Thesis 1.8.3 Now Available (and a Highly Anticipated Thesis 2 Update)

by Chris Pearson · 233 comments

We’ve just released Thesis 1.8.3, which incorporates new WordPress features like the drag-and-drop image uploader and the best WP Network support in the business.

Of course, I’ll tell you all about the improvements to 1.8.3 below, but I also know that what you really want is news about the forthcoming Thesis 2.

Naturally, I’ve got you covered. Read on for enlightenment!

First, let’s take a look at the new goodies in Thesis 1.8.3…

1. Thesis Now Loads Faster Than Ever

Now that Google uses site speed as one of the factors in their algorithm, you need a fast-loading website for the best possible chance of ranking higher in search engines.

So, we’ve added smarter CSS controls that improve your site’s speed, efficiency, and out-of-the-box score on tools like ySlow and Google PageSpeed, the industry standards for web performance.

Here’s the lowdown:

  • Thesis 1.8.3 makes 2 http requests for stylesheets instead of 3 (style.css and layout.css have been combined into one for efficiency). Less http requests means faster load times.
  • If you’re a performance fanatic like me, you can reduce this to a single http request by visiting Site OptionsStylesheet Options and un-checking “Use Design Mode.” This will combine ALL your stylesheets, including custom.css, into one CSS file.

2. Uploading a Header Image Just Got Easier…

We incorporated the new WordPress drag-and-drop image uploader into the Thesis header image and favicon uploaders. Easy just got easier.

3. Thesis Now Supports WP Network

We added full WP Network (formerly known as multi-site) support. Thesis 1.8.3 detects if you’re using WP Network, and it responds by creating /custom folders for each active blog.

Other theme “frameworks” support WP Network functionality, but there’s a problem with their implementations because they use child themes (Thesis does not).

Basically, if two active blogs are using the same child theme, any changes to that child theme will affect both blogs. This means that if one blog wanted a blue background and another one wanted a pink background, this would not be possible—not cool!

Every site on a WP Network should be able to operate independently of all others, and Thesis is the first framework to make this possible.

4. Complete GravityForms CSS Support

The last new goodie in Thesis 1.8.3 is enhanced GravityForms CSS support. If you’re using GravityForms (our favorite premium form plugin), Thesis will detect this and add the necessary CSS to your stylesheets without you having to lift a finger!

5. Of Course, We Always Sweat the Details…

In addition to the new features listed above, we also made some minor tweaks to enhance performance, including:

  • Thesis admin scripts are now suppressed on all non-Thesis admin pages.
  • We’ve upgraded widget code for tighter integration with WordPress, and while we were at it, we added new display options to the Thesis search widget.
  • Thanks to feedback from developers, we were able to resolve everything that triggered warnings when using WP_DEBUG.

And now, for the news I know you’re all waiting to hear…

What’s up with Thesis 2?

As you know, Thesis has already changed the game once by introducing the revolutionary idea of theme frameworks. Thesis 2 is going to change the game again by becoming the world’s first full-fledged website template and design system.

Now in its 17th month of development, Thesis 2 has been an incredible undertaking thus far. Here are a few milestones from the journey:

  • In March of 2011, I finished the first draft of the new HTML template system. In the time since, I’ve rewritten this sucker 3 times, improving performance and reliability with each rewrite. This thing is now rock solid and ready for the big time.
  • In April and May of 2011, I developed a new API for working with WordPress custom post meta data. If you’re not a developer, this will sound like jargon, but if you are a developer, you’re going to swoon over the new API (hint: You’ll be able to develop sophisticated, data-driven sites with ease).
  • Matt Gross

    Matt Gross studying code... or is that brisket?

    In June of 2011, we hired our first full-time Thesis developer, Matt Gross. In addition to his work on data security, Matt has been working on the new Thesis file system, which is an integral part of Thesis 2. Matt also brought you this wonderful 1.8.3 update and an unmatched love for Texas barbecue.
  • During September and October of 2011, I built the first draft of the new Thesis CSS system. After using it for a month, I decided that it wasn’t good enough to carry the Thesis name, so I’ve been working on a smarter CSS system ever since.
  • Also in October, DIYthemes got its first office space in Austin, TX, and the development team now works out of this office. Typical days last from 9am to 7 or 8pm, and—I hate to brag—the place smells ever-so-faintly of bacon.
  • Naturally, I’ve also been building a new Thesis interface throughout the development process. What can you expect here? Simplicity, clarity, and speed. You’re gonna dig it.

Of course, the above points are a 35,000-foot overview of the actual development process. Thesis 2 is a sophisticated machine that is going to streamline everything you know about building websites, deploying designs, and adding functionality.

The only question left is…

When can you get your hands on Thesis 2?

Right now, I don’t have an exact answer. But know this:

The current version of Thesis is still the leading framework when it comes to lightning-fast loading times, pixel-perfect typography, and search engine rankings.

So what’s left before Thesis 2.0 comes out? Instead of keeping it a secret, I decided to reveal our plans and progress. Here’s what we have left to do:

I’m still building the CSS system (though it’s almost done), and Matt and I still have work to do on the new Thesis file system. Also, I’m still hammering on the Thesis Skin system to ensure a simple and awesome user experience. Once we’ve got all the pieces working properly, we’re going to bolt on automatic updates, and then we’ll be ready to launch.

Guessing how long this will take is useless. Instead, we’re going to bust our tails every day until it’s done—this way, we’ll know that we finished the project as quickly as we could.

I know you’re all excited about Thesis 2 and want it as soon as possible—heck, I’m right there with ya! I want you to know that I sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm and support, and pretty soon, we’re going to bring you more magic than you ever thought possible.

What else is DIYthemes up to?

Alex Mangini

Alex “the kid” Mangini

Over the last few months, we’ve released awesome email signup forms, specialized opt-in widgets, custom Feature boxes, and more.

How’d we do it? Our in-house Thesis design wizard, Alex Mangini, made it all possible, and “the kid” is just getting warmed up.

Additionally, the DIYthemes expert support team has continued to add more helpful tutorials to RTFM, successfully making our support documentation one of the most extensive on the market.

Finally, we’ve got the DIYthemes blog, where Derek Halpern has been spinning gold and teaching you how to improve your website.

Even though the blog is barely over a year old, it has attracted more than 25,000 subscribers and a ton of traffic. In fact, the DIYthemes site as a whole attracted more than 700,000 unique pageviews in January.

And the best part? DIYthemes is just getting started. Are you in?

Download Thesis 1.8.3 Now: If you already own Thesis, click here to download Thesis 1.8.3. If you’re not yet a customer, click here to buy Thesis.

About the Author: Chris Pearson, Thesis creator and DIYthemes founder, is obsessed with optimizing the web and making sure every last detail receives the attention it requires. Follow DIYthemes on Twitter for the latest tips and info on building effective websites.

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Megan Heaney

Thesis 2 sounds like my dreams come true! I can’t wait to get on it.

Some of my clients have been having amazing success with our Thesis designed sites and marketing systems and it’s all because they can easily get amongst their site and use it daily as a powerful marketing tool. So I can only imagine what they’ll be able to achieve once they’re running Thesis 2. I’m excited.

And 1.8.3 is out just in time for my re-design this weekend.

Cheers Chris!


Lorenzo C

Thanks for the update.

The tutorials and the forums are a goldmine. I’ve been able to find a solution for my questions by looking through one or the other.

Best regards


Dan Tudor

Thank you for the update on Thesis 2.0.

Big fan of the framework and the community around it. I’m always psyched about any performance tweaks as I’ve been working with performance tuning lately, so this release is well-timed. Also very interested in checking out the Gravity Forms style support. Very interesting.

Now, off to upgrade some sites.

Thanks again.

