Thesis is an amazing WordPress theme. I recently made the switch to the Thesis theme from the free Flexibility 2 theme, and I can already tell that it was a worthwhile investment. When I was looking for a new WordPress theme, my main criteria were customizability, SEO friendliness, fast load times, and excellent user support. By choosing Thesis, I got all this and SO much more.
1. Fully Customizable
When it comes to customizations, the sky is the limit. Even if you’re a novice at programming and CSS, Thesis makes it pretty foolproof. Instead of having to modify core theme files and risk breaking your blog, like you do with most free WordPress themes, you won’t have this problem with Thesis. The only two files you’ll have to customize are custom.css and custom_functions.php. This also means that when making future Thesis upgrades, your customizations will carry through to the new version, so you won’t have to redo all of your hard work.
As long as you know enough CSS and PHP to be able to take pre-existing code and modify it for your own needs, you can make your theme look EXACTLY how you want it. There’s also a nifty little plugin called Thesis OpenHook that lets you place your custom code anywhere on your blog, including before content, before or after sidebars, in the header, in the footer, etc.
2. Outstanding Support
This, in my opinion, is one of the biggest advantages of the Thesis WordPress theme. The support is simply amazing. After buying the theme, future upgrades are free. And if you have any questions about the theme, the Thesis community forum is excellent about answering your questions quickly. The team answers anything from setup and implementation to plugin integration and advanced customizations, and usually within a couple hours (in my experience, and a day at most).
The support team really goes out of its way to help people customize their blogs with Thesis, and you simply don’t get this with free themes.
3. SEO Friendly
The Thesis theme was developed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. I’d have to say that most themes out there, especially the free ones, have so much code bloat. They prioritize fancy designs over SEO, and the code just weighs those themes down. Remember: it’s not the design that gets you search engine traffic; it’s the content and SEO. If you have tons of messy code above your content, the engine crawlers are going to see the mess first, rather than your high-value content.
Thesis has very clean code, and the only two files you need to customize are called from externally, so even the fanciest designs maintain a clean code structure. It also eliminates the need for the All in One SEO Pack plugin, as you can specify each post’s meta tags within the theme’s functionality.
4. Easy to Use
If you’re a true novice when it comes to coding, Thesis is good to go out of the box. The initial design is very professional looking, and the Design Options page allows you to make font, color, site layout, and image customizations. One feature I personally love is the ability to change the column layout without having to go into the code and risk breaking the universe.
All you have to do is choose between a two and three-column layout, and simply click the radio button next to the column order you’d prefer. And it was so easy for me to make other customizations, such as adding thumbnails next to my popular posts in the right column. Since making the switch to Thesis, my blog’s bounce rate has decreased nearly 20%, and I simply wouldn’t have been able to figure out how to make these customizations with a free theme.
5. Highly Successful Bloggers use Thesis
Having endorsement from very successful bloggers who use the Thesis WordPress theme on their own blogs made a big impression on me. Here are just some of the top blogs that use Thesis:
6. Eliminates the Need for Many Plugins
Because of the extensive customization options and outstanding support community, you can easily implement changes using Thesis Hooks that eliminate the need for certain plugins. For example, I was able to easily add page numbers to the bottom of my homepage and get rid of Pagenavi simply by searching the support forum for how to do this, and copy/pasting a couple bits of code into custom.css and custom_functions.php.
Eliminating plugins will reduce the amount of php calls on your blog pages, and increase your blog’s page load time.
7. Fast Load Time
Again, I really need to emphasize the importance of having a fast page-load time. With my last theme, the code was so bloated that my blog loaded so slowly, even after I eliminated all plugins to test out how fast it would load. Because the Thesis framework is so clean and SEO friendly, you also get the benefit of extremely quick load time (barring your use of certain plugins). Remember, the faster your page load times, the less frustrated your readers will be, and the lower your bounce rate.
8. The “Big Ass Save Button”
When I first installed Thesis and went to one of the customization pages, I literally laughed out loud when I saw the save button:
I mean, really, that’s just awesome.
This doesn’t even cover all of the unique features Thesis has to offer. But one hesitation that many people have about Thesis, including myself, is the price tag. The personal option runs at $87, and the developer’s option is $164. I chose the developer’s option so that I can implement Thesis on all of my blogs, and so that I can offer Thesis to clients at a much smaller licensing fee. (So if you want to hire me to set up or improve your blog, consider yourself having saved $87.) I personally decided that the theme would ultimately pay for itself, as it’s now so much easier to monetize this blog, and you can probably apply the same logic to your own blog. It’s simply worth it.
Disclaimer: Yes, all the links to Thesis in this post are affiliate links. If you do decide on purchasing Thesis, I would appreciate it if you used the links. 🙂