Is DIYThemes.com Thesis Theme Worth it?

by pyles
47 replies
Hey Guys/Gals,

I am a huge Wordpress fan, I love the accessibility of it, however I am getting really bored with the themes that I can find online.

I spent over $200+ on a theme for my website and have had nothing but problems and a developer that stopped replying (yes I learned not to hire bad devs )

I have been looking at Thesis for a while - it looks hugely extensible and agile and might be a good fit. I would get the Dev copy for $167, but am just worried about committing that much cash again.

What are your thoughts on this - it looks to have great affiliate link hiding, etc, and some great layout features. Any one have it and have an unbiased opinion?

Thanks!

miles
#diythemescom #theme #thesis #worth
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by pyles View Post

    I have been looking at Thesis for a while - it looks hugely extensible and agile and might be a good fit. I would get the Dev copy for $167, but am just worried about committing that much cash again.
    I am primarily a writer, not a blogger, but many of my most active clients were - amazingly - bloggers. And I have seen several people who blog for a living (and rather a nice one, in most cases) expressing the greatest affection for, and dependence on, the Thesis theme for their day-to-day work.
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    • Profile picture of the author genietoast
      Yes, I use it, and I love it!

      At first I had trouble installing the theme because the instructions were unclear, but they've made a video that makes it easier now.

      You can change the columns, the color, the font. You can change the sizes of your videos, etc.

      What's best of all, it's designed to be SEO friendly, so when it's time to edit your title tags and meta description, you don't have to go digging into Wordpress's editor code. You simply just type in your keywords and your titles phrasing write in the boxes provided. It does help your page get indexed.

      It's worth the money and upgrading to the full license if you're planning to have more than one blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaveSiew
    Hi Miles,

    I have been using Thesis for a while for most of my websites and have been very pleased with it.

    The theme is very customisable once you are familar with it. Importantly, the theme is stable, has a developer that keeps on improving the theme and a very active user forum.

    In my opinion, if you are looking for a theme that can handle most of your sites, Theis should be one for serious consideration. The downside is you may have to roll up your sleeves to manage the layout details, or you may have to engage one of the pros in the forum to work with you.

    Cheers
    Dave
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    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
      Unless the layout of the Thesis theme is your primary focus, you might look at Artisteer.

      You can get the Home version for about $60 and can even sell the themes you create using it...

      Just trying to offer options.

      Tink
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  • Profile picture of the author LynnH
    I bought the developers version of Thesis back in June of last year. I've used it on one website. I keep installing it on sites and then changing my mind about using it. The problem I've had is that I find it too difficult to make significant changes to anything because of the way the theme is coded. I don't like fooling with php functions, although I can do it if I have to.

    However, when I bought the theme, I thought it would be a lot more user friendly than it turned out to be, and I also had a devil of a time trying to get it to look nice. I am terrible with design and I thought Thesis would help with that by making it easier to put together a cohesive, decent looking site, but it didn't unless one just loves the way Thesis looks by default. There's a lot I don't like about the way a default install looks and when I start messing with it, it never seems to get much better.

    One theme I've been toying with the idea of buying lately has been frugal. I have an old copy of the free version before it seemed to disappear off the net and I love it. It's one of my favorite themes. Now frugal seems to have been seriously beefed up and the videos I've watched make it seem like something I might really be interested in.

    Of course, this is just my experience with Thesis, and it's all based on my own issues, not anything that's actually wrong with the theme. In fact, it does have a lot of benefits. I just never found that any of those benefits made it worth the fight of getting it installed, set up, and looking nice on multiple sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rita012
      I have it, but find it difficult to customize. It's not like other themes, so you really need to work on learning how it works. I personally don't like the 'hooks'. As a result, I never use the theme.

      I find the Flexibility theme much easier to use.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheila Atwood
    I love Thesis. I just downloaded the new version and put it up on a new site. It is easy because so much is built right into the theme. You do not need a lot of plugins. But if you are into doing a lot of customizing it can be hard.

    I also use Chris' Cutline Theme. It is a free theme that works great. A lot easier to customize.

