Note: This is not an "Thesis Is Awesome! Buy it As Soon Possible!" type review. It is based on our experiences with Thesis Theme. Read on to find what we mean. Last Updated on Dec 20, 2010.
Two weeks ago, we changed our design. Now we are using Thesis framework.
On that post, some readers said that they were planning to buy Thesis. When we decided to buy Thesis, we read some reviews and guess what? None of them was completely true!
You will find many articles out there promoting Thesis. Guess what? They all say, thesis is great. But not many tell the other side!
Short Thesis Review
Thesis is a great framework, but it has some minor flaws! Period.
Long Thesis Review
I will not be amazed if you tell me that you have seen hundreds of reviews of saying that Thesis is awesome and can do wonders for you. Lots of bloggers out there are using this theme, and almost everyone is recommending it.
So, what's great with it? Here are the pros:
- Speed: Thesis is the fastest WordPress theme out of the box. The code is clean and well optimized. To speed things more, it caches the thumbnail images. We have noticed a 33% increase in speed after changing to Thesis.
- SEO: It has almost all SEO features included. There's no need to use a plugin separately for SEO. And it uses custom fields for SEO, so if you later switch to some other theme with integrated options, you can use the same meta data!
- Reduced Plugin Clutter: It has lots of functionality packed in, and many of the features reduce the need for a separate plugin. SEO, Notes, and Google Analytics code are all taken care of by Thesis.
- Custom Templates: Out of the box, theme has two custom page templates (pages with no sidebars and archives page). No sidebar template is good for making landing pages where you can use the full page for your message. The Archives template presents a monthly post archive along with the categories list. This could save you from installing another plugin.
- Back-End: Thesis back-end(control panel) is one of the best I have seen in any WordPress theme. It is simple and elegant, and the options are neatly categorized. The latest version also has a custom file editor that lets you edit custom.css, as well as other files that you normally can't edit in WordPress editor.
- Hooks: Thesis allows lot of customization via hooks. If you know PHP, you will love these. It will take you less than 5 minutes to learn how to use hooks. Using hooks, you can easily add custom code to any part of the theme.
- Support: When you purchase the theme, you get lifetime support. The forum guys are fast, and most of the problems are quickly solved.
Now, some cons that you will not read in any other review!
- Thesis Is a Framework: It is a theme framework. And that means that it comes with a child theme used by 99% of Thesis blogs. Really, how can someone pay $87 and still afford to have the same look as everyone else? To give the theme a different look, you either need to use your coding skills (which, unfortunately, many of us do not possess!) or hire a designer. (If you go this way, don't forget to read #4.)
- For Non-Coders, It can be a Nightmare: If you are not good with PHP, CSS and HTML, working with this theme will be a nightmare for you! Want to know how much you can customize without editing code? You can select the number of sidebars, their positions, homepage layout, change 2 or 3 other settings and that's it! Without coding, you can not even add a header.Update: Version 1.8 lets you add header image. (Even the default WP theme lets you do this without touching code!)
- Backlink: Call it marketing/SEO tactic or whatever, the personal license requires you to have a backlink with the "same anchor" as the license says. So, either expect to spend more for the developer option or learn to live with that link!
- You Need to Maintain Thesis: With every new version, lots of options change. So, even if you get a custom design, expect to call your designer soon because most likely, some things will break in the next release!
Is Thesis for you?
Let's come down to the most important question: "Is Thesis for you?"
Thesis is recommended if:
- You want a fast, SEO optimized theme.
- You have deep pockets and can afford a designer or a child theme. Child themes can cost anything from $0 to $79!
- You are a designer/coder and have lots of time to spend.
- You have no problems with the the default "clean" look in favor of SEO options.
If you have time and resources, it can be the best investment for your blog. Take a look at Thesis testimonials to find out what people are saying about it.
Have you bought Thesis? What do you think about it?
Have questions? Feel free to ask in comments or Contact us.