Thesis 2.0 Theme Review – WordPress Theme Framework ReInvented

Well, last month I finally convinced myself to try out the Thesis 2.0 – Drag & Drop Framework. The theme is in the market for 2+ months but I didn’t started using it until Alex come with the MD3 for 2.0.

After spending a few days with thesis 2.0, I can say that 2.0 is a robust drag & drop theme framework that comes with a nice set of features.

I don’t want to turn this post into just another thesis review post, so expect a long read!

While many people complained (even I did) about how clunky the new version is, but it seems 2.0 isn’t that bad. Though, I don’t have any plans of updating any of my sites that are running on thesis 1.8.x!

The theme was in making for 2+ years; many people turned away and started using other theme frameworks like Genesis & Woo Framework.

To test and see how thesis 2.0 works, I installed the theme on a brand new blog. I spent more then 3 hours playing with the latest version and it turned out a robust theme with a lot of options to customize. FYI, the DIYThemes (the company behind this framework) has decided to keep developing both the frameworks and it makes a great sense for people those who don’t like the drag & drop 2.0 version can stick with the 1.8.x.

Some Background about Thesis theme

When thesis theme was launched there weren’t as many WordPress theme frameworks as now. Thesis theme was launched March 29, 2008.

I started using thesis in 2010 and since then I have been building sites with it. Thesis 1.x version come with a lot of fantastic options, hooks and functions, that a beginner developer can easily style his thesis site.

Many A-list people like Neil Patel, Ileane Smith, Corbett bar and Pat Flynn has been using the framework and all of them are still using 1.8.x!

Thesis Installation

Installing the theme isn’t as hard as you might think. Actually it’s pretty simple, just like any other WordPress theme. NO FTP or any file permission change is required, it was a must in the 1.8.5!

The latest version creates a whole new look inside your dashboard. The UI is pretty nice but not something I expected in 2.0! The buttons are actually Dropdown menus and each of the Thesis 2.0 features can be accessed.

Tips for Getting started with Thesis theme

Once you start playing with thesis you will realize the Chris, Lola and Missieur are giving you some cool thesis tips to improve your thesis powered website. I have never seen something like this in any other theme frameworks.

thesis 2 tips

Thesis Site Options

So let’s begin exploring “Site” options which is the first button on the navigation menu. As you will hover the mouse on the “site” options button, you will see links to the following tools:

HTML Head:

This section is where you can manage everything related to the head area of your site and do little things like set your favicon, verify your site with Google and Bing webmaster tools.

On the right hand side there are two options – first one is, Site Verification, which lets you verify your site with Google & Bing webmaster tools and second option is, Google Rel author, which you can drag to the head area, to show rel=”author” tag in every page/post of your site. You would need to add Google+ profile id in the rel author settings.

If you run a multi-author website, you would need to enter each author’s Google+ Number on their user profile page.

Tracking Scripts:

This is the section where you can add Google scripts and other scripts that helps to improve your website. It’s a handy way to add scripts to your thesis website.

404 Page:

This is a simple that lets you create a custom 404 page. All you have to do is to create a new page from the WordPress dashboard, and then choose it in the 404 options.

Very handy feature for creating a 404 page!

Home Page SEO:

The most important page of your website, where you will put an awesome title, description and keywords for your website. There are also options for noindex or nofollow your website, but labeled as ‘not recommended’.

Unlike other themes, thesis 2.0 doesn’t support WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. So you would need to stick with the Thesis SEO option.

Thesis Skins

Thesis allows you to install more than one skin at a time, similar to the default ‘themes’ page. FYI, you can’t run more than one skin at a time.

Select Skin

Very similar to the WordPress theme uploader and all your child skins/ themes are listed here.

Thesis 2.0 comes with two default skins – Classic skin and the Blank skin. Classic skin is the same as the default thesis 1.8.x skin and blank skin is a blank page so you can start building the skin from scratch.

Skin Editor

The most complicated settings in the whole 2.0 – this is what you will think at the first look, but once you start playing with it you’ll going to love it.

Thesis comes with Drag & drop theme builder, that you can use to build your theme from the front-end. You can create the custom designs from within the thesis dashboard.

thesis skin editor

In Thesis 1.8.x you had to add a lot of code snippets to the custom_functions, but with thesis 2.0 you can add anything a few clicks without touching any code.

With thesis 2.0, there is a whole new HTML, CSS and Image that will let you customize your blog from the front-end.

Thesis Boxes

Thesis theme is packed with innovation and one of the most innovated feature is Thesis Boxes. This is a useful feature for non-tech users, now they can easily upload the thesis box or package to add a new function to their websites. Basically, it aims at solving problem of tweaking functions.php or custom.css templates, with 2.0 you can achieve the new functionality without touching a piece of code.

