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Thesis 2.0 vs Genesis 1.9 – A Comparison

There are thousands of premium WordPress themes out there, but perhaps the most long-standing and popular ones are Thesis from DIYthemes and Genesis from StudioPress. For a number of years now these two have been the starting point of thousands of WordPress blogs, and they are still the leaders in the market. Since I know that many new bloggers agonise over which one to choose and how it will affect them in the long run, I'll be running a feature by feature comparison that will hopefully help you make a more informed decision.

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There are thousands of premium WordPress themes out there, but perhaps the most long-standing and popular ones are Thesis from DIYthemes and Genesis from StudioPress. For a number of years now these two have been the starting point of thousands of WordPress blogs, and they are still the leaders in the market.

Since I know that many new bloggers agonise over which one to choose and how it will affect them in the long run, I’ll be running a feature by feature comparison that will hopefully help you make a more informed decision.

Both these themes claim to be the originators of the WordPress premium theme market, so it’s interesting to see how far each has come and whether any of them has a clear edge over the other.

Price

Genesis has a straightforward pricing scheme. You pay $59.95 once and get lifetime access to updates and usage on an unlimited number of websites.

Child themes cost from $20-$40, or you can also purchase the Pro plus package for $349.95 and get the Genesis Framework + all child themes (present and future).

Genesis pricing
Genesis pricing structure

Thesis, on the other hand, is a bit different with regards to pricing. For $87 you get the basic Thesis 2.0 theme plus one year of upgrades, while for $164 you get the same two extra skins. Thesis professional costs $197 and has lifetime upgrades included.

Thesis pricing
Thesis pricing structure

Genesis plus two child themes costs between $79.95 and $99.95, which is around half what Thesis Professional costs. With Genesis you always get lifetime upgrades and support, so I would say Genesis is a clear winner  in the pricing domain.

Winner: Genesis

Design Options

Genesis has a big collection of child themes available, and in recent months more and more third party developers/designers are producing child themes specifically for use with the Genesis framework. I wasn’t a fan of the older Genesis themes, as they were in my opinion sub-standard looks-wise when compared to other premium themes. However StudioPress have seriously upped their game in 2012, and they now have a good bunch of beautiful, responsive child themes.

Genesis child themes
Genesis child themes

They tend to release child themes at a particular niche market, for example the AgentPress theme is aimed at real estate businesses. This makes it very useful for us developers, because StudioPress supplies us with all the base themes we need for our clients. Even if a new real estate client of mine requires a totally custom design, I would still save a lot of development time by using AgentPress as the starting point, for example.

StudioPress have a theme chooser tool which will help you find the best team for your requirements.

Thesis has traditionally put a lot of design power to its users through a very specific options panel which enabled you to make all sorts of design changes.

In Thesis 2.0, we get a totally new interface for customising the design of a site, with the introduction of a drag-and-drop theme builder.

Drag and drop editor
Thesis 2.0 drag and drop editor

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of drag-and-drop builders. I prefer having a leaner theme with no drag-and-drop functionality but staying true to the WordPress architecture. That way I can easily apply my WordPress coding knowledge onto the theme for any customisations I may need. In this sense, because of my preference, I definitely prefer the Genesis approach of child theme customisations and a basic options panel.

Winner: Genesis

Support & Documentation

Thesis has very good online documentation, while Genesis also provides a comprehensive user manual.

Both have forums and there are also third party sites which have articles about further customisation of these themes. With regards to third party sites I prefer the Genesis ones, Brian Gardner himself has some truly excellent tutorials, while I’ve also found Bill Erickson’s musings to be of top quality.

Many Thesis and Genesis users have reported that they received excellent support in the forums, so I’ll give it a tie between the two themes for support and documentation.

Winner: Tie

High Profile User Base

When choosing a premium theme, a good indicator of its quality is the humber of high profile bloggers making use of it. Both Genesis and Thesis boast a number of pro bloggers that are loyal to them, however in the past year or two I’ve noticed a number of WordPress celebrities move to the Genesis platform, while in the case of Thesis it was mostly the loyal bloggers who stayed with it.

