What is the best WordPress theme and framework?

Genesis Framework vs Thesis Theme – Best WordPress Theme

When I first started up this website, my first thought wasn’t about creating a good website. My thought was not choosing a good theme but instead, I wanted to find the best WordPress theme from scratch (or at least, I try to create one).

Yes! Good WordPress themes have many effects such as website loading speed, SEO abilities and even, attracting readers to come back for more! Of course, I am fully aware that I have so many WordPress themes to choose from. However, I need more than just a good WordPress theme; I need a great WordPress framework!

Sounds like I am over my head? Enjoy this short video below and find out the advantages of using premium WordPress themes.

Back in my head, I knew that to create a great theme from scratch, I need to use the best WordPress framework in order to create my masterpiece.

Personally, I have been in this blogging industry for a few years now and I know when it comes to the best WordPress themes and frameworks, only two WordPress themes will make it through.

Drum roll please…

Genesis vs Thesis – The Best WordPress Theme

Genesis Framework vs Thesis Theme
A good WordPress framework will allow bloggers and developers to create excellent themes 

On the left corner, we have Genesis Framework and child themes driven by the mighty StudioPress team!

On the right corner, give a warm welcome to Thesis Theme and Framework created by famous, Chris Pearson and his DIYthemes team.

I know! This two have been in a long battle until today! Crazy huh?!

So, if you are very interested to make your own web design, I am pretty sure either one of this (or both WordPress themes) will be more than just a great start for you.

Now, I had a fair time with both the themes and allow me to share my personal opinion on both. At least, it could assist you when you’re making you ultimate choice.

Genesis Framework and Child Themes

Genesis framework is one of the best WordPress themes
Genesis framework offers in build SEO features and is extremely user friendly for bloggers 

For starters, Genesis framework is very solid for those who are looking to build or modify themes according to their liking. For bloggers who are not tech-savvy like me, creating a WordPress theme using Genesis framework is pretty easy.

Lots of documentations and what makes Genesis a worthwhile investment are as below:

Genesis framework is search optimized

Genesis has inbuild SEO features which is ready out of the box

Genesis framework has turn-key designs

Being unlimited is all about Genesis framework

It would take you about a day to a week to master what Genesis has to offer … that’s if you want to create and understand completely what Genesis is all about. What makes Genesis different from the rest (even Thesis framework) is because it plays with many ‘˜hooks’.

Okay, don’t bother what it means for now but the ‘hooking’ ability makes Genesis framework a very unique feature for bloggers and web developers.

So, what is Genesis Hook?

Genesis Hooks makes customizing your WordPress framework easier. What it actually offers is the ability for developers and bloggers to customize their sites without needing to find the specific code or area. Don’t get it? See below!

If you are thinking of changing the meta settings etc? Just look for genesis_meta.

If you are thinking of changing the side bar, just look for genesis_sidebar.

Yes it is indeed pretty simple for developers and for newbie bloggers, it could take a bit of time to learn about it. However, Genesis hooks really bring blogging and web development to a whole new level. Trust me on this when I say that once you understand how Genesis framework works, it is going to offer you endless possibilities of customization in blog template. Period.

Many premium and free Genesis child themes are available

Genesis child themes on the other hand is like the outlook of the template. For those who prefer buying a pre-made WordPress theme (here’s the collection of themes in a very beautiful gallery) instead of doing one from scratch, you can do so by at StudioPress website. For people who want more customization, StudioPress also has a market place where you can seek for reputed developers to design WordPress themes for you.

Tip: You need to buy Genesis framework first in order to have the child themes working.

Genesis is pretty flexible and thus, many developers have actually moved over to Genesis. Still not convinced? This is what Mashable said:

Mashable calls StudioPress the “best of the best” among WordPress premium frameworks.

Famous people who are using Genesis framework for their websites:

Genesis framework has a great reputation for being easy to build and has good out-of-the-box features
Famous bloggers who uses Genesis Framework for their sites 

At the moment, Genesis framework is sold at $59.95 with unlimited support and updates. Genesis child themes are sold between $24.95 to $44.95. If you are a developer or handling multiple websites, you might want to consider going for the Professional version which offers unlimited upgrades and all past and future themes Genesis can offer.

Genesis framework offers multiple packages to fit one's need
Genesis Pro Plus All Theme Package is an excellent choice for developers and serious bloggers 

How can I buy Genesis Framework or Genesis Child themes?

Head over to these links if you want to buy Genesis Framework, browse through Genesis Child themes or even purchase the StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package.

Not yet make up your mind? Don’t worry!

You can check out StudioPress Community Themes if you want to see what other themes freelance developers are developing with the Genesis Framework.

If you purchase from StudioPress, you are entitle for a 30-days money back guarantee in case if you want to have a refund. Zero commitment and absolutely risk free if you ask me.

If you are a developer or running several websites, you can have a look at Genesis Pro Package which offers all child themes and lifetime of update.

Thesis Theme and Skins

I wasn’t and will not be one sided to Genesis! I had personally used Thesis 2.0 (no experience in 1.x though) for several websites of mine as well in the early stages.

