Thesis WordPress Theme Review – Take Two

It’s been almost three years since I bought Thesis, did my original review of it and became an avid evangelist for it. I don’t think there’s ever been a product that I’ve been a stronger fan of since starting my career in Internet marketing. My original review was on the first version of Thesis and a LOT has changed in the last three years so I decided to update and overhaul the post.

PLEASE NOTE: The below review is of Thesis 1.8.5 and NOT a Thesis 2.0 review. Find out more about my thoughts on Thesis 2.0, Genesis and why Sugarrae switched.

The Thesis ThemeChris Pearson, the creator of the theme, has been very receptive to ideas and improvements from the community and the latest version of the Thesis theme is even better than I ever deemed possible when I originally became a Thesis user. Though we’d never spoken prior to me becoming a loud supporter of Thesis, as a result of my evangelism, writing numerous Thesis tutorials and continued desire to give feedback on the theme, I’m glad to say we’ve become friends.

Even so, if there’s a Thesis “issue”? I bitch loudly. My review is not biased in any way. I said it three years ago before I knew Chris and will say it again now:

What is the Thesis Theme?

I really think the Thesis theme is the best “in the box” premium WordPress theme I’ve ever come across.

The Control Panels

What I said in my original review is still the number one advantage of using Thesis:

For someone who doesn’t get a lot of php and hacks their way through WordPress themes, Thesis will give them a lot of functionality they wouldn’t be able to obtain for themselves otherwise by being able to make changes via a simple control panel instead of having to alter any actual WordPress code.

Now a days, Thesis has six control panels and each one offers you supreme control over various aspects of your site:

Site Options Panel


This panel gives you control over some basic elements of the theme. You can control the title tag settings on a site wide level and the robots meta tag settings on a site wide level. You can also get rid of canonical issues by clicking a box telling Thesis you want it to use the rel=canonical tag to help prevent some of the duplicate content issues that WordPress is famous for creating.

If you’re using a feedburning service, you’ll also find the ability to switch out the default WordPress feeds for your burned feed URL here. The “Additional Scripts” and “Stat Software/Scripts” boxes make it easy to add any JavaScript you want to the site. This panel is also where you can set specific options for your homepage SEO, such as a specific title tag and meta tags as well as choose between the WordPress and Thesis navigation menus. You could also change the text of the save button. Mine says “Show Me The Money.” ;-)

Design Options Panel


This is where the design and CSS impaired get payday. With a click of a button you can change the number of columns, the width of the columns and choose the display options for almost every aspect of the site. Colors, font types, font sizes, background colors, body background shadow and more can be changed at the click of a button, with no CSS knowledge required. The Display Options section of this panel allows you to specify what information to include in the bylines and archives. The “Comments” tab in this section allows you to shut off comments on all pages of the site that aren’t posts in one click (one of my favorite features.)

This is also where you’ll find (and be able to edit) the settings for the “Multimedia Box” (see the top of this page where the 300X250 Thesis ad is), which you can change to rotate between pictures, embed video or even include custom code for all those folks that want to show advertising in that area.

In a more recent version of Thesis, Chris also added a “Feature Box” (see the top of the Sugarrae homepage under the header for an example.) The Feature Box allows you to put specific content either above your header, right under the header (above your main content area and sidebars) and above your content area. You can choose to show the Feature Box only on the homepage or site wide at the moment. However, the display options for the Feature Box can only be done through writing custom hooks (see below) at this time.

Header Image Panel


For quite a while, getting a header image into Thesis required you to use hooks (see further down below for an explanation) to insert a header image into the Thesis theme. But a few versions back, Chris added the Header Image panel to make uploading a header into a simple and instant task. Not only that, but the Header Image panel will even tell you what size your header should be for your site based on whatever design options you’ve enabled.

Favicon Uploader Panel


This pretty much does exactly what you think it does. You can upload a .ico or .png image file with a square aspect ratio from your computer, click upload and boom – you have a favicon.