People backing GenesisSome of the High profile people backing Genesis
Some of the high profile bloggers and developers who are backing Genesis

This is quite a subjective point and is based purely on my day-to-day observations of the WordPress and blogger ecosystem, but my impression is that more and more high profile blogs are moving to Genesis.

You will find quite a number of posts who come out quite strongly against Thesis (especially the latest version), or describe their switch away from Thesis.

Some examples:

There are also quite a number of top WordPress developers who work with and contribute to Genesis, like Bill Erickson, Gary Jones, Travis Smith, Nick Croft and Joost de Valk. Top WordPress blog WP Beginner have also moved to Genesis.

Winner: Genesis

Recent Updates

Thesis 2.0 was released this year, and it was quite a controversial event. Many users reacted to the new version, saying it was near to impossible to upgrade their sites to the new version, and there were also complaints about the lack of documentation for Thesis 2.0.

Thesis 2.0

On the other side of the ring, Genesis 1.9 is now in beta stage and will soon be finalised. It includes a brand new Genesis parent theme, which is a vast improvement over the previous theme design-wise. I absolutely love the new look.

Genesis Framework 1.9 — The Industry Standard for Premium WordPress Themes

Apart from the new look, there are some minor updates which you can read about in our Genesis 1.9 review. The general feeling is that the new look is great but features such as HTML5 code should have also been in this version, and not in the next one.

Winner: Genesis

Speed

Both Thesis and Genesis are highly tuned for speed, achieving excellent results in tools such as YSlow. Having said that, Thesis seems to enjoy a fraction of a second advantage in loading time over Genesis. That isn’t likely to be a deciding factor when making your choice, but it’s there for you to know it.

Winner: Thesis

Conclusion

Both these premium themes are valid options for bloggers and WordPress developers.

I will be moving WP Mayor to the Genesis framework shortly, simply because I’ve already used it on other sites and found it to be extremely well coded and developer friendly. If I wasn’t good at coding I would have probably gone for Thesis since it’s easier to customise things from their options panel.

So the bottom line is that it depends on your own profile as a WordPress user. If you’re comfortable with the way WordPress works at a code level, and want a great framework to take things further, then Genesis is hard to beat.

If on the other hand you are a blogger or business owner who does the website thing as a hobby or side job, you might want something that is more foolproof and easy to customise design-wise, in which case I would suggest Thesis. I’m actually not that sure that the 2.0 version is easier to customise than Genesis, only time will tell whether users actually make the new drag and drop system work for them.

Both Thesis and Genesis come with a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try both if you’re still not sure which one works best for you.

Get Genesis Theme | Get Thesis Theme

Have you used any of these themes? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to subscribe to WP Mayor’s RSS feed.

Jean Galea
Jean Galea
Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the Mastermind.fm podcast. His personal blog can be found at jeangalea.com.

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43 Responses

  1. The only thing good about Genesis is their price plans. The new drag and drop system for Thesis blows Genesis out of the way. It makes a beginner look really good. As far as convenience concern…Genesis has the upper-hand for now. They have themes ready to install. But there’s a lot of developers out there offering Thesis themes nowadays…

    1. Thanks for your comment Kevin. I think there are many more good things about Genesis beside their price plans. Excellent responsive child themes and an impressive community, just to mention two of them. I do agree that there are many developers offering Thesis themes nowadays, so in that sense Thesis comes closer, but I prefer having the themes being officially approved and curated as happens with Genesis.

  2. Jean,
    Nice job! But fair and balanced? My good man, we want angry demagoguery and fanboy-ism that passes for discourse nowadays! 🙂

    All seriousness aside, I enjoyed your article. I am a Genesis guy, so that’s where I voted. However, I have also used Thesis, and I like it, but pre 2.0. I even wrote a comparison article of them. I won’t link to it, because if a wee-weeing contest begins, that will be tedious.

    I have been intrigued by the Thesis 2.0 brouhaha, which will subside as they squash bugs and get documentation.

    Those who want to make sites with no CSS and PHP skills will have a shot at that with Thesis 2, and that’s what they’ll pay for. It will definitely help beginners. Genesis requires more basic skills. But the way it’s built, I can get all the precision I need very quickly and easily.

