Thesis Theme Review: The Best Wordpress Theme of All Time?
Liquid error (sections/article-content.liquid line 68): Could not find asset snippets/rw-rating.liquid
by Daniel Burford
The Thesis theme by DIYThemes has been hailed by some as the most popular WordPress theme in history.
Thousands of websites have used this theme over the years and it continues to be in demand even today. The release of version 2 has been promised to be even better.
Does the latest version of the Thesis theme live up to its promise?
Let’s find out in this Thesis Theme review.
Introduction to Thesis Theme by DIYThemes
The Thesis theme is a premium WordPress theme that has 3 specific features; skins, boxes and site tools.
Thesis Skins can be compared to templates, but are built more readily for greater customization and control in conjunction with the DIYThemes color scheme picker and visual template editor. Boxes are essentially plugin apps made for drag and drop design (think Facebook Likes). Site tools assist with SEO love from Google and Bing, including Authorship and site certification, and contribute towards site branding.
Thesis Theme Features
First off, Thesis is definitely responsive. You may have seen reviews that say otherwise but that’s not entirely accurate. Just about every website these days needs to be responsive so that it can accommodate the particular needs of mobile users.
A theme that is not responsive simply won’t survive amongst the web community today. It denies too many prospective visitors from viewing a website.
Thesis continues their tradition of providing ease-of-use technology. For beginners and the coding-challenged, it provides a visual template editor which allows for ease of management and control of all available Thesis templates and their components.
This makes customizing websites a whole lot easier with the stated drag and drop functionality. If you are a developer, the thesis API will still allow you to code to your requirements. This level of customization extends to its new smart design color scheme picker. This allows you to create near instant color precision along with font adjustment which reacts to the site’s typography and ensures maximum readability for every site visitor. With Thesis 2, it is all about code-free customization – you can even create your own custom templates; no text editors required.
Ever heard the expression ‘there’s a box for that’? So have we, but not in the way that DIYThemes has adapted it. These boxes drag and drop (see a pattern here?) to where you need them from within the all-in-one visual template editor. Again, the functionality is for code-free, beginner-easy creation of fields or ‘boxes’ for website enhancement with widgets, popular postings, autoresponder customer detail collection, and all of the current major social buttons for sharing. On the off-chance that you can’t find a field specific to your needs, you can ask around in the Thesis ‘community’ in which there’s a strong likelihood that another Thesis user has adapted their own creation for the use that you require.
Thesis theme features also account for optimization requirements by promoting Google Authorship via its one-click facility for pasting Google+ profile links. Rankings are further accounted for by leveraging markup schema. This helps search engines read your content to determine your site’s visitor relevance, and it also comprises an option to paste your verification code for listing in both the Google and Bing webmaster tools. You will also not need to fixate on your 404 page any longer; Thesis 2 allows you to select which WordPress page you want for its content.
Thesis 2 currently has 3 non-recurring pricing plans as follows;
- Basic - $87 for the Classic Responsive Skin, 1 domain and 1 year of updates and forum support.
- Basic Plus - $164 per the above inclusions, along with the Social Triggers and Personified Skins, as well as 2 email boxes.
- Professional - $197 for lifetime upgrades, use of themes on unlimited domains, Skins and email boxes per above, 5 social media boxes and the Developer Tools box.
Upgrading to Professional level is permitted from both of the cheaper plans.
Thesis Theme Pros
Don’t know what FTP is?
You don’t need to with Thesis 2, given its focus on customizing websites without the need to worry about code or technical know-how in general. Not only does it provide automation for the user, it also considers the site visitor, instinctively calculating important attributes like font size and white space if you change something like the site’s width.
The interface is clean and logically arranged, and it provides help buttons to instruct where to obtain codes for pasting RSS feeds, Analytics, opt-in boxes, and more.
We all want sites that look appealing, and the Thesis Colorscale facility reveals complimentary colors for any change that you make. This makes your sites more web friendly, building on the optimization features like Authorship, Schema and sharing to name a few, but which negate the need for additional plugins, saving you further time while dragging and dropping your responsive design, which now works on smartphone and tablets, and loads faster to impress Google even more.
Thesis Theme Cons
Some users find the drag and drop facility unintuitive and a bit cumbersome, making it difficult to always drop the box into the required location on first try.
The option for an automatic background image bothers some, as does the ‘limited’ selection of available fonts. Coding is not necessary, but is required if you want to apply heavier customization attributes than the standard options provided. Thesis 2 is also very different to what users of the previous version have applauded, so there is a learning curve that some would prefer to have been more adequately addressed with better user instructions. This is a bigger bug-bear for those wanting to upgrade from thesis 1 to Thesis 2, because you simply are not able to do it.
Thesis Theme Conclusion
If you are someone who has always balked at creating your own website because of the technical and design requirements, or because of the additional features that can only be adopted from endless add-ons, then you will be impressed with what you can achieve with the Thesis 2 theme. You will probably be better at working with it than someone who is used to doing everything themselves, because you will not have to change your mind-set to adapt to the drag and drop feature that dominates the theme.
Thesis 2 has come a long way not only in terms of its predecessor, but also in its attractiveness to new website enthusiasts. It boasts phenomenal support from the thousands of users in its forum where the majority of issues can be corrected without the need to submit support and help tickets. It will not be robust enough in its functionality for a lot of more experienced webmasters, but with more than 57,000 account holders on record, Thesis Theme is cutting edge enough for those who want a great looking site online within a customized and easy to construct framework.