Custom File Editor Panel


The second version of Thesis introduced the concept of “hooks.” Stay with me here, cause it scared the crap out of me at first too. From my “Hooks for Dummies” guide:

I downloaded it and saw that Thesis was now run completely on “hooks”. Not only did I not know what a hook was, the tutorials and discussions I saw about it scared the hell out of me.

My level of PHP knowledge (the code language WordPress is run on) is slight at best, thus why I was so thrilled in my earlier review.

Now I suddenly was in need of “hooks” to do any “out of the ordinary” customizations (such as adding social bookmarking plugins).

The single post template was missing. The tutorials were in Japanese as far as I was concerned. Thesis was now either for the very basic or the very advanced… those of us hacking plugins into core files were out of luck. What the hell was I supposed to do now?

So I whined to told Pearson that I didn’t understand this or like this one bit. He assured me hooks were easy. He assured me once I learned them, I’d love them. He sent me a link to one of the tutorials. I suddenly realized how people who don’t know SEO must feel reading a document about latent semantic indexing. I also decided I was going to force Pearson to teach me how to do it so I could help non-programmers understand hooks the way Aaron helped the non technical understand LSI. Luckily for me (and hopefully you), he obliged.

So I wrote the Hooks for Dummies guide – and if you take the time to read it, you’ll understand how hooks work. And, if you’re like me soon you’ll be finding yourself unable to live without having their functionality. :)

That said, you don’t NEED hooks to customize Thesis. They’re an option. One I love. And if you do use hooks (or want to implement custom CSS) then the Custom File Editor allows you to edit your custom functions and custom CSS files without having to utilize FTP. That said, always make sure you have a backup saved before you work on either file via the Custom File Editor panel.

Manage Options Panel


When working with Thesis on a dev server (or when using the same Thesis layouts over and over), you could always easily transfer your custom functions file to a new install of Thesis and have all your custom functions and hooks appear. But you still had to reset all of your options in the Site Options and Design Options panels manually. But now you can simply download your site and design option settings with one click and upload them into a fresh install without having to go through each section within those panels individually. Download them and then use the upload option in the Manage Options panel in your fresh Thesis install and everything is set to go.

There’s also a restore options feature for those folks who play around with the options and decide they’d like to start over from scratch again.

Great for SEO Purposes

Thesis had a great SEO base when it originally came out and now that base is even better. You can specify custom title tags, meta descriptions, robots meta tags (like noindex or nofollow) and shortlinks (referred to as a “301 Redirect for this Page’s URL”) on a per page or post or category page level. You can also specify site wide or type wide metas from the Site Options control panel (for instance, saying you want all tag pages to be “noindex”). Best of all, you don’t need a plugin to do it.

Additionally, you can tell Thesis you’d like to assign a rel=canonical tag for the site to help ease the potential for duplicate content issues. There are multiple opportunities to funnel your internal linking how you’d like. You can create custom excerpts on a per post or per page level. There’s more, but you get the idea. And frankly, Thesis seems to have at least one (usually more) SEO based improvement in every update (updates to the theme are free for life.)

Cool Advantages of Using Thesis

Targeted Advertisements

In my original review, I noted how Thesis let you create targeted advertisements on a per post or per page level…

I’m able to override the base choice I’ve made of what to show in that [multimedia box] area for my site as a whole, all without ever having to touch a drop of code in the WordPress templates by utilizing the custom key option on the specific page or post.

If you view the photo above, you’ll see I was able to select the “custom” key I defined in the Thesis control panel and “override it” and insert specific code to replace the normal “custom” key, only for this post. This allows me to target my advertising on specific pages, especially higher traffic ones.

The above was (and is) especially perfect for the random posts that warranted specific advertisements not really relevant to the rest of my site (at least if I wanted them to convert for people coming in from the search engines on that random search term) – and all without having to hack together additional templates with regular themes.