    You must look at Flex theme, very nice and easy to customize and the price is about half. There is a great video on the iThemes site showing you how to Flex works.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
    I am a huge Wordpress fan, I love the accessibility of it, however I am getting really bored with the themes that I can find online.
    the theme is not for you or your personal enjoyment, it's for your visitors.

    find a theme that does what you need it to do and stick with it.

    if the functionality doesn't meet your needs or the theme has other issues that is another story but constantly wanting to change up your themes because you're tired of looking at them is a bad idea.

    it's a waste of time always looking for the next-best-greatest theme. chances are your visitors don't even care.

    oh yeah, stop looking at your site so much.

    thesis does look very nice btw
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    • Profile picture of the author pyles
      Jason - Thanks for the input.

      I understand it is not for my personal enjoyment, however I love good design and go crazy when my sites do not look good, however I do not have the skill to do so myself.


      Everyone else - have you had any luck with Theme Gallery | Elegant Themes they look great and $19 per year to use any of their themes.

      Thesis looks so great due to the 301 redirect for aff. links, I wonder if I can find a WP plugin to do that myself. Looks like this one may do the trick - anyone know? WordPress › Redirection WordPress Plugins

      Thanks for fast input!
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      • Profile picture of the author Kerry Finch
        I have the developers version as well and have installed it on several sites, and had outsourcers install it on a whole lot more for me. It is great for SEO, but can be tricky to master. I prefer Flexibility theme for sites I build myself because it more user friendly.

        If it is for your own sites, i.e. where you own the domain name, you can use the Dev copy as often as you like. However, if you are using it for clients' websites, you need to pay $40 each time you use it, if you want to be on the up and up. And even then, that copy does not allow the domain owner access to Thesis support - they need to buy a full license for that.

        Flexibility on the other hand, if you purchase the Developers copy, you can use it as often as you like, including on clients' sites.

        Not sure if you were planning to do this at all, but interesting to know.
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  • Profile picture of the author Laura B
    I love it. You do have to learn how to use the OpenHook plugin to really enhance its flexibility, but it's quite simple. With just about any theme, you have to get into the code if you're going to make certain changes, and even in Thesis, yes, I've had to paste in some code. But for the most part, the ease of use has been great for me, even though I've only used it on a couple sites so far (bought developer version). If I could never use it on another site, I would consider it worth it. It saves me a lot of time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bossman34
    Hey Miles,

    I am personally not a fan of Thesis. I'm sure it's great and a lot of people love it, but unless you're a good designer/developer it takes a lot of time to get it how you want. I don't want to spend hours of my time tinkering around with web design. My time is better spent marketing...not designing.

    I have bought and tried MANY themes (Thesis, Builder, Flexx, Flexibility, StudioPress, etc) and I finally tried WooThemes and absolutely love them! They're nice, clean looking themes that are pretty easy to customize.

    They have a permanent 3 for 1 deal where you get 3 themes for $70 with unlimited use licenses. I usually get a magazine theme, a blog theme, and business theme. Those should suit all of your needs. In fact, I just bought Canvas, Daily Edition, and Optimize. I don't foresee needing to buy another theme for a loooong time.

    They have other purchasing options as well including membership options...check it out.

    I think they might be running a 50% off deal right now so you might want to go look right now while it's still going. Subscribe to their Twitter feed because they are constantly running deals. I think they've ran 3 deals this week.

    I highly recommend these guys...one of the best!

    Hope this helps!

    Adam
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
    I understand it is not for my personal enjoyment, however I love good design and go crazy when my sites do not look good, however I do not have the skill to do so myself.
    It's cool. I think we all feel the same way. But, I think you might getting to wrapped up in something that in the long run isn't very important.

    I know we can all become very attached to our first few sites (not sure if this is your first or not) and we tend to baby them.

    After you get a couple more under your belt... well, have you seen half of the sales pages out there and those xfactor sites. Most of them fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

    I'm not suggesting that design isn't important and you shouldn't put effort into and be proud of your sites but it's not something worth obsessing over.

    Look at how many major design changes any large site has had over the past 5 years. I'd bet most of them haven't changed very much at all.