Craig Addyman


10 hour days? Come on guys! 🙂

Chris Pearson

Oh, don’t be fooled—I routinely cuss out code in the evenings, too 😀

Atul Tayade

Finally… Thesis is out with the update. Waiting for the Version 2.0 :).


I’m in. Always have been.

Great enhancements and like everyone, I’m eagerly awaiting 2.0.

Keep kicking ass, coding, and consuming large amounts of bacon….#thesiswp team.

Chris Pearson

Thanks, Jason! You should see the team with a beef rib…

Pure carnage.


So will existing Thesis customers get the new Thesis 2 the same way we currently get updated versions or is this going to be considered a new product?

Chris Pearson

Dan, everyone who buys Thesis before Thesis 2 comes out will get Thesis 2 for free.

That was our original promise, and we’re stickin’ to it!


You guys are awe to the some!!! I’m so freaking exciting it’s ridiculous. I cannot tell you how many people I’ve turned on to Thesis. I’m now running it on two of my blogs. BEST theme EVER!

Chris Pearson

Quick, how do I make the emoticon where I’m blushing? 😀

Patrick McKowen

Are you planning to implement in Thesis 2 — or have you discussed for future releases — support for fluid images and a responsive navigation menu?

Chris Pearson

In Thesis 2, design-related matters like this will all be handled by Thesis Skins. If a skin author wants to make a responsive skin, then she’ll be able to do that (and you’ll be able to use that skin).

Steve Goerger

Oooh, Chris, it all sounds good! Some very cool tricks in 1.83, and I really cannot wait to sink my teeth into Thesis 2.0. HTML template system sounds cool, and the custom post metadata API will most likely be the coolest thing us Thesis Designers ever got to play with! Can’t wait and thanks for the update!

Chris Pearson

Glad you dig it, Steve. For the record, the new API system extends beyond custom post meta data…you’ll be able to do all sorts of awesome things.

Sergio Felix

Hey Chris,

I’m excited already and looking forward for that newborn Thesis 2 baby to get out there and check it out myself.

It really sounds like a lot of improvements and I’m happy to see that you guys are focusing on making it website template and design oriented.

Something that will definitely close a few missing gaps here and there, thanks in advance!


Yuri Stoyanov


Unfortunately, that’s all Thesis 2.0 is – a dream. It’s been a beautiful dream for 2 years now, and when you wake up, you realize it doesn’t exist… There seems to be only one way to get it – go back to sleep 🙂


Chris Pearson

Words cannot express how much I love proving people like you wrong, Yuri 😀

Yuri Stoyanov

Hey Chris,

As Mike mentioned below, the intention of my comment was to express my frustration with the marketing and deployment strategy of Thesis 2.0., and lack of regular progress communication. I see now – and do appreciate – all the hard work that goes behind the scenes.

As for Derek’s distasteful vocabulary, all I can say is that I am stunned. I think Thesis deserves a much better PR face. You may want to also reconsider having a different moderator of these comments who can appreciate criticism, or “sarcasm”.


Derek Halpern

Hi Yuri, this is a much more appropriate comment. This is real criticism, and that’s 100% welcome on the DIYthemes blog. So, thank you for clarifying.


Maybe a little late, but definitely worth the wait. 😀

Megan Heaney

Yuri, in the last two years there have been multiple new versions of Thesis with significant new features added. It’s not like anyone’s been left swinging in the wind!

I’m happy to wait for a finished product that will blow my face off, rather than having a mediocre version a year ago.

Derek Halpern

Thanks Megan. Yuri is what you’d call a troll. The only reason why I didn’t delete him was because I knew people would tell him what’s up in the comments 🙂


Really poor form to call a customer a “troll” who expresses valid criticism of Thesis’ marketing and deployment strategy. Chris Pearson’s been dropping hints of Thesis 2.0 since 2008 or 2009.

Derek Halpern

That’s not criticism. That’s sarcasm.

Yuri Stoyanov

Well, Megan, it is the features of 2.0 that I read about, and got me excited, not the incremental improvements you refer to.

I have heard this from a famous marketer, something along the lines of “money loves speed”, and I am so ashamed to confess that I am after money. It could be just me… although I can see DIYthemes affiliates selling the sizzle (expectation of Thesis 2.0) without the steak (Thesis 2.0 itself) quite handsomely over the last almost 2 years.

Expectation building is a good marketing strategy, but I believe there is an optimal time frame for it to be successful.


Exciting news! Sounds like you, Matt and the team are heaving great fun developing what sounds like an awesome upgrade to 2.0. Especially excited about custom meta API.


Two questions, it will be nice if you could answer. I bought thesis just yesterday, so I will be getting the upgrade to 2 for free right?

Also by when is it expected? I am heavily modifying thesis for a custom website so would like to be on the latest version.

Chris Pearson

Fas, as a Thesis customer, you’ll get Thesis 2 for free. And as I said in the post, I don’t know when Thesis 2 will be finished. I think it makes sense to go ahead and build on the site on the current Thesis platform.


Thanks a ton for the reply 😉


Enough with the anticipation-building for v. 2! We already are ready for it ;-)! I’ve got the need for speed–

Mary Ellen

you wrote:
If you’re a performance fanatic like me, you can reduce this to a single http request by visiting Site Options → Stylesheet Options and un-checking “Use Design Mode.” This will combine ALL your stylesheets, including custom.css, into one CSS file.

What is the impact of combining the custom stylesheet with Thesis stylesheets vis a vis updating Thesis? i.e. Will it still be easy to find and add to my custom styles?

btw, you’re all doing a great job on this here Thesis thang!

Chris Pearson

Mary, by default, Thesis 1.8.3 operates in “Design Mode,” which keeps your custom.css separate from your other stylesheets. This way, it’ll be easy to identify your custom styles.

Thanks for rockin’ Thesis!

Nina Cross

You know I’m in 100%, Chris. Keep rockin’!

P.S. According to that picture, Matt is no joke when it comes to his BBQ.

Chris Pearson

Oh he’s serious. Super serious.

Dave Doolin


Glad to hear about the templating. I ended up deriving my own template API and made some sweet sales from an ebook on it. But having a nice template API built in would be much better.

Looking forward to seeing what you have in store on the CSS front. I’ve started using Zurb Foundation for all my styling on my Rails sites. Foundation uses some very interesting and convenient techniques. Makes it difficult to deal with most WP styling now.

One last thing which would be helpful: I do all my deployment into Git repos on remote servers. Having API access to the options page would be super handy. Currently I’m overriding best I can by overwriting the options array appropriately, but that’s kludgy.


Chris Pearson

Dave, you’ll be able to override all the options in the various parts of Thesis 2. It’s a pretty sweet unified system.


Bacon…. mmmmmmm

I’ll be upgrading my test site from 1.82 tonight. Looking forward the new features.

Danny Cruz

Wow Chris! Great stuff. I know most people are busy pushing you to get it done. I’m looking forward to it, but don’t mind the wait. As it is, I like the current Thesis more than any other system currently on the market. I use some of them, that’s how I know. So it’s a lot to say, I like Thesis BETTER.

Chris Pearson

Thank you, Danny! I know you’ve been a Thesis user for a long time—the encouraging words mean a lot.

Danny Cruz

Absolutely Chris! Keep up the great work!

Alex Mangini

So psyched! Thesis is still far ahead of any of the competition in my opinion, so 2.0 or 1.8.3 – you’re still on the best theme around. Period. 😀

Was very surprised to see my mug up there, haha. Can’t wait to start making more cool stuff for everyone.

Chris Pearson

It never hurts to pimp your best assets every once in a while 😉

Chris Boese

Chris, is there any basic incompatibility between Thesis and the LinkWithin WP plugin? I’d like to be able to use it, but I want to make sure it won’t break anything (my WP guy keeps turning it off, so it makes me wonder if some bug is showing up).

Chris Pearson

Chris, I’ve never used LinkWithin before, so I have no idea if there’s an incompatibility. Generally, in cases like this, any incompatibilities would be introduced by the plugin, not Thesis.