Now, what I can say about Thesis theme?

Thesis theme … honestly … is very, very good. At times, I believe it is that slight better (really narrow win) over Genesis framework. I knew about Thesis few years back but since I am already with Genesis, I wasn’t bothered much.

Since I was able to play with Thesis (bought the Professional package), I was pretty impressed with it but not at first.

When I first saw the promo, I thought I had hit the goal mine. Not really. I hit … the other side.

Thesis 2.0 was released recently and it offers many advantages over Genesis framework. The list as follow below:

Easy way to deploy and tweak your WordPress themes

Drag and drop feature

Thesis boxes and packages

Build in SEO features

Just like Genesis framework, Thesis framework has boxes and packages which works like Genesis’s hooks. DIYthemes do not offer free or skins for sale which means, they are selling the framework by itself only. Of course, if you are buying the bigger packages such as the developer’s package, then you will get several free skins.

Thesis 2.0 framework is very popular among WordPress enthusiast
Thesis 2.0 theme is used by many well known figures such as Derek Halpern 

I know you might be worrying now as you have no coding skills and knowledge. Don’t worry as Thesis 2.0 is pretty easy to configure (after you figure it out) and there are many developers who are willing to work with Thesis framework.

When it comes to mastering the Thesis 2.0 techniques, I would say it took me about a week as well to understanding how everything works. And for the record, Thesis theme works completely different from Genesis!

What makes Thesis 2.0 stand out against Genesis framework at this point of writing is because Thesis framework loads a fraction faster than Genesis. And when I mean a fraction faster, it only means about 1/10 of a second faster.

Important? Go figure!

As for the record, Thesis does not come with any skins for the standard package. However, if you purchase either the Plus or Professional package, then you will get some free skins along the way.

Thesis 2.0 framework is one of the best for WordPress
Thesis framework might be costly but it is one of the most popular web building tools for developers 

Now, let’s talk about Thesis theme pricing and how to buy Thesis theme?

You can gets your hands on Thesis theme and framework as low as $87 with a one year support which is called Thesis Basic. Of course, there are also Thesis Basic Plus which is $164 that comes with two extra skins and Thesis Professional which offers two skins and some Thesis boxes. Not to forget, Thesis Professional is a package which offers lifetime support and upgrades.

You can easily get Thesis themes and skins about $20 to $80 each. Well, of course it depends on the website though.

If you are interested to buy Thesis Framework, you can visit DIYthemes official website.

Why I decided to use Genesis Framework and not Thesis theme?

A few facts about me before I tell you why:

  1. I am super particular with my themes and I want the theme to be developed my way!
  2. Since many modifications will be done overtime, I need to find a theme where modification can be done easily.
  3. I don’t have much time to work on my themes and therefore, I need the themes to be done fast!
  4. I am always thinking of how to reduce my spending and therefore, a cost efficient framework would be great.

Do we have anything in common as of the above?

Reason 1: Genesis framework is easier to configure for a novice developer

Now, both Genesis framework and Thesis theme fairly easy to configure. Don’t get me wrong as I am not a WordPress developer and all those CSS, HTML and codings really give me the headaches. However, I took some time learning them before I was able to use both without problem. I choose Genesis over Thesis theme simply because the time configuring Genesis is way faster than Thesis in my opinion and experience.

Reason 2: Genesis framework is cheaper

At the same time, Genesis is slightly easier on my pocket since I could just purchase the framework and develop my own WordPress theme. Well, a good debate which I asked myself is that the differences is very small. Though having a slightly cheaper investment is better, the biggest advantage was the lifetime upgrade and support offered by StudioPress.

Reason 3: Genesis framework offers unlimited support and availability of Child themes

I could easily buy one the framework and have 50 years of support while Thesis 2.0 only offer one year support and upgrade. Of course, you can earn unlimited support when you purchase the professional package.

Don’t forget, I could also save a lot of money since most of Genesis Child themes are sold at a very low price. For developers, I would highly recommend Genesis Pro package which offers life time support, upgrades and all past and future themes free for download. And yes, a 1-off payment method.

Reason 4: Long term investment and savings

With simple maths, I knew I was saving up more money when using Genesis framework compared to Thesis framework.
Are you using any of frameworks on your blogs or websites? Talk to me and let’s share our experience. Maybe I could learn something from you as well!

So, what is your decision? Are you going for Genesis framework or Thesis theme for your WordPress blog? 

Does this article clears your doubt in terms the best WordPress theme? Tell me what you think using the comment form below.

Still not convinced of using premium WordPress themes? Listen my short podcast, Advantages of using premium WordPress themes or using SoundCloud below:

18 thoughts on “Genesis Framework vs Thesis Theme – Best WordPress Theme”

  1. Genesis user and developer here 🙂
    Another great thing is StudioPress built their own child themes, therefore it’s much easier to find a child theme with great design (Yes, there are also other companies selling G child themes. This gives more options for users).

    Since Thesis 2.0, I’ve seen few big names ditch Thesis. Many people hate the new drag and drop system. Glad to see big names in SEO Industry such as Matt Cutt and Yoast (developer of WordPress SEO plugin) to make a switch to G.

