Introducing Thesis 2.1

by Chris Pearson · 119 comments

Five years ago this month, I released Thesis 1.0—the first premium theme with an options page. The WordPress landscape would never be the same.

With Thesis leading the way, themes took a turn for the positive by focusing less on idiosyncratic design and more on SEO, performance, and flexibility. The success of this approach led the market to demand theme “frameworks” (a term pioneered by Thesis), and that’s gotten us to where we are today.

Systems that Thesis 1 introduced, such as custom CSS, layout/design options, and the widespread use of hooks and filters to control HTML, have become the standard in WordPress themes everywhere.

But the foundation for this landscape was laid in 2008, and structurally speaking, very little has changed since. In other words, innovation within the WordPress theme space has almost completely stagnated.

Ultimately, we’re all running old code, and I’m sure you’ll agree—it’s time for an upgrade.

It’s time for the next big thing in WordPress themes.

It’s time for Thesis 2.1.

What Are the “Big Wins” in Thesis 2.1?

Before I go into mind-expanding detail, I’d like to share the 3 big wins in this new version.

The first big win involves simplification. After years of working with every web development tool under the sun, I had to ask myself: “Why aren’t these tools in the one place you really need them—your website?”

Well, now they are.

We have united the various tools needed for web development inside the browser, freeing you from the need to have a text editor and FTP client just to work on your site.

To eliminate the need for an external text editor, we created a new Custom CSS screen that includes syntax highlighting, find/replace capabilities, and a live site preview that will have you wondering how you ever lived without it.

With Thesis 2.1’s Custom CSS, you can make changes to your site design in a non-destructive environment, without fear of affecting what your visitors see. When you decide you’ve made the changes you want, you can save your Custom CSS, and only then will your design change for site visitors.

(And hey, how great is it that you can do this comfortably on your live site, without the need for a development server?)

And as for that FTP client? You may not need that anymore, either.

You can upload Skins and Boxes directly through the Thesis interface, and as we’ve already seen, you can edit CSS directly in your browser.

By removing the need for a text editor and FTP client, Thesis 2.1 significantly lowers the barrier to entry and reduces the pain of starting a new website (especially for new users).

Not having to explain to a new user what an FTP client is? Not having to get new users to find, install, and then learn to use FTP clients or text editors?

This is the definition of a big win, folks.

The second big win comes in the form of organization. Instead of an omnibus options page, Thesis 2.1 is thoughtfully arranged along lines relevant to you.

For starters, all of your mission-critical site management tools are conveniently located in one place. These tools—Google Analytics and Google Authorship, for example—are important to the overall success of your site.

Although you won’t access them frequently (most of them are of the “set it and forget it” variety), you’ll need these tools no matter what Skin you’re running. Find them all in Thesis’ Site submenu.

Unlike site management tools, most of your interaction with Thesis will come in the form of setting Skin options or tweaking your design. Because of this, we’ve placed these frequently-accessed options in the Skin submenu, where you can find them quickly and easily.

The days of hunting for options in a busy interface are over—with Thesis 2.1, you’ll know precisely where you need to go to do what you want to do. And when you get there, you’ll be greeted with a simple, powerful interface that will let your creativity shine.

The third big win in Thesis 2.1 is innovation. With its patent-pending color picker and updated golden ratio typography, Thesis can help you design the perfect site whether you’re a novice or pro.

The color picker is especially cool, because it combines new ColorScale technology and complementary colors to bring you nearly infinite color scheme potential. And after a minute or two of messing with this thing, you’ll be a color genius.

(Seriously, you’ll be able to create color schemes with a mathematical precision that would make Picasso jealous.)

And naturally, no Thesis update would be complete without some typographical advances. Not only can Thesis 2.1 tune the typography and spacing of your entire layout, but it can also fine-tune based on the specific fonts you’re using.

Some might call this “magic,” but for Thesis, it’s just another day at the office 😀

Classic Responsive Skin

As the name implies, the Classic Responsive Skin is indeed responsive. I’ll give you a minute to wipe away the tears of joy.

Although there are many aspects of this Skin worth mentioning—for example, rock-solid golden ratio typography on every device and full responsive dropdown menu support (lots of themes skimp on this step because it’s a real pain)—I want to focus on two aspects of the Classic Responsive Skin that you can use to unleash your creativity.

First, the new Content page is your one-stop shop for managing Skin content. The page is divided into two simple parts: Display options (for showing/hiding Skin content) and a linked list of editable Skin content.