    I keep getting hired to fix themes that are built with drag and drop components and giant admin panels that still manage to leave the client wanting more than the theme can deliver. Because I like to write code, this is no problem. It will be a problem for a drag-and-dropper, no matter how cool and comprehensive the system is.

    1. I fully agree with you Dave, drag-and-drop (if well built), can only take you so far, for further customisations you’d have to delve into the code.

      For straightforward basic sites however, drag and drop is a good idea and gives more power to non-coders.

      1. Hi, ref drag and drop taking you so far, as a thesis dev I can assure you there is nothing that can’t be packaged into a thesis box enabling users to acquire the functionality they need, upload, drag and dropin place. Each box can be made to be used for a very specific purpose or for multiple uses with a few options.

        Example, I made an auto featured image box, it can be used as many times as the user wishes which ensures images are correctly generated, correct dimensions etc. But as one user of the box showed it also makes for a good opening image as seen on bonfireimpact.com posts.

        Thesis 2 is incredibly powerful and as a dev coding boxes to arm users with what will become the largest array of website features ranging from sliders, carousels, custom excerpt lengths, various menu systems, the query box to pull whatever posts you need the list is as long as peoples imagination.

          1. Yes i have, but I prefer thesis, its a developers playground. But I have to ask, about the comment with drag and drop and being amateur, whats the difference between inserting code directly to a template and via the thesis drag and drop.

            The principal is the same, the box contains code, code that has been developed for certain purposes. What makes boxes powerful is the precision they provide. Someone may need a certain function, I can package that in a box, release it and many people can use it, as time goes by users ask for extra features, so I can add them also so developers enjoy coding stuff and the average user reaps the benefits of that.

            Boxes are very much similiar to how wordpress works, when you call wp_head you pulling pre-defined code, when you place a box in its desired position, you adding pre-defined code with the ability to add easy to use variables.

            Its not a drag and drop in the sense of Headway, headway is a god awful framework, It has so much code behind it, you need a decent server just to run it correctly.

            Woo themes, theme forest make great looking themes, but efficient, not in the slightest. That where thesis comes out on top. Its super efficient, even when it looks like a lot is going on on the front end, its driven by efficiently and the next release 2.1 is even more efficient, its been made much more intuitive and the back-end is even faster than before. Thesis 2 is still relatively new, bugs and user feedback is being listened to and changes made to accommodate user concerns.

            I know many people now that slated it at first, because they tried to build a site as though they were using thesis 1.x or other themes. Since then I have received countless emails saying they get it now, they understand it and can see what its all about.

            I make boxes for thesis 2 which is very fun in my eyes and as stated above, eventually users will be able to find everything they need to build a site, whether complex or not, nothing is out of the question.

            Example, users may require something that currently isn’t in thesis yet, perhaps certain options, all these can be added very easily.

            Ref the comment about (type) I don’t think you actually understood what that meant. It means typography, which is an important factor in building a site. Poor typography puts people off reading. Thesis has a built in ratio that automatically formats your fonts with the mathematically correct typography. Its not about Google fonts at all.

            Anyway im not gonna get into a contest about it, people like what they like and that’s why we have a variety to choose from. What makes a poor developer though is one that ignores everything else, Ive worked with god knows how many themes, frameworks etc more so than most as my main line of work is optimizing so I get hit with pretty much everything which is why I know whats a good theme and what is not. I look at it from a perspective of how will this impact the server, how can it be made more efficient, because in the end, quality content and the speed you deliver it are crucial to success. Most pre fabricated themes such as themeforest are way to heavy in terms of the load it adds to the server.

  3. I use Dynamik Theme with Genesis. Gives me plenty to play with and lots to learn. Not a coder per se, and this combo gives me some serious power.

    After following the Thesis video for a 2 column site, after 15 minutes the page was still not complete and I was all iinds of confused about Boxes, etc.

    In Genesis, a 2 column site and responsive is 2 or 3 mouse clicks! Oh yeah! 1.9 is looking good!