    • Hi Rudd,

      It’s always great to meet and see a Genesis user 🙂 Prior to this, I was looking for a few designers and I was surprised that many of them are not using Thesis anymore. I still remember few years back (maybe 2) where I see more Thesis developer than Genesis. And yes you are right. Recently, Matt Cutts is the biggest name who left Thesis. Oh well, sounds good for Genesis and I really like the Genesis team support.

      Thesis on the other hand has good potential especially with 2.0 but I believe they promo it completely wrong. Oh well. That’s my take at least.

      Hope you like the article and back for more.

      Take care!

  2. Today my site still runs on Thesis 1.8.5.
    Have no Genesis experience.
    Am a long time Thesis user and found the 2.0 up to 2.0.3 introduction a blatant farce. So I moved back to Thesis 1.8.5
    However the Thesis 2.1 version that was released yesterday gives me back some trust in it.

    Had moved away from thesis for another site for which i now use Headway. The do a pretty impressive job.
    Should be in the equation IMHO

    • Hi there!

      I have yet to try on Thesis 2.1 but I still had Thesis 2.0 on my secondary site. I can’t really compare both in terms of usefulness as both are very impressive! However, if it boils down to cost etc, then I would got for Genesis instead.

      Now as for Headway, I heard about it so many times but yet to try. Yes, absolutely aware of the number of people who loves Headway and even Woothemes. Will do another write up once I had more experience with them.

      Thanks for dropping by mate!


  3. Very good and in depth analysis here. I see a lot of my fellow bloggers using Genesis, I assume because of the reasons you mention here. Definitely something to look into. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Tom,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting 🙂

      I tried both and love them both. No doubt. What makes me love Genesis that slightly more could probably the support team. They been very helpful and I can’t appreciate them more than that 🙂

      For me, service comes ahead of product. Haha!


  4. I’m a Genesis user as well. I have used all of them – Thesis 1.8.5 , Thesis 2.0 and Genesis and in my experience , Genesis is easier to use. Thesis 2.0 was difficult to use for me. I spent hours on Thesis to learn how to make the changes. Later I decided to move to Genesis because it was easier for me to customize the themes.

    • Hi Lahaul,

      Thanks for visiting. Tried both but Thesis, only did 2.0 and above. However, I would say I’m one sided because I had been with Genesis for past two years. Thesis is great but the videos took me a week to study and using the blank skin, that took me another week plus to do.

      Coding isn’t my cup of coffee but it was real fun trying to create my masterpiece. Personally, I might use Thesis for my sub websites but for main website, Genesis for sure.


  5. Have you used thesis 2.1? It\’s great! The price never wrong!Since thesis 2.0, it break the rules of web design. Everyone could customize with total control! You don\’t have to learn about PHP and so on. But If you understand programing language like PHP, you have more ability of course.In Thesis, we have box, it just like plugin in wordpress, but it designed for thesis. Box is great! we can sharing some tools with other thesis user. You know, it like iTune on Apple.What about SEO?They did a great job since Thesis 1.x.x, in thesis 2.1.x it has more SEO control. You don\’t need SEO plugin again, it has more that SEO plugin on the market.

    • Hi Nadiar,

      Oh yes, still having my Thesis theme but not using for my main site. It is pretty cool except for the 1 year worth of upgrade part. Of course, it depends on personal preference I would say.

      I did my first theme on Thesis and that was crazy. It took me about 1 week watching the video (zero knowledge in coding) and another week trying to get one theme up and running. Overall, it was a great experience but very time consuming.

      Nonetheless, I still recommend Thesis to those who want to get out of their comfort zone 🙂

      Thanks for dropping your comment mate.

    • Hi Umair,

      Thank you for dropping by! Genesis Framework is definitely one of the best WordPress themes out there. Great support even from Brian and everyone around the world.

      Never regretted my purchase of their Pro package 🙂

  6. I’m really happy I found your website, you have so many interesting articles 🙂

    I was thinking what framework should I choose to build websites for my clients. I think the most important point is that studiopress offers unlimited everything and with thesis you have to buy additional license for about $ 40 for your every client, so it much more expensive, if you are a web dev.

    • Hi Damian,

      Thanks for commenting. Personally, I am not a professional dev but am certainly learning.

      Genesis seems to be a better choice for me because it is much easier to use. I remember having Thesis 2.x and it was insane. I was hoping for the drag and drop but was nothing close to that. Ended up, learning some coding within a week (which is good) 🙂

      I think Genesis is more flexible compared to Thesis but don’t underestimate the power of both. They are equally good in my eyes.

      Take care and see you around.

  7. Hi,
    I started with Thesis 1.4 … loved it and learned a lot from it. Switched to Genesis exclusively for same reasons: knowing php it is much easier for me to do a child theme or add a function to a hook than edit drag and drop templates in Thesis (way easier). Well, even if Thesis core code is neat (Genesis is still a bit “messy” as of current v2.2.2) – I do prefer Genesis for client’s work.

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