Check out the video below for an in-depth tour of the new Skin Content page:

Want to show an author avatar with each post? Display options → click Post/Page Content → select author avatar → save. Boom.

Want to change content of the text box in your sidebar? Editable content → click Sidebar Text Box → enter the text you want → save. Boom.

The bottom line?

Actions that used to require hooks, code, and FTP clients can now be achieved in just a few clicks from the comfort of your WordPress dashboard.

Next, I’d like to introduce you to your favorite new digital playground—the Skin Design page.

With its deceptively simple interface, the Skin Design page invites you to explore Thesis’ new, patent-pending color scheme picker along with layout, font, and color controls.

Check out the video below, and you’ll see what I mean:

As I mentioned earlier, the color picker will turn you into a color genius, and the layout, font, and size controls beckon for you to experiment until you nail the perfect combination.

Your playground awaits in the new Classic Responsive Skin.

Custom CSS

In Thesis 2.0, the Custom CSS editor was buried in the Skin Editor, where only the bravest adventurer could find it. On top of that, the editor offered few benefits that would encourage someone to use it instead of writing CSS in a file, the old-fashioned way.

But not anymore.

In Thesis 2.1, we’ve moved the Custom CSS editor to the comfort of your WordPress dashboard, and we’ve thrown in some really nice touches that will have you pumped up about building sites with Thesis.

First, we’ve added syntax highlighting, auto-tabbing, line numbers, Skin CSS Variables (for advanced design shenanigans), and even keyboard shortcuts for save and find/replace functionality.

And it gets better.

The Custom CSS editor now features a Live Preview mode that pops open your site in a new window and shows you LIVE changes while you type in your Custom CSS.

Your visitors won’t be able to see these changes unless you hit the save button, so you can operate with confidence while you fine-tune the perfect look for your site.

Mission-critical Site Tools in One Handy Location

It’s time to start kissing superfluous Plugins goodbye.

With “one step easy” tools like Google Analytics, Google Authorship, Tracking Scripts, and 404 Page Control built right in, Thesis eliminates the need to maintain a garden of Plugins that serve such specific purposes.

Oh, and about that 404 Page Control? You can choose any Page from your WordPress installation to serve as your 404 page, so now you have complete control over your 404 page—no code required.

Helpful New Documentation

To help you hit the ground running with Thesis 2.1, we’ve prepared a Getting Started Guide that includes video walkthroughs much like the two you just saw.

And those of you who like to dig into the code and build things with Thesis will be interested in the new Thesis API documentation, too.

(That last link looks benign, but I’m tellin ya—there’s no going back once you click on it and dive in. You can build anything with Thesis, and it can be quite addictive…)

System Status for Better Troubleshooting and Better Support

Thesis 2.1 is by far the most rigorously tested and refined product we’ve ever released.

And although we think we’ve got a pretty good handle on all kinds of different server configurations and crazy setups that occur out there, we also know that we can’t predict every problem that might arise.

That’s why we’ve included a new System Status page in the Thesis Admin → More submenu.

The System Status page gives you a look at your Thesis, WordPress, PHP, database, and server configurations, so you can quickly troubleshoot if you find that some basic functionality is not working.

Even better, our expert support staff can analyze your System Status data and provide quick, accurate recommendations about how to resolve just about any issue you might encounter.

Also, over time, the System Status page is going to help us master every type of server configuration on the planet and thus refine Thesis even further.

Streamlined Skin Editor Interface

For the DIYers and advanced users out there, we’ve made HUGE improvements to the Skin Editor that are sure to thrill, especially if you used this tool in version 2.0.

For example, thanks to a smarter Box queue in the HTML editor, you’ll be able to build templates faster—and in a much more organized fashion—than ever before. Template feng shui, anyone?

And now that the CSS editor has a full suite of the most sought-after text editor features (just like the Custom CSS described above), you’ll be able to streamline your workflow by eliminating your external text editor.

Don’t believe me? (Or simply think Thesis couldn’t possibly have a CSS editor that could compete with your text editor of choice?)

Rick Anderson, who helps people build business websites, didn’t believe me, either:

I didn’t see how this could possibly be the case when Chris first suggested [getting rid of your text editor]. Now I’m sold…Thesis 2.1 comes with a shiny new CSS editor that includes syntax highlighting. It even includes some totally cool point and click code completion features that developers are going to love.

