Thesis 2 Website thoughts

If you found this page, you are probably looking into the WordPress theme called Thesis, and questioning if you should invest your time into it.

As a web designer, and web developer, I can see fruits with this system. It’s really the only theme I have ever used that is mainly designed with an interface. I can go under the hood and use hooks if I really want, but the main benefit appears to be the cool interface designer. No coding needed!

I used to be into Thesis 1+ which relied mainly on hooks, and without doing any research into this next version, I assumed going to 2+ would be an easy no-brainer upgrade. But it turns out there is a learning curve, another one. There was already a learning curve with Thesis 1. After my 3rd website, it’s starting to feel a lot more like home.

I must say I was frustrated at first about the new technique of template manipulation, and the lack of documentation.  But now that I have a better understanding, it’s not so bad at all, in fact it’s easy and fast to deploy! But it’s never going be like “pumping out websites within hours”, it takes longer than that.

They have now  released a new support ticketing system instead of a forum, so you can get on top of your questions and fast. I’m a fan of that! To be honest, if it wasn’t for that feature I might have given up on it earlier on.

Positive points:

  • I can much more easily manipulate templates. The interface is pretty good once you understand how it works. Hooks can be used but they are no longer the thrust, you don’t have to use them.
  • The option to backup and restore your Thesis skin settings has come in very useful. Very important!
  • There is a live CSS view, much like Dreamweaver.
  • The theme’s CSS is pretty neat and well written.
  • The responsive CSS is pretty good.
  • For some reason, SEO has been very good when I have used Thesis. Probably clean and valid mark-up? I can’t really explain it.

Negative points:

  • If you want to make fully manipulate your templates, although i am sure it possible, it doesn’t appear to be easy. As I said, it uses an interface which is great, but would have it’s limits. I don’t know how I would do it
  • The CSS, although pretty good and a decent base, does need a lot of massaging to get the right outcome. Having said that, this is to be expected with any base template. However the base “Classic” theme while looking rather plain, has a surprisingly large amount of formatting. It isn’t quite like working with Bootstrap.
  • There are only a handful of base themes to choose from.
  • There are very few Thesis styled widgets to use, but I am happy with the minimum they have supplied. For example the search.