    1. Dynamik Theme is a great find! I wasn’t aware that such a Genesis drag and drop builder existed. I’ll have to take a closer look at it, but it could very well be the answer to Thesis’ new builder.

  4. In the ‘Design Options’ section of your post you seem to completely favor Genesis but have Thesis marked as the winner. Just FYI. I’ve used Thesis on sites way back when and was taken by surprise with the new Thesis. Totally different product. Ironically, my coding became good enough from figuring out T2 that I no longer need it as a framework. I still use both 1.85 and 2.0, but if I were in the market again, I’d personally look closer at Genesis.

    1. Thanks for pointing the mistake out Michael, I fixed that. The Genesis learning curve is very similar to that of WordPress itself. So once you get the hang of things, it’s easy to customise everything. The nice thing is that it is modelled after WordPress itself, and doesn’t take any new directions as Thesis tends to do. Not to mention that there are quite a number of Genesis-specific plugins in the WordPress repository, they pack some very good added functionality.

  5. I always love Thesis vs. Genesis comparisons, and nice post Jean.

    They are both outstanding frameworks, written and developed by talented developers, but I think that until Thesis 2.x has a more consistent ecosystem of devs, skins, boxes, etc., comparing these two is sort of like comparing apples to oranges in a way.

    Really, we should compare Thesis to Genesis w/Prose child theme.

    As far as what Dave said about clients “wanting more than the theme can deliver”, I’ve always felt that way about Genesis, mostly because I can’t code, and can’t make use of filters and/or hooks to really create the design I’m envisioning.

    I don’t mean that as a slight to Genesis, and I’ve used them a lot, but with them, (and in part due to my lack of coding skills) I’m very much stuck with the Genesis child theme, which up until about 3 months ago, many of them just look dated IMHO (although the recently released themes have been incredibly sleek and modern).

    I’ve never used Thesis 1.x, so I can’t relate to those who have and are now mad about 2.x, but I purchased the 2.x package a few months ago, and with a very basic knowledge of code, I’ve accomplished much more in two months, than I could ever accomplish with Genesis. Now imagine if I knew how to code!

    For a beginner, this is very satisfying, and WordPress is chock full of beginners and novices who can’t code. That’s why they (and I) chose WordPress in the first place!

    One must remember, frameworks and themes should be catered to the end user (beginner or not) not just developers, and quite frankly, although they both do many things well, both Genesis and Thesis cater to the developer more than the end user IMHO.

    1. Lots of good points, thanks for your comment Chris.

      Genesis have made a significant leap in the design-quality of their themes lately, as I also pointed out in the review. But I can imagine that non-coders would find themselves restricted at times with Genesis. A drag and drop builder definitely gives you more freedom.

      For non-coders, I would probably be comparing Thesis with PageLines and Headway. Have you tried those?

      1. Headway was the first premium theme/framework I used when moving to WordPress. I found their drag-and-drop interface sleek looking, but non-intuitive when you went to use it. I eventually asked for a refund.

        That was about 2 years ago though, so I’m guessing there have been tremendous improvements since then.

        I’ve been intrigued by Pagelines, but haven’t had the time to try it out.

        For now, I’m gonna run with Thesis, but definitely going to check out Dynamik for Genesis as well

  6. I noticed what Michael saw, too! 🙂

    Chris brings up a great point – at this time, Thesis and Genesis are parting company, so the comparisons may be apples and oranges now.

    One thing I thought was funny was that I’d hear people say stuff like ‘Thesis handles type better’. I thought, what?? I looked, and well, Thesis does have a pretty interface to lots of Google fonts, just as loads of themes do now. But I can get any Google font into Genesis with a 3-liner, so there goes that idea.

    I would actually like to see a comparison of Headway and Thesis 2. Headway has been doing the drag-drop thing for a long time now, so I think those two are coverging, and their potential clients (drag-drop fans) may find that useful. Jean, have you tried Headway?

    1. Thanks for your comment Dave. I agree that with the builder Thesis can be leaning more towards builders such as iThemes Builder, PageLines and Headway. I have tried Headway before, the builder is really neat. Although at the end of the day I personally don’t like to rely on builders, so I tend to prefer the Genesis approach.