(Also, I highly recommend checking out Rick’s Six Reasons Thesis 2.1 Will Knock Your Socks Off, which is your gateway to 8 hours of intensive video tutorials and walkthroughs guided by Rick himself.)

Built-in SCSS/LESS CSS Pre-processors

This is an advanced feature, but experienced designers and developers familiar with SCSS and LESS are going to be mighty pleased to hear this.

In truth, if our experience is any indication, they probably won’t believe their eyes when they see this in action for the first time.

When we were testing this new feature and first started using it in the Custom CSS editor, Matt (who did the implementation) was a mind-blown, fist-pumping mess of, “Duuuuuude, people are going to LOVE THIS THING!”

And then we discovered that Skin developers can use Thesis CSS Variables with the SCSS pre-processor to achieve out-of-this-world dynamic CSS, all controllable by Design options?

Mind-blown, indeed.

The Thesis Community is Embracing 2.1

The buzz about Thesis 2.1 is escalating, and the community is excited! Check out some of the early reactions to this new version:

And from our forums:

This is another home run for Chris and the team!

You guys smashed it with this release and your support is awesome.

The Bottom Line

Thesis 2.1 is designed around the specific actions you take when building and maintaining a website.

Its innovative new controls will entice you to experiment and play, and its simplicity will give you confidence as you command your site with ease.

It’s time to see what the next 5 years of WordPress themes is going to be about.

It’s time for Thesis 2.1.

Download Thesis 2.1

I can’t wait for you to get started with Thesis 2.1. You’re gonna love it.

Update: Check out our official Thesis Skin demo page.

Not yet a Thesis customer? Click here to choose a Thesis plan that’s right for you.

If you’re already a Thesis customer, download Thesis 2.1 here!

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. You should follow him on Twitter here.

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Vivek Parmar

Template support is the most needed thing i need..Really thesis 2.1 is a game-changer and much needed theme for every wordpress website


I have been using Thesis for many years and currently run 1.8.5 on my Tattoo site, but will be looking to make use of the live CSS editor which will make life so much easier. I’ve used Thesis 2.0 on a few of my other sites and the new template designer makes it a dream to work with. Can’t wait to give this update a go!

Chris Pearson

Glad to hear it, Michael! I think you’re gonna dig the updates to the Skin Editor (template designer), too.

Ngan Son

I love thesis, this is awesome theme help my business online. I will consider to ugrade thesis 2.1 right now.

Danielle Parsons

Already updated to version 2.1 on one of my development sites and am learning where to navigate to use all of these powerful updates. I look forward to building some incredible websites for local Santa Barbara business owners with Thesis 2.1. Back to the Getting started guide to learn about the changes from version 2.0!

Stephen Henry

I love thesis. It flat out works.

Chris Pearson

This comment may be forever enshrined as a testimonial 😉


Chris. I went back to using 1.85 because whilst 2.0 was full of awesomeness… it was taking too long to get my head around it. I don’t think I’m alone here. Whats your best single piece of advice for people like me to make the mind shift quickly and get into the swing of 2.1. I want to be able to use it… I just don’t have days to explore it. Your thoughts on getting me started quickly is appreciated. Damon

Prince Vasquez

Hi Damon…. Me too, I am stuck with 1.8.5 , so Chris, any advice?

Deb G.

Interested in this answer, too. 🙂

Imani Lateef

You’re not alone Damon. I’m anxiously awaiting a response to your question, bro. I went back to 1.85 as well. The learning curve on 2.0 was just too much for me.

Chris Pearson

Damon, I think the main problem with version 2.0 was that we provided little, if any, direction for people who needed a boost.

Given the lack of clear documentation and a detailed walkthrough, I can certainly understand why you went back to using 1.8.5.

And as you said, you are not alone—just yesterday, I had a conversation with a guy on Twitter who said the exact same thing.

My biggest goal with 2.1 was to get people like you—people who were disappointed with 2.0—back into the swing of things with the new version.

And to help you get into the swing of things, we’ve produced a Getting Started Guide that will introduce you to the interface and show you around.

Once you’ve made your way through the guide, you should check out Rick Anderson’s in-depth videos that will illuminate the Skin Editor and get you pointed in the right direction.


I was stuck on Thesis 1.85 just like a lot of others. Then I caught onto the Classic Responsive Skin provided with 2.1 being all setup for mobile devices, something that I had been wanting to start doing for my clients.

So I just setup a test site and rebuilt the framework of an existing site I had in Thesis 1.85. Seriously, once I started I was amazed at how easy 2.1 was to use. I say to those who are a little apprehensive moving from 1.85 to just start doing it… it only took me a few hours to work it out. And there’s no need for all the custom_functions 1.85 needed.

