If you are a regular visitor of this blog you may have noticed that I changed the design quite a bit. Reason for this is that I decided to use the Thesis WordPress theme from now on.
The beauty of WordPress, as a blogging platform, is that it is very easy to use and customizable (no coding experience necessary). Customizing can be done in two ways: Use plugins to add extra functionality and themes to make the blog look more visually attractive and to give it its own identity.
As you may know there a two kind of WordPress Themes available; free themes which can be downloaded and used without any charge and commercial themes like Thesis.
So why did I switch from my old free theme to Thesis and spend $87 for it? It wasn’t that I didn’t like the design of my old (free) theme anymore. In fact I did like it very much. But it was limiting me in a way that I could not make all the changes I thought were necessary. I also believed it was limiting SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a bit.
Before I bought the theme I did some research on the internet and found out that people who use Thesis theme were very enthusiastic about it. The Thesis theme is extremely flexible, good for SEO and support from DIY Themes (the theme creators) is very good as well. Thesis is more than just a WordPress theme. The creators refer to it as a framework, which can be customized in any way you like.
Customization can be done in two ways; Through the Thesis Options and Design screens in the WordPress admin pages and by adding code to the custom.css and custom_functions.php files. For example, the header image and menu navigator colors of this blog are things that have been customized. I had to put some code in the custom.css and custom_functions.php to make this work. I am not a programmer myself, but with the excellent Thesis resources and examples available, it was very easy to create my own style after a little practice. With the new version, Thesis 1.6, you can now change colors from within the Thesis menus without adding code to the custom.css file.
Be warned that Thesis is not a theme once you add it into your WordPress themes folder you are all set. You have to tweak it to make the best use of it. Of course, you can use thesis without putting some code into the custom.css and custom_functions.php files, but that will leave you with a rather dull theme. It will work and may even look better than most free themes available, but the real power of Thesis is in the customization. You need to put in some effort to make it work.
If tweaking is not for you, I think you are better off using another (free or commercial) WordPress theme. Or maybe use Artisteer, which is a WordPress theme generator. But if you are willing to put in some effort, there is currently no better WordPress theme available than Thesis.
I will continue tweaking this blog and use Thesis theme. So expect more changes in the future now I’ve got the hang of it. I love Thesis!