With thesis boxes, you can customize the blog as you want, all from the front-end. Each box has different set of options and properties and it takes less than a minute to add a new box.

It also has box import feature that lets you migrate all the settings of the theme with ease.

Thesis Packages

Well, innovation doesn’t end yet. Another feature that shows its usefulness is “Packages”. In previous version, if you wish to increase margin or padding or to change the font size, color, you need to have some knowledge of CSS.

But the 2.0 comes with thesis packages, which lets you add specific css properties without messing with code.

Creating and adding thesis packages is pretty simple. Once you create a new box, you have to add the css properties such as border, margin, padding and font-family.

In last 2 months, a lot of new child themes and boxes have been released for Thesis 2.0!

Free Themes for Thesis 2.0

There are not many free skins available for thesis 2.0 but there are 2 awesome skins that I would love to share with you.

Legendry Theme

The free skin created by Hesham Zebdia, yes this guy has created a lot of awesome themes & boxes for Thesis 2.0 ;). Anyways, the Legendry is a pretty simple theme with a sliding optin form. I did like the color scheme that he used in the theme.

legendary thesis skin

Download Legendary theme


BizLife is another awesome free child theme. This one also has a custom home page and is designed & developed by Puneet Sahalot.


Download BizLife theme

Premium Themes for Thesis 2.0

Marketers Delight 3

I know a lot of people who are using Thesis 2.0 theme only because of this theme. Marketers Delight 3 is an awesome theme build for bloggers and marketers. I am not going to write a review of this theme here, but in short Marketers Delight is one of the best themes.

Marketers Delight Thesis 2.0 Theme

MD3 Features

  • Build Unique Landing Pages
  • Build Specialized Content Areas With Page Leads
  • Promote Your Products and Services With the Product Lead
  • Create Amazing Pricing Tables With Few Clicks
  • Response Design
  • Prize: $67

Full Details & Download


BlogSkin is a perfect theme for internet marketers, bloggers, and multi-authors blogs. The theme comes with several awesome thesis Boxes, custom landing page template and 2 different Mods for 2 and 3 columns layout that you can switch between any time.

BlogSkin Thesis 2.0 Theme

Blogskin Features:

  • Three Columns Content Boxes
  • Sliding Optin Form
  • DDSlider Content Slider
  • Go/Scroll to Top
  • Thesis Awesome Attribution Box
  • Price: $67

Full Details & Download

Quik Theme

Quick is a responsive child theme with a complete magazine look. If you want to a 2 column design with magazine look, then Quik is the theme for you. The theme is developed by the Themedy Team.

Quick Thesis 2.0 Responsive Theme

Quick Features:

  • Fully Responsive Design
  • Unique Homepage Template
  • Custom Landing Pages
  • Unique jQuery Background slider
  • Price: $99

Full Details & Download


Another nice looking theme by Themedy. Grind is a business or corporate theme with fully responsive design. There are very few business themes available for Thesis 2.0 and Grind is one of them. Perfect theme for starting a business website.

responsive child theme for thesis

Grind Features:

  • Responsive design
  • Seven Different Design Schemes
  • Unique Editable Homepage Template
  • Price: $99

Full Details & Download

Free Boxes for Thesis 2.0

Author Box

I have been playing with a lot of themes recently and most of them come with an author information box, but thesis 2.0 doesn’t has a default author box. After doing a little search on Google, I found a perfect author box for thesis.

Author Box Features:

  • Add custom fields in user profile
  • Add author box at the end of every blog post

Download the Box

Social Media Box

Another useful box to add in your theme is SocialShare. This box adds social media buttons at the bottom of every blog post. With Social Share, Thesis users can configure vertical or horizontal buttons via Thesis itself.

Download the Box

Final Thoughts

Thesis is no doubt, a great theme framework for WordPress, but there are some things that need to be worked out. There’s not much documentation or child themes or custom boxes, but looking at the community thesis has, it won’t be long before you will see a lot of awesome themes & boxes.

Of course, Thesis isn’t for everyone! You would need to have at least some basic knowledge of web development plus the theme doesn’t come cheap. The price of basic version is $87 and it only includes 12 months of upgrades.

Get the Thesis Theme Framework

Have you tried Thesis 2.0 yet? I would love to hear your thoughts about thesis 2.0 in the comments below!

  1. Adrienne says

    Hey Dev,

    Great review and since you are a WordPress expert can I ask you a few questions about 2.0?

    I don’t have a paid theme with Thesis, I just created my look myself. Do you still not recommend upgrading to 2.0? Some people have said that it’s best to create a brand new blog and to not upgrade with an already well established blog.

    Also, if people are purchasing Thesis for the first time and they purchase the 2.0 version, will they have issues moving their blog to this new theme or should I not recommend Thesis anymore to people unless they are starting a brand new blog.

    I continue to have people ask me all the time but because I haven’t converted myself, I’m not sure what to tell them. Hopefully you can give me some pointers on this.