Now I’ve moved my test site onto the live site and I’m really impressed with the responsive design. PLUS the website loads faster and the code is far more efficient

I’m looking forward to further enhancements as the techies out there start releasing boxes to make Thesis websites really stand out

Chris Pearson

Thanks for the inspiring story, David!

Bryan Haines

Thrilled about the new release. I’m finally going to switch my final two sites off of Pagelines. They have (yet again) announced a complete overhaul of their product – and are (yet again) charging everyone for a new product. On top of these completely new product releases, their small upgrades always break the site and I have to spend time fixing it – every single time. This has never happened with Thesis.

Thanks for creating a stable and dynamic product!

Chris Pearson

My pleasure, Bryan. Thanks for the candid feedback, and on that note…

I don’t see how these other businesses get away with jerking people (and their money) around like this. Heck, I get uncomfortable when I make a minor tweak that I know will affect people.

Brandon Cordoba

Wow!!! It’s more intuitive/stout/& simpler to use! This is genius work right here; thank you guys so so much!

Chris Pearson

Thanks, Brandon—glad you’re digging 2.1!

Josh Brancek

Wow, this new release totally ROCKS!!!! Bravo Chris!!!

Chris Pearson

Woot, thanks, Josh! This looks like a future testimonial 😀


These changes are huge! Can’t wait to play…

Michael Campbell

As an internet marketing consultant with hundreds of customers and thousands of newsletter readers, my reputation is everything. As your affiliate, but their mentor, I advised them not to upgrade to Thesis 2, until the time was right.

I believe that time is now. Thank you for continuing to develop Thesis up to 2.1 and congratulations on this brilliant achievement. I’ll continue to send my customers your way, because I believe in what you’re doing and why you do it.

Chris Pearson

I sincerely appreciate the vote of confidence, Michael. I’m proud we’ve earned your trust, and we’ll keep working to earn that trust in the future.


I agree with Damon above. What us the best approach for learning all of the new stuff? And, should we learn 2.0 before 2.1 or us it ok to jump from 1.8.5 to 2.1?


Chris Pearson

Hi, Stefani! I responded to Damon here.


Is the Social Triggers skin available with now with the release of Thesis 2.1?

Chris Pearson

Abe, we’re going to be releasing add-ons to showcase the power of Thesis 2.1 over the next few weeks.

The Social Triggers Skin is going to be the first add-on we release, so I would expect it within two weeks.


Awesome! Thanks a lot Chris.

David Alexander

Great work, I have been playing with recent betas and can’t wait to get stuck into Thesis 2.1 final! 🙂


Sounds great. Can’t wait to try it on one of my sites.


looking forward more exciting things and I hope that there is lot of stuff for me to explore.. waiting for more exciting things now… 🙂

Chris Pearson

Raj, if you want to explore, dive into the Thesis API documentation.

But be careful—if you get hooked on building Skins and Boxes, there’s no going back 😀

Latisha Black

Oh, lovely, looking forward to these new features. Had to teach myself bits and pieces along the way, but Thesis made it much easier. I’m sure Chris will deliver this time as well.

Liz Schneider

What sort of “starting from scratch” support/documentation is there for someone new to Thesis (but not new to Wordpress)? A couple of videos are not going to cut it for me. I really rely on forums and robust, responsive tech support when learning a new theme framework.

Chris Pearson

Liz, you’re in good hands.

While our Getting Started Guide has everything you’ll need to hit the ground running, our expert support staff is always ready to help you push through the next plateau in our forums.

And as you get more settled into Thesis, you may wish to venture into the Thesis API documentation, too.

The bottom line is that we are here to help you, and we’re happy to do whatever we can to assist as you learn how to unleash the power of Thesis.


Many areas are improved when compared to Thesis 2.0. I like the Query Box and template support for CPTs.

Jupiter Jim

I’ve already watched Rick Anderson’s webinars on Thesis 2.1 beta and couldn’t wait for the real thing.

Can’t wait for it to rise in popularity again as the word gets out about how Powerful it is and, yet, how EASY it is to use for the beginner as well!

Thanks for all your hard work, Chris and the DIYthemes Crew!

Most Excellent!

~ Jupiter Jim

Stephen Brian

That is simply brilliant. I cannot help myself from promoting Thesis 2.1. I will surely going for it soon with my other affiliate sites as well. Believe the interface will be more more user friendly than Thesis 2.0. The new powerful custom css will surely rock this time.


