Is Thesis 2.0 driving you crazy? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone. The Thesis theme from DIY themes is widely regarded as one of the best premium WordPress Themes and is great for ranking high in search engines. The Thesis 2.0 theme, released to much fanfare in October 2012, is the latest version of the Thesis theme.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my site to look like ”just another WordPress site’’. You want a unique look for your site and Thesis 2.0 is just the WordPress theme to help you customize your site.
The Dirty Little Secret About Thesis 2.0
The dirty little secret is that unless you’re a tech geek, customizing Thesis 2.0 is sadly beyond reach. If you’re like me, you wouldn’t recognize CSS if it was staring you in the face . Even worse, there’s precious little Thesis 2.0 expert guidance on the web for tech-challenged newbies like us just looking to make our way in internet land.
To date, DIY Themes has produced only limited guidance on how to use Thesis 2.0. The support forums are filled with well-meaning geeks whose answer to every query is one line of code followed by another! So the assumption is that most users have some sort of technical background and can figure it out themselves. Unfortunately, some of us don’t.
But no need to despair. I’ve put together a list of the best Thesis 2.0 tutorial websites. I’ll tell you the pros and cons of each, and by the time you finishing reading this, you’ll be able to get started with Thesis 2.0.
So let’s get started…..
The first thing you need to know about Thesis 2.0 is that it comes with a default skin called the Classic Skin. The Classic Skin still requires customization but with the Classic Skin, you’re not designing your website from scratch. However you can also design your website from scratch using the Thesis 2.0 Blank skin and go for a look that’s completely different from the Thesis Classic Skin.
Thrifty Zizel, by Doug Macklem, is a Thesis 2.0 tutorial website with an emphasis on customizing the Thesis Classic Skin. To date, there are more than 60 tutorials. Doug presents the material in plain English and easy-to-follow steps. There are also some helpful tutorials on how to set up WordPress and this is very nicely woven into the Thesis 2.0 Tutorials. The Tutorials do not assume that you’re a WordPress or Thesis expert already. Doug assumes that you’re a newbie and holds you by the hand as he helps you set up Thesis 2.0.
Unfortunately the Tutorials do not cover how to set up the Thesis 2.0 Blank skin so if you’re looking for a completely different look and you want to design your site from scratch, this Thesis 2.0 Tutorial site is probably not the one for you.
Also, the content is in written form only. People learn in different ways and you may prefer to learn by watching a video. Unfortunately there are no videos on the site at the moment.
Verdict: Easy to follow comprehensive guide but video would be a great addition!
According to Diywpblog by Matthew Horne, their Thesis 2.0 guide is ”the most complete Guide to Thesis 2.0’’ and is “Recommended reading for anyone starting out with the greatest framework in the world for WordPress.” This is also a Thesis 2.0 Tutorial guide that focuses on the Thesis 2.0 Classic Skin.
Diywpblog assumes that the reader has a certain amount of technical knowledge or that the reader is already used to the Thesis theme. The Tutorials are for people who understand the Thesis theme but are struggling to understand Thesis 2.0. So you don’t get a step-by-step guide to building your website here. Instead you get tutorials focused on specific elements of the Thesis 2.0 theme. If you understand Thesis in general, but you need a tutorial on a specific aspect of Thesis 2.0, such as how to add a logo, you will find Diywpblog useful.
Like Thrifty Zizel, Diywplog presents its Thesis 2.0 tutorials primarily in written form, with only a handful of videos.
Verdict: To be used with a site that provides a step-by-step guide if you’re a beginner. More videos would be great too.
3. BYOB Website
The BYOB Website by Rick Anderson features Thesis 2.0 Tutorials on the Thesis 2.0 Classic Skin. For me, one of the big advantages of the BYOB Website is that the tutorials are video tutorials with a transcript. If you’re a beginner, it’s helpful to see a visual demonstration of how Thesis 2.0 works and how to make changes to your site.
The BYOB Website Tutorials aim to show you how you can customize Thesis 2.0 with little or no coding. The lessons are easy to follow because of the video, however some of the concepts discussed are advanced.
Some of the content is free to view without the need to register and log-in. However the rest of the content can only be viewed if you register and log-in. There is also content which is available only to premium members, so you will need to buy a subscription to get access to premium content.
Verdict: Comprehensive, step-by-step presentation of the content in video format, but not entirely free.
Ebizhacker by Lisa Allen has a set of Thesis 2.0 Tutorials to help you customize the Classic Skin. There are five video tutorials so you’re able to see how she makes the changes in Thesis 2.0. As you can tell by now, I have a personal preference for video tutorials so in my view this is a plus:).
The Ebizhacker Thesis 2.0 Tutorials are not a step-by-step guide to setting up and customizing Thesis 2.0. It would take a lot more than 5 short videos to do this. The purpose of the Ebizhacker Thesis 2.0 Tutorials is to explain and show certain core elements of Thesis 2.0 in plain English. This then gives you the foundation on which to build your own website. So if you have limited technical knowledge, you need to use the Ebizhacker Thesis 2.0 Tutorials as a supplement to the Tutorials on Thrifty Zizel, BYOB or Thesis Video Tutorials, which give more of a step-by-step guide.
Verdict: To be used with a site that provides a step-by-step guide if you’re a beginner.
Thesis Video Tutorials by Amelia Smith is unique among the five Thesis 2.0 Tutorial websites reviewed in this article in that the tutorials show you how to customize the Thesis Blank Skin. Now you may have concerns about using the Thesis Blank Skin because it’s exactly what it says-blank. However your content is not lost, it simply doesn’t have a house to live in yet. Amelia also shows you how to use Development mode. This ensures that your visitors will have no idea that you’re working on a new blank skin because they can’t see it.
As the name of the website suggests, the Thesis 2.0 tutorials are video tutorials with a transcript. It’s a step-by-step guide from start to finish on customizing Thesis 2.0. You can tell that Amelia assumes that you are a Thesis 2.0 newbie with no technical knowledge so she explains and demonstrates every concept. If you’re like me and you have no technical knowledge, you may be scared by Amelia’s frequent use of additional CSS. However she gives you the code and shows you where to put it. So you don’t need to know CSS, you simply need to watch the video and type the code exactly as it is in the video.
These are the tutorials I used myself. I didn’t know anything about HTML or CSS. I was as green as anyone can be on this subject. But I was able to follow the video step by step in building my websites, One Stop Entrepreneur and One Stop Personal Development, and I still don’t know HTML or CSS .
Verdict: Excellent step-by-step video guide for customizing the Thesis 2.0 Blank Skin. You’ll need to use one of the other guides if you prefer to use the Classic Skin.
These websites should help you get started with Thesis 2.0. I’d like to know what you think. If you’ve used any of these Thesis 2.0 Tutorial websites, please leave a comment below.