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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few facts about me before I tell you why:
Do we have anything in common as of the above?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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: