Thesis WordPress Theme Review – Why We Use It

Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support CommunityThesis is THE Theme we use here and in every single blog I start or Joint Venture on and one of only two themes that I recommend serious bloggers and businesses that blog use.

Almost every blog I comment on that belongs to my favorite bloggers uses Thesis. It is the first theme I recommend to small businesses and clients and there is only one other theme I even suggest they consider: the Genesis Framework.


Thesis and Genesis are different.  I prefer Thesis for my blogs and believe you might want to consider Genesis for a more product oriented blog.

We Recommend Serious Bloggers and Businesses Use ONLY
Either Thesis Or StudioPress Genesis for their blogs.

If you want to know more about Genesis or to compare the Genesis Framework to Thesis use these links:

Both of these themes are on my AAA Recommended Brands list that is linked from the top of the center column on every page of this blog and they are the only two I would seriously recommend anyone consider.

Why I NEVER Recommend Using Free WordPress Themes:

I’ll let these other experts explain the myriad reasons (that means too many to count!) for avoiding free WordPress Themes:


  • LESS DOWN TIME (and Tech Support can be REALLY expensive)

Whenever WordPress or a plugin gets updated there is a risk that the new version will not be compatible with WordPress,  your theme, or one of the plugins you’re using.

The more plugins you run and the more advanced
your skills the higher the risk of conflicts.

There is an entire team behind Thesis that makes sure commonly used plugins are compatible and continue to be compatible BEFORE they roll out a new version.

They know when WordPress is going to be updated and they ensure that Thesis and common plugins are still going to work as expected. That means our blogs running Thesis will keep running.

Use a free theme and the next WordPress update may
take you down – or worse – take the entire server you
are on down – along with dozens of other sites.

Your hosting company will be VERY UNHAPPY and the first thing they will do is delete all your plugins. Hostgator has been known to flat out tell bloggers they can’t reinstall CommentLuv because they blamed it for a problem.

Hosting companies don’t want to diagnose the problem – they just want to make it go away. They are far more likely to tell you not to run your favorite plugins than to assist you in figuring out where the conflict is or even let you do it yourself because they don’t want to risk your blog taking down the server. They may want to charge you for tech support which could run into $100s or $1000s.

Running the Thesis Theme on your WordPress install =
priceless peace of mind, tons of hours and aggravation
saved, and a blog that stays online.

I have NEVER in ANY blog had a Thesis update cause a problem. I am NOT saying that could never happen because anything humans do is not infallable – but the team behind Thesis is super-sharp and they test thoroughly BEFORE our blogs are exposed to potential conflicts. That is priceless.

Free Themes Can Be Used for Nefarious Purposes
Such as Including Security Exploits, replacing YOUR
links with someone else’s affiliate links or linking your
blog to bad neighborhoods and getting you banned.


Advanced themes like Thesis manage much of what goes on behind the scenes in a blog such as no-following unimportant links, how comments are displayed and how the blog operates and is laid out.


Thesis automatically formats your blog for different devices, monitor sizes and browsers. You need your blog (or what looks like a static site but is actually running on WordPress using Thesis) to display perfectly on EVERY visitors screen.

If you don’t use Thesis someone should be testing every resolution, browser, monitor size, device – that is a nightmare I don’t even want to think about – and because the Thesis Team does this so well I don’t have to worry about it!


Thesis automatically formats your blog for every device so you don’t have to use something else to make that happen.

I know Thesis does this well because when I’m in direct contact with someone I ask them what they are using and how well this blog displays and navigates on THEIR device. In every case they say the formatting is fine, they can navigate the site, and read and leave comments.


Thesis has built in SEO fields that allow you to optimize every page and post individually. This eliminates the need for plugins like All-in-one-SEO, Platimum SEO, etc. that are really necessary if you use a less advanced theme and want as much organic traffic as possible.


Thesis has exceptional people who provide tech support, a strong community who helps each other in their forum, and with almost all of our favorite collaborators using Thesis if you run into trouble we can help you get it fixed -fast!

I have asked for assistance for a blogger who accidentally broke something or got hacked or couldn’t get into their WP install and tagged a few people on Twitter and had 3-4 bloggers IMMEDIATELY offer to drop everything and assist!

I can’t guarantee that will always happen because even we have to eat and sleep sometime, but the odds are good other bloggers will come to your aid and if you’re running Thesis they will more easily be able to assist you.

If you are considering upgrading your
theme we highly recommend Thesis.


Thesis allows you to use ONE theme but make every site totally unique.  This blog, our golf store blog, our gift store blog, and thousands of other blogs use Thesis and no two look alike.

