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I Upgraded to WordPress Thesis Theme

OK all you lurkers in the RSS feed – get over here to the Passive Income blog and check out the cool new renovation! Yes I haven’t been doing nothing much over the weekend – but decided to have a fiddle with the look of the blog and finally get around to installing a new WordPress theme  – Thesis.

Now if you have been living under a rock you may not have heard of Thesis – but otherwise you will have heard the a-listers – starting with CopyBlogger and ProBlogger telling you that thesis was the best thing since sliced bread – oh and here’s my affiliate link to buy thesis.

So in the passive income tradition – here’s my warts and all review. Its all entirely my own opinion, yes I do get a commission if you buy via my link, and no I don’t think everyone should rush out and buy it just to keep me rolling in online passive income!

What I like About WordPress Thesis Theme

  • it costs. Yes that’s right I like that because I really wanted a theme which has ongoing support – and I think this one has got the initial customer base to make sure that it has. When WordPress 2.8 came out they had the updated Thesis theme version out the same day.
  • it really is easy to change some of the layout features – the number of columns, the fonts, the top navigation. There is a cool and easy way to rotate photos in the sidebar (I’m not using it here).
  • all the customisation is done in two separate files (custom.css and custom-functions.php) – that means when you upgrade the theme you don’t have to do all that work again.  For example rather than changing the link to Thesis in the footer.php to add my own affiliate link I added some (to me incomprehensible) code  into the custom-functions.php – and that did it instead. I upgrade the theme – I don’t have to remember to do that! Oh and the code came from the support forums so I didn’t have to know what I was doing with php!
  • there is a growing community of designers developing thesis design skins – my design skills are limited and I can see the day when I am prepared to pay for professional help!
  • it was a very clean upgrade. I upgraded WordPress at the same time which meant I had to upgrade a number fo my plugins, but Thesis itself did a very good job about not breaking my existing functionality – my social bookmarks and related post plugins came through seamlessly – so did my photos and thumbnails.
  • the SEO is good. The person who had most influence on my buying decision was Justin at SEOZombie – if he says  the SEO is good – it is!
  • you can use the “honking big ads box” aka “multimedia” box at the top of the right sidebar for everything from photos, videos, ads (as I have at the moment)- and you can customise it for every post – if you like to make money from advertising you will like that – a LOT

What I Don’t Like About WordPress Thesis Theme

Original Header Image - Exmouth, Western Australia
Original Header Image - Exmouth, Western Australia

OK perhaps I should mention my skill sets, or lack thereof, because your mileage will vary depending on your technical skills more than anything.  I know WordPress well, I am passable on html – I can read html fine. I have been using ftp since before the Internet existed. I find php a wondrous  thing – but can’t read or code it at all. I finally decided that I needed to know some CSS so I bought a real life book – I certainly didn’t know anything about CSS before I bought Thesis…

  • WordPress is going away from making users upload themes/plugins using ftp – a good thing too – most geeks don’t understand how scary ftp is for normal people. The first thing I wanted to change on Thesis – was the header – isn’t that what most people want to change?  But I had to add custom code and ftp the image up! Thesis is definitely a programmer’s vision (Chris Pearson) but the marketing half (Bryan Clark) hasn’t had enough understanding of what users want to set the right priorities. I found the code here: how to customise Thesis – very useful blog BTW.
  • OK got the image sorted – now I want the background of the blog to match the photo – again a pretty reasonable request I thought!  Again I needed custom code.
  • Those were my 2 big grips but Thesis is squarely aimed at he “wannabe A-list blogger market” –  I would have thought it would have been out fo the box functionality to add 125ads to the side-bar – it was in my last fere theme… But no I had to add some code for that to.

Is WordPress Thesis Theme Good Value for Money?

Thesis costs $87 for a single user license or $164 for a developer’s license – which allows you to use Thesis on an unlimited number of your own sites – or, deploy it on client sites for  $40/site. Its not free, they don’t market it as free- the question is if its worth the price. I haven’t bought another WordPress theme but the price seems on the low-end of themes that are available.

I decided for me it was worth it. I wanted a theme I could learn and then reuse that knowledge. I wanted a theme which wasn’t going to break on the next upgrade of WordPress – or take me a bit of time to fix. I have a lot of sites – remembering to add in my stats monitoring code everytime I change a theme is a right pain!

Would I recommend it for someone who was nervous around ftp and CSS – probably not – there are easier themes to start with.

