I have been using the WordPress Thesis theme for awhile now. In fact, I went back and checked my files and I originally bought the theme over two years ago now. I actually bought Thesis before I even had any websites up but for the life of my I can’t remember where I first heard about the theme. Since then, Thesis for WordPress has come a long way and has gotten a lot more popular with Internet marketers.
I’m not one of those people who do reviews on products that they don’t actually use. If you look at the sidebar you will notice that I promote The Keyword Academy (have been a paying member for 2 years), HostGator hosting, and Thesis Theme. Yes, they are affiliate links, but they are products or services that I use throughout my whole business and don’t have a problem recommending to anyone.
I use the Thesis theme on almost every one of my websites. I have mixed it up a little and used a few other themes on a couple small niche sites, but I would say 90% of my sites use Thesis and there is a good reason for that.
A Closer Look at the Thesis Theme
SEO Made Easy
The first thing that I really like about this theme is that it comes already SEOed. There is no need to download a SEO plugin for a website that is run on Thesis. These aspects were already written into the code for the theme and it makes it much easier to control your on page SEO.
You can make your own custom title tags, meta descriptions, and meta tags for each page, post and category. You can also control the home page SEO right through the dashboard. All you have to do is type in your title tag, meta description, and meta keywords for your home page right in the site options page for the theme. There is no need to download any plugins and mess around with those when you have the Thesis theme.
Easy Awesome Category Pages
With the Thesis theme you can make some pretty awesome category pages and it doesn’t require you to do any coding of the sort. (I don’t do this on this site but I do on other niche site and get quite a bit of traffic to my category pages)
With Thesis you can customize your category pages and make them look a lot better than just having a listing on posts under that category. You can write additional content to beef up the page for the search engines as well as easily monetize the category page as well.
You can also add your own custom title tag and meta tags to help with SEO purposes to get your category pages easily ranked.
What I like the most about this feature is that I can write some content for the category page and then monetize it and be able to make money from this page because it’s much easier to rank in the search engines with the extra content on it. It seriously only takes a few minutes to set up but can easily make you hundreds of dollars more from your site.
Easily Change the Look of Your Website with Thesis
I can copy and paste like no one’s business but when it comes to coding a website, I have absolutely no clue what I am doing. This is one of the main reasons why I bought Thesis because I know nothing about PHP. You can easily change the look of your site to be original and not have to do any coding at all. Like I said, this was definitely the major sell of this theme back when I bought and it has evolved in the past two years and now is even easier to customize.
When you upload the Thesis theme – which by the way is totally easily and you are given step by step directions, you will notice a Design Options are on your sidebar under the Theme heading. It looks like this:
This easily allows you to change things like
- Background and page color
- Font choices as well as sizes and colors
- Number of columns (1,2,3) as well as placement of the columns
- Size of the columns
- Display options like bylines and dates for posts
- Font color and size of the header
- Sidebar font choices as well as color and size
- Image and thumbnail settings
- Multimedia box – comes with multimedia box with several options and can also not use it at all
Here you can see just how easy it is to change the colors and fonts for your site
With one of the past Updates to Thesis it made it possible to easily upload a header without having to do any code or manually uploading the header. All you have to do is upload your header file here:
You can also easily upload a Favicon the same way you do a header under the Favicon Uploader.
Now, here is the part where some people either love Thesis or hate it. Thesis is based off of hooks. The theme is actually separated into different sections and these are the hooks. Each part of the theme has a hook and most also have hooks that are before the section as well as after the section.
An easy way to put it is the hook is where you want to control your site and then you need a function attached to actually tell the site what you want to do.
The thing is that you don’t have to use hooks at all as you have plenty of options in the control panel to use when it comes to designing you site. And there is a plugin which I use on a few of my sites called Thesis Open Hook plugin and it makes using hooks easier. There is also an awesome forum that is attached to the Thesis theme that has a bunch of helpful information about hooks and how to use them and which ones to use. If you buy this theme I definitely recommend you check out the forum and the tutorials that come with the theme.
If you are looking to have a special design to your site that isn’t like the basic Thesis framework, I would definitely recommend that you find a website designer who works with Thesis. It may cost you more but it will be much easier for you as Thesis is just a framework and not a specific designer theme like you see on WooThemes or ElegantThemes. Again you have so many options with the control panel that your site can look unique and you don’t need to know anything about hooks or using the CSS editor.
Thesis Upgrades Are Often
The designer of Thesis, Chris Pearson, recently revealed that there is another upgrade to Thesis coming soon and it sounds like a pretty big one. In the past two years that I have had Thesis, I believe I have gone through at least 3 upgrades and one of them was a pretty big one which added more control options such as the Header Uploader. These upgrades are free and will remain to be free to people who buy the license for the theme. I like that if WordPress upgrades and something stop workings with Thesis, you don’t have to worry long because there will be a quick fix and you don’t have to wait long or try to find another theme for your site.
There are some negative things to Thesis (what things don’t have negative points). These are my own opinion and some people may not even agree with them. I for one, took awhile to catch on to hooks and I still have problems with them. It took over an hour to find out how to add a border to my page on one of my sites but I got it to work and now have the code copied into a folder on my computer labeled “Thesis Hooks.”
This goes along with the hooks problem, but I was also looking to change the color of links in the sidebar and there is no way to do that in the control panel. Again it took me around 20 minutes to find a hook that would work to do this on a site. I would like to see more design aspects, especially for the sidebar added to the control panel to make things even easier on a coder dummy like me.
I definitely recommend Thesis theme to anyone looking to make money from a website whether it is a small niche site or a large passion site. It may sound expensive for some people, but I think it has been one of the best investments in my online passive income business and have more than made up the money I spend on it.