But then I griped that I wish I could target ads based on a category level. That way if someone visits one of my posts in the “Blogging” category, they would see an ad for Thesis. But if they visit a post in my “SEO” category, they see an ad for Raven Tools. Sure, I could do this on a post by post basis, but that would limit me from making mass advertisement changes with ease. Thesis’s custom functions [and hooks] functionality lets me do that (read Advanced Ad Targeting with Thesis if you’d like to learn how to do it as well.) Targeted advertising leads to higher conversions and I have no doubt that I’ve made my money back multiple times over with this one feature alone.

Killer Category Pages

Before Thesis, if you wanted to make your category landing pages anything other than a bland list of your posts, you needed to create a separate template for each and every one. I’m way too lazy for that. ;-) But thankfully I can make killer category pages right in the WordPress backend with Thesis. Not only can I add a custom title and meta tags, but I can also add a custom headline and introductory content (you can see my affiliate marketing category page for an example).

I click save and I’m done. The benefits of Category SEO is not a secret. But until Thesis, it wasn’t easy to implement. And if you’re not using it, you’re missing out on potential search engine benefit, especially if you well link your category pages both internally and externally.

Less Plugins

Thesis has taken the place of a lot of free plugins I used to need previously. And let’s face it, free plugins may not always be updated with the multiple updates WordPress does each year.

Painless Designs Changes

The biggest mistake I saw in the early days of Thesis was people thinking Thesis is a “design” the way we traditionally thought of themes. But it’s not. It’s a framework. A kick ass framework. If you want a sexy, elaborate design, you’ll need to hire a designer familiar with Thesis or buy a ready made Thesis skin from a site like Themedy.

But standard Thesis designs can be built with the ability to move things around. Once your basic CSS and custom functions (and hooks) are setup, you can use the Design Options panel to move things around. Go from two columns to three, left aligned columns to right aligned columns. Unlike traditional WordPress themes, you won’t need to say re-add your analytics code to the new theme. If you have an after post ad, you won’t need to redo it the way you would when changing from a free two column theme to a free three column theme.

That said, you can absolutely design Thesis using the Design Options panel to look awesome without a bunch of fancy design work. Aside from my header and top navigation button background images here on Sugarrae, all of the design work was done using the Design Options Panel and some added custom (and simple) CSS.

Too Much More to List

Every site I have has different needs. The above covers the basics that run true with every site, no matter what. I’ve created sexy featured post sidebars utilizing Thesis, custom after post ads that change wording based on the category you’re in, created new widgetized areas, added custom header carousels, customized error pages… the list goes on. And Thesis has a ridiculously cult following that has written thousands of tutorials to do almost anything you can think of. And a quick Google search for “Thesis tutorials” will bring them all up.

Some Gripes and The Wishlist

All the awesomeness aside, there are still some gripes I have and some potential features I have high on my Thesis wishlist…

1. Adding custom gravatars can be done fairly easily by adding a function to the custom functions file. However it would be awesome if there was a Uploader (like there is for the Favicon) that would make it even simpler.

2. I love that you can access the custom CSS file and custom functions file through the Custom File Editor, but I’d love it even more if I could also access my .htaccess and robots.txt files through the Custom File Editor as well. Frankly, now that you can upload plugins through the WordPress admin panel, these two files are the only reason I need to access FTP. There are plugins that allow me to access these files, but they add a lot of “features” that duplicate the *other* multitude of SEO features already available out of the box with Thesis.

3. While we’re on the Custom File Editor, I really wish I had access to the style.css stylesheet from here. It’s annoying when I need to find the current CSS for style classes I want to edit and can’t simply open the style.css sheet and copy it and paste it into the custom.css file in the editor. I always have to find and open up the core style.css file on my hard drive to get what I need. It’s a minor gripe, but still a gripe.

4. Since Thesis is absolutely built to be an SEO friendly WordPress theme, it would be beyond freaking awesome if it had some automated internal linking functionality. If this feature was added with extensive options that allow me to control how many times a phrase is linked within the same post, confine it to being linked only on posts or pages, a manual override that will allow me to turn the feature off on specific pages within the post editing panel? I’d drool.