If we simply update, will it cause issues?

Raaj Trambadia

That should depend on the skin. If you’re using the Classic theme (for, then go ahead and update – and you’ll discover the ever-green Classic Responsive Skin.


Had been waiting impatiently for the responsive skin…. Glad that finally got it.


Just Awesome ! Let’s see how well it blends with our blogs.

Arafin Shaon

WOW this is really great news gonna update my site with 2.1 soon 🙂

Raaj Trambadia

Just one word, Chris – WINNING.

Chris Pearson

Testimonial? I think so.


Hi Chris,

I like the new features, but have to say that I think the design of this is a massive backward step over version 1.8.

It used to be that you could edit ALL of your settings on one of two pages in Thesis.

This made it easy to see what you had set up and also to import and tweak site templates.

Now you have lots of fiddly menus, and they change depending on the site!

That isn’t progress Chris. That is confusing!

For me this feels a bit like Microsoft with Windows 8 when they decided to remove the Start button.

You are trying to radically overhaul a design that many of your customers didn’t want changing.

Why not offer a “Classic Thesis Layout” option, so that all of the different menus and options are all combined on two screens, like the 1.8 version.

I have to say that personally I found the new version confsuing when I used it.

This doesn’t feel like an “upgrade”. It feels like a “downgrade”, despite the fact that I like the colorpicker.

You have managed to complicate the basic design of the interface, when that was one of the best things about Thesis.

You should offer the option to have the same new feature set, but in the old design style.

Chris Pearson

Thanks for the feedback, Stuart. It’s too bad Thesis 2.1 didn’t hit the sweet spot for you, but then again—you’ve barely had any time to use it, too 😀

Rick Lomas

Thanks for getting it out on time. I was a bit wary about beta testing it on a client site, but they wanted a responsive site so it’s done! To be honest I have been ready to jump ship with T2 over the past 6 months, but I glad I haven’t. However please don’t change the way it works again for a while. I was never happy with ‘packages’, but I don’t want to unlearn anything else for a while!

Chris Pearson

Rick, you and many others will be happy to know that we’ve finally reached a stable release point. I don’t expect any major shifts (certainly none that would require un-learning) in the near future.


How can I update from to 2.1?

Chris Pearson

epoc, you should see a yellow update nag in your WordPress dashboard that will prompt you to update from to 2.1.

If you don’t see that, then you can grab the Thesis 2.1 download file and manually install it.


Thesis 2.1 sounds great! Just to be absolutely clear, If I am using the classic skin on 2.0 when I upgrade to 2.1, it shouldn’t break my site or leave me with a blank template?


Chris Pearson

Casey, that’s correct. Since you’re running the Classic Skin, your site will look the same (and have the same basic functionality) after the update.

However, to see the new features (like the Content and Design pages), you’ll need to switch to the Classic Responsive Skin.

Raaj Trambadia

There ain’t no blank screen of death in 2.1. Period.

Marc @ Bright Settings

We really like Thesis. Just downloaded the Getting Started Guide to see what it will take for us to start using 2.1.

Hans Braumueller


i am running my website about SEO with thesis 2.0 classic in Germany, customization css is at custom.css. Can i update to responsive classic 2.1 or must i take some manual actions before?

Also do you have some demo version to see online?


Chris Pearson

Hans, since you’ve smartly separated your custom CSS, your update should be a breeze. The only thing you’ll have to do is copy and paste your Custom CSS into the new Classic Responsive Skin, and you’ll be good to go.

And at this time, we do NOT have a demo version available to see online (though that’s a good idea).


Thanks for your reply. I will go for the update at weekend.
If you do a demo, you could do illustration of the features you have implemented with the new options right there. This helps a lot in my experience.
Often the problem of insiders is, that they cannot imagine how difficult is to start sometimes. I have need as experienced allround webspecialists some days to understand the switch you do from 18.x to 2.0, regarding your packages.

Thanks, i like very much your framework.

Chris Pearson

Thanks, Hans!


I would love to build my knowledgebase on this theme. Two words Chris… YOU ROCK!

Chris Pearson

Thanks, Marlon! Whatever you want to do, I know you can do it with Thesis 2.1.


Neat Work!

