If you have even a tenuous connection with the blogosphere, by now you have probably heard about the Thesis Theme for WordPress. Well, I bought into the hype and purchased Thesis for my blogs.
What I’d like to do now is take you through what I learned about Thesis by actually using it on 3 commercial blogs.
The three major selling points for Thesis are it’s SEO abilities, it’s ease of customization and it’s extensive support community. I’ll tackle these in order and let you know how well Thesis does for each. Long story short, it delivers what it says it will.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Thesis fulfills its promise of more effective SEO. After installing Thesis Theme my blog traffic jumped. I made a rookie mistake when buying a domain for my first blog and got the .net version of a domain I later discovered had a .com already (I won’t try and give you the domains of all my websites because I’m not trying to push anything here!). For this blog, once I installed Thesis my site actually started outranking the .com version in Google! My two other blogs are much smaller and sales oriented and neither was making me any money (Literally! The traffic just wasn’t there) until I installed Thesis, and took advantage of the SEO functionality. Of course Thesis isn’t the only reason my traffic jumped, its not a magic bullet, but it makes your SEO efforts much more productive when it comes to being noticed. It definitely makes SEO more user-friendly and lot less tedious.
Customization: Thesis is pretty good here too. Its simple to customize the way you like, and is great for changing those annoying things you just can’t get right in your free theme. It’s a simple matter of a few clicks to choose the number or layout of columns in your blog, for example, an extremely powerful feature. I used three columns for my .net blog and one column for my two sales blogs and in each case it took less than thirty seconds to set everything out the way I wanted. Other design elements such as colors, header logos, and background pictures/colors can be edited pretty easily too, though they require a bit of text editing. This feature will probably be available in the next version without having to edit (you get free lifetime updates with your purchase anyway) but I’ve put a free guide together on how to do this for anyone to use in the mean time. See below if you’re interested.
Support Community/Documentation: This is where Thesis shines. The support community is fantastic; if you ever have any problem with Thesis you will be able to grab hold of someone in a forum and get help within no time. There isn’t a single great repository of info that I know of, that’s why I put together the design guide so whenever I create a new blog for myself or a client, I can just copy and paste in the design changes I require. The forums are great but I’d rather have clear instructions and work things out myself than have to ask someone, every time I want to set up a change, however nice or knowledgeable they are.
Bottom line, would I recommend Thesis Theme for WordPress? Yep, absolutely, it definitely delivers on what it says it will do, and that’s all I really ask from a product. It is suitable for anyone who wants their blog to look good and be looked at, for whatever reason. Also, I would recommend it to friends and consider it good value compared to outsourcing my SEO, PHP and CSS work. I feel a lot more comfortable taking care of that stuff myself in the interests of privacy, convenience, and ultimately cost in not having to continually liaise with a designer to get my blog looking just right. Anyway, I hope this review has helped you to make an informed decision.
If you want more information or you’re interested in seeing Thesis in action, I show you where to find a great video review and give you more details about the free design guide in the link below.
All the best fellow bloggers,