5. We need to have the ability to utilize the Feature Box with the same simplicity we do the Multimedia Box. That said, I’m sure that’s already in the works.

6. I think I speak for the CSS impaired everywhere when I say that I wish I could assign background colors to the sidebars through the Design Options Panel. Same goes for the footer.

7. I really wish Thesis could integrate a way to set whatever number of posts you want to show on a category page that does NOT affect the number of posts that show on the homepage. Sometimes I have sites with small, tight categories and I hate that I can’t simply show all posts in the category on the category page (or a set number that differs from what I show on the homepage).

No Bullshit

Now, as I’ve said before…

You can do everything Thesis does without putting down any money buying the theme.

And *you* might be a PHP master and CSS master who can do all this without buying Thesis.

However, *I* am not. So I bought Thesis.

Over the years since becoming a Thesis evangelist, I’ve helped turn thousands of people on to Thesis via my review and various tutorials. I believe in this product and have backed it avidly (and as my disclosure says, I don’t stake my reputation on things I don’t believe to be worth doing so.) Installing Thesis (which is easy as hell) is now part of installing WordPress for me.

I’ve been lucky enough to see future features slated for upcoming releases of the Thesis theme (updates are free) and believe me – it’s only going to get even better.

PLEASE NOTE: The above review is of Thesis 1.8.5 and NOT a Thesis 2.0 review. Find out more about my thoughts on Thesis 2.0, Genesis and why Sugarrae switched.

About Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is an affiliate marketing veteran and the CEO of PushFire, a search marketing agency specializing in SEO audits and link building strategies. She is also the author of the often controversial Sugarrae blog. You can connect with Rae via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Sugarrae runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

If you’re someone who doesn’t understand a lot of PHP, Genesis will give a ton of functionality that you wouldn’t be able to obtain otherwise with a simple control panel instead of having to alter code. For the advanced, Genesis has incredible customization possibilities via Genesis hooks.

The theme is not only highly customizable, but it has allowed me to run Sugarrae more professionally, with a much more targeted focus on monetization than it ever has been able to achieve before.

You can find out more about Genesis below:


  1. Kate Saunders says:

    Great review, Sugarrae!
    I love Thesis, as well, and it makes a huge difference in how well my sites rank.
    I didn’t know you had a tutorial on hooks, and that’s something I seriously need. Thanks for that, too. :)

  2. Hi Honey Sweet Sugar Rae, I’ve been looking for an eCommerce style child theme for Thesis. A front-page that features 5-10 products would be great. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck. I hadn’t heard of Themedy before, and checked them out but they don’t have any close to what I’m looking for. Any leads? Thanks!

  3. Great review sugarrae!
    You mixed in the old review also. Don’t you think if Google will treat as Duplicate?

  4. Rae Hoffman-Dolan says:

    Mike – I’ve been looking for the same unfortunately. If you find one at some point, be sure to let me know!

    Raj – Thanks… I only took a few quotes from the old review – everything else was written new. I don’t worry about quoting the old content considering 1. it’s a small percentage of the overall content 2. it’s a small duplication of internal content vs. external content and 3. because this is a living URL. :)

  5. Great post. I’ve been looking at Thesis a bunch lately since it offers everything bundled together like that. I don’t need the SEO plugin, the REL plugin etc… It would be sweet if there was the auto-to-twitter-et al- social network on new blog post option.

  6. garethjax says:

    +1 on the internal linking feature!
    Of course using “Smart seo links” made by Prelovac is also an excellent alternative…

  7. Shane Arthur says:

    Damn good review. The nav customizations are my fav update.
    I like your breadcrumb links. I’m assuming that the feature box.

    P.S. No subscribe to comments? ;)

  8. Rae Hoffman-Dolan says:

    Shane – nope, just a custom function using thesis_hook_before_content to display them. :)

    And yeah, I gotta get on the subscribe to comments feature.