  7. From a user’s perspective, my choice would be Genesis since Thesis has lots of functions that I don’t care and can’t get all of them. Genesis, on the other hand, has few options, but they are great and easy to use. I don’t know how developers think of these frameworks, but configuring Thesis 2.0 is really difficult and Genesis is easy and clean to find, spot the code and customize your theme

  8. Really good comparison, Jean. I use both Thesis 2.0 and Genesis for my client sites depending upon their requirements and choices.
    One thing worth mentioning about Thesis 2.0 is that it gives me complete freedom to build the layout from ground up. I can hookup existing grid systems like 960, 1140, Gumby, Bootstrap etc. with my design. I have complete control over each element’s ID and CSS class. I haven’t used other drag and drop frameworks so not sure if they provide this flexibility or not. But, Genesis doesn’t.
    Genesis child themes offered by StudioPress are undoubtedly excellent for use on client and personal sites. With some styling changes you can make them look unique.

    1. Great point Puneet,

      I don’t think the average WP user has yet discovered the true power of Thesis 2.x

      I think a lot of folks who have tried it, log in, see that the new interface is totally different from 1.x and immediately log out without really “digging in”.

      The options you have are literally endless. I’ve discovered this already, and I’m just scratching the surface of what I can do with code.

  9. Our website agency is based in Genesis. I agree with you about speed and Seo friendly structure. Studio Press need open the door to different child theme designer, is oka for micro niche. In our case we needed to work very hard in “corporate child theme” to transform in actual web. Genesis at this moment is good for blog, no for websites.

  10. Genesis is the standout winner. I build a new genesis child theme for each and every job, sometimes using a purchased child theme where appropriate and can save coding time. This allows me to build a new website in approx half the time and get exactly what I want for my clients, usually the designs being based upon a supplied photoshop file. Other developers using other platforms and frameworks often can’t believe the relatively small amount of effort it takes me to come up with a stunning new website or storefront, typically 30-70% less time, which means I get higher margins. And being WordPress, with the yoast seo add-on and my interest in Google, these sites tend to get more traffic too which clients certainly appreciate.

    Tried thesis for a few sites and really hated the experience. Far too restrictive in terms of design and they tended to break when WP or plugin upgrades came along, which I’ve yet to see with any of my 50+ genesis sites. The support from the genesis community is amazing with useful tips always at hand. There are some very smart people using genesis.

    The entire drag n drop thing I hate, but I can understand why amateurs and those that can’t code like it. Thesis and others like them (woothemes, elegantthemes, rocketthemes etc) certainly have a place, but not in the professional arena for those making a living out of website building.

    1. Dear Kevin,
      I’ve been a Genesis fan since it’s beginning and agree with all you say. Even if I’m not a coder. One thing that intrigues me. I get rather good SEO results just by using the Genesis SEO features. Why do you use the “yoast seo add-on ” ? (which I had not heard about before). Greetings from Geneva in Switzerland.

      1. Hi Doris,
        I’ve been using Genesis for about 3 years (and their built in SEO features). Few months ago I tried WordPress SEO and I never look back.

        Genesis SEO feature is OK, it has all basic needs for on page SEO. However, WordPress SEO is much better as it has few advance features. One of the great features is the plugin will have a checklist of on page seo every time you want to write a new post. Try it out and you’ll know what I meant 😀

        ps: There are also a plugin called SEO Data Transporter to help you migrate from Genesis SEO to WordPress SEO. I also have written a tutorial about this in my blog.

  11. I love Genesis, cringe on TF themes they are terribly coded. Thesis are boring. I use the original Lifestyle and have modified it so much you wouldnt know its a Genesis theme.

  12. I am at a cross roads and not sure which path to take on this. I have read about Gensis and Thesis and still not sure which way to go. I do not have html or CSS skills nor a lot of money to pour into this. I have had two blogs in the past with blogger templates. What I find is that I can tweak a bit here and there but many times I try to tweek and add CSS or html as folks say and it doesn’t work. It is hard to believe much that is being said about what can be done with these templates with “simple” html or CSS additons.