Everything in the new Thesis v2.1 looks good, except that WordPress native “screenshot.png” is packed with 200,105 bytes. 😛

Chris Pearson

I even smushed that screenshot to make the file size smaller :-/


Thank You, Look Nice, i will try at my site.. 🙂

Braden Talbot

Well, I’m definitely enjoying this much more than 2.0. Then again, I am more a progammer than a web designer.

Chris Pearson

Since you’re a programmer, I highly recommend digging into our API documentation, especially the stuff concerning the Thesis Box API.

If you build *anything* for WordPress, Thesis Boxes are your new best friend.


Hi Chris,

When business folk mess up it’s to be expected their customers will kick up a stink and for the past 10 months I’ve certainly been kicking with the best (and worst) of them. And mostly, I think, with good reason.

However, even though it’s taken a while and the communication could have better, I think it’s important to acknowledge the fact you’ve obviously put a lot of work into turning things around by making it better. I’m sure once you have a decent set of tutorials in place, specifically for coding ludites like myself, then things will hopefully get better and better.

Whilst my previous criticisms were right from a customer point of view, it would have been wrong not to recognise the work you and the team have put in, so thanks for that.

Chris Pearson

Thanks so much for reaching out, Dave!

I deserved the criticisms for 2.0, and this time around, I’m determined to turn those criticisms into unwavering support.

Keith Jones

Well done to the team, this looks a great product.

Time for a change, so I am just going to start a new site with 2.1.

I am sure that anyone who has left the boat in last few months will be coming back.

Chris Pearson

Thank you, Keith! If the early returns are any indication, I think you might be right about that “coming back” thing 😀

Veronika Freeman, dotcalm

I guess the most frustrating thing was having used 1.85 and not being able to easily convert/update to 2.0. So, is it really way easier to build a site in 2.1? and will we be able to just update from 2.1 to next version?


Congrats on 2.0! Love the simplification and putting all tools people need within the website/browser without any need for FTP.


Wow. This is truly awesome!

David Krug

If I’d really been thinking I would have patented the options page 🙂 Just kidding. But if you remember and my email logs and IM logs do remember the options page was my idea and I didn’t understand why no one didn’t have one. It just made sense for Themes to give users more control verses having to use code to do the trick.

Congrats on the release brother!

Andres Medina

Hello, so far I loved Thesis 2.1 so much. But one of the features I loved in 2.0 was the ability to edit the text boxes, menus, etc, right in the skind editor. I used tons of text boxes without names because I used the position of the box in the skin editor to know each one of the elements I had.

Now is really hard to go to the Skin Cotent and edit each one individually. With the previous version everything was done directly in the skind editor, and for this particular element it was easier to do in that way.


Chris Pearson

Andres, if you are a Thesis Professional, then you have access to our Developer Tools Box, which contains functionality that will turn on Box options in the Skin Editor (the way it was in 2.0).

The Dev Tools Box also contains functionality that will allow you to start new Skins from scratch.

As far as I’m concerned, this might be the best perk of being a Thesis Professional because you can use it to make Thesis work precisely how you want.


Hey Chris,

Why was this option turned off between 2.0 and 2.1? It was such a nice feature to have and seems like it should have been left by default just as a user experience sort of thing. I was super bummed when I upgraded to 2.1 and saw that I now had to open a new tab in my browser just to edit the html in an element in my skin. It took me over a month to figure out that I could turn that feature on with the Developer Tools.

It was also really nice in 2.0 when the Custom CSS was easy to get to from within the skin editor. I now have to have 3 browser tabs open (one for CSS, one for skin editor, and one for html changes to “content”). Maybe the CSS thing could be added as an option in the Dev Tools as well?

Just my 2 cents. Other than that, the theme is great! Keep up the good work!

Chris Pearson

Pat, as you mentioned, this functionality was not turned off; you just need the Dev Tools Editor to be able to edit Box options in the Skin Editor.

Why? Because most users would prefer to avoid the Skin Editor, since it is most effective when you have a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, and this is not a given for most customers (and I don’t think it should have to be a prerequisite for using Thesis).

I understand your frustration, but from my perspective, none of the options are great:

If I enable editing in both places by default, then people can get unwanted results if they have both the Thesis Admin and Skin Editor open at the same time. For example, if you changed options in the Skin Editor but not in the Admin—and then saved the Admin—then it could overwrite the changes you just made in the Skin Editor.

Obviously, that situation would be maddening for people, so I have no choice but to make that scenario impossible in default Thesis installations.