I hope you guys provide skins. CSS isn’t my thing.

Chris Pearson

Sean, when I launched Thesis back in 2008, my goal was to provide intelligent designs for as many people as possible.

Along the way, I learned that rock-solid code is the most fundamentally important piece of any website, so I spent a couple of years fine-tuning the stuff under the hood.

We could have sold skins along the way to capitalize on the epic market opportunities there, but I never felt good about this approach because I knew the fundamentals weren’t in place yet.

Thesis 2 is the ultimate answer to this issue of fundamentals—it’s the first true template and design system, and it will launch hundreds (if not thousands) of skins.

So, this was a long-winded way of saying YES, we’re going to do skins, and they’re going to be awesome. Stay tuned!


So what is the upgrade procedure from 1.83 to 2 going to be? Just replace some Thesis files? Or will I need to re-do all/some of my work too? Will this upgrade require an installer script to make everything right?

Chris Pearson

Dave, I don’t know the exact scenarios here yet. I do know that Thesis 2 contains some fundamentally different pieces (hell, the entire software is different), and custom CSS will require tweaks in some cases.

That said, we’re going to identify the places where things have changed, and we’ll also be offering assistance in this area as well.

Sites with extensive CSS customizations will likely require some effort to get on the 2.0 platform, but keep this in mind: The current 1.8.3 platform is fast, efficient, and ranks like a champion.

Therefore, there’s no real need to upgrade a heavily-modified design to 2.0.

Also, in order to keep pushing forward into the future, you often have to shed some of the mistakes of the past 😉

Rob @ Atlanta Real Estate

This is all excellent.

Great job guys.

Keith Jones

Upgraded to 1.8.3 – No Problems.

Thank You.



Will there be an “automatic update” added for Thesis forthcoming in 2.0? I would like to throw that into the suggestion box. The new update sounds great, but I am not always able to update because it always turns into disaster even though I feel I am follow the instructions you provide to the letter.

Thanks for reading.

Chris Pearson

SonDan, as I mentioned in this article, Thesis 2 will feature automatic updates. The first upgrade to 2.0 will be manual, though (this is how these things work—you can’t do auto-upgrades until the functionality exists in the software).


Wow, I was so excited when I saw your email. Thanks to you and to Matt Gross for the new Thesis 1.8.3 and I thanks for deciding to keep us in the loop for the Thesis 2.0.

I really think that you made the right decision to be transparent about it’s progression.

And Chris, because your first product was such a high level product, you can’t come out with an average Thesis 2.0 and I know you know that.

So buddy take the time that you need to make it happen but when you’ll make it happen, make it happen GOOOOOOD like I know you will.

Keep working those long hours cause we are all eager to work on the new 2.0 for long hours ourselves.

Much love to you and your business, it is a good example and inspiration.

Big kudos to you and to Derek and Matt, they deserve it.

Take care.


Chris Pearson

Much appreciated, Philippe. We’re gonna crank Thesis 2 up to 11 😀


Glad to have a detailed update on Thesis 2.0. You just made us more anxious to get our hands on Thesis 2.0.

Even 1.8.3 is good enough to put it at the top of Premium themes. I did try almost every other premium theme in market and came back to Thesis. Now all my sites run on Thesis and nothing else.

Will be updating all of them to 1.8.3 soon.

And Chris, Great job. Love you always except the times you tweet things that goes at top of my head. never mind 🙂 Perhaps me too tweet many things which goes from top of head of many of my friends 🙂

Chris Pearson

Haha, love it, Avinash! Thanks for rockin’ Thesis!


I have been so much waiting for an update.
But well news for thesis 2.0 was the most awaited. 🙂

Usman Latif

Wow! Finally a word on Thesis 2.0. It had been difficult to think moving away from Thesis just because I couldn’t develop a custom theme myself (not a dev) and no skin in the market would suffice my need. But no other framework impressed me much to move me away from Thesis. I knew there’s something cooking.. always. Great to know the details. Excited about Thesis 2.0. I’m happy with Thesis, even with the basic skin, as the framework is so solid in terms of SEO. If you aren’t an SEO (like me) and haven’t tried Thesis, you wouldn’t know it. Way to go DIY Themes.

Chris Gragg

Booya! Can’t wait (but I guess I have to) to see the new features when 2.0 rolls out.

Keep up the great work! You guys rock!

Vivek Parmar

With previous versions of Thesis there are performance issues and now this latest version removes all issues and above all finally a word of Thesis 2.0 is out officially..hope to see it soon…

All I can there is no harm in investing in Thesis..If you do not have thesis, then you are losing a lot in your business…

Pushpendra Pal

I am a big fan of Thesis framework. I love the simplicity, speed and ease to design layouts using Thesis framework.
Waiting for Thesis 2.0

Dennis Wilen

Is there an automatic update available to 1.83? My past experience with manually updating WP themes has been less than stellar.

We need a one-button update and an assurance no files will be munged.

Chris Pearson

Dennis, we won’t be introducing automatic upgrades until Thesis 2.

Lisa Firke


Kevin Hall

I was waiting for Thesis 2.0 from more than a year. I am happy to hear something from Chris Pearson. Thesis 2 will surely change the way we use WordPress and blog designs.

Torben Slot Petersen

Still in – definitely. Thanks for the new release and thanks a lot for disclosing your work on 2.0!


I am all in! All my sites (10 and counting) are Thesis save two. One is a PHP framework that I purchased and the other is just not converted to Thesis yet. Waiting for v2 for that one.

Keep em coming.

Tom Nunamaker

Awesome update Chris! We’re really looking forward to all of the goodness coming our way!

Thanks for everything!

Trevor Watkinson


I’ve tried upgrading to 1.8.3, but it breaks my site at the moment. 🙁

I know I’ve followed the upgrade process properly and set the proper file permissions, yet the layout and css files don’t seem to get applied.

Any idea what could be causing this?

Dawn Storey

I’ve tried upgrading on two of my sites and in both cases had the same experience as Trevor. 🙁 I’ll keep an eye here for suggestions!

Chris Pearson

Trevor, grab the latest download package from the server. It should resolve any issues that you experienced.

Dawn Storey

Worked for me – thanks much! 🙂

Trevor Watkinson

After a bit of wrangling with some widgets and css that seemed to get lost in the process… this solution worked for me too! Thanks Chris! 😀

Steve Loyola

Trevor and Dawn, I was in the same boat, with lots of things broken (but not everything). I finally realized it was all caused by the permissions on my thesis_183 directory being set at 744. I set it to 755 and everything worked perfectly!


I am not a user, but I had a question / concern about the WP Network support that you added. If you are creating “custom” folders for every site in a network, wouldn’t that mean that every type of PHP code becomes executable in those folders? So, I could sign up on a network, then for malicious reasons, I could add some code to be executed upon “init”, which will delete database entries, or steal protected information. Wouldn’t that be a massive security risk?

Again, I am not a user and I have never seen the theme’s back-end in action, hence I might be totally wrong in this regard.

Matt G

If I understand you correctly, you’re wondering if a user can access the custom_functions.php file from the WordPress backend, add PHP and then execute it.

The answer is yes and no. Yes, if they have Super Admin or Admin privileges. No if anything else.


Well, you would have access to the WP Editor only if you had the “edit_themes” capability, which is only true for Super Admins on multi-site or Admins on single-site by default.

If I were a regular admin on a multi-site, I wouldn’t have access to the WP Editor. So in that case the only recourse for me is to edit files offline and upload them directly to the “custom” folder via FTP (assuming I have access), unless Thesis overrides the default permissions and lets regular admins on WP Network installations access the theme editor, or if it provides a separate theme editor UI that is shown for admin users in a network. Am I getting this right?