Would I recommend it for someone who is struggling and not making any money – no – there are far more important things to spend money on than a WordPress theme – good chocolate, passable red wine and the KeyWord Academy come to mind, not necessarily in that order.

Am I happy I bought Thesis? Yes I think I am – but it certainly wasn’t love at first sight- the relationship has developed over a few weeks -they’re the ones that last aren’t they?

Oh and can anyone tell me how to get a better match on the colour behind the posts – I want it to be the same as the sand on the left of the beach image – how do  I find the hex code for a spot on a photo? Fixed thanks to the colorzilla firefox plugin as recommended by Table Tennis Rubber

15 replies on “I Upgraded to WordPress Thesis Theme”

I’m a frequent reader also using Thesis and I love it. The Open Hook plugin for wordpress can also save users of Thesis a lot of time.

As for finding the color match, I use a Firefox plugin called ColorZilla. I think it will be perfect for helping you match the sand color to the background here.

Hope this information is useful to you. Thank you for all the helpful and inspiring posts!
.-= Takkyu@table tennis rubber´s last blog ..Unique Table Tennis Racket Designs =-.

Thanks so much – that’s exactly what I needed! BTW you need to add a disclosure to your site for Adsense…

Use the “Color Picker” plug in for FireFos. Color picker just sits in your status bar out of the way until you clicl it and then you can move a little cross hair symbol to any pixel on your screen and ColorPicker give you the color in RGB, Hex (what you normally want for HTML or printer’s code. DBC0A is prominent in the sand on that photo, but there are many shades.
.-= Dave Starr´s last blog ..Credit Cards and Choosing One =-.

Thank you so much for telling me about the disclosure! I spent the day setting it up. My about page wasn’t even visible there (in the thesis theme “thesis options” menu I didn’t have the About page clicked for display in the nav menu).

Good luck with the thesis theme and continued successes with passive income and consulting!
.-= takkyu@table tennis rubber´s last blog ..Unique Table Tennis Racket Designs =-.

Hi Lis,
Thanks for the great review. I liked hearing about both the pros and cons. Right now I am more worried about increasing my traffic but I will give this a try when I want to update. I have heard a lot about this theme but I haven’t really heard how it works. It seems like for the money it would be easier to change things without knowing code but maybe that is coming.
All in all a very nice thesis wordpress theme review.
.-= Agrande from Internet Business Opportunities´s last blog ..Home Business Opportunity For Writers =-.

Hi Lissie – I like the new theme and your blending beach graphics. Just to be picky, I think the sand background needs to be a few shades lighter for ease of reading/aesthetics. Something like E4D4BD instead of D6C5A9? A bit more work, but I’m sure you’d like the result!

Regards – Rhys
.-= Rhys´s last blog ..Monetize Your Site =-.

I like you bought Thesis because I thought I finally found a theme where I didn’t have to know RSS and all that other stuff. I thought I could finally have a blog look the way I wanted it to look just by clicking a mouse. Man, was I disappointed. I discovered I now had to learn HOOKs to make it do stuff. Luckily I only bought the single license.

The thing is I still yearned for a theme that was a lot easier to do, one that allowed me to change the background image, header, font size or whatever at a click of a mouse and after a long search I found it. I bought the developers license for less that Thesis and I now run my other 8 blogs on it.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Me This You Blogging Fools =-.

Yes I am not all together happy with Thesis – I made it do what I wanted but it was a lot more technical than it should have been IMHO

That’s the main thing Lis, and I suppose if you look on the bright side you could say it forced you to learn a few things you otherwise wouldn’t have bothered with. 😉
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Me This You Blogging Fools =-.

Like Sire said, see the positive site of it 😉
To the ones that don’t want to cash out for a theme, may I recommend Atahualpa? It is free and fully customizable, a lot can be done with a few mouse clicks and if you really want to change things around, the forum is very helpful! I use it on my blogs / sites and love it! SY
.-= hospitalera@Niche Marketing´s last blog ..Do you text and drive? =-.

Yes I’ve been checking out atahualpa – it looks promising – I will probably stick with Thesis because its upgradable and supported – which are two big pluses – but good for non-techies – I don’t think so! And yes you are rise Sire – I did learn some new stuff!

I have been using Thesis from 4 months and I highly recommend this theme to all.
It’s SEO and typography is amazing, more over Customization of Thesis might feel little
tricky at the beginning but once you get kick of it, you will enjoy editing and modifying this theme.

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