis 2.0. This has left many developers out in the wind trying to figure out how to use the new 2.0 by themselves. There is still a ton of support from the community, which is keeping me on board. But, until documentation is released, I have decided to lower the rating on Thesis 2.0.

Conclusion

Over the years I’ve installed, tested, hacked, and played with a lot of WordPress themes (and have even created a few). The Thesis WordPress Theme has definitely impressed me.

It’s beautiful, very easy to customize, and comes with features you won’t find in any free theme.

Is it worth it? In my opinion, YES! $87 is not a lot to spend for something that will save you a ton of time, even if you end up customizing the heck out of it (which I know I will) all of your changes will be future proof due to how Thesis is designed.

Being SEO optimized from the start… was such a big win for me.

That meant more that MORE people would be finding me. And not just more people… but the right kind of people, people who where actually interested in what I was writing about.

Since I’m using Thesis on multiple sites. I paid $164 for the developer’s option. (price can be a negative to some, but it outshines other themes)

Just having as solid a foundation as Thesis provides makes it worth much more than that to anyone who’s serious about blogging.

So if you think that having a solid, flexible, straight forward WordPress Theme with an entire community of supporters, is important to you. Then Thesis is your Premium WordPress Theme of choice.

If you decide to get Thesis for yourself, I’d appreciate you clicking the link below to support Art of Blog and future posts regarding WordPress, themes, etc.

Thesis Pricing

 

Once you have installed Thesis… come right back. I started a series on customizing it. You won’t want to miss it. I’ll show you how to really pimp it out!

You’ll be tweaking Thesis to your hearts content.

Also use the comment section below as a forum for your Thesis questions.

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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.

Comments

  • Patrick K. O'Brien says:

    Nice review of the Thesis theme. I also bought the developer version, have used it on a few sites, and have become a fan. I’m looking forward to the next update, rumored to be out very soon, which should add even more customization options.

    I’ve got some tips on my blog, for anyone interested in using the “Twitter for WordPress” or “Photo Dropper” plugins with Thesis, for example. And I look forward to learning more from your site as well.

  • I’ve been thinking about switching over but I’m worried about my old post images. The theme I’m currently using has a wide (750px) post are and some of my images are that wide. Is there an option to have Thesis resize your old images so the posts don’t look all screwed up? Or do you know of a plug in that will do that for you?

  • that’s supposed to be “…(750px) post area…”

  • Sun Tzu says:

    @Tyler: you’d probably need a plugin to automate something like that if you have too many posts to go through manually.

    You might want to look at something like http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/flexible-upload/ or http://www.soldesignco.com/wordpress-imaxwidth.html

    Otherwise, it might even be worthwhile to outsource something like that through odesk or rentacoder (to go through your old posts and readjust).

  • @Sun: Thanks for the links – I’ll head over and check those out. I read somewhere that you can modify the .css and tell the images to fill 100% of the post but I’d much rather have a plug in do it for me. Thanks again!

  • Jeff says:

    Thanks for the Thesis review. I’m leaning towards giving it a shot (and will definitely use your link if I do).

    I’m new to Word Press (but not web development). It seems like every time I switch themes and get it customized to the point that I love how it looks, I find some bit of functionality that doesn’t work any more (for example, I just found that my RSS subscription link is broken at http://blog.usedcargenius.com — using a slightly tweaked “A Dream to Host” theme). I’ll get it all working one of these days… :)

    Thanks again!

    Jeff

  • I learned a lot doing all the customizing of Grid Focus on my main blog—chiefly, that I would happily forgo the customizing. I’ve also been a fan of Chris Pearson’s for some time, and am happy to throw a few bucks his way for a great product (and to you for providing a great portal to it.)

    Thanks for a review that’s comprehensive, but not mind-numbingly so. Looking forward to getting the new bloggy up & running!

  • Sun Tzu says:

    Cool, thanks communicatrix!

  • Brian F says:

    I am wondering how Thesis compares to Semiologic theme, which claims to be the best for SEO?

  • PotatoChef says:

    Hi..I have a few questions. I have a few websites up and running right now. I am happy with the theme that they are on. But I will be starting about 10 more blogs during the next few months.

    1. If I buy the developer’s license for $164 does that allow me to run as many blogs as I want on the theme, or is there a limit?

    2. I am by no stretch of the imagination a coder. I know nothing. All I really need to know is how easy is it to put Google Adsense in the right hand column, a large Google Adsense block in the upper left corner of the blog post, and a large adsense block at the bottom of the blog posts.

