Until I found the Thesis WordPress Theme, (affiliate link) I hopped around from theme to theme. I was looking for an easy-to-use theme (aka WordPress framework or design) that would not require advanced programming knowledge. What I found in Thesis was better than I could have imagined, because this theme includes SEO-friendly features that I’ve not found in other themes. I’ve been suggesting this theme to others so often that it seemed about time I wrote a review.
The Thesis framework for WordPress is a powerful tool for both the seasoned programmer and those with limited coding skills. The Thesis Theme is often called a “theme” since it’s similar to other templates offered by WordPress developers to design websites. It’s more than a theme, however, since it provides an SEO optimized framework that remains unchanged even as the user experiments with site design and layout.
Thesis offer users three advantages over other WordPress templates:
- a user friendly interface that gives more control over design;
- a solid code framework that yields consistent search engine rankings independent of changes in site design;
- and excellent customer support through software specialists and fellow Thesis customers.
Thesis is Easy to Use
Reviewers of Thesis consistently rave about its functionality. You don’t have to know HTML, CSS or PHP to create a basic design with Thesis. Changes to a site’s design are made through two point-and-click option panels that control font, headers, and other design elements. If a user has coding experience, it’s fairly straightforward to customize files. Thesis also offers a multimedia box for greater flexibility for uploading audio, video, advertisements, and photos.
Customize with Design Overlays
As expected with the development of new software, companion technologies are available to enhance the user’s experience with this WordPress theme. Developer Mark Hodder has created a series of Thesis “skins,” or design overlays, for the Thesis framework that offer enhanced customization of advertising space, social media widgets, and other design features.
It’s SEO Friendly
Chris Pearson, creator of Thesis, discusses on his website how design can affect searchability if the design is controlled by the underlying code. Since the underlying code framework and design interface are separate in Thesis, users needn’t worry that tinkering with design elements will diminish SEO friendliness. You can update your blog and change metatags without needing a separate SEO plug-in, a requirement of other web templates.
Easily Add Web Analytics Software
With Thesis, you can allow add a web analytics element directly from the control panel to evaluate your site’s traffic. One reviewer suggested the Thesis developers could improve on the software’s SEO capabilities by adding more specific features. Towards improving SEO, Thesis 1.8 — the latest version of the software — has a character count feature for title and meta description fields.
Excellent Customer Support
When I first set up Thesis, I had a bunch of questions. The customer support for this theme helped me every step of the way. Fellow Thesis users provided friendly answers to my questions about set up and usage of the theme’s features. Over several years, my questions have become less frequent for two reasons:
- In each version, the developers work to make Thesis more user friendly.
- I understand how to use it better.
After initial setup—which can be quite simple—you will probably have fewer questions as time goes on.
And since I believe in this product, I became an affiliate of it.
The developers set up a site which allows you to compare pricing plans, view tutorials and join a members-only community of users. Software updates are free, and I’ve found each update makes me a happier user. Another reviewer praised Thesis for making it easy to import your site’s existing customization into new versions of the software.
Thesis retails at $87 for a personal copy and $164 for developers.