Ruthanne Reid

Wow! This is SO fantastic! I can hardly wait for 2.0, but 1.8.3 seems like a fantastic step forward

Question, though: if you “combine” all stylesheets by unchecking “Use Design Mode,” what happens to your custom.css? If I make changes to do that, will it mess with the core files somehow?

Chris Pearson

Ruthanne, when you’ve unchecked “Use Design Mode,” Thesis just looks at your custom.css file, copies all the contents, and then adds that to the master layout.css stylesheet. It does not “touch” or affect the custom.css file in any way, so it will not mess up your custom styles.

Ruthanne Reid

Excellent! Thank you. I’ve made the transition, and I have to tell you the speed difference was instant and very striking. Thanks for your hard work! It’s really paid off.

Bill Eisenhauer

The API sounds intriguing. Would you care to give a couple of examples of the kind of functionality this might unlock? Wordpress can do a lot, but if you’ve made some of their components more accessible, so much the better.

I like the skinned approach whereby responsive designs will be easier to implement. Do you plan to provide a couple of stock skins (e.g. one which might be responsive)?

Looking forward to the release. Good luck the rest of the way.


Chris Pearson

Bill, let’s say you wanted to build a simple database of your baseball card inventory that you wish to sell. You’d like to enter the following data:

  • Player name
  • Year of card
  • Value of card

You could use the Thesis 2 options API to add this data to a custom post type, and then you’d be able to enter (and save!) this data on your post editing screen.

You can also use the Thesis 2 options API to add custom data to HTML and CSS components…but this is still top-secret at the moment 😀

As far as skins go, we will certainly be providing both stock skins as well as add-ons, and at some point, we’ll roll out a stock responsive skin.

Bill Eisenhauer

Chris: Thanks for the clarification.

Raymond Parker

Chris, I’m interested in your statement above:

“Sites with extensive CSS customizations will likely require some effort to get on the 2.0 platform, but keep this in mind: The current 1.8.3 platform is fast, efficient, and ranks like a champion ….”

How “extensive?” Will my basic positioning tweaks cause problems?

Also, by combing all stylesheets, including custom.css, I’m presuming this merges custom functions, etc. Unsure what this would look like and if it would be reversible, by switching back to “Use Design Mode.”

Thanks for this update.

Chris Pearson

Raymond, it’s impossible for me to answer your question accurately, simply because the scope of the tweaks depends on the elements you’ve customized.

It’s entirely possible that you wouldn’t have to tweak anything, and it’s also possible that you’d have to tweak a few different items in your custom CSS.

Also—and I said this in my comment above—I don’t know what the final tally is going to be, so anything I say here is conjecture based on what I think the final outcome will be.

Finally, the merging of the stylesheets does not affect your custom_functions.php file. Everything in your custom folder will still appear and work as it always has.

Raymond Parker

Thanks for the clarification.

I see a couple of people (over on the forum) are having issues with the on-off “Use Design Mode.” Apparently, some are finding it “unchecked” by default in 1.8.3.

Chris Pearson

Raymond, we’ve already rolled out a hotfix for that particular issue (it’s in the currently-available Thesis 1.8.3 download file), and we’re stamping out any remaining bugs as they come in.

Raymond Parker

Chris, appreciate you’re having a busy day. I know what that’s like; I’ve been at it 24-7 lately, creating content.

One of the reasons I stick with Thesis is it gives me something a bit different without having to become a code whiz (like you), so appreciate the work you put in.

In that sense, I’m looking forward to the embellishments promised in 2.0, which sounds like a step closer to serving the needs of people like myself.

For a few days more though, I’m going to let others “test” 1.8.3 🙂


Nice one with WP Network!

Installing Thesis 1.8.3 as I’m writing this on a brand spanking new domain setup to run WP Network, started it this morning.

Was actually looking around for a theme that was really compatable Out-of-the-Box I could use and then, right in my email there’s this announcement!

Like they say in show business – timing is everything. Perrrfect!

Looks like I’m gonna have a few days fun indeed.

Really looking forward to 2.0!

Chris Pearson

Sweet, JD! Glad we were right on time, and I’ll be curious to see how your WP Network experience goes.

Kathy James

Awesome! Looking forward to Thesis 2.0 keep up the pace guys! And I ‘m not talking salsa 😉


Is there anything in this release that would cause the upgrade from 1.8.2 to not work according to the instructions found here: How to Upgrade Thesis?

My site doesn’t work with the new release. I followed all 9 steps (except step 4, which doesn’t apply). So far as I know, I don’t have any changes to the core Thesis files.


I had a strange issues where I had to DE-Activate and then re-Activate Thesis 1.8.3, but worked perfect 2nd try..

Followed instructions, Activated to 1.8.3, CSS issues everywhere.. Site borked, reactivated 1.8. Everything back to normal.

Tried to Activate 1.8.3 a 2nd time and everything looks great.. I don’t think it was a browser cache issue on my part. I checked it in multiple browsers, etc, but whatever it was it’s working fine after 2nd attempt.

Chris Pearson

Ryan, grab the latest download package from the server. We made some tweaks based on feedback from people with different server configurations, so this updated version should work for you.


Thanks, Chris. The new upload worked. 🙂


Finally a word!

Could you clarify on the whole responsive design issue and skins?

Does this mean that Thesis won’t, inherently, have a responsive design function (like Genesis, for example)?

I would have to code that myself? Or?

Currently it’s a bit of a pain (understatement) to make Thesis responsive – will 2.0 make this easier?

Any more clarification would be really appreciated. I’d love to go back to Thesis, but I have to pursue other more responsive friendly options right now 🙁 I hope 2.0 will re-claim the forefront of WP themes but that will only happen with an easy way to make it responsive and mobile friendly (I’m sure you know the importance of this).

Chris Pearson

Johan, the issue is that “responsive” and Thesis are two separate things. Thesis Skins can (and many will) be responsive, but Thesis itself is a platform for ensuring maximum website flexibility, fast loading times, and rock-solid SEO.

Thesis 2 will come pre-packaged with a few skins, and I do expect that at least one of these will be responsive. In all likelihood, we’ll add more responsive ones in the future, too.

In addition, we’re going to be selling add-on skins, and I expect that many of these will be responsive as well.

Finally, people have already made responsive skins for the current Thesis, and they have bragged to me about how easy it was. I’m not sure why their experience was different from yours…perhaps they’re just more well-versed with Thesis.


I’ve never used a skin for Thesis. I’m not sure what you mean when you say responsive. Maybe Derek will (or has?) write a post about this on the blog.


Was that so damn hard? How many months have you deprived people of a post like that? Now do that once or twice a month till release, and people will stop “bitching”.. Thank you


I’d rather read an update post that has something to say versus bi-weekly filler content to stop people from bitching.

Denise Hamlin

After having problems integrating an IDX plugin on Thesis I had to move over to Agentpress on one of my sites. ( It wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity, but I am finding advantages to my new theme that I didn’t have with Thesis. The main one (apart from the IDX plugin working that is), is the responsive theme for mobile phones as mentioned by Johan in a comment above.

I still have Thesis on my primary site, (with a different IDX solution), and would really like to know whether Thesis 2.0 will be mobile friendly. At the moment I have a mobile plugin installed with a child theme, but am not totally happy with the results. An update on what your plans are with regard to a responsive Thesis for mobile phones would help me decide whether I can stick with you or not.

Chris Pearson

Denise, please see my response to Johan above.

Jamillah Warner

So glad to hear from you and excited about the upgrades! I’m in.


I think Thesis is the best!

And I don’t mind waiting to get an even better Thesis!!!

Keep up the good work Chris, appreciate it!

Dave Landis

I just down loaded 1.8.3 to my Mac. Can’t wait to start using it!



I’m so excited, this post sounds great. Will update to 1.8.3 this weekend, yeah funtime!

About Thesis 2, I prefer quality more then quantity, nice to see that you guys think so too!