If I only enable Box option editing in the Skin Editor, then I have to give ugly instructions to people in order to change options: “Go to the Skin Editor, find the Page template, locate the right Box, click on this, click on that…”

Compare that to this: “Go to Skin → Content, and click on Sidebar Text Box.”

If you’re a user, which looks better to you? 😀

Grant Price

I love it when customers ask for help and they’ve already purchased the thesis theme. It makes my job of helping them much easier because the theme is flexible, easy to use, and all around powerful.

Chris Pearson

I’m blushing over here, Grant!


I noticed that Thesis Blank skin isn’t included in 2.1 anymore. What are the options for people who would like to start from a blank slate instead?

Chris Pearson


With Thesis 2.1, you can create the equivalent of a blank Skin at any time by using the Developer Tools Box (available free to Thesis Professionals).

Best of all, you aren’t stuck with the name Thesis Blank—thanks to the Dev Tools functionality, you can name your blank Skin anything you want.


Perfect timing and great update!


After over 30 days of Thesis on my blog I can say that this framework is great. I hope to get many SEO benefits from it.

Please consider adding my italian food blog to your showcase section:

Many thanks for your great job.


Hi Chris

i know thesis supports the schema markup from version 2.0 which is absolutely great

but is there also included the “social meta tags” like the:
og: (for the facebook open graph)
twitter: (for twitter)
itemscope: / itemprop: (for google+)

and is there an option for authorship markup to choose between the different options author or publisher (in case it is a business entity?)

I also noticed that Yoast developed a nice plugin asset for their seo plugin (which is obviously not needed with Thesis 2.1) that creates a very nice addon for local businesses… (creates the location, map, directions etc… check it on their site, it is really neat)
Would that be possible in Thesis 2.1 too by default or does anyone have to create a box for this?

Just wondering… because i love Thesis an hope it will stay ahead of the pack forever

Chris Pearson

Hi Carlo, as you indicated, Thesis 2 contains support for markup schema, which includes the itemscope/itemprop items that you mentioned.

In addition, we offer social media Boxes for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The Facebook Box contains opengraph support, and the Twitter Box contains Twitter card support.

As far as authorship is concerned, you can set up your site however you want—multi-author, business entities, whatever. Each person (or entity) has his/her own Google+ profile link, so you have infinite flexibility here.

Finally, regarding the local business support, someone would need to build a Box for that, and just like the social media Boxes, the sky is the limit here.

Michael Merritt

I am looking to set up a webpage that will have community wordpress site that will enable people to create a space, upload a photo, a manifesto, and link with other community members. Also, I have guest bloggers as well that will need to sign in, and post their guest blog and possibly a forum as well. Is this possible with DIY Themes?


Chris Pearson

Michael, you can do all of those things and much more with the combination of Thesis + WordPress.

Chuck Melvin

Thesis 2.1 is a home run for my website with regards to Smart Phone formatting.

I installed EasyRotator in Thesis 1.8.5 with very few problems, but cannot get it to run in Thesis 2.1. Looked at how to install a header here, did not understand. Is there a way to contact you to get answers. WordPress will answer a ticket. Do you have a similar system for your themes?

I am 78 and need all the help I can get. Thank You.

Chris Pearson

Hi, Chuck! The EasyRotator probably hasn’t been updated to work with Thesis 2.1, but there are many 2.1-ready rotator alternatives for you to choose from.

Also, regarding support, we have the best support forums in the business. With 3 full-time experts and an active, helpful community, we can help you overcome any obstacles standing in between you and a site you love.

Finally, forum access is free with the purchase of Thesis.


Hi Chris, we have been a fan of the clean, crisp look of Thesis Theme for several years now.  We are currently creating our marketing website and the new Thesis 2.1 framework is AMAZING!!! Its funny how we almost jumped the ship with Thesis 2.0, but decided to stick around to rediscover, and I am so glad we did! Once the website is complete, hopefully we will earn a spot on your showcase section…:) We also trying our best to master Thesis API…
Thanks to thesis community and you Chris for your continuing development !


Hi Chris,

I have been using Thesis 1.85 for my two successful websites and working on my third using Thesis 2.1. I find that Thesis compared to other WPs is very optimized and gives a sharp, clean look, and I absolutely love it. I think you have remarkable attention to detail! However, if Thesis had a sitemap included, it would be absolute.
I was wondering, will you eventually incorporate it into the theme?

