The Thesis Theme 2.0 Review

The The­sis Theme 2.0 Review

Around Hal­loween of 2012 DIY Themes, the com­pany that man­ages the The­sis Theme, released a long-awaited The­sis 2.0. It was billed as an update, but for all intents and pur­poses, it’s a brand-new theme. And the new theme is noth­ing like the old The­sis theme.

You can read the hype and sales pitch at DIY Themes’ web­site, so I’m not going to get into the fea­tures. It’s a Word­Press theme(a frame­work, really), and allows you to cus­tomize your Word­Press web­site. Just like you would expect a theme to do. It’s the “How” that has caused a major explo­sion in the The­sis camp.

The­sis theme loy­al­ists insist it’s a frame­work that is bril­liant and maybe even ahead of its time. Those espe­cially seem to be the ones that are plan­ning on sell­ing acces­sories such as skins and pack­ages for The­sis 2 and the mod­er­a­tors of the the­sis Forum. Then there are the rest of the crowd that shelled out nearly $200 for a Word­Press theme that was hyped (and still is) very hard, to appeal to a mar­ket that doesn’t like to, or doesn’t know how to, code. Basic code as it is, most peo­ple that are look­ing at The­sis are drawn by it’s promise of not hav­ing to touch code. That was tech­ni­cally true for The­sis 1.85 as well, although it resulted in a site that looks a lot like this one you’re read­ing right now. This site is on The­sis 1.85, which I’m fine with. It really is a solid Word­Press frame­work. But The­sis 2 was going to open doors and free you from pro­gram­ming restraints and be a (barf) game-changer. And I sup­pose it can break you out of the Thesisy-looking sites of days past, but you’re going to have to code, I’m afraid, whether you know it or like it or not.

I was a The­sis affil­i­ate. I’ve taken down my The­sis ban­ners from all the sites that had them. I can’t endorse a theme that has dis­ap­pointed and even angered so many. I learned to use The­sis 2 really well, and had con­sid­ered sell­ing themes for it at my site The­sis 2 Skins. But that project’s on hold indef­i­nitely now. I still may because I don’t feel betrayed like a lot of The­sis cus­tomers do. I’ve built around 8 or so sites with The­sis 2.0, but only have 3 on it now, and they’re essen­tially playgrounds.

The issue for many is that in order to use T2, you must know CSS and HTML, or at least know how they work together. How­ever when you learn CSS and HTML you’e pretty well set to not need a frame­work like The­sis any­more.  You can code free blank sites and it’s a quicker work­flow as well. The­sis 2 does have a “can­vas” edi­tor where you can see your changes imme­di­ately. But for me, at least, it’s no harder to just have another tab open with the page I’m work­ing on open and just refer to it. With Fire­bug open, it’s a breeze to make quick edits to a child theme, which in turn is sim­ple as pie to set up. I’ve moved sev­eral sites to WordPress’s own Twenty Twelve and made a child theme to do the same thing I would have done with The­sis. But faster and for free.

Iron­i­cally, by the time you learn The­sis, you’ll have out­grown it.  Another warn­ing I’ll share is that the money-back guar­an­tee is being adhered to quite strictly. It’s tak­ing many 30 days to real­ize they just aren’t get­ting it and are unable to get the refund past 30 days, which makes sense. Just be aware and don’t lose track of time.

Depend­ing on what your goals are and time-frame, you may be much bet­ter off going ahead and learn­ing A) How to make a child-theme(I promise it’s easy) 2)basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript(they, too, are easy) and of course PHP. That way, you don’t have to learn that any­way plus a new tool, which has scant doc­u­men­ta­tion. You’ll save your­self a ton of time and $200, and have some nifty new skills under your belt. If you just refuse, no mat­ter what, from what I hear and see, Head­way Themes has a sim­i­lar prod­uct that is worth tak­ing a look at, if you are in the mar­ket for a drag-and-drop frame­work. Just wade into the The­sis pool care­fully, because it drops off fast.