Keep up the good work & stay motivated 😉


Does “website template and design system” mean the theme with be finally compatible with ecommerce platforms such as wp e commerce (getshopped)?

Chris Pearson

Robin, Thesis is not incompatible with anything right now. I assure you that any coder worth his or her salt can make Thesis + anything work together.

Paddy D

Liking the performance upgrades, but why have all my post images (teaser & thumbs) disappeared!??

They show if i re-enter the image source url, but do I now have to go through every post on my site, re-entering the image source url so that they appear?

Chris Pearson

Paddy, we’re rolling out a fix tonight for the issue you’ve described. I’ll update this thread when it’s live.

Paddy D

Hi Chris,
Ok & many thanks for the speedy reply – looking forward to 2 🙂

Chris Pearson

Paddy, I forgot to update this last night, but we rolled out a fix for this issue at 8pm EST.

Ralph Evans

Ohhh! Thesis 2 – bring it on!!!


Love it. Have only got my big toe wet in the big pool of web design, but to this day I am still very happy with having bought Thesis. I use it on all my sites! Look forward to the update.


Yep. This is awesome.

I’m psyched for 2.0! WordPress as a CMS still leaves a ton to be desired, and I have complete faith in you guys to rock out the ability to “build sophisticated, data-driven sites” (that comment has me drooling like Matt on brisket).

There are a couple things I’m wondering though:

1. I love the WP featured image system. Will 2.0 integrate this or will it stick with the current post image system?

2. Will it be easy to update heavily modified sites from 1.x to 2.0? With all the CSS and HTML system updates, I’m wondering how that will transfer over.

Thanks guys and keep up the awesome work!

Chris Pearson

Jason, Thesis 2 will allow you to use the WordPress featured image system if you like. In fact, it will be brutally simple to incorporate this into your templates.

Heavily modified sites present a unique challenge because it’s impossible to predict or plan around all the potential modifications. I think that once people actually see how 2.0 works, they’ll be motivated to recreate their templates within the new architecture.

With that said, most of your CSS styles will be copy/paste transferable, so it’s not like you’ll be starting from scratch.

John Sexton

Glad to see an update on Thesis and some news on Thesis 2!

I have tremendous respect for what Chris and the DIYteam has done with Thesis, but I will admit that part of me was growing concerned that the Thesis 2.0 project was getting too complicated and might never see release.

I am delighted to hear that there has been concrete progress and that there is some sort of plan for completion in place!

Even with those concerned stated — and now relieved — I want to reiterate what many others are saying: Thesis in its current form is still a fantastic platform for building websites. I’ve been using Thesis since it first came out and have literally *never* needed to use another theme for any project, regardless of scale, since I started using Thesis. Sometimes I’ll grab a quickie landing page theme as a placeholder, but when it comes to serious work on a website, Thesis is where it’s at.

I’ve worked with Thesis on a daily basis for years now, and I am still finding new and powerful ways to make use of it.

For serious developers, the Thesis Custom Loop API has a ton of potential and, as far as I can tell, is not widely used. Perhaps some more documentation or education for the community on how to use it would be helpful to turn more people on to this great tool.

Here are two great resources to get people started:

For those who are looking to enhance their site in different ways, the Feature Box and Multimedia Box have lots of unexplored potential. I wrote a guide for the Feature Box right here on DIYthemes that many people might find useful (looks like I need to get on there and respond to some comments):

Let’s look forward to Thesis 2.0, but in the meantime, the potential of Thesis 1.8.x isn’t even close to being tapped. I’d love to see more people out there pushing Thesis as far as they can!

Finally: Having concrete updates like this more frequently would be much appreciated!

Keep up the great work everyone!


I joined this awesome folks 2 years back and never regretted. To be frank, the thesis theme has been adding my knowledge of CSS, HTML and WordPress from zero to some level and there is still pile of things to learn. Now, my weekend will be busy with 1.8.3.
Thank you very much Chris and thesis team! Looking forward to 2.0. Good luck! 🙂

Andres Medina

Hi Chris I’m very excited with the news about Thesis.
But as I am not a Thesis user right now, I have to ask:
If I buy Thesis NOW I will have to buy the 2.0 version? Or I will have access to that upgrade?
Anyway I really want to buy this theme!

Thanks, Andres.

Chris Pearson

Andres, if you buy Thesis now, you’ll get Thesis 2 for free. Hopefully, a few years from now, this will be considered the “greatest deal of all time” 😀

Andres Medina

Thanks for your quick response Chris…Now I want to ask:
The “first website template and design system” could be compared to any of the current premium themes in the market? (Like Headway or even Catalyst) or it will give to me more control over the whole theme?



I’ve used Headway and Catalyst. I found Headway hard to figure out, over complicated. Catalyst I kept longer and quite liked. But, it did have minor glitches which I didn’t really want to get into the code to fix. I buy a premium theme expecting any coding I do is for customization versus fixing glitches I didn’t have before installing the theme. In short, I went back to running Thesis again after buying Headway (actually WP Matt bought it for me during that time he had a tiff with Thesis) and Catalyst.


All three of them give you good control over your theme, the layout, etc. It comes down to how they are organized and user friendly really. Catalyst is pretty tight, in a good way organized in a way that makes sense. Headway was confusing- I had to get help just to figure out where to start.

Thesis suits me cause it seems best at being user friendly. Having typed that, I am hoping Thesis reorganizes the admin. I don’t always know or remember where to find the setting I want to tweak.

(I meant to type this all in one comment, just clicked too soon).

Chris Pearson

Andres, once you see Thesis 2, you’ll understand what I mean when I say it truly is the world’s first website template and design system 😀


Thesis 2.0 will certainly be welcomed with open arms! We’ve been waiting for this baby to arrive for a while now – but don’t rush it, stay focused on “quality”.
Thanks for the update and keep em coming so we can help spread the word.
2.0 – here we go!


Cool thing to hear about today and waiting for the 2.0 soon. Alex made MD2 a real child theme for thesis 🙂

Kontes SEO

let me try this first, and if comes good, surely i’ll go for the number 2

Martin Malden

I’m in, Chris, totally in.

I’ve been using Thesis since 1.2 and I build all my sites with Thesis. I wouldn’t consider another option because I know Thesis, and it’s quicker and more efficient for me to do stuff with the tools I know.

Looking forward to 2.0,

Thanks and cheers,


Chris Pearson

Very cool, Martin. You are a true veteran—I released Thesis 1.2 back in the fall of 2008!


Hotness and awesomeness!
I expect nothing less from Mr Pearson, Mr Halpern and the other fabulous folk at DIY Themes 😉
I am so incredibly excited for you all and can’t wait to hear the thud of jaws dropping once Thesis 2.0 hits the internet.

Great to hear that you will all be able to ‘breathe out’ soon-ish.



Hey Guys … I just tried upgrading my 1.8 to 1.83 … followed the tutorial vid – looked like a piece of cake – but it didn’t work. My site looked a bit like a car crash or something. Back to 1.8 now and no problems. Something missing? Please advise.

Chris Pearson

Steve, did you get this worked out yet? If not, I recommend grabbing the latest 1.8.3 download file from this site, as it contains a few fixes for bugs that popped up during the day yesterday.

If you still have problems, please visit our forums so we can help you out!


Hey Chris, thanks for the reply. Yes, I tried again and downloaded it from this site, but still … when I activate the new version, my site looks like it had a car crash or something … strange. I’ll check out the forums, but in the meantime … anything else? Were or are there still some bugs? Please advise.

Chris Pearson

Steve, as far as I know, we’ve squashed all the bugs that people were experiencing.

Since you’re still having problems, I’d like to take a look at your site. Send your WordPress login details to diythemes.chris [at] gmail [dot] com, and I’ll dig in.


