Thesis WordPress Theme Review

June 18, 2013 · 9 comments

by Lars

Thesis Theme, created by the two very respected bloggers, Chris Pearson and Brian Clark, is really really a great Theme for WordPress.I have to admit that I got surprised with the number of features this themes provides. diythemes have some very good and informative product videos in their site that you can watch to get more details. This article also will provide you an overview of the most interesting features.

Themes like Thesis that has been designed by very experienced bloggers and that in the right way extend the functionality of WordPress make it much easier to maintain a professional blog. This is especially true if you don’t know how to manipulate code like HTML and CSS and will support you in creating a unique look and feel for your blog. Theme like Thesis are also very well optimized for search engines which is likely to increase the chance for attracting traffic to your blog.


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Thesis Review

“Premium” themes is a definition of themes that people paid for even though they are not unique. Premium themes usually comes with extended admin options and customer support making these themes an ideal foundation for building your onw layout. There are a wide variety of premium themes out there, and tripwire magazine has reviewed several of these, but  Thesis is perhaps one of the most well-known and it is widely used.

What is Thesis?

Thesis is simply a WordPress theme, but it is much more than that. It is by some described as a “theme framework” due to the fact that many different styles and types of theme can be created with Thesis as a starting point.

The theme is not new at all and have proved to be outstanding. It has been through a major series of regular updates, continually adding new features incl. user requested features.

The theme provides it’s users a high level of control through two control panel menus.

1) One is based on configuration options. This include options such as what pages to include in navigation, what information you want to show about each post, some display options, Feedburner feed URL and any header or footer scripts that you wish to include. This is what you see in most premium themes these days.

pentacom

2) The other menu, Thesis Design Options is the one really giving the theme flexibility. In the current version (1.5.1) some of the options include:

options panel

  • Being able to select how many columns you want
  • Where you want these columns displayed
  • The exact width of each of these columns
  • Whether you want a standard homepage, or “Features and teasers”
  • What type, and size, of font you want in all the different sections of the theme.
  • Post images now appear in RSS feeds! Tons of folks clamored for this one, and each and every one of ‘em was right—this is a must-have feature!
  • Fixed tagline font controls: And we’re all gonna pretend that I didn’t screw this one up in version 1.5 :D
  • Fixed thumbnail dimension overrides in the in-post editor: Remember when you tried to resize your auto-cropped thumbnail and it didn’t work? Yeah, that sucked. Sorry.
  • Fixed JavaScript compatibility issue on the widgets panel: This was only an issue for early adopters of WordPress 2.8, but I feel the need to mention it here anyway.
  • New, handy nav menu on both options panels! Quick links to Thesis resources from your WordPress dashboard? Yeah, we’ve got that.

“Features and teasers” is a new option that allows you to have a front page that is more of a magazine-style theme, showing featured posts and a short excerpt of other posts. Previously you would have to choose between a theme with a traditional blog homepage or a magazine-style theme. Thesis gives you the option to choose either version within one overall theme.

The theme also adds a large number of options to the Write screen, including the ability to add custom images to each post and add media to the multimedia box. This box is a great feature that allows custom videos, images (or even ads) to be added on a post-by-post basis. You can even have a custom style just for that post if you have set it up in your stylesheet.

Last but not least are the SEO options that allow you to control the SEO of each post when you write it, making this one of the most powerful themes for SEO control.

seo

Customizing Thesis beyond the options page

As well as the in-built menu options, Thesis also allows great flexibility in customizing the theme using a custom stylesheet. The developer focus on code quality and good development practices and as style is kept separate from the core theme files, the custom folder allows you to keep any custom changes even when you upgrade the theme to the latest version.

There is also a system of hooks that allow you to add your own content into various parts of theme. This is obviously for more advanced users and will not be covered in detail here. Still it is a great feature for the professional blogger as it give ultimate flexibility. For more details take a look at the OpenHook plugin that simplifies this process and adds massive functionality without having to edit a custom functions file.

How is Thesis Support?

Thesis has a good support forum where you will be able to get most answers and there is a free lifetime access for the purchase of the single theme. The theme is well documented http://diythemes.com/thesis/rtfm/ and there are several product videos you can watch to see it in action.

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andrew A. Gautreaux August 14, 2010 at 8:05 am

Good post, will frequent your site.

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