Using Thesis for WordPress

Well, it’s been 2 months since the “launch” of  Thesis for WordPress, version 2.0. And it’s been a LONG 2 months for us Thesis users.

Over that time, I’ve spent countless hours of my short life trying to become proficient with the new Thesis theme. I write about Thesis a lot on this blog, because I used to be a big fan. In fact, I become a sponsor for the Thesis Theme and was/am pondering creating themes and skins for Thesis 2.0. I have a site waiting: T2 Skins, in fact, that has been sort of a sandbox (a live one) for learning the newest iteration of Thesis. It has been seeing less and less action from me, however.

As I’ve plugged away so many late nights now, trying to master Thesis 2.0, I’ve realized an irony: I have spent so much time learning all the code that Thesis 2 promises we don’t have to touch, I’ve realized I don’t need Thesis 2 as a framework anymore. In fact, I operate much more quickly hand-coding my websites now. The goal of learning Thesis 2 was that I could possibly see that eventually there are efficiencies, once everything is in place. That would require the user being a Thesis ninja, using the variables a lot, and many boxes, skins and packages being available. To date, none have happened. That leaves a huge void.

I’ve lost a lot of respect for the creators of the Thesis theme, which I hate to say because I know that developing it wasn’t easy. However, that’s why it commands a nearly $200 price tag these days. The inexperience running a business is plaguing DIY Themes and is evident in the creation of their/his new business model. What used to seem like grandiose marketing has now turned into what feels like actual deceit. “Don’t need to touch code!” “Full support!” Well…maybe, if you ignore the facts, such as NEEDing to know code to use it, and the support being in the form of other people helping you on the forum. Pretty weak and unreliable, and Chris Pearson et al still make such claims without setting realistic expectations. That’s playing with fire in business. And those aren’t the only flaws the customer learns about after purchase, but certainly the most glaring.

So, after several years of using the Thesis theme version 1.XX, and now using 2.0 on several sites for 2 months, the dust is settling, and here’s where things seem to be from where I stand:

  • I’m finding myself still using Thesis 1.85 on several sites. It’s solid, but becoming tiresome in the shadow of 2.0, a hulking chunk of awkwardness and time-consumption.
  • I find myself using Thesis 2.0 less and less and simply modifying the free theme ‘2012’ (or another free framework) much more frequently, with more satisfying results.
  • I am getting to know web design and development really well. As in, I’m now freelancing. All thanks to learning Thesis 2.0, the theme framework you don’t need to use any code with.
  • I’m pulling affiliate ad spots for the Thesis theme on sites for products and services I believe in more. Sadly, Thesis 2 and DIY Themes have been a disappointment from beginning to end ever since released, no matter what anyone says.
  • I’ve noticed DIY Themes “marketing expert” Derek Halpern has been MIA during the past several months, when he used to write blog posts nearly weekly. Not saying anything, but just something I’ve noticed.
  • I’m finding myself looking more closely at other premium frameworks, much more frequently. I haven’t been overly impressed with Elegant Themes, although I have a dev option. Just tools for the toolbox, you know.
  • I’m coming closer and closer to releasing my own themes to the public. And plugins.

The guys at DIY Themes seemed to have overlooked their core competency in the name of greed or hubris or both, and I have to believe it will become a fatal error eventually. There are still die-hard fans of Thesis and Chris Pearson, but those numbers are dwindling daily. People have been running on faith and promises for the past 2 months. That’ll only carry you so far.

So, if you need a site built from the ground-up or a renovation of your current site, or even customizing your Thesis theme just like you want it, I’ll be happy to do it. Just contact me.

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