    If anyone could help me with those answers I would appreciate it.

  • RaiulBaztepo says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  • George Gunter says:

    what a letdown for me from Mr.Sire. Yet, I somehow trust the blogger’s review and will definitely purchase this Thesis. Question now is: the risk of developer or just one license?

    Could use some convincing via my email, please.
    Thank you!

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  • BloggerDude says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

    A definite great read….

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  • Keith Davis says:

    Hi Nick
    Great overview and I would agree with using a premium theme.
    You soon get your money back by being able to get help when you need it.

    I notice that on the Thesis website, the Developer Option allows you to use the theme on any sites that you own and it says…

    “Sites that you own” are any sites where you are listed as the person (or business) who registered the domain.

    I buy domains for my clients so does that mean that you can use the theme on client’s sites.

    • admin says:

      Keith,

      In the case you described you would have to have a client option for each site.

      Once you buy the developer verison you can buy client options in 3 packages:

      $40 – 1 License
      $180 – 5 Licenses
      $320 – 10 Licenses

      Alternatively they could buy a individual license.

  • Steve says:

    Thanks Nick. I was just trying to decide if I should use a free theme or Thesis for my latest Website. This review sealed the deal for me. Hopefully, they will address the outstanding issues you listed, sooner than later. Cheers.

  • Sriraj says:

    I currently use Brain Gardner’s theme and Am looking to purchase the thesis Dev version. Since I am using the All in one SEO plugin now (which isn’t required for the thesis theme), is there an option on the thesis to move all that meta data (title, description and keywords) into Thesis?
    P.S. I already have a running blog with over 800 posts

  • [...] Headway WordPress Theme is a framework and a competitor to the well-known Thesis theme. Created by Clay and Grant Griffiths, Headway brings an amazing new approach to the premium theme [...]

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  • Justin says:

    I know I’m a tad late to the original blog posting, but thanks for the review. I’m currently in the market to switch my theme to something a little more SEO friendly than the crud I have up now.

  • [...] of the most annoying things about most WordPress themes, even an advanced one like Thesis, is the navigation system for blog, archive, and search pages. Typically, all you get at the bottom [...]

  • scott says:

    I’m interested in buying the Thesis theme, however I like the CU3ER feature. Can the CU3ER feature be added at the top of the Thesis theme? If so, will it negatively affect the SEO ?

    http://www.progressivered.com/cu3er/

    Thank you.

  • scott says:

    Thank you. . . How do I do that? What are my options regarding accomplishing this?

  • Dawn Farias says:

    I’ll definitely be using your link to purchase Thesis. Thank you for your posts on Dreamhost and Thesis.

  • I have been tossing the idea around and am leaning towards forking over the $87? My concerns are being able to use my own header designs, etc. How “custom” can you get with it? And do you need to be a CSS expert to customize? Thanks for the review on this.

  • Best Thesis review I’ve read so far…with some great comments! Been sitting on the fence for a while, looks like you’ve pushed me off. Thanks for the great post. Clicking your ad now…

  • Bosmol says:

    I love thesis for its ease of use and SEO rich features

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  • Thesis Wordpress Theme Review says:

    Great review of the brilliant Thesis theme. It is worth mentioning that many of the things you have mentioned as problems have already been changed, and there have been many other improvements.

    And with version 2.0 on the horizon, there is never a better time to purchase thesis. Thanks for a great review.

  • Luis Rico Moreno says:

    I live in a Spanish speaking country. I understand and speak English quite well, but not my readers. Can anybody tell me if THESIS is a “translation ready” theme or, in other words, does it come with the *.po, and/or *.pot files needed to make a translation?
    Tons of thanks

    • Nick Reese says:

      Luis, I have little experience with translation files. I know that Thesis 1.7 has better support. Here is the comment from Chris Pearson in the 1.7 documentation.

      Thanks to the help of our fans in other countries, I’ve been able to identify certain parts of the code that were not so translation-friendly. To fix this, I’ve gone through every single string in Thesis and made sure that everything is up to spec for internationalization. Now, it will be easier than ever to use handy translation software to translate Thesis into different languages!

  • piks says:

    This must be the best and perfect theme for wordpress its only drawback is that its not free. Are there problems encountered when upgrading thesis versions?

  • Gayle says:

    Currently using semiologic…seriously considering making a change. What are the advantages of Thesis? Is there good support. SLP is not so good and yet it is very important.

