I am not a Thesis user. I have designed for Thesis, but I have no love of it. Frankly, it bites. I wrote about Thesis before, and even though I offer a free and simple skin, I still have no love for it.
Thesis does not enhance SEO in any way. In fact, here is what Matt Mullenweg retweeted from @studionashvegas on Twitter.
The whole shebang started before the above Twitter re-tweet between Matt Mullenweg and Chris Pearson, and it spurred on a lot of conversation.
WordPress allows people to alter its code, fork off the code, develop plugins, develop themes, redistribute it, and more. That is how open source is so great. WordPress allows for people who are web designers and developers to take something and improve upon it. However, they (WordPress / Automattic) have been steadfast in not supporting WordPress related software that does not also allow much in the favor of open source and GPL.
Thesis allows people to download the product for an enormous fee. In fact it is nearly $30 more for a single licensing fee than some of the top premium and more pleasing themes out there in the WordPress theme market. The majority of people that use Thesis really are not that different from each other aesthetically in design. This is not some megalomaniac type statement. Look around, it is so obvious. It really is a shame when the product needs more flexibility rather than revamping tidbits of code and offering developers an expensive price that offers VERY little other than multiple installs.
Why bother when the WordPress default TwentyTen theme has so much more potential to be customized and even looks better than Thesis.
For designers and developers who have been in the field of freelancing or offering free themes, Thesis is not something to embrace as a nice product. It is like the annoying premium plugins that end up being a pain to customize. You have to learn their product because they decided to not go with WordPress and tinker with making a ridiculous amount of coding to make hooks that really are not even necessary. They still end up doing the same thing as putting functions and filters in your theme and your theme’s functions.php file.
There are people using Thesis that still have to use gobs of plugins. Do yourself a favor and shop wisely for a WordPress theme if you are going to buy premium themes. Many of them not only offer as many options as Thesis, but go above and beyond in design.
It is a product that works and a lot of people have embraced it, but really, how many hard core WordPress designer and developers would loyally use it, let alone recommend it? Not many that I have seen, especially with the amount of freelance work I get just fixing code on work by other web designers, including a few Thesis related projects. And by the way, I do not see many of those type of projects listed on the freelance boards.
I go back to my point I said earlier about Thesis still using WordPress to execute its functions and even though there is a huge argument over GPL, I am not in total agreeance with Why the GPL does not apply to premium WordPress themes. The Thesis product is a derivative much like most WordPress themes, according to Mark Jaquith. It is like if I make my own theme, write a bunch of unique hooks, but those hooks actually operate off of the WordPress core. It is a roundabout way of operating a site. The core is not hacked or altered in any manner.
To learn more about GPL, here are a few resources:
What are your thoughts?