    I just bought a new domain name and straddling the fence on which builder to buy. I might want to add my own store front and forum down the road to my blog. I am not sure which one of these would work best in allowing it. Would I have to pay more for adding such features on to a template? Is it expensive? Would they be easy to install and REALLY be a drag and drop type of proposition with either Gensis and Thesis?

    The devil is in the details with all of this. Only until I am up to my elbows in this do I realize too late that it isn’t as simple as many claim. I am glad there is are drag and dop wordpress options now since I tried WordPress years ago and just left since there was no way I was going to learn html on top of everything else for my blogs. I couldn’t understand how blogger was able to do this much simplier and wordpress didn’t have anything comparable. Just as I never wanted to do dos neither do I want to do CSS or html.

    My site will be a teachers site so Gensis may have more template ideas for me.

    One thing no one has addressed here from what I can tell is….. if one did go with Gensis or Thesis is a basic package enough or will it be better to upgrade to the professional packages. Would I actually be able to utilize these professional features enough to justify the expense? Are these packages really designed for those who like to tweek big time with html and CSS?

    I see Thesis says it has many features for professional but two have asterisks by them indicating these features have yet to be released. Does Thesis drag their feet on their promises? Why pay now and maybe way down the road I may get that feature and by that time will I even want to bother with it? They really should drop the price and just sell what they have. If I were going to go with Thesis I am thinking long term that Professional will offer me unlimited upgrades and that seems wise but too steep at $197.00.

    Gensis also has a Pro Plus for $349.95 with unlimited upgrades with all their templates now and in the future. But regular Gensis Frame Works offers unlimited upgrades for only $59.95 without templates which seems like a better deal for me since I do not plan to open multiple sites so if I were to buy one template it probably would be much less than $349.95 minus the 59.95. I would like to create a brand per se and not interesting in changing templates endlessly either.

    I tried to search Studiopress.com for these templates folks here mentioned like Dynamik etc but Studiopress doesn’t even have a search box on their site to search by template names! Ironic isn’t it? Makes me wonder about their ability to understand their customer’s basic needs and actually provide them.

    1. Hey there, first of all neither Thesis nor Genesis offer a drag and drop interface. However I would suggest going for Genesis together with the Dynamik Theme, which gives you loads of options that you can tweak to your heart’s content. And I agree with you, in your case Genesis framework would be the best deal, together with the Dynamik Theme I mentioned.

  13. Hi Jean!

    First of all, thank you for your comment. I came across this as I had just got serious with some internet business 🙂

    Personally, I used Genesis all my life (8 years blogging). Pretty used to it but I am no developer. So, playing with these codes could sometime be pain in the @#$. However, after some time, pretty used to Genesis. Honestly, Genesis served me well. Very well honestly.

    I came across Thesis 2.0 recently and was really wow-ed with it. No hands on yet but thinking of buying. I am pretty happy with what being said and looks good if you ask me. Why?

    Because I am tired of Genesis! Haha!

    No offence but after building up a lot of sites with Genesis, it felt…old. Who knows, I will try my hands on my new site and we will see huh.

    Nonetheless Jean, nice writing and IMHO, Genesis is still the clear winner for now (bias-one-sided of me) due to the fact that I have yet to try on Thesis 🙂

    Cheers!
    Reginald

  14. I’ve been a fan of thesis from the very beginning and almost used 2 year. Recently I’ve switched thesis to genesis. Because thesis 2.0 seemed too complex to me. But I love thesis too. Both are the best of frameworks.

  15. I am a newbie in training to this world, and I wasn’t completely happy with my Genesis experience as compared to my experience with Thesis. I unfortunately picked a Genesis theme through the StudioPress website which said responsive or to be technical mobile responsive, but it really wasn’t up to standards. There were actual flaws in the theme itself when it was viewed on anything other than a desktop and iPhone. It’s my fault for picking a bad theme, and I learned quickly! Support for StudioPress sent me to the actual developer which has been hard to get a hold of. I guess I expected more quality from the talk I heard about Genesis so I figured all the themes would be fully tested. Lesson learned.