    This doesn't mean you shouldn't pick up the Thesis theme or whatever, but how long until you are bored with it as well?
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    • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
      Whoever comes up with a software program and/or theme that has the flexibility and power of Thesis and Frugal, but has the power of a WYSIWYG editor that cranks it all out in clean code in a way where people can REALLY customize the appearance of their blog is going to make some serious coin! (A guy can dream can't he?).

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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    I have thesis and it's grreat, BUT i recently got the Headway theme.
    It is awesome, much easier to work with than thesis,easy to change website design and live CSS editor. When you make changes you can see them in realtime.
    Maybe take a look at it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    I purchased the developers licence of Thesis last summer, and then two months ago did some research and made a change to the developers licence of Headway theme (http://www.headwaytemplate.com)

    Will never look back!

    I paid $300 to a designer to customize a Thesis theme in what took 15 minutes with Headway...and I have an extensive knowledge of HTML (just not CSS which Thesis caught me with)

    Food for thought!

    ~Dexx
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    • Profile picture of the author Marian
      I use Thesis on manny blogs and absolutely love it! It's easy to customize, with OpenHook plugin there tons of possibilities. I have a few more good themes, but Thesis is my number one. Worth the price.

      Marian
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    • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
      Originally Posted by Dexx View Post

      I purchased the developers licence of Thesis last summer, and then two months ago did some research and made a change to the developers licence of Headway theme (Headway Premium WordPress Theme)

      Will never look back!

      I paid $300 to a designer to customize a Thesis theme in what took 15 minutes with Headway...and I have an extensive knowledge of HTML (just not CSS which Thesis caught me with)

      Food for thought!

      ~Dexx

      headway is very nice indeed!

      Dexx, can you upload your own background or header with Headway theme?
      I wish we could use Artisteer to design the stuff and then just upload it to Headway or Frugal...


      Thomas
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Lundergan
        Originally Posted by SirThomas View Post

        headway is very nice indeed!

        Dexx, can you upload your own background or header with Headway theme?
        I wish we could use Artisteer to design the stuff and then just upload it to Headway or Frugal...


        Thomas
        Hey Thomas, yes you can easily upload your own background. In the drag and drop visual editor, just click on Site Configuration (to) Body (to) Upload Background Image. You can upload anything you want and stick it wherever you want to.

        Hope that helps.

        Scott
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        • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
          Originally Posted by Scott Lundergan View Post

          Hey Thomas, yes you can easily upload your own background. In the drag and drop visual editor, just click on Site Configuration (to) Body (to) Upload Background Image. You can upload anything you want and stick it wherever you want to.

          Hope that helps.

          Scott
          Thank you Scott. Really appreciated.


          Thomas
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  • Profile picture of the author costa
    The best thing about Thesis is not the customizations but the SEO. The code architecture is built in such a way that no Googles juices are leaked to any pages that do nit deserves it. The html files are also separated form the core files to make the Theme lean and mean for Search Engines.

    I have used it for a year now and in every instance when I changed my old Theme to the Thesis, I see a definite increase in search traffic within a months time.

    Customization wise, if like me, you enjoy learning some codes and seeing the magic happen before your eyes, you will have lots of fun with Thesis. I have and still has lots of fun every weekend tweaking the looks of my Blog. LOL.

    Otherwise, Frugal Theme wins for ease of Theme customization.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyroneshum
    oh yeah, stop looking at your site so much.
    LOL That's a good one. Sometimes not visiting your site very often will make you appreciate it more. Plus, the moment the theme perfectly worked, I'd better stick on it.

    DIYThemes is a good one. I have used Thesis for quite long time and it's effective for my readers. I recommend you just go for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author peiprofit
      I looked into both Thesis and Headway and I chose Headway. Boy am I glad I did! I am no programmer but Headway still let me create exactly the design I wanted. It was easy and fun. It is MUCH simpler and more intuitive than Thesis. I made a short vid of me messing around with Headway on my blog - it really shows some of the cool things you can do with it.
      My Headway Theme Review | Make Money Online

      Also I have a coupon code on my blog, so anyone thinking about buying Headway should definitely check it out!
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  • Profile picture of the author pyles
    Thanks for all the input,

    Anyone every use: Elegant Themes? $20 per year for about 30 themes.

