I recently changed from a Weebly blog to a WordPress.org blog. At the time of creating a Weebly blog I wanted it simple, but blogs like Weebly are limited on SEO, flexibility and design. WordPress.org on the other hand, gives you far greater flexibility, you can pretty much do what you want. So eventually changing over to wordpress.org was a no-brainer.
If you have also decided on WordPress.org, the next question is which theme to use. If youâ€™re not familiar with WordPress.org, you need a theme, as wordpress.org is not the site’s design.
My choice after some research was The Thesis Theme for WordPress. Ideally, I wanted a free theme, but the free ones looked pretty much the same as all the other websites using the same theme. I also wanted something unique and with some additional features. Sure, you have the options of customising free themes, but you get poor support (understandably) so if you get into issues itâ€™s a bit tricky. In the end, being as I love blogging and my blog is my business and personal hub online, I decided to make the $87 investment, knowing that I was getting a great Theme.
Hereâ€™s my two-pence worth in terms of Thesis Pros and Cons to help you decide if Thesis is for you:
1. Thesis is Search Engine Optimized â€“ This was my number one criteria for choice of theme, and Thesis does it well. You need a theme that makes it easy for the search engines like Google to find your blog without too much tweaking and effort, and Thesis achieves this well. WordPress by default is one of the most search engine friendly blogging platforms out there, but itâ€™s still not perfect and the way your theme is laid out and coded affects how search engines see your site. Some themes are created in a way that itâ€™s difficult for search engines to rate your site. But Thesis is very clean and presents your content well, using a clean code structure and search engine friendly urls. It also offers you the ability to e ability to change the meta tags for each individual post and page.
2. Clean Layout – Thesis is a beautifully laid out theme. Itâ€™s very modern, simple, and has just the right balance of crisp, white space. Nice and calming to look at. Personally I donâ€™t like clutter, and if I visit a blog where thereâ€™s just too much on the page itâ€™s much less likely Iâ€™ll go back. But Thesisâ€™ minimalistic look is suitable for all types of businesses and subjects.
3. Easy to Customise â€“ You donâ€™t need to know code to change the design, as the Design Options is really easy to use â€“ just click and save.
If you are a beginner programmer or have no programming experience whatsoever, Thesis makes it really easy to dip your toe in the water. To make it even easier, there are a number of Thesis skins (ready made custom.css and custom_functions.php files) that have already been customised. I use a skin for this site.
On the other hand, if you are a developer or run multiple blogs, Thesis allows you to work quickly, whether for your own sites or those of clients (many web designers use Thesis).
Still, if you want to a cost-effective Thesis programmer to make changes for you then check out my Tools & Resources page LINK for Ashwinâ€™s details, heâ€™s the programmer I used for a few tweaks to this site (Btw no, I donâ€™t get a commission from him, just good karma ? )
4. Lots of Options To Change the Look and Feel â€“ Thesis offers a lot of ways of changing the way your site looks, eg the number of columns (1 to 3), their widths, fonts and their sizes for the body, headlines, sidebars, no of sidebars and their widths and more.
5. Lifetime Support and Free Upgrades â€“ Upgrades happen about every three months and are free, so you will be getting new features that get added. You also never have to worry that Thesis is not going to work with WordPress. Chris Pearson the creator of Thesis makes sure that it stays compatible with the newest release of WordPress. Many other theme out there donâ€™t actually do this.
6. In terms of support, thesis wins again. There is a very active support forum where I have personally received very quick responses to all my questions. Plus there are very good video tutorials. In my experience, having good support for all core online processes is essential, because when things need fixing, they need fixing!
7. Blog less Likely To Break â€“ As you know technology makes life easier, but when it goes wrong itâ€™s the opposite, isnâ€™t it. And when a website goes wrong â€“ ouch, it hurts! Thesis however, is made in such a way that no core files need to be tinkered with. Customisation of Thesis files is clean-cut with two main files in the main needing to be changed: custom.css and custom_functions.php.
8. Multimedia Box â€“ This is the box at the top right of each page. Itâ€™s a flexible box where you can have a video, an opt-in form, photos, and even display a different video/form/image on each page via the Page/Post Edit page.
9. Google Analytics â€“ Your code can be added without fiddling with files.
10. Thesis Openhook plugin â€“ I have yet to experiment with this so cannot speak from experience, but the idea is that once you learn how to write hooks (theyâ€™re apparently not too hard) â€“ (or some people share theirs ) customizing Thesis is supposedly even easier. is breeze.
1. CSS code unleashes the real power of Thesis â€“ This is a disadavtange if you donâ€™t know CSS code, but as mentioned above, you can find inexpensive Thesis coders to the work for you. Equally, itâ€™s not a difficult task to teach yourself the basics of CSS â€“ this is a very valuable skill for an online entrepreneur.
2. No Actual Design – Thesis comes as vanilla, it looks plain but professional. It will need customising to get it to be the way you want it. Your options are: use the basic theme design options (fine for basic customisation, and the theme looks clean cut and professional as it is), learn CSS or hire a Thesis coder. The great support forum can help you out a lot if you want to experiment and do things yourself. Itâ€™s great to see code work out just the way you intended â€“ ok, she-nerdyness showing here ?
3. Price Tag is $87 for personal use, $164 for developer – So is it worth it? In my opinion, yes. $87 is not a lot to spend for something that will definitely save you a lot of time and frustration. I did actually buy another theme that cost $67 before Thesis but it was so complex even for someone with some experience with websites, that I got my money back and have not looked back since using Thesis. Remember, you get the free upgrades and great support forum. So theoretically you wouldnâ€™t need to buy another theme again.
So I hope you found this Thesis review helpful. I have to admit to being in love with my new blog. You know I talk about not being attached to things? Well, in this instance I do not practice what I preach!!
If you have any questions feel free to add them below, I am only just learning some CSS, so I may not be able to help with the really technical CSS /PHP questions, but as regards WordPress.org, internet marketing, autoresponders, SEO, keywords…..try me, and I’ll do my best.
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