After using Thesis for fouryears as my WordPress framework of choice, it is time to say goodbye. A framework theme is a blank theme on which you can build your own theme, with your own custom CSS and PHP. A framework saves a lot of time by minimizing many repetitive tasks.
Out of the many framework themes for WordPress, Thesis was the best as it brought many out-of-the-box features with it, in-built SEO goodness for instance. Thesis saved a lot of my time – instead of going through lines of code, simple things could be accomplished by a single click from the Thesis admin interface. Adding my own code to Thesis custom functions file meant my functions stayed intact despite Thesis upgrades. I had bought the developer license in 2010 for $164.
A year ago, Chris Pearson released Thesis 2.0. I devoted several evenings trying to get the hang of it but in vain. The interface had undergone a radical change, it became oversimplified. Too much simplification made it complicated, now it took me several clicks to do something for which a single line of code in the custom functions file would suffice! In the last two days, I took further time out of my schedule to get acquainted with the new Thesis, and concluded it is an overkill and a waste of time.
The following comment on a blog echoes my thoughts:
I have a good knowledge of HTML and CSS, nevertheless I don’t get Thesis 2.
I used the Thesis 1.8 theme because it made life easy. That’s what themes are for.
If I want to get down and dirty with scripting and spend DAYS learning to use a commercial theme why should I bother? I can take a basic free WordPress theme, create a child theme and tweak it to my heart’s content whilst keeping my hard-earned dollars in my pocket.
Now there are many premium framework themes in the market and they are all over-hyped. You do need a base to build on, and not waste your time on writing repetitive lines of PHP. I recommend using a starter theme like Underscores and build your own theme from there.