Yea I said it. All you people out there using Thesis have been suckered into thinking it’s some WordPress equivalent of sliced bread. Have it any way you want! Get freakin’ powerful SEO! Who doesn’t want these things? Oh, and it’s upgradeable too – because so often I need to upgrade my theme…
Let’s break down why Thesis sucks so much. First off, let me say that I’m very familiar with it. I’ve used it on several sites, and I love the idea of modularizing code. I also use Thematic which is better than Thesis. It just doesn’t have the admin panel that Thesis theme has.
Their marketing ploy is based on some seriously vague and lofty statements. “Airtight SEO” they claim – all you have to do is “add killer content” and you’ll be set. Wow no shit! Add content and you’ll be good? That’s a golden rule of SEO, no matter what site you have. Using Thesis offers no super special features to do that, rather it’s up to you. Also, consider that Thesis is build upon WordPress’ platform, whose motto is “Code is Poetry”. There’s a reason WordPress is so damn SEO friendly. It’s build with clean coding practices and flexibility in mind. Moreover, SEO is in general a very broad practice, full of theory and takes place both on and off-site. They make it seem like it’s this almighty SEO machine, but really is it? What do they offer that’s so exceptional? I can’t find much on the site to tell me.
Then there’s the whole flexibility thing. It’s a bitch to modify this theme. Why do you think the forums are littered with helpless people trying to figure out the simplest of things like how to relocate the menu, or maybe add a custom homepage template? Countless sites exist just to help people using the theme. That doesn’t seem very reassuring in that it’s easy to use and modify. At least the newly formed Thesis theme consultants have some more business.
It has a steep learning curve and alt althoughthey point out a number of web gurus who use the theme, that doesn’t say much to me. I want something that’s easy to customize from a design standpoint and I don’t think Thesis offers that. Again, it’s a brilliant framework. But so is Thematic, and that’s free. Plus the documentation that Ian offers is great. But even then, I’d rather use a blank canvas, like the Sandbox theme for my starting points.
I guess my whole beef is that they mislead people into thinking Thesis is some incredibly different WordPress theme. The marketing is good, for sure. Maybe I just don’t get why it’s so exceptional.