If you have been on the internet for any length of time, surely you have heard of WordPress Thesis versions 1.5 and 1.6. Although there are many WordPress themes available, Thesis seems to be the theme that is all the rave. It is marketed as “do-it-yourself, no-need-to-learn-code, easy-as-pie” site building, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Don’t misunderstand me; in fact, Thesis is a great theme. However, I wish to put the correct perspective on the marketing that is all abuzz with misconceptions about how “easy” it is to build a website with Thesis.
It is true that you don’t need to learn HTML, CSS or PHP in order to use Thesis or any WordPress theme, for that matter. That is, if you don’t mind having a minimalist look with rudimentary colors. However, if you want a dynamically beautiful site with functionality and interactivity, it is imperative that you learn code.
Thesis may be marketed for the niche of a technically-challenge newbie. However, an accurate assessment is that Thesis is designed for those who have a higher aptitude for learning things of technical nature.
The user has to be somewhat technically savvy even to go to the support forums for help with using Thesis. Chances are that the user will encounter in support from other Thesis members who all have 1001 opinions for how to implement even the slightest of functions such as inserting a header logo image or a background image using Thesis.
Thesis is wonderful for web developers because this do-it-yourself theme is made to make inserting code easier and highly customizable. Since there are various layers of coding organized in separate folders, this ingenious structure allows for building beautiful sites with higher SEO ranking. For this (and other) reasons, much of the guesswork and heavy lifting is taken out of the equation. Web developers and those who are apt to learn the coding process save a lot of time in building their sites.
I am an advanced user of Thesis and other technically-related matters, and it has taken two months of hardcore learning to completely understand Thesis. In other words, Thesis is not for the faint of heart.
The accurate depiction here is that you have to “man up,” “step up to the chalk line” and execute due diligence and research before deciding on using Thesis as your site builder. Although WordPress claims that sites constructed with Thesis is “future proofed” against overwriting customizations, upgrades to newer versions of Thesis will require rebuilding your site either in whole or in part.
Otherwise, Dreamweaver is a much better alternative for the newcomer to site design because of its what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) function that makes it easy for anyone to build a website. Additionally, online site builders such as GoDaddy’s Website Tonight or Smart Space, makes it even easier for the newbie to build a site truly without learning code.
If by chance you see a beautiful site built with Thesis, it was done by a web developer or someone with a technical background of some degree, whether self-taught or educated institutionally. Thesis is great if you don’t need or want a lot of aesthetics appeal or again, if you are a web developer. If you are not adverse to learning code or researching code in the support forums to create the effect you want in your web design, then by all means, dive in full-throttle, roll up your sleeves and put on a full carafe of espresso. You will definitely need it for working late nights.