Thesis Theme Is Not Recommended! Here’s An Awesome Alternative!


Till 2012, Thesis Theme (DIYThemes) was the best WordPress theme. It seemed more promising when Thesis 2.0 was released. But it came with no proper documentation. A lot of existing users failed to migrate to the new version. Moreover, the Thesis 2.0 was conflicting with every new WordPress updates. That's why it lost its reputation. Since Thesis Theme has not been updated for a long time, we no longer recommend Thesis Theme.

We use and recommend Thrive Themes.

WordPress Theme Frameworks became very popular recently, probably because of its power and flexibility, which allows developers to quickly create amazing websites.

I’ve reviewed Thesis 2.0 before, I actually did more than once, and each time I couldn’t rate it high for a few reasons that I’ve mentioned in my reviews.

Earlier this year, I’ve got a chance to test drive Thesis 2.1 (beta) and I had a fantastic experience. So, I’ve decided to review Thesis Theme 2.1 for several reasons, no need to mention them all here, but I must mention my main reason.. which is, I love it!

Tell me more about Thesis 2.1

There are a lot to talk about, but let me focus on what I see as a major enhancement or addition:

Bug Fixes in Thesis 2.1 took care of many issues that were discovered in the older release, and this is why I consider it one of the best frameworks ever created for WordPress (if not the best), no wonder I am using it here on WPLeaders along with a custom made Skin.

UI in the new release got a lot of UI enhancement to make it more user friendly and super easy to navigate.

Skins functionality has been enhanced, new Design and Display options has been added which will enhance usability.

Boxes now can generate its own CSS, Meta Boxes, and more. Check Thesis Box API.

Packages will be removed. This probably the most interesting news, Thesis Packages will be dropped, however 2.1 still support it. Packages will be removed totally from next releases. It was replaced by a handy CSS editor (nice addition).

Backups extended to include a new user backups section, which can be used by users, this is apart from the Thesis Manager.

Classic Skin got a generous amount of features, Classic 1.1 is extremely dynamic, it has several preset color schemes. You must check it out, you are going to love.

Why I love Thesis, and Why you should?

You see, the whole concept of Thesis 2.0 is to make use of already-written code, so you don’t have to actually code a lot, or repeat boring tasks (example: creating a setting page for your Skin) each time you develop a website. Thesis 2 should save you a lot of time by using its built-in functions, there is a huge power waiting you.

I like the fact that you (as a developer) can now add a settings page for your Skin or Box without having to code it the traditional way. Thesis 2.1 allows you to simply define a class, options array, and even a very easy way to add dynamic CSS via variables.

So, no more enqueue styles unless you really need it, which makes Thesis a lot faster if implemented in the Skins and Boxes.

This is super because, think about it… Thesis 2 dose a lot of coding work for you.


Believe it or not! When you fire up the Thesis Skin Editor in your browser, and start adding new elements to your site, you are telling Thesis what to “code“. I like that.

Final words

Between Thesis 2.0, and 2.1, there has been a lot of changes, also many users turned off because they didn’t know how to use it, they got confused and lost in the back-end, maybe Thesis was hard to understand, or those dudes are newbies and don’t know what they are missing.

Anyways, that was before. Now, and after the changes in 2.1, things should be much clear and easy to understand.

But If you are a newbie, allow me to give you a quick advice off this review. Thesis 2 gives you the power to create websites, I’ve seen many people doing awesome job, and they aren’t developer or designers, but this awesomeness will always have limits, means you can create an awesome site, but you own’t be able to create a unique and highly customized site -unless you know how things work.

I have been dreaming of building sites with a drag and drop interface, now.. I got it.

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on 2013-07-14 11:45:51

More assumptions being made, unfortunately.

"Just because somebody makes a couple of critical comments it doesn’t mean they’re trolling, anymore than the people who defend it are worshipping."

Having something critical to say about Thesis 2 does not bother me. It's not my product. I didn't help create it. I have never been paid a single dime from DIY Themes to produce anything. So I have no motives to speak out other than I seriously can't stand the trolling.

Likewise, as Hesham has already pointed out, you do realize that I've pretty much stopped using Thesis about built my own framework, right? How is that worshipping? It's actually the same exact thing I told him to do. Think about that for a second.

"Rather than feed the troll, why not put your energy into writing a post on how 2.0 works? Because all I’ve heard from Chris, yourself and the rest of his buddies is that it’s big shiny thing, but nobody knows how to make it shine."

False. I told people exactly what they needed to know a month after its release. Those who knew HTML and CSS understood. Many of those who didn't know HTML and CSS changed their focus. A select few, like the guy I'm addressing above, continue to talk down on the framework but stayed completely out of discussions like mine. Why (I think I know the answer)? Also, my site was "shining" on Thesis 2 when that post was published.

"Whilst I understand why you step up and defend 2.0, you and Chris are mates after all and I’d do the same, it’s difficult to balance you’re view of 2.0 as being the ‘most powerful framework for WordPress’ when you have also said that you don’t recommend it to your clients unless they specifically request it."

I don't defend Thesis 2 because Chris and I are cool. I defend Thesis 2 because I can't stand to see a community of people present subjectivity as objectivity. Subjectively, how do you really think I feel about Thesis 2? Think about it. Objectively, nothing compares. I don't know how else to explain that. Not Volatyl... not Genesis... not Headway. You all have to understand it's not even in the same league. All you see is the user interface and what it takes to build a website. Like Hesham said, that alone can be enough to absolutely hate it. However, a bad user experience or work flow does not take away from its power. Yes. It is the most powerful framework for WordPress. I can honestly say that because I'm thinking... not feeling. If you want to talk about feelings, I'd rather people use my framework (duh). To think my feelings drive me to stand behind Chris and Thesis is a reach. I'm grown.

"And when I see you tweet Chris to tell him how you’ve ‘just thrown up over this guys comment’ I can’t help but think that that’s a little beneath your otherwise very professional image."

I can understand that and agree with you there. At the same time, though, because I can't see who you really are, I have to ask if you really follow me anywhere. If so, haven't I always done this? I speak what I believe to be real with the best of intentions... always. It hurts some feelings here and there. Maybe it makes people dislike me. But that's part of the game.

Zimbrul is a troll and my opinion is not random based on his above comments. We're coming up on a year of this and I've been here watching it all. Have you?

About the Author Hesham Zebida

I create websites, and I develop WordPress plugins and Thesis Skins. I am a social network lover. I am also the night creature who works hard to keep this project up. Owner and founder of the Famous Blog.

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