Hey Chris,

Thank you again for your follow-up. Before I do that, it occured to me last night … I actually woke up in the middle of the night and thought “Is it my cache?” I use wp-super cache and wondered if I simply need to clear my cache after I install 1.8.3 … what do you think? Let me know, and I’ll give it a go … and if it’s still a “no go”, then I’ll email my login stuff to you. Thanks again!


Hi, what is the Google pagespeed score for this new version of Thesis? I read online that Thesis runs about 70 to 75 on the speedtest. But I think that was for an old version of Thesis, article looked old. I’m curious what the new pagespeed score would be with this version?


Anyone know the answer to this? I haven’t installed Thesis yet but maybe someone can test the speed over at and report back. A lot of people have said it’s much faster.

Chris Pearson

Robert, I haven’t tested 1.8.3 in this capacity yet, but in almost every case, fewer http requests is guaranteed to boost performance.

Dave Landis

Fatal error: Cannot use object of type thesis_site_options as array in

/……/wp-content/themes/thesis_183/lib/classes/options_site.php on line 515

I uploaded the folder using FileZilla. I changed the permissions with my GoDaddy dashboard. What would be causing this problem?

Dennis O'Brien

What permissions did you change Dave? You don’t mention file or folder you changed permissions for. I always use Filezilla so I can change the custom folder name and put the backup copy of all the files in there before uploading. It worked fine here.

Chris Pearson

Dave, is this issue still happening for you?

Dennis O'Brien

Awesome load speed Chris. Dramatic difference. Thanks heaps.

Dave Landis

I received the same message when I installed 1.8.3 on my MAMP server.
I believe that I followed the instructions as closely as possible. Are other people having similar problems?

I reverted back 1.8.2 on my test sites. I hope that I will be able to switch over to 1.8.3 soon!

Best regards,

Chris Pearson

Dave, we haven’t had any other reports of users experiencing this problem. Try downloading the latest 1.8.3 package from our server, and try it again.

Adrian Bold

Thanks for the update.

1.8.3 sounds great but I can’t wait for 2 to come out.

Michael Aulia

People shouldn’t “troll” too much that they didn’t get Thesis 2.0 as promised, etc etc. I mean, didn’t we all buy Thesis because of Thesis 1? (whatever version you bought first).
You didn’t buy it because you were promised Thesis 2.0. It was a bonus

But of course, saying that, would be great to receive updates every now and then that there will still be indeed Thesis 2 🙂 Great work, Chris


I’m already looking forward to Thesis 2. After reading this I’m looking forward to years of keeping up with yourself and the whole Thesis project. I knew you were putting a lot into this, I didn’t have a real idea of just how much. Congratulations on taking on an official location (brick and mortar) that’s a whole new set of challenges and expenses. But, good for you! You should be quite damn proud of yourself!

Chris Pearson

Well thank you, Laura. I’m certainly happy with the way things have gone thus far, but I’m really looking forward to the next chapter that Thesis 2 will usher in.

Robert Schrader

Will upgrading to 1.8.3 affect any aspect of my blog’s design?

Chris Pearson

Robert, no—there are no design changes in Thesis 1.8.3.


Does this version solve the issue with saving options while W3TC object cache is enabled?

Chris Pearson

No, Thesis cannot do anything about that particular situation. If you want Thesis to work, you must turn off object caching while changing the Thesis options.

For what it’s worth, there is absolutely no reason to cache PHP objects on the admin side. In fact, this is guaranteed to hinder the operation of any PHP programs that are class-based (and indeed, every program worth a damn is going to qualify here).


Okie dokes. Thanks for the info. I will hit up the plugin guys and see if they can/will fix it!

Chris Pearson

Kristarella, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve resolved these caching issues in the forthcoming Thesis 1.8.4.


Schweet! Installed 1.83 and it is significantly faster. I love the custom folder design–simple to upgrade and all previous customizations were recognized.

I’m happy.

Paul G.

Just letting you know, perhaps it’s just me… a straight upgrade on my personal blog broke the site because the theme is no longer including style.css … I hope it’s just me.

Paul G.

I think this could be just for child themes and I’m guessing it comes from the way you’ve changed the implementation and “Design Mode”

Paul G.

Sorry, last comment on this. Just to let you know, if you’re using Child themes with Thesis on 1.8.3, you will need to edit line 720 of

and replace:

This may hurt the new “multisite”/”WP Network” implemenation, but it will fix your child theme.

Paul G.

Actually this does not fix it.

Child themes for thesis is broken in 1.8.3.

Paul G.

And… one more update. I’ve solved the problem.

When handling child themes, this “design mode” is breaking because it’s importing the child styles.css relative to the child layout.css meaning that if there was a relative path in the styles.css, the path is broken.

Further, the only way to “refresh” your layout.css if you “fix” the relative paths in your child style.css is to toggle on and off your design mode. Leaving design mode on does NOT update the layout.css with the latest style.css, contrary to as one would expect.

Hope this helps to fix this problem.

Chris Pearson

Paul, we’re working on a fix for this, but I’d just like to reiterate that I’ve always encouraged people to build Thesis skins and avoid child themes. It’s a square peg, round hole situation because Thesis works differently than other themes.

With the custom_functions.php and custom.css files, you have the exact same flexibility as you do with child themes, but in a more efficient and faster package.

Paul G.

Hey Chris…

Actually, I’m not aware of the difference with “skins” and “child themes”. Perhaps I’ve been going about it the wrong way -I just assumed they were synonymous terms.

Thanks for the heads up and I appreciate any upcoming fix you have in the works. I’ll start looking up about skins then.

Cheers for the response dude,

Chris Pearson

Paul, skins are a Thesis-specific concept that differs from child themes in terms of implementation, accuracy, and efficiency.

Thesis is known for its world-class SEO capabilities, but applying a different design to Thesis (or any theme) threatens the underlying code and, by proxy, the resulting SEO.

To combat this, I developed the idea of Thesis Skins, which work much like clothes on the human body.

When you want to change your clothes, you don’t change anything about your body—you only change your clothes! Thesis Skins work in this exact same manner, thereby preserving the underlying code and rock-solid SEO (the “body” of your website).

Child themes, on the other hand, are quite different. Unless they contain only a stylesheet (in my experience, this is rare), child themes consist of files where at least some of the HTML body has been reworked to achieve the desired output and look. This threatens the underlying SEO and code efficiency.

Also, in terms of processing time, child themes are slightly slower than Thesis Skins. Right now, the difference could be considered insignificant, but Thesis 2 will yield a statistically significant advantage here, too.

Chris Stott

Chris – please can you incorporate the Bacon Ipsum generator in to Thesis 2.0?

Happy to wait an extra day or two for that feature…

Rock on Thesis 2.0!

Matt Cheuvront

Every time a new Thesis version is released, an angel gets its wings.

Jon McCulloch

Alas, 183 breaks my CSS horribly. It even seems to crap all over my site settings, making columns wider and everything. What a mess.



Paul G.

if you see the comments I wrote above, it might have something to do with relative paths and/or child themes. Your best bet is to ensure you don’t use relative paths in your CSS files, delete your layout.css, toggle on/off design mode and hope for the best 🙂

Jon McCulloch

I am not using child themes. I’m not using relative paths, either.

I’ve just posted in the forum, because it’s not working even as a clean install. I get this:

Warning: chmod() [function.chmod]: Operation not permitted in /home/a555312/public_html/ on line 734

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/a555312/public_html/ in /home/a555312/public_html/ on line 866

Fortunately, it’s not upgraded the database, which means I have gone back to 182 with no problem.



Jake Ludington

My solution to the chmod() [function.chmod] error was to simply remove line 734 that reads: chmod(THESIS_LAYOUT_CSS, 0666); I’m not entirely sure why that would need to be included since the file permissions should already be set.

Chris Pearson

Jon, we addressed this issue in a Thesis 1.8.3 hotfix that is available now from the Thesis downloads page.