  9. Adam Baird says:

    Great review.

    I would expand your 7th point to include further control over blog post displays on EVERY index page (home, tags, categories, custom taxonomies). It would be great to be able to choose how many, include/exclude certain tags/categories, choose how to order posts, choose how many to display on a given page, etc.

    My only gripe is that I’d rather not see .htaccess and robots.txt available in the editor. Honestly, I encourage everyone not to use the editor since its so easy to break your site editing PHP files.

  10. Rae Hoffman-Dolan says:

    Thanks Adam… I get where you’re coming from re htaccess and robots.txt, but frankly, someone can break the site just as easily editing the custom_functions.php file IF they didn’t know what they were doing. And since I *do* know what I’m doing, I like the ability to be able to edit them all via the editor. If you upload something and it breaks it, you FTP in, grab the offending file, delete what you added and reupload it via FTP. Right now, a lot of people I know use a plugin to be able to edit htaccess and robots.txt through the WordPress backend. So the feature is already available – I just want to cut one more plugin out. :) In my view, a simple message at the top saying “don’t use this unless you know what you’re doing” pretty much makes it “yo fault” if you mess with it *without* knowing what you’re doing. ;-)

  11. Adam Baird says:

    I definitely understand the perspective, and for someone like yourself who knows what you are doing, its useful.

    The problem is a lot of folks who have no clue what FTP is try to edit their site, break it, and are stuck. And, let’s face it, if its there, people will try to use it, warnings or not. IMO it does more harm than good…of course that is just my opinion.

  12. What a great review and information on Thesis. I am a total newbie and setting up my website/blog right now. I chose Thesis because it was highly recommended by so many people. I see why. I don’t know much and I’m learning more every day. The support from the Thesis people is superb. I have asked a few questions in the forums and they have answered quickly and in a way a newbie can understand.

  13. Rae Hoffman-Dolan says:

    Oh, Adam, I totally get it. If I were a designer like you, I’d also cringe at the thought of curious, well meaning but uneducated clients being able to TOUCH their site files. :)

    And thanks guys!

  14. Raymond Parker says:

    Indeed, one of the best things about Thesis is the dedicated and friendly community surrounding the theme.

    As a complete WordPress newb just over a year ago, I was at first intimidated by all the new stuff I had to learn to get the look I was after–that I’d been used to creating with Dreamweaver.

    I chose Thesis because it promised to give me more flexibility without being a coding expert. Like you, I was even more intimidated when I was confronted by such things as hooks and custom functions! After all, I moved to a database CMS to escape the technical demands of website ownership and concentrate on content. However, I was very impressed by the help I got (and continue to receive) from the Thesis Forums and sites like this one.

    Hooks, custom functions and a little extra CSS can accommodate just about anything you can imagine. I keep Dreamweaver around just to edit those custom files, but FTP them via the free Filezilla application. Again, there are plenty of tutorials around to make these steps easy. Thanks for this one.

    Now I’m beginning to get a kick out of every new trick I learn, for instance the widgetized footer I added to my site this week!

  15. I bought Thesis hoping I could create a nice looking site. Boy was I wrong. I quickly learned that you need to know CSS to make it look decent. If you don’t know CSS, you need to troll around the support forum hunting for snippets of code. I gave up on Thesis after I bought the Catalyst Theme because it’s like Thesis on steroids. You can design without knowing CSS and you can move things around without the complexity of open hooks. Anyway, I created a site that looked much better than what I could do with Thesis……however, it still didn’t look very professional. That’s when I found ThemeForest. Some of the best designers in the world create fabulous designs that are highly customizable and low cost. Anyway, I doubt this comment will get published since I’m not drinking the Thesis Kool Aid…but mad props to Sugarrae if this makes it past moderation. To each their own.

  16. Lenzfire says:

    If you could have published this review on thesis a month ago, I could have never researched anywhere in the net other than this review to buy thesis. Anyway I’m happy that I bought Thesis, gave my site a professional and unique look. This is the one that I can say as ” A complete Review” for Thesis Theme.

