When it comes to themes for WordPress you need to be very selective. Along with design, what really matter is how well the theme is coded for performance and SEO. Here at ShoutMeLoud I use Thesis WordPress theme which is one out of the box theme architect for everyone. Thesis is not just a theme but it’s a theme framework. You can create unlimited number of skins to work with Thesis or if you don’t have any coding skills, you can hire someone to create a skin for you or use the free skins which you get when you buy Thesis theme. You can also refer to this resource where I have listed down the Thesis skins.
I have been using Thesis theme since 4 years and I was awe struck initially when Thesis launched Thesis 2.0 which was a complete new theme all together. In this Thesis 2.1.9 review, I will share my experience with the theme and I will tell you the pros and cons of the theme. I have been searching for perfect theme for Shoutmeloud. I have already used lots of theme in between that includes Genesis, Swift and many others. Few of them I liked because of the look or simplicity to add ads, but none of them seem as perfect as what I needed. Later in 2009 I got to know about Thesis theme which is designed for bloggers who are running a serious blog. This summer I upgraded Thesis theme from 1.8.5 to 2.1.9 and it was tedious process as I had to re-code everything from scratch. After moving my site to Thesis 2.x, I was stunned due to performance improvement and search engine traffic.
Thesis Theme review : Notable Features
There is no doubt about the fact, Thesis is best WordPress SEO theme at this moment. There are many competitors like Genesis, but Thesis main powerhouse is it’s SEO capabilities. It’s very true that we can optimize wordpress using lots of SEO friendly plugins, though theme plays a major role in terms of SEO. If your theme is not SEO optimized, despite of great content and SEO plugin, your wordpress SEO strategy will never be fulfilled and you will always be one step behind getting good number of traffic.
Your blog typography plays a major role in the readability of your content. To have a perfect typography, you need to have proper spacing between the lines, font height and line height. You can use this free golden ratio calculator to find the best typography for your blog which will improve the readability and hence also reduce the bounce rate of your blog.
Theme control panel :
Thesis offers a unique way to manage your skins and add content to it. Instead of editing the code, you can use Thesis boxes feature to add anything new to your blog. There are many free and premium boxes available on the internet which you can use to add many features like Author box, social media icons to your blog. Adding and removing this boxes is simpler than installing a new WordPress plugin.
Support forum :
This is something which I always wanted to have in my theme so that I will keep getting ideas for customization and we have community for same theme user. Thesis got an excellent support forum where you will be getting lots of Theme customization tips and SEO tips. These are the basic requirement which I always wanted to have in my Theme, and Thesis theme offered everything which I needed. Though every theme have it’s up and down and here are some of the cons of Thesis theme.
In 2014 and in coming years Responsiveness is a must-have feature for every WordPress theme out there. Responsiveness ensure that your blog looks good on various screen size such as Tablets, mobile and smartphones. Thesis theme is responsive and after upgrading to latest version of Thesis, I have noticed a significant boost on mobile and tablet users. More over with bit of tweaking such as integrating with Cloudflare, also helped me lower down my load time to less than 1 second, which was 5 seconds earlier. Check the above screenshot for loading time.
Cons of Thesis theme:
For any basic customization Thesis design panel is enough. With Thesis logo and favico uploader you can easily add logo and favico to your blog and you can change colors, typography and blog complete layout from design panel. But if you looking for high-end customization, then you need to have bit of CSS knowledge.
If you want to customize Thesis theme, it’s easy but having a basic knowledge of css will be a plus point. I never like playing with codes, probably Code phobia, but Seems like Thesis helped me to come out of it. Customizing Thesis theme is easy.
Custom.css is use to add styling into your blog and custom_function.php is used to add content anywhere in your blog with the help of hooks. None the less, there are many Thesis skins available in the market and you can use any of Thesis skins and give a custom look to your Thesis powered WordPress blog.
Thesis is priced from $87 to $197 and my favourite plan is professional one, as it offers all the skins + add-on boxes. More over you can install Thesis on any number of WordPress blogs that you own. Here is the pricing chart for Thesis theme:
The payment system use is Paypal. So you will get instant access to Thesis theme and Thesis support forum.
Over all with the responsiveness and cleaner code, Thesis theme is perfect for any blogger who is serious about their blog. You need to have a little knowledge of CSS or if not, you can always hire a Thesis coder to design a unique skin for your thesis theme. If you have any questions regarding Thesis WordPress theme, feel free to ask me via comments.