Wordpress Thesis theme - What is so good about it?

by TelegramSam 20 replies
Hi,

I am looking for a good wordpress theme and don't mind paying some money if it is good.

I have read quite a few good reviews about the Thesis theme. But many of them also seem to be thesis affiliates.

Before I decide to splash out on Thesis, can anyone tell me why it is worth the money?

What's so good about Thesis?

Also, do you need any other typical plug-ins with the Thesis theme? If so, what do you also recommend.

Many thanks,
Sam
#main internet marketing discussion forum #good #theme #thesis #wordpress
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  • Profile picture of the author mike52683
    The biggest reason I use the thesis theme is for the built in SEO functions. I know you can't believe every review you read especially since they just want you to buy through their affiliate link. However, I do know that some very successful internet marketers use the thesis theme...

    Here is a list of plugins that I use with the thesis theme.

    Plugin List
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  • Profile picture of the author NetMan
    Originally Posted by TelegramSam View Post

    Hi,

    I am looking for a good wordpress theme and don't mind paying some money if it is good.

    I have read quite a few good reviews about the Thesis theme. But many of them also seem to be thesis affiliates.

    Before I decide to splash out on Thesis, can anyone tell me why it is worth the money?

    What's so good about Thesis?

    Also, do you need any other typical plug-ins with the Thesis theme? If so, what do you also recommend.

    Many thanks,
    Sam
    Hello Sam

    I'm not an affiliate...

    What's so hot about the Thesis theme is that it is extremely flexible and
    powerful so you can really design your very own personalized theme
    with it.

    However, Thesis is much MORE than a theme it is a complete framework
    and implies an important learning curve and relatively much work to
    develop your theme, on the other hand some Thesis skins exists.

    Nevertheless, you'll still need to add a bunch of plugins to achieve the
    level of functionalities your desire.

    Hope that helps you see the light

    Best regards,


    Andre Foisy
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    • Profile picture of the author Gabby12
      Is it easy to use a custom header and change colors?
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      • Profile picture of the author NetMan
        Originally Posted by Gabby12 View Post

        Is it easy to use a custom header and change colors?
        I guess just changing a header and playing with colors shouldn't be too hard

        Andre Foisy
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        • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
          Originally Posted by NetMan View Post

          I guess just changing a header and playing with colors shouldn't be too hard

          Andre Foisy
          Ha! With Thesis, unless it's on the options pages, nothing is ever EASY. It is if you know how, but learning how is the 65 minute question for most folks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Abledragon
    I am a Thesis affiliate - so I'm a bit nervous about offering some thoughts here !

    However...

    As NetMan mentioned above, Thesis is a more than a theme. It's a platform that enables you to make greater use of the power of WordPress without the need for coding skills.

    There are, broadly, 3 levels of customisation you can get into:

    1. The Thesis control panels that are installed automatically with the theme. These are all point and click, with the exception of the MultiMedia box, the header and the footer sections. In these 3 places you can add code. You can do a lot with the control panels but you cannot edit colours - i.e. background colours, link colours, etc

    2. The Custom.css file, where you can fiddle around with colours and styling as much as you like. However, you do need to know CSS and you do need to be able to identify the divs you want to style. Sometimes these can be a bit obscure but, if you're using FireFox, iinstalling FireBug is an extremely good way of identifying the div you want to edit.

    3. The custom_functions file, where you can use hooks and PHP to move elements of your page around - for example: move your navigation bar from above your header to below it.

    There's a plugin that greatly helps with managing the hooks in Thesis - it's called the Thesis OpenHook plugin. It was developed by Rick Beckman, one of the Thesis developers and it's well worth installing if you're working with Thesis.

    I've written reviews of both the Thesis OpenHook plugin and Thesis itself (the latest version) so if you're interested in reading through them let me know and I'll send you the links.

    Again, just to be totally transparent, I am a Thesis affiliate.

    Cheers,

    Martin.
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  • Profile picture of the author megaforcetkd
    Wow Martin, thanks for the info.. I'm tempted now o.o
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    • Profile picture of the author Abledragon
      You're very welcome!

      Cheers,

      Martin.
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  • I while back I considered getting Thesis and I browsed through the Thesis blog gallery and they all look rather bland. I know it can be pimped up with custom coding, but the whole point of Thesis is to use it out of the box and to tweak it with the flick of a mouse click.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Have you checked out WP P2 yet? Don't remember the URL but google it. It's a pretty high test construction that allows more interaction than the others do. Check into it before you make any decisions.
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  • Profile picture of the author TelegramSam
    Thanks everyone.

    I will buy the developer package tomorrow when I get to the office.

    Does anyone know of any good ready made skins for Thesis?
    (if that is the right term to use)

    Otherwise I'll have a tinker around with it.

    Cheers,
    Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author jamawebinc
    I use the thesis theme for a couple of my sites. One site I use it for that is really just a personal site can be seen here ramblings from growing up jewish in New York ? whatthehellswrongwithyou.com

    This is pretty much "out of the box" for thesis.

    Here is my experience with thesis.

    Thesis calls for a completely different way of thinking compared to how most wordpress themes are created. I have also used revolution themes and other free themes. The thinking process to modify thesis compared to revolution is totally different.

    Thesis can be modified by a control panel where you can do things such as:

    change the number and size of columns
    Add or take away dates from posts
    control what pages are in the navigation bar
    and more

    These are easy to make changes as they are done with checkboxes and drop down menus...it's just choosing options you want and don't want. Simple, direct, piece of cake.

    Doing these things in other themes would have to be done with direct coding.

    However, if you are already more familiar with the "coding" way of modifying theme, I'm not sure it is worth the difference.

    For instance, to add a page to a navigation bar in the majority of wordpress themes you simply add the number of the page to the code. The exact code escapes me right now, but an example would be something like:

    include_pages ( 3,5,9,12 )

    If you wanted to add a new page you would just simply add the number of the page to that grouping.

    Most themes are modified this way and if you have done it this way for some time you have conditioned yourself to thinking in this way.

    With thesis, your way of thinking is thrown completely for a loop. Advocates of thesis claim their way of thinking is better for a number of reasons. I'm not sure you can say one way of modifying a theme is better for everyone.

    Everything in Thesis is done with "hooks". Frankly I don't understand hooks fully and do all the customizations through a free plugin called "open hook" - to be found here:
    http://rickbeckman.org/thesis-openhook/

    All areas of your page are included in "areas" in the plugin and any code you would want to add to an "area" would be added in the appropriate spot in the "open hook" plugin.

    For example, some areas to modify code in the open hook plugin are:

    Before Header
    After Header

    Before Post
    After Post

    Before Comment Meta
    After Comment Meta

    If you wanted to modify the area that comes directly after the header, you add code to this area in the open hook plugin.

    In the "old" way of modifying this area, you would perhaps go into the "header.php" file and change the file itself. Maybe adding a <div> and coding everything right in that file.

    This is why people call it a platform and not really a theme. You don't modify the files of the theme itself but one separate file for all modifications.

    Supposedly the SEO is better and no plugins are needed to enhance this.

    I can't say I've noticed a change in my search engine listings since switching to thesis, but I have not kept stats on it.

    The part I like about Thesis is the ease of changing layouts, and other customizations through use of the control panel which is done with simple check boxes and drop down menus. This makes everything very easy.

    I think easy is underrated and good.

    However, there are other themes that supposedly have easy customizations as well.

    Flexx theme and the theme by semiologic are 2 of them.

    If you have grown used to the thinking process that most wordpress themes use then the changeover will seem very daunting and confusing to you. If you do not know what "hooks" are you may become totally confused and frustrated.

    I know I was. If there was no open hook plugin I may have just trashed the whole thing as not worth the trouble.

    I was using the theme called "tapestry" by brian gardner before I changed to thesis. It was a great theme and free. It did tend to run slow, but that may have been due to my webhost and not the coding of the theme itself.

    Hope this gives a good background on Thesis.
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  • Profile picture of the author Karrak
    @Anonymous Affiliate -- check out thesisgallery.com or follow @pearsonified (creator of thesis) on twitter. He regularly drops links to unique/not bland thesis designs (like this one: lbeventcouture.com)

    @TelegramSam -- mattflies.com and wpbandit.com both have thesis skins available, but the moderators over at the thesis forums also suggest downloading the firebug plugin for firefox and copying & modifying the css from a thesis theme/site you like. That's what I've done for most of my sites, as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author ProEFI
      Originally Posted by Karrak View Post

      @TelegramSam -- mattflies.com and wpbandit.com both have thesis skins available, but the moderators over at the thesis forums also suggest downloading the firebug plugin for firefox and copying & modifying the css from a thesis theme/site you like. That's what I've done for most of my sites, as well.

      Hi Karrak,
      With the firebug plugin and thesis... did you copy the entire CSS from a site and paste it into your custom css form on your thesis site?

      Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author TelegramSam
    Some great ideas there.

    Basically, I want to use wordpress and get the control and functionality that wordpress and Thesis bring, but I don't want my site to look like a blog as such.

    In other words, I want it to look like a typical static html site with a top menu bar and side column links etc., but with all the functionality and manipulation that wordpress/thesis can bring.

    I guess it just boils down to tweaking the various css files and using the hooks with some nice graphics thrown in.

    I will give it a go. I know css, but have never modified any wordpress themes etc, so hopefully it will go ok.

    Does anyone have any tips for this?

    (Firebug was mentioned. I haven't used it before, but it sounds like it might help.)

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author cctravis
    Thesis is so flexible and so easy to customize. I always get a very professional looking webpage each time I use thesis for a static design or a blog. The user community is wonderful also and has tutorials for almost anything you can think of doing. What a great theme.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charybdis
    Hello,

    is there a FREE theme which is similar to Thesis?

    Who use Thesis here? I have a few question!
    1. Which browsers does Thesis support? Is it IE6 compatible?
    2. How could I convert it to HTML5 compatible? I don't know why people use XHTML syntax. HTML5 is the newest markup. XHTML is totally obsolete if you serve it using the text/html MIME type. You can only use XHTML features if you serve it in application/xhtml+xml, but Internet Explorer does not support this MIME type! 99.9% who use XHTML don't know this, they just use XHTML because other websites are using it...
    3. If you customize the theme, how to update it if the release a new version?
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Funny ... I went to the thesis site and saw their "showcase" of customizations that site owners did and I wasn't impressed with them. None of them wowed me. Seems like a large learning curve to customize and really get something that will knock your socks off. I can do that with woo themes or most themes without much problem or at least with the same effort ... knowledge of css, etc.
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