The line of code that was causing you problems is only relevant to a WP Network install, and we’ve made the necessary accommodations for this in the updated 1.8.3 package.

Mitch Bartlett

I had the same issue as Jon going from 1.8.2 to 1.8.4. Once I restored all options from a backup, things displayed fine.


Finish update to thesis 1.8.3.. great.. ~~

Tubby Tockley

All 3 of my nipples erectified after this announcement – bring on Thesis 2.0 homies 🙂

Chris Pearson

Haha, winning.


I know Thesis rocks for code Ninjas, but how ’bout making it rock for code wimps too? What I mean is I need an interface or ‘command center” where I can solve all the design and functionality needs that 90% of us code wimps keep asking about over and over on the forum — “how can I do this?”, “Where should I put that?” In another word, be able to do various design modifications and customization without having to go into the hall of the mad king (custom-functions), who’d cast a parsing error curse on you if he smells your fear. It would be very productive to be able to just click a few buttons, and have, say, a div of teaser windows with thumbnails created and ready to be populated with content. Thesis 2 shouldn’t be about sweating the details — it should be about speed and productivity. AND I hope you seriously and pervasively index the user’s guide. It often happens I do a search for a term and get nothing. Then I go to the forum and ask the “how” question only to have the good (and greatly helpful) people there give me a link to the exact page where my solution lies. A good, LSI indexing of the user’s guide would serve a great need in the Thesis community.


I have 1.8.2 and it says I am current. Shouldn’t I have gotten the notice that an upgrade was available?

Chris Pearson

Gregg, Thesis does not broadcast updates within the WordPress dashboard yet. That functionality won’t be added until 2.0.


I’m getting the same Fatal error: Cannot use object of type thesis_site_options as array in /[path]/wp-content/themes/thesis_183/lib/classes/options_site.php on line 515

This is using WP 3.3.1 hosted with HostGator. PHP Version 5.2.17.

I went ahead and just installed 1.8.2 instead.

Chris Pearson

Jaime, the latest Thesis 1.8.3 download file (available here) contains a fix for this problem.


Cache plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP-SuperCache causes upgrading problems. Perhaps the installation page should come with a warning – Disable all cache plugin prior to upgrading.

Chris Pearson

Great point. I’ll add that to the upgrade notes.


I have a couple of questions coming from an advance noob, that’s me 🙂

I am using the “Thesis Open Hook ” plugin (its a life saver), and would like to know if this will continue to work on the new version.

Second, I use a Thesis Skin that has a customized “custom.css and custom_functions.php”. Will they get affected in any way or do I have to do something first before installing the new version?

Thanks and so sorry to be asking it here.

Anyway, I am patiently looking forward for Thesis 2.0. Keep up the good work and congrats with your new “location”..

Chris Pearson

The Open Hook plugin will certainly work with the new version of Thesis, but in all honesty, you probably won’t need it.

As far as your skin is concerned, as long as you backup your /custom folder and follow the instructions on the upgrade page, your files will not be affected by the upgrade.


Thanks a bunch Chris. I have successfully updated Thesis and “ZERO” problems encountered. That really made my day, yay. And unless it is purely “psychological”, it is fast 🙂

BTW, meant to ask a real “stup**” question. Now that all is well, is it safe to delete the previous versions of Thesis on my server? Have a great Sunday

Chris Pearson

DiTesco, as long as you’ve backed up your /custom folder to your liking, you can delete all old versions of Thesis from your server.

Ellen Clark

I just added 1.8.3. Not so used to using FTP and file permissions etc. But Chris was a big help. Thank you!


Hello Chris & guys,
I’ve been planning my first website for about a year now and have purchased wpzoom Yamidoo Pro Magazine Theme. I have no coding knowledge and selected this theme because it seemed somewhat “plug & play”.

My website will be a vacation location with lots of photos combined with blogging.

I have followed Thesis for the last year also and I am impressed with all the praise coming from users. But, my question is…can a newbie like me get a handle on Thesis in a reasonable amount of time? Sounds like most people here are experienced coders and that’s a bit intimidating to me.

Can anyone offer any advice? Would I be over my head with Thesis?



Hey Ron,

All of the premium frameworks such as Thesis & Genesis will require coding skills or should be bought with the intent of one wanting to learn how to do website coding. Yes, that means that there is work ahead for you but, what the pay off is that you will be able to utilize and deploy a website or websites built on a very powerful framework that is cleanly coded built for award winning Search Engine Optimization right out of the Box as well as being coded for optimal security and performance.

I have a developers license for Yamidoo Pro and have used that theme for many sites before. Yes, it is a trick Theme right out of the Box but… WP-Zooms Support Forums are terrible let alone trying to get any answers for modding and customizing your theme you would have more success not getting wet while pissing in the wind then you would getting assistance from them!

I have a Developers License for Thesis as well as Genesis & Headway, what I can tell you is that you do want to be using a Premium Framework to build WordPress Sites with. Thesis will be a easier route than Genesis for you if working with code scares you initially. For beginners, Thesis makes allot of the customization easier due to the options incorporated into the Thesis Design Options vs Using Genesis which is primarily editing the code directly through a editor such as NotePad ++ in conjunction with a FTP Client such as Filezilla.

Don’t get me wrong here, as I have stated already there is a learning curve when working with Premium Frameworks such as Thesis or Genesis but the Performance difference on you site compared to the Yamidoo Pro Theme will just blow you away…..yes there is that much of a difference!

Buy Thesis and educate yourself on how to use it to harness the power of the Web as it is intended to be!


Chris Pearson

Ron, if you stick to the basics, you’ll experience the myriad benefits of Thesis (especially speed + search engine rankings) without incurring any headaches.

If you take the approach of trying to turn Thesis into a different theme, you’re either going to need to get your hands dirty with some code or take a different approach altogether.

In cases like this, I recommend looking for a Thesis Skin that suits your needs, as this will eliminate the need for you to trudge through code.


What is the pagespeed score for Thesis 1.83? Can someone test it here and report the findings? I’m curious how the theme is performing on various installs. I haven’t installed mine yet and am waiting on pagespeed scores. Some say the new Thesis is faster but who knows?!


I can tell you right now that Thesis 1.8.3 is a lot faster than the previous release!

Chris Pearson

Robert, again, I don’t know what the scores are yet, but Thesis was already the fastest premium theme on the market. This new version only made it faster.


Ok good to hear. Please make Thesis 2.0 the fastest theme on the market. So far, the fastest theme I have found is and that’s a big selling point to get higher ratings from Google. Thesis is far superior in typography and the control panel and some other innovative features. Keep speed in mind and maybe checkout the Swift Theme and take some features from that and help improve Thesis so it can remain on top. Keep up the good work, thanks for this update.

Madhav Tripathi

Its cool, I have upgraded to latest version for one of my blog, I will upgrade for my all blogs.


Hey Chris, this is great news. Thanks for the update.

I use Thesis for building all mine and my clients’ sites, and the process couldn’t be easier or more powerful. Well, I guess now it can with 2.0 on the way. Awesome work.

Anton Amoto

Hello Thesis Team,

Awesome stuff. I really love this update about Thesis Version 1.8.3. I can’t wait to update my Thesis theme in my back office.

Thanks a lot guys and keep up the good work.


Arafin Shaon

Waiting 4 thesis 2 hope it will release this year. But one more thing i want to know that how much we have to pay for version 2? @Chris. Is it possible to reveal.

Chris Pearson

Arafin, the lowest price you’ll be able to pay for Thesis 2 is $87, and this is because everyone who is currently a Thesis customer has been promised lifetime upgrades to the theme. Therefore, when Thesis 2 comes out, all current customers will be able to download it for free.

This is an unbelievable deal, and I’ve been planning on removing the lifetime upgrades (for new customers only) for months now.