  17. Rae Hoffman-Dolan says:

    Thanks Lenzfire. :)

    Sean – I don’t have any problem with opposing viewpoints. :) My first question would be what version of Thesis you initially tried. The latest version has a lot more CSS based control in the Design Options panel. Trust me, as I said in the review, I’m also CSS impaired. I know HTML like the back of my hand and being a Thesis user has taught me a lot of php, but I’m barely able to read a CSS file much less code one haha. However, I think it comes down to what you want and what is most important to you.

    You can find tons of sexy themes that utilize core WordPress as you mentioned, but you’ll have to give up the functionality and advantages over traditional themes that comes with Thesis. But Thesis skin sites are starting to pop up as well (I mentioned Themedy in the post) which offer the templates, but on the Thesis framework. As I mentioned in the review, Thesis is not a design, but a framework. There are lots of awesome options out there for WP themes, but for my needs and goals, Thesis is the most versatile and beneficial. :)

  18. A bit more difficult to use than other wordpress theme but Thesis is quite a serious challenger. I appreciate also headway theme which is quite good too.
    Thanks for your precise article.

  19. Heather Reisig says:

    I asked this the other day, but will do so again for everyone else.

    How is the speed with Thesis? Very often, themes with a GUI backend are slow…at least in my experience.

  20. Rainvale says:

    Hi Rae,

    Thank you so much for sharing your great review on Thesis. I’ve been looking for a great WordPress template that will help me build a site – professional look and SEO friendly.

    I will definitely use this Thesis theme!

    Thanks again.

  21. John Shearer says:

    Hi Rae, Thank you for the great review. I was giving up on wordpress from lack of design and seo control; but the theme looks to be top shelf.

    I do have an important question I hope you can answer. Can the robots.txt file be altered? I use a third party service for video sitemapping and it requires adding code to the robots.txt file.

    Anxiously awaiting your answer.

  22. Hi Rae,

    Thanks for such a great review. I’ve been looking for a decent theme that can be easily and extensively customised without having to get into css. I had it narrowed down to a handful of themes, but I couldn’t decide which one to go for. Reading this has helped me decide – Thesis all the way !

    Thanks again


  23. I don’t like the fact that regular and progressive updates to Thesis have stopped in the wait of the “revolutionary” 2.0 version, which Mr. Pearson is writing from scratch. For an entire year, Thesis has been at a standstill, and the promised version is still far away, according to Mr. Pearson’s latest message. In the meantime, people publish feature suggestions in the Thesis Support Forums, but again, the “big” 2.0 version is being built from scratch, so all those “small” suggestions will serve no purpose. I hope I am wrong.

  24. Rae Hoffman-Dolan says:

    George… I can’t speak for the lack of updates, but I can say I’ve seen sneak peeks of 2.0 and it really is insanely amazing (to me anyway.) I’m looking forward to it’s release – and if Pearson is smart, he’ll raise the price when it comes out (because it deserves one.) That’s one big reason I’m recommending folks buy now since the updates are free :)

  25. Alex Aguilar says:

    I don’t use Thesis for my blog but after reading your glowing review I am very tempted! I went to the Thesis website and checked out a couple sites from their showcase and was quite impressed at how complete different and unique each one seemed. That being said, I have to wonder how much of the design work on some of those sites was done through the Thesis Design Options Panel and how much was done through custom written css.

  26. Mark Hockenberry says:

    Thanks Rae for speaking in laymen terms. I’m really liking Thesis, and much like you, I’m not css fluent, but you guys sure make it look easy.


  27. David Burch says:

    I’d be interested in your take on the Catalyst Theme framework. I was an early adopter of Thesis but lately I’ve been using Catalyst more and more because I can customize the design a lot more (I’m not a designer and I have developer versions of both frameworks).

  28. Doc Sheldon says:

    Great stuff, I agree, Rae!