    I will say the people in the support forums of StudioPress are very nice and super helpful. There are very smart people using Genesis.

  16. My take.

    Thesis 2 was great once the learning curve was covered.
    Thesis 2.1 retrograde because as usual some good ideas are poorly implemented (like editing boxes, but the box items are a list and you’ve no idea which page they belong to = painful).
    Thesis skin community is poor thus far.

    Genesis stock themes are horrible, seriously. I looked at swapping but the Studiopress themes are god-awful, seriously.

    Some of the Themedy themes are great but their pricing model is hopeless. You want to buy one theme? Sorry, you must sign up to be a premium member for $99. WTF? How many people besides devs, need that access? Not many. Many people want one theme, that’s it.

    It’s why I am sticking with Thesis for now (with Marketers Delight) and using themes from Themeforest when needed.

    Also looking at Headway (which I used a long long time ago) but the themes are pretty much non existent.

    Tim

  17. Thesis verry hardly understand, but complete design tools. Genesis verry userfriendly, easy to use, easy to customized. However, I’m likely thesis 2.0. I knew thesis is better theme for SEO Rank 🙂

  18. I’ve got lots of love for both at this point. Thesis 2 with boxes and the drag and drop (it’s not really a drag and drop as most people thing of it, just an easy way to do your html structure) is pretty awesome and I’ve made some great looking sites with it.

    I think Thesis 2 got a lot of undue slack when it first came out, people just didn’t “get” it. But if you spend a bit of time with it, it’s hard to deny how really powerful it is.

    Genesis is clean as a bean and very nice as well. Probably my go to for a lot of projects because of the licensing and how quick and easy it is to use.

    My suggestion – get both, depending on your client one will be the obvious winner.

  19. Which framework is good for a multi niche site?

    I want to create a blog with 4-5 topics…

    Which theme should I use?

  20. Okay, cool post but I am a bit confused now. 50% of the people who are commenting thesis. Being a genesis lover I only have to say one thing “Genesis totally depends on its child theme to hook something out of the framework.”

    Let’s say you want a magazine theme for your framework, you need to get it from studiopress and believe me the look of that theme sucks and you have to do tons of customization.

    Other than that, studiopress recommends to use plugins like genesis simple headers, genesis simple hooks, simple edits etc. etc. etc. but I don’t think that it would be a nice idea to use thousands of plugins just for the sake of customization.
    the thing that I love about genesis is that It disables all its seo options as soon as it detects an external seo plugin like wp seo by yost. Real smart.

    Even if you are a developer (Like me), you may have to spend at least one week to study genesis hooks and the way it grabs things 😛 (May be I am a bit dumb).

    Thesis on the other hand is recommended by various groups of people but I am really afraid to use this framework as you can never tell what will happen when the next framework update comes 😀 . Actually one of my friends was crying because his site was actually broken just because the update and he had no idea how to fix them.

    I have heard, unlike genesis, thesis totally depends on the framework and you only have to tweak some css. Sounds cool but when it comes to updates, your site may be broken because thesis developers may have put in some serious codes within the framework but like I said above “Nobody knows what their next update will look and feel like”

    What I hate about thesis is that It loves its own SEO options and even if you want to use an external seo plugin, you’ll still see those seo options that thesis provides. This brings up a problem. suppose if some one wants to drop the framework or switch to a standalone theme, he/she will loose all the seo settings, which sucks big time.

    Conclusion:

    It is not fair to compare to giants because both of them have something that blows away all the standalone themes out there.

  21. I was a fan of Thesis up to 1.8 but when Thesis 2.0 rolled out, I was completely upset! I couldn’t find from where I should start the customization. Your comparison is awesome between both, so I am thinking to purchase Genesis now. Thumbs up for the nice review.

    1. I second that. It took long before Thesis 2.0 was issued, so the expectations were high, but in my view it was a complete disaster. I spent two days trying to understand the new concept, but even after that I didn’t see the point of it, and I’ve never looked at it since.

  22. Thesis is extremely annoying theme. Very incompatible with most of the famous plugins. It is very hard to customize. Hated with everything about thesis. It was big waste of $197.

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