    • Nick Reese says:

      The support is outstanding. I pretty much learned PHP because of the Thesis forums. Currently there are 140,000+ posts in the forums and 23,000+ active users.

      No other theme can compete on support.

  • Hugh Durkin says:

    Fantastic review of Thesis Theme – and i’m loving the customisations you’ve done to it for this blog.

    I’ll be using Thesis for several more personal projects i’m working on, after going over and back to Themeforest to buy themes from there. I really feel I wasted my money with those, and hopefully Thesis will start to pay decent traffic dividends for me.

    Quick question though – do you know if installing loads of plugins has any effect of the SEO capabilities of it? For example I wish to install GD Star Rating on one of my sites, and i’m a bit worried the standard display methods of the rating mechanism might affect SEO. Any thoughts on that would be very much appreciated :-)

    • Nick Reese says:

      Hugh, GD Star Rating is definitely a bloated plugin. While GD Star Rating will not directly effect the options within Thesis it may decrease your page load time which is considered to be a ranking factor in the current Google algorithm.

  • Hi,
    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post.
    Thanks!

    Mamunur Rasid
    oDesk Outsourcing Provider.
    Be Your OwnCoder

  • I already own and use Thesis exclusively, and yet I still enjoyed reading the review here. Probably due in part to it justifying my own admiration of it =)

    You know, I’m a firm believer in the idea that “you only need one theme,” and for many reasons. Here’s just 2 —

    1. They all can achieve the same design & layout (ultimately)
    2. By sticking with just one, you get to know it intimately throughout the course of using it…

    Naturally, choosing the right “one theme” helps tremendously to get you started, and I can’t think of a better “one theme” than Thesis. It’s about the most cleanly-coded professional theme on the market. It’s a great theme to learn and grow with, it’s dependable, it’s just…smart!

    —Jordan

  • Jeff B says:

    I am getting ready to set up a WordPress site for rental properties we want to lease out as well as properties we want to sell. Is Thesis a better option than some of the themes that are more tailored for the real estate industry like AgentPress (http://www.studiopress.com/features/agentpress) that already has real-estate friendly widgets?

    I guess what I am wondering as a WordPress newbie is whether I am better off with the SEO and design features of Thesis and just figure out how to find and integrate the widgets I want.

    Any objective input? ;)

    Jeff

    • Nick Reese says:

      Jeff, in this specific case I would suggest using Agent Press. Thesis is still my theme of choice but for someone who knows very little and wants to do more complex things (specific to real estate) go with agent press.

  • Thank you for this useful article.. I will be publish this on my blog in turkish language..

  • Pete Carr says:

    Hi Nick,
    Thank you for your review.
    You have convinced me to buy Thesis.
    It really has impressed me.
    I hope to have my blog running Thesis in the next 2 days.
    Thanks again
    Pete

  • [...] of under the hood tweaks awaits upgraders and new users alike. If you checked out our other Thesis Theme review you already know all the other great features Thesis already encompass. This article will focus on [...]

  • Steve McLaughlin says:

    Hi Nick,
    First, thanks for all the info included in this review.

    As for support, I noticed this review has been ongoing from 9/2008 to 8/2010. And your responses have either been on the same day or the day after. That is SUPPORT!

    Like many of the other posters have stated, I use other themes, paid and free.
    Today, I will click your “Art of Blog” and purchase Thesis.

    I have read many other reviews, articles, post, and forum comments about Thesis.
    You sold me, and I thank you.

    Steve

    • Nick Reese says:

      Steve, thank you for YOUR support. If you ever need help or have questions with Thesis feel free to shoot us an email via the contact form. ;) Hope you enjoy Thesis!!

  • Jon says:

    Jon,

    While your comments were certainly colorful and interesting they were rife with rudeness and showed a lack of technical knowledge. We wish you best in your future ventures.

    AOB Editor

  • [...] browsing. With that in mind, I’d recommend a building your site on a solid framework like Thesis or [...]

  • Eric says:

    Nick, thanks for your review of Thesis, I found it helpful. I’ve followed Thesis since it’s inception, via the partnership with Brian Clark of CopyBlogger, and became a bit concerned for the theme when CopyBlogger and Thesis parted company. What makes Thesis a better choice for SEO than say themes from StudioPress and Elegant Themes?

    • Nick Reese says:

      I think Thesis is on the track to be better than ever since the parting. As far as SEO, I think Thesis is an outstanding Theme and has pioneered many of the options StudioPress has integrated into their theme.

      Now it is just a matter of time to see who can continue pioneering.