    I had originally intended to buy Thesis when I set up my site a year ago, but I allowed myself to be talked out of it by folks telling me you had to be a php wizard to get it to do what you wanted.

    I don’t know if that was true then, but it certainly isn’t now. I just recently installed Thesis, and am in the middle of a redesign, and I’m blown away by the features. I highly recommend it!

    I find myself missing the ability to edit various files from the backend, too. I can certainly appreciate wanting to hide much of that ability from meddlesome clients, but it seems like it shouldn’t be too difficult to incorporate the ability to selectively hide those files.

    Thanks for the great review, Rae. I’m still learning all the abilities within Thesis and you’ve given me some new stuff to check out.

  29. Steve Barker says:

    Great comments Rae and I agree with almost all you say. When will you do a post on how you made your WordPress/Thesis site secure from hackers? Mine was hacked last week and I never realized how easy it was to hack a wordpress site and what we should be doing to make it more secure until after the event. Would love to hear your thoughts and what you use.

  30. Stephanie says:

    Woow, great review.. Some of my sites run on Thesis, and Thesis is the shiiit.. :)
    I really like to follow your site, not just because im also a girl in the online marketing world, but simply because you share so much information :)


  31. Pam Britton says:

    Really learned a lot from your Thesis review…still sort of fuzzy, though, about differences between a feature box and a multimedia box…will keep researching..brand new to Thesis and I love it, too!

  32. An absolutely fantastic review of a product I own and use. I share many of the items on your “wishlist” especially easier manage-ability of the feature box and design options for sidebars. Although I’m quite pleased with my current version of Thesis (1.8) . . . I can hardly wait for Thesis 2.0. Thanks again for a great read . . .

  33. Al Spaulding says:

    Great update to your review on thesis Rae. Your review from about 8 mths ago was why I decided to buy thesis over Genesis. You Rock!

  34. Thanks for this great article! When I started out I must have wasted weeks of my life playing around with free themes trying to get it look how I wanted, getting fed up, completely changing the theme again, rinse and repeat… I looked at Thesis many times, but thought it was too ‘expensive’ (not for what it is but as I wasn’t making any money from my rubbishy looking sites!) I also thought it had too big a learning curve, and my brain was fried enough…

    However with the new Thesis 2.0 which looks much more idiot proof, and working it out on a ‘cost per wear’ basis, if I had actually bitten the bullet and gone for it in the beginning, not only would I have had awesome sites by now but the time I spent fiddling with free themes I could easily have invested on learning Thesis!

    Sheesh, slow learner!! :D Finally time to invest in my Business…

  35. Do you have plans to write about Thesis 2 soon? I have been a happy Thesis user since I read your review all those years ago. Unfortunately, I find Thesis 2 to be completely opaque. Their home page trumpets all these “benefits” which make it sound like the promised land. When I install it and go to start working with it there is simply nothing to get hold of.

    Reading assorted blog posts and forum threads I get the sense of massive hubris on the part of the developer. So, a month after release, I can’t find any value whatsoever for me. I would love to be proven wrong, but at this point am ready to move on.

  36. Awesome review, I recently just bought the theme and this was a really helpful read, thanks!

  37. What @Paul said. I purchased Thesis 2 last November, in the (perhaps mistaken) expectation that it would make it easier for me to migrate a chopped down version of my already simple website to WP.

    My capabilities are mixed: I can do some coding, but I didn’t want to mess about with html and css just to get going: maybe later to tighten things up. The main thing is that Thesis 2’s ‘out of the box’ state is exactly what Paul said – opaque.

    @Sugarrae – I’ve enjoyed your blog and web presence; entertaining and informative, but I think DIYthemes have jumped the shark with version 2

    So far, Thesis 2 it has simply steepened the learning curve. I’ll persevere a bit more, then have a look at 1.8.5; then if I’m still spending time on how to get the basics running, I’ll cut my losses and check out headway or themeforest.

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