If you aren’t a designer or don’t have the time or
desire to learn to customize Thesis do what we do –
get a talented Thesis savvy blogger to do it for you! 

We know many bloggers who can do basic Thesis customization and if you need a real designer for a fancy custom graphic like the one in the image below, click that image to see what the best all-around WordPress expert we know and Thesis Skins provider Derek Semmler  can do for you.

Team Thesis Thesis Skins Made to Order

Since we’re on the subject you might be interested in checking out all the cool blogs that are based on Thesis. Here are two galleries you can visit to see more customized Thesis themes:


Most of the major blogs about blogging that we frequent have selected it as “THE” Theme to use including these:



The ONLY bloggers I have ever run across who do NOT like Thesis are those who are programmers and like to write their own code to control every aspect of their blogs. If that isn’t you, you can skip this section.




If you have or plan to build many blogs get the developer’s license. If you only need it for one blog now, buy the personal license. You can always upgrade later.

If you plan to have someone else install your blog for you, obtain your license to use Thesis through them. You pay them and they pay DIYThemes for an additional blog under their developer’s license.


Thesis WordPress Themes Plans and Pricing

[DISCLAIMER: The links to Thesis in this post are affiliate links. Any blogger using Thesis probably has an affiliate link to Thesis so if decide to buy it you can support your favorite blogger by clicking on the link in their blog just before you buy. It does not cost you any more money to do this and bloggers are using it because it is that good – not because they might receive a commission.  ]

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. A WP theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlaying unifying design for a weblog. These are called templates files.Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. thank god, i never know how dangerous using free wp theme until i read about this. I will change my wp theme asap.
    Raja would love you to read ..Halo, salam kenalMy Profile

  3. Mark Jordan says:

    I have recently started a website and I have researching this for a while now with not much luck as many people are saying different things but this post seems to have cleared everything up for me. Thanks for this vital information.

  4. I am a bit of a premium theme junky…

    I own copies of many of the well known themes including thesis. Dependent upon the niche or look and feel will determine which theme I use.

    Thesis is a great theme, but as I an not overly tech savvy I found it a little tricky as a newbie to the theme. The thesis theme forum was a great help to me though!
    Chris would love you to read ..LUCID By LinenSpa 12inch Memory Foam Mattress ReviewMy Profile

  5. Thesis and genesis are the best frameworks. I prefer Thesis because its light, perfect for SEO and I am the biggest ban of Chris Pearson. On the other hand genesis have more skins in it where Thesis lacks. Genesis have there of market place and on the other hand, there is no official marketplace for Thesis.
    Shubham would love you to read ..Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Arms Race (GUNGAME) Mod ServersMy Profile

  6. I’m just starting to look at themes. You have a lot of helpful, critical information. I appreciate all the comments with other’s experiences also. Thanks!

  7. I never heard it before. Thank you for sharing that themes. Best regards from Sporting Goods World.

    helson would love you to read ..Cybertech 5 Leds Bike Head LightMy Profile

  8. Not sure I have tried one of the two. Thanks, will have a look at both 😀

  9. thesis is a great theme and I have had no need to change my blog since using it. it really does have everything you need and is highly customizable.

  10. I recently switched to using Thesis on one of my blogs. I find it extremely easy to use the back end.
    Carmen Brodeur would love you to read ..Harp 2.0 Home Refinace Program has started in ArizonaMy Profile

  11. Yes, Thesis is feature full and has a great support but it’s not a point-and-shoot theme. You need to do a lot of tweaking but it’s really powerful and has a lot of potential.
    Sean Mal would love you to read ..Looking For The Best eBay Alternatives? Read This.My Profile

  12. I like your analysis of the dangers associated with free themes. I couldn’t agree more. I used to use free themes and became endlessly frustrated.

    StudioPress was my first premium theme purchase. Then I purchased Builder and ElegantThemes. Thesis is on my list to buy and try. I’ve read a lot about it and am still researching. I heard Thesis is rolling out a 2.0 version, which I’m waiting on. That should be good.

    Do you know the release date of Thesis 2.0?
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  13. I never used Thesis or GENESIS but have heard lot about both of them..planning to get Thesis for one of my new blog.. the best which i think which i have used is Heatmap Theme 5.. its good and nicely optimised :)
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  14. One of my WordPress site just went down as a result of an update that caused a plugin conflict. Its good to know that Thesis is stable because i just can’t afford any downtime.