    Theme Gallery | Elegant Themes
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    • Profile picture of the author parzlou
      I have been wanting to go with thesis for some time now but the developers prices has kept me a way .. I have used studio press themes , woo,and i themes paying upwards of $70 dollars each .

      I could have payed for the thesis developer for the amount i spent on themes from all the others combined , but I digress... I found a free theme that can be modified to resemble thesis it is called 2 column Neoclassical theme and have installed on my personal project site
      The Lupus Pain Relief project

      This site had a big clunky premium paid theme on it with lots of pictures and bell and whistles and plugins and it took like 20 minutes to load.. well not really but you get the idea. now with the neoclassical on it and some simple modifications I have a slick smooth looking faster loading website . now as afar as the seo aspect goes I am still implementing some things for that side of it but I am really impressed with it the theme so far and it was FREE !!

      peace
      Scott
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    • Profile picture of the author peiprofit
      Originally Posted by pyles View Post

      Thanks for all the input,

      Anyone every use: Elegant Themes? $20 per year for about 30 themes.

      Theme Gallery | Elegant Themes
      I've used them. They are pretty but the themes are very inflexible and you won't be able to do much with them unless you are a coder. Even then, you won't get the look you were looking - you'll just have to settle for someone's idea of what's elegant.

      Elegant Themes is not in the same category as super-customizable themes like Thesis and Headway (and my vote is for headway My Headway Theme Review | Make Money Online.)

      I think that their marketing strategy is: "we'll make it so shockingly cheap that people will say "what the heck let's buy it!"
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      • Profile picture of the author zacsmith
        Originally Posted by peiprofit View Post

        I've used them. They are pretty but the themes are very inflexible and you won't be able to do much with them unless you are a coder. Even then, you won't get the look you were looking - you'll just have to settle for someone's idea of what's elegant.

        Elegant Themes is not in the same category as super-customizable themes like Thesis and Headway (and my vote is for headway My Headway Theme Review | Make Money Online.)

        I think that their marketing strategy is: "we'll make it so shockingly cheap that people will say "what the heck let's buy it!"
        I've used Elegant Themes for about six months, but not Headway or Thesis. I've found ET themes to be easy to modify, if you don't mind mucking about with the theme files a little. More recent themes that have been posted include an "ePanel" admin, which allows you to control many, many elements of the presentation without touching the code. The price is a bargain, and as a working print and web graphic designer (37 years; I designed my first website in 1996), I can attest to the creativity and quality of the design.

        I've only used a couple of the themes from the site, but consider the investment worthwhile, especially for those times I (or a client) don't have the budget or time to put into an original theme design. I grab a theme, do some customization, and we're off!

        My "standard" theme is Flexibility 2, for its, er, flexibility! Some quirks, but easy to learn to deal with, and the support forum is excellent. I just redesigned my entire "money site" from Postnuke into Wordpress with Flexibility 2, and built in functionality I could not dream of with PN.

        You mileage, of course, may vary.

        gary
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  • Profile picture of the author JordanFrancis
    Okay, in no particular order...

    Thesis has its strength in efficient code, SEO and
    typography. You can easily define the # of columns
    you want (1,2 or 3), and their widths. You can also
    choose the fonts and colors, all without touching
    code. But beyond this, design-wise, code is required.

    Other themes may get you closer to your desired
    look without requiring code, but may do so at the
    expense of something else you deem important.

    Thesis is a very robust framework—one that has
    a large following, including many A-list types.
    This includes Googles' SEO "figurehead" Matt Cutts.

    I am an affiliate for Thesis & put together a "bonus"
    so I can add value to "the process". A simple search
    should reveal it so I won't link from here. Plus I
    don't want my input to be seen as selfish.

    Thesis obviously has its flaws to those who
    never want to touch code and want to make
    it look un-Thesis-like.

    Because it has a big following, there are no
    shortage of tutorials. No shortage of help.
    The customer-only forum is very active.