Glad to hear that Thesis 1.8.3 is even more efficient in terms of performance and I’m really happy about the combining of the two CSS files.

Will upgrade to the new version later today.

Can’t wait for Thesis 2.0!


Wow, I just check an old site and come here to download (again, lol) thesis theme and find 1.8.3. You guys move tooooo fast for my pour development.

But this is the way world goes. I read all here and I don’t imagine how will look 2.0 as I just have a simple vision of thesis.

I feel like partners with you and this make me happy.

Thank you


Chris Pearson

Haha, thanks for the comment, Christian. It’s funny—some people think we move too fast, and others think we move too slowly. All I know is that we move at the speed of “high quality” 😀

Paul Suntup

You said it. With so many inadequate and inferior products out there today; in pretty much any industry, it’s good to have a developer who attaches so much importance to the quality of their product. Thesis is like the ‘apple’ of Theme Frameworks. Great work Chris and the team.

George Serradinho

Wow, Thesis 2 sounds like it’s going to take center stage and blow the competition away. Can’t wait for it to be released and guess many are also wanting it now.

I’m a bit surprised about the CSS stylesheet feature and will surely be checking it out when i download the new version. Would be nice if Thesis came out with it’s own form generator to create contact and other kinds of forms.


For two years now I’ve been seeing press about version 2.0. Two years ago I bought a “limited time offer”, a “special offer” to buy 1.whatever-it-was-then and get 2.0. Two years ago 2.0 was “coming soon.

I’m not holding my breath…

Chris Pearson

Sally, the “press” you saw were actually ads posted by affiliates. I have talked about my 2.0 development work on Twitter from time to time, but the “limited time offers” of which you speak were not officially sanctioned by DIYthemes.


Thank you for clarifying that. Appreciate the response and honesty.
Guess that’s good for you to know some affiliates are setting up sour situations.
Roll on v2 🙂


I have version 1.8.3 all set up and working great – love how easy it is to do all these updates! I have a question though – if we are not using design mode, what css file should we be working with? I continued to use custom.css, but not all of my changes would ‘take’ (some would, some wouldn’t). I then switched into design mode, made them in custom.css, and no problem.

Should we:
1. Switch into design mode when making changes, or
2. Work with a different css file (in which case, what happens to our design changes when we upgrade to the next version?)


Chris Pearson

Christene, no matter which mode you’re working with, the only CSS file you should ever edit is custom.css.

That said, if you’re actively editing your custom.css file (either via the file editor or via text editor + FTP), you should be using Design Mode in order to see your stylistic changes without having to recompile the master Thesis stylesheet.

Once you’ve made all your changes, you can de-select Design Mode, and this will compile all your Thesis stylesheets (including custom.css) into a single, maximally efficient stylesheet.

Hashim Warren

this is just what I needed to know! I was wondering if Thesis is still being actively developed.


Thank you so much for this update 🙂 i love thesis

Ryan Dennler

Can’t wait for Thesis 2 , hell yea!


just wondering why the permissions for the layout.css file are set to “write” for “everyone.” Trying to figure out how to change them but my server is resisting. Maybe there’s another way in…but I figure if it’s set to not allow that there must be some serious security issues.

Thanks, Lili

Shawna Fields

Hello Chris, I love Thesis! I just upgraded to the new thesis this morning and it was working fine all day. I just went to log in and on the dashboard it said, ” The Latest from DIT themes Blog… Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 94855 bytes) in /home/eatgreen/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 851″
I am not sure why it sais this. I can still get in and out of all the areas I need to post, and check comments, but the dashboard is disabled and only has this error. Any thoughts? I did take out the /wp-db.php file and replace it (from the wordpress end), but this did not change. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

Shawna Fields

I ended up uninstalling my entire wordpress, and starting the entire thing from scratch, and now it is working. I have no idea why it did that. Anybody have ideas on which plug ins work the best in Thesis? I am looking for a comment form. Thanks

Aky Joe

What are your thoughts for HTML5 Launch and will Thesis 2.0 Update have updated ‘Doctype: Html5’ so as to pass w3c validator ?


Hello Chris,
I appreciate your reply and Campbell’s reply to my question about WPZOOM
themes vs your THESIS theme and I understand completely what you are saying.

Chris, you suggested starting with a Thesis skin to eliminate some of the coding difficulty for me. That’s a great suggestion…however, now I’m faced with the plethora of skins available for Thesis from different sources.

I know that you probably don’t want to make specific skin recommendations, but could you at least direct me to a couple of reliable Thesis skin producers that you have found to be most in harmony with the Thesis ideology and don’t affect speed, reliability, and SEO?

Any help would be great! I want to purchase your product…but I also realize my code limitations.

Thanks for any suggestions you could provide.


We tried to upgrade to 1.8.3 but had to remove the upgrade — while our blog site looked ok in Firefox the new upgrade completely distorted our blog site on IE 9 – please advise when the bugs have been worked out for this issue – thx


Chris, can you tell us if Thesis 2 will work out of the box with BuddyPress? I am developing a new site that will be heavily dependent upon BP and would like to use Thesis. 1.8.2 + BP wasn’t very nice, but I’m hoping that 2.0 will work without problems.



I’m wondering the same thing. I’m interested in Thesis, but my site uses BuddyPress.


Glad that Thesis releases updates only after proper testing. The current version of Thesis, no doubt, is far better than the themes/frameworks coming up with the upgrades every other day.
But AUTOMATIC UPDATES, user-friendly feature box, and few other design capabilities are really something I look forward to in a future update.


Hi Chris,

I notice that in Thesis, under Navigation Menu it says:


Although I’ve built a few websites, I don’t pretend to be a web designer and I need tools that others sweat over to help me succeed 🙂 – that said, how is this Thesis 2.0 going to affect the menu system and if I build a menu using the thesis menu builder what will happen when the 2.0 turns on? will I lose my menu?

A little bit of clarification on this topic would be very gratefully appreciated.




Don’t build with the Thesis menu system, because Thesis 2.0 will be dropping the built in menu system, as far as I’m aware.

Instead, just use the WordPress menu system to keep your site future-proof.

Steve Crossland

Awesome. Where is your Austin office. I’ll drop by with some Ribs sometime.



I’m just about to put Thesis on my new website and noticed when I logged in that it’s still 1.8x available. I have an email from June 2011 which kind of suggested that 2.0 was coming soon. When we likely to see the next incarnation of this lovely theme?

Cheers, Mark.

Brad Davison

Chris, We are currently using 1.6 thesis and need to change out the header panel Also can we upgrade to 1.8.3 with out changing the content on the site to make it easier going forward.


Please give us another update on Thesis 2.0, we would like to know when we can expect and what some of the new features might be. Sounds very exciting!


yup, me too, I would like to know when Thesis 2 will be out and whether it will be a reponsive theme. Thanks!

Richard Bohn

Will 2.0 support Responsive Web Design (RWD)?

What is your suggested strategy for making our Thesis sites available on mobile devices such as the iPhone?

Thanks, Rich Bohn

Mark Williams

In regards to “responsive design”, would prefer that Thesis stays lean, mean and fast. Unless I’m mistaken (and I prolly am lol), RD might be pretty fat (bloated) especially if “bolted-on” to a theme framework. Also the moby devices’ + bandwidth (in some countries) are not fast enough (yet) to make it a visitor-friendly experience. Moby visitors want info FAST and depending on what sort of site they’re looking at (i.e. say a plumber), they want basic info i.e. location, hours of operation, phone number (tap to call) and maybe some reviews. Any lag, and they just click away to a faster-loading competitor. I might be off base here because I’m not a blogger – I just knock out basic e-brochure sites for your typical small business owners – and I only use Thesis (have tried all the other frameworks – I just prefer this one). My 2 cents 😉


It’s August 13. Is the release date of August still anticipated? I have some web design projects that I’d like to use 2.0 for and they are coming up soon!