We could program our own WordPress theme. We could use a free theme and customize it the way we want. Instead, we use Thesis (affiliate link), a paid WordPress theme. Why? Because the features, functionality, support and free upgrades have made it quick and easy to provide and maintain a professional-looking blog without having to jump into back-end code (except when we want to).
We’ve been using Thesis for almost a year now, during that time, there have been 2 major upgrades to the software (free) which have vastly improved the usability and features. Even the upgrade process has improved. We’re able to do pretty much anything we want in terms of layout, design and functionality without having to get into the back-end code. But, we can if we want to, and Thesis provides hooks into back end code so you can do quite a bit all from one file which is editable from the administration panel:
Free themes are great, but you usually have to do quite a bit of customization to get them to look and behave the way you want them to. Free usually means very little in the way of support or upgrades and you’ll probably end up swapping them out at some point due to something that breaks with a WordPress upgrade.
When installed, Thesis comes with it’s own set of control panels (current version of Thesis is 1.7. We’re still on 1.6 just because we haven’t taken a few moments to upgrade), which give you control over much of the layout and design of your website, including SEO and navigation options:
Our blog is an important part of our business. We spend a lot of time trying to write and provide great content, so we didn’t want to spend time messing around with a theme. Thesis has provided great functionality and upgrades for a one-time price (currently $87 for personal, or $164 for resellers) that has been completely worth it. We’ve been happy with Thesis and recommend it (affiliate link) to anyone looking for an easy-to-use theme that provides control over almost all of your blog (they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee).
Have you used Thesis? What are your thoughts?