    I believe that once you have chosen a theme,
    and so long as it's a flexible one with on-going
    development...you'll probably be better off
    sticking to it because in the end, they all can
    achieve the same "look" as each other...

    By sticking to one, and learning what you need
    to do as you use it, you'll benefit from your own
    increasing expertise. Using and customising Thesis
    with each site I build, I get faster, and can now
    easily tweak ANY of my sites because they all
    use the same framework. Not so easy if I had
    several different themes on the go

    Just some thoughts...
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  • Profile picture of the author txkhomes
    Overall I have several clients using it and love it for the simple interface but highly functions available thru the options
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  • Profile picture of the author Yusuf
    Not related to Thesis, but if you already have a custom design in mind then you can use something like the Elastic Theme Editor. If you have a PSD mock-up then you can use Divine to easily convert it into a WordPress theme.
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  • Profile picture of the author fypnlp
    Thesis is brilliant but not something you can build straight out of the box unless you know your CSS. I had a develope to create my webiste and my blog and it's worked wonders. I totally recommend it. Also, I'm not an affiliate :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Wechito
    If you are not a programmer/designer and need a theme easy to customise, Thesis is a great one.
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    • Profile picture of the author salegurus
      Originally Posted by Wechito View Post

      If you are not a programmer/designer and need a theme easy to customise, Thesis is a great one.
      I disagree, you have it the wrong way round. To customize thesis you will need at least a basic understanding of HTML/CSS.
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  • Profile picture of the author pavionjsl
    Love socrates,affiliate theme.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dj Taylor
      I use Thesis Theme on my Wordpress blogs and I love it. It's great for SEO and I like the design. I'm not the flashy graphics type so I don't customize it that much. One of the best things about DIY Themes is the phenomenal support forum they have. If you have a any questions about Thesis, you will have no trouble finding help on their forum.
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      • Profile picture of the author hishaman
        Hi, I am using Thesis Theme, and I have managed to customize it to have a unique skin for my blog, and I can say that during this journey I have learned lots from Thesis, Basically because it's a theme that teach you and make the work on your blog more exciting!

        Most of people hate Thesis Theme because their blogs look like so many other blog, the same exactly. So... To be honest I must tell you that Thesis works out of the box only if you don't need customization or a unique look, otherwise you will have to do some real work to make it look the way you want (plz try to think about it as a framework!)

        Another thing I want to tell about Thesis marketing strategy that it's targeting Marketer, Copywriters, and SEOs and those who blog for money, so the SEO built in features in Thesis are great and gives you more power, although you can have the same options by installing a few plugins! but Thesis Theme people succeeded on their marketing plan, which actuality open a new door for more developers/designers to deliver their services to Thesis users! (by the way, not all designers will like to work with Thesis, the first impression for a designer is not good, but it's very different feeling for the user/client.. they all love it - they just want it to look nice!)

        And to solve the problem of the way Thesis looks, there is some skins out there, free & premium (I must say that not all of them are high quality!)

        Aside of this, I personally had a very good experience with Thesis more than any other theme I have used, and I feel it's the only WP theme I can work with, probably because I can control every part of the blog the way exactly I wanted to be!

        Thesis Theme is for developers more than normal users, I have a developer account, and I am working on a new project completely depending on Thesis theme because I feel comfort with it!

        If you think you can have fun coding & styling by spend sometime customizing Thesis, then I 100% recommended it to you, I am also welcoming you to my blog to read a few tutorials for Thesis if you are interested!

        good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Karan Goel
    Well, yes it is worth the money. But, just in case you don't want to spend that much, check out its free alternative.

    Karan
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    I have a hate/love relationship with thesis. I dont like the fact that customization is really a pain in the *** - but i like the fact that the sites "out of the box" look incredible clean. Also, you dont need any SEO plugins with Thesis (or headway) for that matter. Its a VERY solid theme which makes very solid, good looking and clean sites. I recently made some adsense sites in the insurance/loan niche and for this Thesis is perfect - but if you want something more artsy with headers and graphics it might become a problem. I only took a quick look at headway and its definitly more "complex" and has more options than thesis - both are good and solid themes.
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    • Profile picture of the author blue_sky
      nope - you can get a skin like the easy skin from thesisthemes and Mark - the creator - is always quick to help


      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      but if you want something more artsy with headers and graphics it might become a problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author InternetM39482
    I use Thesis on almost all of my affiliate sites.