    • Hi Sam,

      Stability is one of the major reasons so many of us choose Thesis. Down time can affect other sites on the same server and suck up our time, cost us money and aggravation and sometimes even lead to having to reload everything from scratch.

      Since many bloggers are not that experienced at security and backups that can also mean lost data – and I just hate to lose good content. For some reason I really hate to have to do anything over.

      Have you looked at the huge blogging contest we’re launching to get bloggers and small businesses working together? There is information in the post I’ve put in CommentLuv in this reply and I have a comprehensive Word doc I can send you if you’d like to know more.
      growmap would love you to read ..Gushcloud and UBL Small Business Marketing Blog Outreach Blogging Contest Announced #SMBContestMy Profile

  15. HI, I just found this page, you have so many good articles here. thank you so much. I love thesis…….
    anakjambi would love you to read ..Tahap dan Cara belajar Bahasa InggrisMy Profile

  16. Kristi Hines says:

    Awesome review! I find I switch back and forth between Thesis and Genesis – it all boils down to how much design or minimalism I want to have on a site. Of course, you have to be sold on Thesis if you are concerned about SEO and find out it’s the theme Google’s own Matt Cutts uses! :)

  17. I love thesis, Its just awesome. Code Less, Design More. We can design as we want. I love it… Thesis rocks. If we are unable to design ourself, we can opt-in for pre-made thesis skins which are just awesome though premium
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  18. Gail,

    I run the eleven40 Theme from Genesis and I love it… However. If I were to ever make a change it would be to Thesis. There are so many amazing Thesis blogs out there.

    I can’t recommend enough every blogger having a high quality professional theme from either Genesis or Thesis.


    Ryan H.
    Ryan Hanley would love you to read ..Trust is a GiftMy Profile

    • Hi Ryan,

      Thank you so much for weighing in on the Theme question because so many bloggers need to know what many of us are recommending so they know they are making the right choice.

      I just added you to my CommentLuv and Social Media Twitter lists. Would you do me a favor and fill out the form in the post I’ve put in CommentLuv in this reply so I can be sure to get you into my other lists? I use that to update posts, invite those who qualify into our private forum and usually put into my Twitterfeed so their new content is automatically tweeted.

      I have a post that other bloggers use to select blogs they want to feed and I’ll want you to be in that one, too.
      growmap would love you to read ..Bloggers: Promote Your Blog HereMy Profile

  19. This should be a no-brainer. However, if you are a WordPress mastermind, chances are, you might want to skip the boring manual and jump right into editing PHP and CSS theme files. Don’t do so. Thesis comes with a pretty unique customization approach which totally separates changes you make from the theme’s own code base. This ensures that future update don’t break your changes. If you’re a WordPress Pro and only got a minute, read Chapter IV, “Code-based Design Customizations”. The guide is available here.

  20. Having tried many other WordPress themes for before, I absolutely fell in love with Thesis . Thesis is a professional theme created by DIY Themes which comes with built-in search engine optimization (no additional plug-ins needed), a unique approach for customization and fantastic customer support.
    Prior to switching to Thesis I’ve been using a design provided by WooThemes . It also worked like a charm but adding social media features without breaking the advanced theme design ultimately got more and more difficult. So I’ve decided to give Thesis a try. And I fell in love.
    Thesis is not free. But it’s well worth your money.
    This article covers tips from my ongoing journey of customizing Thesis the way I want.

    • Hello,

      Did you mean to include a link to a post you wrote about customizing Thesis? Relevant links are always welcome. You should know that if you link to a site that isn’t a blog and mention having a blog that many will think you copied the comment somewhere (I searched multiple search engines and did not find this text) or that you are being untruthful.

      That is why using CommentLuv Premium or the free versions of CommentLuv and KeywordLuv is such a good idea – so you can build incoming links, share what you most want us to know in TWO places, and link to your blog so we know you actually have one.

      While Thesis is not free it is well worth the money and not all that expensive considering what it does!

      growmap would love you to read ..Bloggers: Promote Your Blog HereMy Profile

  21. I love thesis,It’s one of my best word press theme so far but really unhappy about the update schedule for thesis.
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  22. New theme is very attractive and has lots of additional features in it. I will change my wordpress theme to it.
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  23. private server says:

    thesis is a great theme and I have had no need to change my blog since using it. it really does have everything you need and is highly customizable.

  24. hmmm, I’m actually in the process of looking for a new theme. I’m currently using socrates and it’s ok but I’m still not sure if I really like its whole interface. I might look into thesis after reading this. One of my idols Pat Flynn over at smartpassiveincome uses it so I’m doing a bit of research on it now.

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