    Thanks Dev and great review. I’d really like to upgrade but am really nervous to do so. Would love your suggestions.


    • Devesh says

      Hey Adrienne,

      Glad you liked my detailed review and thanks so much for the nice words.

      Thesis 2.0 is a different framework and if you upgrade to 2.0, you will loose all the design settings. Though, I wouldn’t suggest you upgrading to 2.0, unless you really like the new version. May be you should create a demo blog, install Thesis 2.0 and see how it works.

      If people are purchasing thesis for the first time, than they won’t have any issues. The thing is that it’s not easy to upgrade from Thesis 1.8.x to 2.0.

      Though, Thesis has plan to keep the development of both the versions and I know a lot of people who are still using 1.8.x plus there are ton of resources / tutorials available. So I would say stick with 1.8 for now.

      If you still want to upgrade to 2.0, than I would be more then happy to help you anyway I can :).

      Thanks so much for stopping, Adrienne. Have a great day.


      • Adrienne says

        Thank you Dev, that definitely answered my question and now I’ll know what to tell others who want to purchase Thesis.

        • Devesh says

          So glad I could able to help you, Adrienne.

          Thanks for the great support, as usual and keep up the rocking work ;).

  2. DiTesco says

    Hi Dev. Happy New Year.

    Thanks for the write up and for introducing those Thesis 2.0 Skins. Like you, I have been testing the Framework and Heshams blog skin.

    IMO, Thesis 2.0 may end up being a great framework, I mean it is, but not really from a users perspective. For developers, I am sure it is a “delight”, but for non tech savvys, I found it to be somewhat complicated, and I had to turn for help several times just to be able to get started. They really should make that framework more user friendly and more intuitive. I think the potential is there :)

    • Devesh says

      Hey DiTesco,

      Thanks and happy new year to you too. You have done some really great stuff with iBlogzone in 2012.

      Well said, my friend. Thesis 2.0 could have been a lot better if they have used the Thesis 1.8 as the base version. Although, thesis 2.0 is a robust theme framework, the only bad thing it has is a nice learning curve plus there’s not much tutorials or themes.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a nice comment, bud.


  3. Sergio Felix says

    Hey Dev, this is a fantastic overview on Thesis 2.0 my man!

    I did install the new version on a test domain as soon as it came out but saying I was confused would really come in short, I was completely LOST.

    I tried playing with a lot of stuff for hours and couldn’t get much done, at the time I just found two posts on how to do a few things on version 2.0 and even that didn’t help much.

    My conclusion was to not upgrade and to let it nurture into more and more people playing around and to wait a little so more adventurous coders and theme developers would publish a bit more information on the new framework.

    Seems like you’ve been enjoying it though so kudos to you!


    PS. Did you remove the URL textbox from the comments thread for good?

    • Devesh says

      Hey Sergio,

      Glad you liked the review and thanks so much for coming over here & leaving a nice comment.

      I can totally understand that, Thesis isn’t something you would be able to use very easily. You would need to spend some good time with it ;).

      I only started playing with Thesis 2.0, when I got my hands on MD3 theme, which made it super easy to create a nice looking blog with Thesis.

      Yes, there are still not much documentation, tutorials or themes like Thesis 1.8.x. I think it will going to take at least 6 months before we will start seeing some awesome thesis stuff.

      Yes, I am enjoying the framework but you didn’t noticed that ‘WP Kube’ is running on Genesis theme ;).

      Regarding the comment form, I removed it a few months ago, because I was getting a lot of spam comments.

      Thanks again for the continued support, Sergio. Hope you have a great year ;).


  4. Adeline says

    Hi Dev,

    Thank you for an extensive review of thesis 2.0. Unfortunately, this version is better suited to developers who have the time to tinker around and figure how it works. People who actually run a business big or small can ill afford to use 2.0. The product that was released was incomplete, and from what I have experienced, a complete time waster. Old time thesis loyalists may still make tall claims but the truth is, thesis 2.0 has a long way to go before it can compete with top quality themes such as Genesis.

    • Devesh says

      Hi Adeline,

      Thanks so much for the nice comment. I still think the previous version was much much better. In terms of usability and design.

      Though, the quality of thesis framework is still top notch but it will going to take some time before big businesses or brands would start using the 2.0 version.

      Thanks for sharing your insights. Have a great weekend.

  5. vinodh says

    I upgraded to thesis 2.1 . Is thesis skin editor like thesis open hook plugin ?.
    first time i am using 2.1. skin editor is confusing to me :-(.

    • Devesh says

      Hi Vindh,

      Congratulations on upgrading to 2.1.

      The 2.1 is completely different from the previous version. It’s a drag & drop version and you can do everything from front-end. There’s a bit of learning curve for v2.1.

      Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). All opinions are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.