The NEW Thesis and Why You Should Consider It

August 24, 2010

in Editor's Corner

Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

For this Two Cents Tuesday…talkin’ about Thesis 1.8.

I’m sure you have heard that the long-awaited Thesis 1.8 has been released this week and it’s at the same price as it was before, so there are sighs of relief going up all over the blog world. I use Thesis on BizChickBlogs and am an affiliate, also.

Prior to this release I was really hesitant about recommending it, and for awhile I chose not to use it on BCB because I didn’t recommend it. I used it for clients when they bought it and I also have a developer license and have used it on just a few of my own sites before, but I didn’t want to say to everyone, buy Thesis.

The biggest change in this release is the ability to upload a header image using the options panel rather than having to FTP it and rely on customizing the CSS or custom_functions.php file yourself (and if seeing “custom_functions.php” written out just made your eyes cross, that’s why I didn’t recommend it). Now, easily customizing the header, which is undoubtedly one of the most desirable features of any theme, is in there. Like Prego, it’s in there.

Thesis 1.8 Features

Thesis 1.8 has all sorts of features that make it much more user-friendly. I’m only listing the ones that are most desirable from a non-developer standpoint. For developers, there are a few more that make it useful. View All Thesis 1.8 Features Here.

  • Header image upload feature (clickable and search engine optimized as well)
  • Favicon upload feature
  • SEO character counts (very nice; similar to All-In-One-SEO except this count both title and description characters)
  • Google Font Selector
  • All of the features of previous versions, including highly customizable fonts, colors, and layout.

If you were frustrated about the header thing, that part is taken care of.

Thesis Theme Ideas

If you’re concerned about your theme looking like everyone else’s, you don’t need to be. Thesis is a framework; customizing it completely will give you your own custom theme, essentially.

Examples of things I’ve done with Thesis. Compare these against BizChickBlogs:

See how different each of them looks? There are many, many more examples. FamousBloggers.net, Kikolani.com and CopyBlogger.com blogs use Thesis, and you can check out a few Thesis Theme Galleries for more examples.

Share Your Thesis Experience

Usually people who have Thesis really like it, but on occasion, people have concerns or different experiences to share. I know that many of you use Thesis, so if you have any advice or warnings, share them here so people can be fully prepped. Thanks!

Click here to become a Thesis Affiliate.

Rick LaPoint September 6, 2010 at 7:52 am

My site is Thesis, which I have been using for about a month. I use the Open Hook plugin, which saves from a lot of coding headaches if you don’t want to get into learning or coding the hooks.

If you want to customize with code, Thesis is a dream come true, as you can easily go way beyond the capabilities of most WordPress themes, which pretty much lock you into their, well, Theme :-)

I was able to come up with a look that is fairly unique for WordPress or even standard HTML.

Rick

seospidy@Internet marketing August 27, 2010 at 1:13 am

Thanks for update I m not Web developer and most interesting feature of Thesis 1.8 is I can upload header image for couple of my client blogs i don’t need any code jargon guru developer for doing small changes in blog.

James Pruitt@How to Use WordPress August 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Thanks For this post. I just got Thesis yesterday. I am taking it for a test drive on one of my lesser blogs while I figure out how to use it. But I got the developer version so I can add it to all my blogs once i get past the learning curve.

I like it so far, in fact I am removing almost half of my plugins since thesis does a lot of it for me.

Tia Peterson August 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Very cool, James. I’m sure you know your way around Wordpress so it will probably be a no-brainer for you.

Alex@niche site marketing August 26, 2010 at 7:04 am

Hey Tia!

I made it.It’s about time too I might add :)
Great write up, I run thesis – would run nothing else quite frankly and I can say that it is the best theme ever if you are not technical at all!
Also…Two cents Tuesday…I LIKE IT!

I have threadless thursday – but yours is much better!

Tia Peterson August 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Hey Alex! Glad you arrived!!

I will have to check out Threadless Thursday today.

I like Thesis, too. For creating custom Wordpress themes there is no other way to go.

Selena @ Niche Blogging Diva August 25, 2010 at 4:55 am

I have wanted to try Thesis for a while, but it’s a bit pricey for my budget right now. I use mostly StudioPress themes for my niche sites, because you can set up almost everything from the dashboard. However, I may try Thesis in the near future. Some people have said it’s great for SEO (apparently Google likes Thesis more than other themes).

From your experience, do you think it helps with rankings or is it just another a myth?

Tia Peterson August 25, 2010 at 6:06 am

Good question! I think it’s fallacy to say that Google “likes” any theme, and if a person doesn’t actually use the SEO fields that Thesis provides, they aren’t any closer to good SEO than they were before.

The framework for good SEO exists but it’s not an automatic thing. You will have to write good optimized content, title, description, and set up the site’s main SEO elements. If you leave them blank, it’s not like Thesis is so intelligent that it creates them for you! We wish.

Tinh August 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Thesis 1.8 rocks with many more features added :-) I love this version compared to the 1.7 :-)

Tia Peterson August 25, 2010 at 6:03 am

Awesome!!

Wayne Howard August 24, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I had thought about getting Thesis in the past but once I looked through the tutorials and saw that it was more geared towards developers I opted against it. I didn’t want to sit there and try to learn all the coding and whatnot.

I’m not a complete noob when it comes to coding but it was more than I wanted to invest for a theme. But then again, Thesis is more of a framework rather than a theme.

Tia Peterson August 25, 2010 at 6:02 am

Right; and a lot of people share your sentiment. Customizing Thesis wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but what I have noticed is that most of the time, people just want to change the header! So now that they can do that, it should be very straightforward now.

Sherryl Perry August 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

I use Thesis on my site and definitely intend to upgrade to the developer’s license before 2.0 comes out. I look at Thesis as an investment. Even though it’s tempting to use a free theme, if someone wants a professional, unique blog without spending a lot of time and effort, they should seriously considering buying it. I have the technical skills to build a blog without Thesis but I look at time as money. Thesis has more than paid for itself with the time that I have saved by using it.

Tia Peterson August 25, 2010 at 6:01 am

Oh yes, when it comes to creating a custom theme, it has saved me a lot of time as well. But I don’t think Thesis (was) for newbies unless they are content with using it out of the box. With the header change, people are certainly a lot closer to a very user-friendly framework.

Kathy August 24, 2010 at 11:34 am

I have always been a fan of Thesis because of how many quality websites out there use it. One of the really great aspects of it is that it makes the blogs all reader friendly. Seeing that blogs are intended to be read, it only makes sense that a blog theme should take that into account. I am amazed how many of the free blog themes out there have such a lack of emphasis on the text.

Tia Peterson August 25, 2010 at 5:59 am

Even some of the paid ones make it hard to read or just to focus.

You’re right that out-of-the-box Thesis is very easy to read.

Thanks, Kathy!

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