Choosing the right theme for a site is often the most difficult thing to do when you are beginning to create a website with Wordpress. Countless hours are lost as you hunt for the perfect theme on the WordPress theme directory, rejecting one after the other for many different reasons.
When talking to a new internet marketers, this is the most common question: “What is the best theme to use?”.
And what a question it is! How do you suggest a theme when not only do peoples tastes in colour and style differ, but also when there are literally thousands of themes to choose from?
Well nowadays I only suggest premium themes to people. Yes I understand that not everyone has the cash to outlay on a theme, but more often than not, that little outlay in the beginning can save numerous headaches and plenty of time.
Take Thesis for example. It isn’t the cheapest theme out there at $87 for a single site option and $164 for the developer option (where you can use it on multiple sites).
However, I have bought a lot of different premium themes and tried countless free themes, and I haven’t yet come across a theme like Thesis where you have so many options available to you to change the look of the site and that is before you even look at touching any CSS!
Let me run through some of the options available with Thesis so you can get a better idea of how it works.
This section is mainly for SEO purposes where you can change the site title, meta tags etc to tweak the SEO. There is also a section where you can insert scripts (for Google Analytics for example). And of course the most important section, being able to change the save button text!
This to me was a little scary at first, just seeing all of the options available I felt a little overwhelmed! And I code for a living! Once past that initial wow factor, here is the area where you can change a huge proportion of the look of a site easily and without touching any code!
Changing the structure of the site is one of the most common requests I see from people messing with themes and Thesis allows you to have up to three columns (so 2 sidebars and a main content area for example) and you can change the widths to get them absolutely perfect.
Font type, size and colour can be changed with a click of the button, and you can vary which font etc is used in different places. It also comes with a colour picker so no more hunting for hex codes on the web.
One other feature that Thesis allows you to do with a click of a button is to change the post length to either full post or excerpt. Most other themes have this “hard wired” and require a code change.
A feature that I found to be a little pointless perhaps and a little difficult to manage was the Multimedia box, I just didn’t get what it was for or where I would use it. But no harm nor foul, Thesis lets you turn it off!
I am not going to go into the other options but as you can see so far, the number of options available to you means that you can use Thesis to create numerous sites that all look different with ease. Perfect for pushing out clean, efficient looking affiliate sites without touching the code.
A drag and drop system to upload a header image is pretty nifty and easy to do. As normal you do need to try and make sure the image is about the right size, as though Thesis will resize it for you, supplying a too small image or too tall image will still make it look weird.
An easy way to upload a favicon, no more messing about with FTP clients. If you haven’t made a favicon before or have no clue what one is, check out this article.
Custom File Editor
If you do know some HTML and CSS (if not click here), you can easily amend the theme using the custom.css and custom_functions.php files which you can access from this option in the Wordpress dashboard. Handy for on the fly customisations.
So you bought yourself the Thesis single licence and upgraded to the Developer licence so you can use Thesis on mire than one site. The thought of going through all the options again to create a new site fills you with dread.
Thesis allows you to export and import your settings! This means that if you have one setup that you want to use on multiple sites or use as a base for a different site, a few clicks and its ready. Now that is powerful!
Thesis is such a popular theme that even Matt Cutts from Google uses it. You couldn’t ask for a better endorsement!
The Thesis team is also hard at work on version 2.0 which should have a lot more functions and shiny things in it, which will be awesome. No need to wait to purchase it though, as you get get free theme updates for life (unlike other themes such as Elegant Themes where it is a limited update period).
So, whilst Thesis does cost some money, the functionality that you get is really good value for the money you spend. Thesis is the exact reason why I don’t recommend free themes to people: it has a ton of options, fully customisable, free lifetime updates and a great support system. Plus if you are a coder it is easily customisable through child themes.
That is why I recommend Thesis.