    I've had great results with it and though it's a personal preference, I think it looks really well.

    If you want to play around with it a bit... check this: Thesis Skins for the Thesis Theme – #1 Resource for Thesis Skins. They have a few paid as well as free options and almost all of them look pretty nice!
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    No, there is no free trial and you cant even see their support forums without first purchasing the theme.

    I still think that thesis is "good" BUT overpriced.

    Some days ago i sat a few hours ONLY to put a simple header on a site - and this with my PHP/HTML/CSS/Wordpress knowledge. I dont think that in the year 2010 someone needs to "code hack" just to put a simple header on a site. Ridiculous.
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  • Profile picture of the author JordanFrancis
    Hmm...

    To add a header image to Thesis:

    1. Upload your header image
    2. Edit the CSS file to apply your image to the DIV / element where you want it

    Just FTP the image to your server. OR you can upload your header image via the Dashboard, if you wish, via the media upload feature. Just note the URL when you're done. Easy.

    You can edit the CSS file within the Thesis control-panel.

    For example, something like this in your CSS file:

    .custom #header {background url(YourHeaderURL)}
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  • Profile picture of the author bill05
    Personally I think Thesis is my smartest purchase in the past couple years. Very SEO friendly. Easy to tweak design and layouts on the fly. Plus latest version you can download DAT setup files to quickly replicate site design and settings. Plus seems to be a work of love for the programmer Chris who is always making it better and the help forum knows SEO and Wordpress - JMO and for what it's worth Matt Cutts and Andy Jenkins went Thesis for their personal blogs last year. Bill
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  • Originally Posted by pyles View Post

    Hey Guys/Gals,

    I am a huge Wordpress fan, I love the accessibility of it, however I am getting really bored with the themes that I can find online.

    I spent over $200+ on a theme for my website and have had nothing but problems and a developer that stopped replying (yes I learned not to hire bad devs )

    I have been looking at Thesis for a while - it looks hugely extensible and agile and might be a good fit. I would get the Dev copy for $167, but am just worried about committing that much cash again.

    What are your thoughts on this - it looks to have great affiliate link hiding, etc, and some great layout features. Any one have it and have an unbiased opinion?

    Thanks!

    miles
    Thesis is an AWESOME theme... worth every $$$. I have a developer license and love it. It is the most robust theme on the market IMO. It is very SEO friendly out of the box. And it has great support.

    I would highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about blogging or using WP to through up sites for whatever purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hitanshu
    Can we carry on with this thread? Anybody has something good or bad to say about diy themes? I have seen that affiliate site using diy themes are usually NUMBER 1 in google without any links. How in the world that is possible?
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    I absolutely love Thesis! I love the flexibility it has, and how you can change so many things about the appearance and layout without having to get into the CSS and html. There are so many things you can control within the Thesis interface, including colors, the RSS feed, padding size, etc. Of course, there's also the now-famous Thesis multimedia box which I absolutely love, as you can stick just about any kind of multimedia content (including html) in it with a minimum of fuss.

    In addition to that, there are commercially available "skins" for Thesis that allow you to modify and tweak the appearance and colors of Thesis even more without having to touch a line of html or css. If you're planning on sticking with just one theme for your Wordpress sites, Thesis has my highest recommendation and I feel that it is worth every bit of its current $164 developer's price tag! (This includes lifetime updates at no cost.)

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Focused Action
    I have both Thesis and Genesis Theme - Thesis is a great theme but is not easy for the average user to create graphically pleasing designs - most of the skins for sale or free are kind of weak. Genesis Theme (StudioPress) is also very good and they have many nice "child themes" that help you create really nice looking designs.

    Of course, without good keyword selection, good content, good conversion methods and tons and tons of backlinks, it really doesn't matter which theme you use!!!

    In my links below - "Best Internet Business" is built with Thesis and "Green Homes" is built with Genesis using the Lifestyle child theme.
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