  • I am considering converting my antique website in my link to the Thesis or The Studio Press Theme. Any opinions on what one is better ? My site is old, with many backlinks to its pages, will I lose them if I switch to wordpress ?

    • Nick Reese says:

      You will need to handle URL migration when you move over to WordPress. You might try using the “Redirection” plugin to help wordpress send people to the correct content.

      I like Thesis, but Genesis theme is a great product as well.

  • [...] this tutorial I’ll be using the Thesis Theme to illustrate my code and examples. If you are not using Thesis, functions.php is where [...]

  • amar says:

    I need to set up a blog for a business. Their site is using Joomla and have WordPress installed for their blog. Can I install the Thesis theme without issues working within Joomla? I wouldn’t think so, but just want to make sure. Thanks for your help.

  • Amy says:

    Nick,

    Can you install Thesis theme over the top of any wordpress installation? Any version, that is?.

    Currently I’m hosted where the webmaster has to run some sort of script to do a wordpress install, will I need his intervention to install this or can I install Thesis alongside my current themes and have it remain hot-swappapble?

    • Nick Reese says:

      You will be able to upload thesis, however you will need his help or atleast FTP access to change the permission settings to allow for full customization. :)

  • Amy says:

    Oh, one more question heh heh…

    Somehow (I’m assuming a whois search) the software will check your ownership of various websites. I own about 50, some are private, some have bogus names, there are about 5 “account” numbers associated with my websites that I own outright. How will this fare with the $164.00 version? Will I be able to use it on all of them or will I have to do something special or will it not be allowed?

    Please let me know asap… I will definitely buy through you link!

    Cheers.
    Amy

  • Amy says:

    Hi Nick,

    I downloaded thesis from your link. Thanks.

    I’ve got it almost configured the way I want very easily!

    I’ve never worked with hooks and I’ve read the manual, but I have a question. I want to modify the two default sidebar entries, I can’t find the right hook to modify, I see the before and after hooks, but I don’t know how to modify these “like a ninja” I can’t find where the default content is, so see an example either.

    Could you point me in the right direction?

    Thanks.

  • Amy says:

    Thanks again, Nick.

  • RK says:

    Thanks for the review, Im considering Thesis as I have the old Twenty Ten Theme and its pretty basic… I was going to go for Frugal but Thesis is getting good reviews…

  • Jimmy says:

    Thanks nick for sharing that……i m personally using thesis…….. thats excellent

  • loyd says:

    iam also using thesis on my blog and the openhook plugin is very handy, no need to play with custom.css anymore, all codes are placed directly through this plugin.

  • Amy says:

    Hi,

    I need to get WAY more granular with the control over the elements of the page… I need a uniquely labeled div tag around everything… ie, within the menu I need a div tag that’s like menu-top so I can say in the css something like:
    div.menu_top {
    background-image: url(“/images/menu-top.gif”);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    height: 7px;
    overflow: hidden;
    }
    to create cool graphics around my elements… I also need to create some custom elements like my own boxes, etc… where would be the best place to “hack” the theme? Is it even necessary to hack it? Am I missing something?
    Any advice or pointing me in the right direction is greatly appreciated. I’ve asked this question on the thesis blog and have not yet received any input.

    Thanks… my need on this is rather urgent, but I’ve gotten great response here in the past! Thanks again.

  • Karyn says:

    Nick:
    You come highly recommended by several of our colleagues. My husband and I both work together out of our home as writers/speakers. I own several websites and he will be developing more than one. Some are in my name. Some are in his. Do we each need to purchase a developers license? We hope to hear from you soon so we can get started. Thanks!

  • Sandy says:

    I have the same question as Karyn above. My husband and I would both like to use Thesis, but our multiple domain names are registered to each of us. Do we need 2 licenses? Thanks!

  • Aion Planet says:

    Thesis is one of our favorite WordPress theme now and we appreciate for your review, because we don’t have enough information about new blog engines in Russia.

  • Great review! I just purchased Thesis using your recommendation link. Cheers.

  • Kevin says:

    Well I’ll put in just a word here for those considering Thesis. It’s an awesome framework for those running a standard WordPress blog, but for those looking to add a blog to another platform, i.e. Magento, Anahita, etc., beware there are custom functions in the Thesis framework that make integration a more daunting task than other frameworks, i.e. Gantry. Support for these third-party integrations is limited, so you should either have a healthy budget or great coding skills.

