Thesis makes some serious claims including having 25k + purchases. (At a minimum $87 license, assuming every purchase was through an affiliate, that’s $1.47 Million) Here are some of them:
- Separated HTML, CSS and PHP for superior SEO qualities
- Robust theme options panel for style and layout customizations
- A big time support network
- A number of influential bloggers using Thesis such as Laughing Squid (Web Host endorsed by WordPress)
- Child/Sub skins that can be applied with relative ease
After reviewing the claims made by others that used thesis (decreased bounce-rate, pagerank bump, etc.) I decided to give it a try. I fronted the $87 and purchased the individual license.
As Thesis version 2.0 rounds the corner, here is what I found with version 1.7, the current stable release.
- Thesis installs fast, and is very small. It uses minimal server resources because there is barely any images in the entire thing. In addition, there was a noticeable loading time difference over most other themes I’ve used.
- Customization is pretty easy for the basics. We’re talking changing navigation menu color, adding pages to the menu, and changing from 1, 2 and 3 columns. However, this is where the simplicity stops. Thesis was incredibly hard to customize as a non-coder. Doing something as simple as finding where to add some custom code was incredibly tricky. Granted, someone adept at coding PHP could probably fly through this. But many people use WordPress because it is simple, easy and fast.
- The “skins” available for Thesis are quite lame. I could find no skins that wowed me or offered any eye-pleasing design. It seems that Thesis offered two possibilities: make my own boring design, or use someone else’s boring design.
- I liked the idea of using an premium SEO theme, one that would help me reach more people. What I found was just that, a theme with major SEO muscles, but wasn’t much to look at or work with. I spent two days trying to learn the inner workings of Thesis, and failed.
Regardless of your feelings on the matter, it is worth checking out Thesis Theme if you’re interested in converting your current theme to an SEO rockstar. If you can code, try it out. If you’re a novice at the coding side of things, you might want to check out Themeforest and get a shiny, out-of-the-box theme.