  • Annette says:

    Thanks so much Nick. Just delving into WordPress and I like to do my homework on anything that I use. I’ve been reading up on Thesis and thanks to your review have now decided to give it a try. I’ll click on your link to purchase it. Well done and keep up the great posts.

  • charlie says:

    Hello Nick-
    i’m a novice to blog and website building; researching it primarily to create a video/illustration archive/portfolio; perhaps an occasional foray into actual blogging. (my primary goal is make different aspects of my work as easily/quickly viewable/sortable, and i’m guessing that a blog structure would allow that via tags.) would you recommend Thesis for this? i read in the above review/comments that at first this may have been a Thesis weakness, but perhaps there have been improvements in this regard. i see there are video/multimedia themes out there; not sure which are the most robust/supported.
    thanks in advance for your input!
    c

  • Troels says:

    Thanks for great review Nick.

    It gave me some really good inputs for my on site – and all in all I love the Thesis themes.

    /Troels

  • Jifdc says:

    Are there any hidden fees? Are there any monthly fees that aren’t being advertised about Thesis?

    The reason I ask is because I have experienced, in the past, paying for hosted plans where features were limited unless I pay an additional subscription fee on top of what I was paying already and it wasn’t clear from the start. Thesis claims to just charge a one time fee…. is this true? I won’t have to pay to unlock additional features or whatever? I understand the client options/pricing, I have no issues with that, my main concern is about the 1 time fee thing – meaning no monthly fees or subscription fees…

    Any verification/clarification on this is deeply appreciated. I have been using Blogger to host my sites for free, and have come to a point where I see impractical obstacles coming later down the road. Honestly, I want to have my sites on paid hosting solutions using WordPress and Thesis as my framework. And I really would like to know if there are any fees after we pay for a plan whether it may be the personal plan or the developer plan. Thanks in advance.

  • Jim Butz says:

    Nick:
    Thinks for the great posting. We recently put up a new website and decided to use Thesis, which we purchased a Developers License some time ago but hadn’t used it until now. We have a need to have multiple pages with the ability to lay them out differently than the home page, but haven’t found out whether this is possible using Thesis. Someone recommended that we get a custom skin to customize the site, but he couldn’t recommend any place for us to look. Any recommendations?
    The site is for a non-profit targeted at helping early stage tech companies get started. So we are working with an extremely limited budget.
    Thanks,
    Jim

  • This is one of the best reviews I have seen for the Thesis Theme. It is always good to see what other are saying about it.
    I use it on several websites along with some other themes and always end up going back to Thesis.

    Great Job

  • Dustin says:

    Thanks for this article! I’m considering switching over to Genesis and have been comparing it with Thesis and some other frameworks.

  • Rob says:

    Hi Nick,

    Great review for sure! I am BRAND NEW to WordPress, Web development, everything about it. I am a Graphic Designer for a newspaper, so my world is print. But I realize that I need to get into the web side of things in order to make sure I have a future. Would Thesis be something that a brand new noob such as myself should start off with? I have been playing with various themes on wordpress for a couple weeks now, and Im a fairly quick learner, but I also want to customize my sites alot more than those themes allow. Again, I know absolutely nothing about coding, and for the most part, would rather keep it that way lol. However, any advice you can give a newb would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Francisco says:

    Hello:
    Great review, all good info. I do not own Thesis yet but I have been reading about it and will end up buying it but still I have one question and it is this, “do I need to buy a Thesis Skin, I am not a developer so do I need to buy one of those skins”
    Thank you

  • [...] me? I ran a Yslow test on my writing blog and half of the culprits identified were images in the Thesis theme for WordPress folder which surprised me as it’s considered to be one of the best themes available. Luckily, [...]

  • Petra says:

    Do you know what would be better for real estate websites between Thesis and Agentpress? I believe Agentpress has a built in listings database, but it doesn’t sound like Thesis does?

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Thesis is a great theme, but you would have to create your own custom post type if you wanted the listings capability as in Agentpress. I do not have experience with Agentpress, but it’s run on the Genesis framework, so I’m sure it’s solid. The Agentpress theme is using the Agentpress listing plugin to bring that listings functionality to the theme through using custom post types and taxonomies.

  • [...] copy of the Thesis theme unzipped on a local or network [...]

  • WpShouter says:

    @Nick I have a question regarding individual post meta description instead of having individual post meta description sometimes google is no picking it up rather than its showing from post first paragraph like it usually does. I’ve seen this problem many other blogs i don’t know why but its happening… i’m using thesis 1.85 did u notice some thing like this…..

  • Hi Nick,

    Nice post. You explained in very clear manner. I am planning to buy Thesis Theme. Can you please suggest which one i should opt either Basic or professional? At present i have one website in future i am planning to have more websites.
    1) If i go with Thesis Basic, do i need to use theme only for one website?
    2)If I go with Basic plan will there be any opportunity to upgrade to professional. Please suggest.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      I recently talked to Chris Pearson through twitter. It looks like they haven’t ironed out the pricing/licensing details on Thesis 2.0 yet.

      That being said, the way Chris did it with Thesis 1.x was the basic license only allowed you the ability to use Thesis on one site (if I recall correctly). You then had to upgrade to the developer’s license to get unlimited sites.

      That’s not the answer you were looking for, but hopefully it helps.

  • Quicklols says:

    So far I actually like my old thesis version of 1.8.5 better. I will give the new thesis 2.0 a go for any new websites, but I can already do everything I could ever need with thesis 1.8.5. If you know all the hooks and special code, there are no limitations at all. My initial impression of the 2.0 version is that it is a little dumbed down compared and the interface is cumbersome and confusing. I got my website exactly how I want it so there is no incentive to upgrade as thesis 2.0. Thesis 2.0 seems to be about making bspoke designs simpler and quicker to produce. If it had some significant performance upgrades I may consider it but I haven’t read anything along those lines yet. I will certainly 2.0 a go for the redesigning on of my side project websites however my main website will continue to rock thesis 1.8.5. I love the custom css and custom php code sections they are just so powerful!

    The other thing I love about thesis 1.8.5 its complexity coupled with simplicity. I have learned how to do a lot of PHP and Javascript that I probably wouldn’t have if I was using a dumbed down version.

    I agree with your point of 2.0′s interface being confusing. They have a load of instructional videos on the Thesis website now though. I would recommend checking them out.

  • Lowell says:

    I love Thesis… but hate the latest upgrade and am staying with 1.85. The latest version (2.0) is not user friendly for beginners. My tutorials for new clients show how easy it is to use Thesis to create an awesome site. The latest version will mystify them.

  • Guido says:

    Good review of the thesis theme. I have also been using thesis for quite a while and i really like it. As i am trying to build a new site with thesis 2.0, i am also impressed by the new skin editor and other options. Even if there is no documentation yet, you can easily get along with the new editor. The only thing i really miss is a basic theme with responsive design. I really hope this will come soon.

  • Vane says:

    You should not forget about the localization aspect in wordpress themes. I recommend this translation tool that has a plugin for wordpress: https://poeditor.com.

  • Kino Budet says:

    Thesis is great WordPress theme, but a little bit oldish. We tried to find same functional in new revidions but always something we don’t like/ Could you recommend some 2013 analogue of Thesis? Thanks.

  • steve c says:

    hey eric

    i like your review and am tempted to purchase thesis – i am a novice to intermediate wp user – what type of learning curve can i expect?

    does seo ultimate plugin enhance the product?

    are there any plugins i should stay away from?

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hi Steve,

      I personally think the learning curve for Thesis 2 is fairly steep compared to other themes. But, in all fairness, I think this is because Thesis 2 takes a radical step away from what a typical theme does and provides so much more! After getting over myself for being mad at Pearson for changing Thesis 2 so much, I was amazed at the power.

      That being said, I still prefer to code my own functionality into themes, so I have personally moved away from Thesis.

      As far as I know, Thesis does not play well with SEO plugins since it comes baked in with its own SEO functionality. In this case, if you plan on getting Thesis, you should look into importing your SEO data into the Thesis theme.

      Besides SEO plugins, I have never had an issue with Thesis and plugins.

      Hopefully this helped you a bit! Let me know if I can clarify at all.

  • The best thing about the theme is that its SEO friendly. And for $197, I’d say it’s a steal.

  • Chef Kavi says:

    Hi, I have one blog and I’m looking to switch to thesis. I don’t have plans of running other websites nor am I a web developer. It is just this one website. If I purchase the basic plan, will I be able to do all customizations with it like the other 2 options? I don’t want to spend so much money but I still want to be able to design it the way I want. After I do, I’m not going to want to change it so I’m wondering why I should buy the $197 plan.
    Please help me out

  • Betty W says:

    It appears that using Thesis, I will have to build my site or use a web designer….unlike the themes I get with wordpress.com or wordpress.org……..although wordpress.org drove me absolutely crazy….I don’t know code or programming and that was a nightmare.

    So….will I have to build the site with thesis?