Chris Pearson

Hi Suriya,

We do indeed have plans to add a sitemap feature, and I agree—if we have that, we’ll “absolutely” have it all 😀

Vedran Sučec


I don’t know where can I ask the question, so i decided to do it here. I wanna purchase the Thesis Theme (developer licence) BUT the rules state that I, or my company has to be the owner of the domain. I’m freelancer working with companies and/or individuals who own their own domains (2->3->7 domains). Question is, should I ask them to purchase their own Thesis licence?

If so then the price for development would be higher and problem on my side is that I’m disclosing my client list to DIYthemes. You can say that you have affiliate program that gives 33% on sale but in my shoes I have to tell my client that the price is now 30-40% higher and from that 30-40% I get only 33% return. For giving you a life long customer I would expect more than 33% because it is I that needs to explain to the customer why the Thesis Theme is needed. To be clear, I’m 15 year veteran on web, PHP, CSS, Smarty, Yii, Drupal, etc. and I appreciate good code when I see it but the mathematics of marketing/sales is wrong…

I really hope we would come to some mutual and beneficial solution.

With best and kind regards,

Chris Pearson


First, I updated the plans and pricing page yesterday with specific information about using Thesis on sites for clients.

As a freelancer, you have two options—you can either advise your clients to purchase their own Thesis license, or you can purchase a Client Site License for each client site.

Most people opt for the second route because it’s cheaper and requires zero connection between the client and DIYthemes. You raised a specific concern about “disclosing my client list to DIYthemes,” and the Client Site option seems like it would satisfy this.

The maximum a Client Site License can cost is $40/site. If this means you have to tell your client that the price is “30–40%” higher, then Vedran—you need to charge a lot more for your services 😀

Vedran Sučec

Thank you for fast response.

My clients have 3 sites at least (and more domains linked to them) and I do things in packaged fashion. Quality and quantity in the same package.
About my pricing, I agree I should charge more for services.
Not to be misunderstood, Thesis is wonderful product that I used till today, very happy with everything but unfortunately options do not add up to my calculations.

I thank you for your time and energy,
best and kind regards!!

Clarence Johnson

Thesis 2.1 is a mighty fine product.

Chris Pearson

Thanks, Clarence!


I want to update my 1.8.5 site to 2.1 but I see that it must be done manually. I need instruction on how to do this. Can you direct me to a tutorial on how I can accomplish this?

Chris Pearson


You can install and activate Thesis 2.1 completely through your WordPress dashboard. Here are some helpful instructions that will guide you through the process.


Great update. Thesis always rock.


awesome theme, the new version is even better than the last, boxes are a little different now and the box fields cannot be displayed in the editor…

Chris Pearson


You can still control the Box options from the Skin Editor, but you must enable this functionality with the Thesis Developer Tools Box (Professional License or Developer’s Option required).

Once you’ve installed and activated that Box, you can visit the Dev Tools options page and enable “Show Box options in the Skin Editor.”


One of my friend using this Thesis Theme . He told me , this theme has many great functions which we can able to customize via Admin Page . I will try this Theme for my next blog 🙂

Upendra Shrestha

Its simply, “the Beast is finally out.” Love thesis….


Is it really worth it for you to do Search engine marketing your self? How do you master it? We don’t like to pay up a person because of reliability and price tag factors.

Chris Pearson

Malocha, to be honest, there’s not much you need to do if you use software like Thesis.

Simply add a title tag to each post or page you create (Thesis provides you with an easy way to do this on the post editing screen), and then promote your best content via social media (Facebook and Google+, for example).

For 99.5% of people, this strategy would place them leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

rita brooks

I really like some of the new features in 2.1, I especially like how you can do everything from the comfort of the wordpress dashboard now – makes it so simple to use. I’ll definitely be using this more in the future.


Hi Chris:
Does Thesis work if I want to develop an ecommerce website? I read all the explanation but I didn’t find anything that mention that.
Thank you!

Chris Pearson

Andres, yes of course! You can add your favorite ecommerce Plugin to Thesis, just like you can with any other WordPress theme.

Many of our users want to add this kind of functionality, so there’s a strong knowledgebase in this area in our support forums.


i’m designing one site with version 2.1 now.hope it run well.


Chris, I am very impressed with the thought and hard work you put into this new product. However, I am a new person trying to “get into the biz” and build a couple websites for myself and family members. I’m no dummy but I can’t believe why you (and other companys) don’t have a sales page(s) that just makes it simple for someone with almost zero background knowledge of website development to know what the product is and how to use it QUICKLY. Please take a step back and look at your pages and see they are difficult to interpret for the inexperienced user. I think you and others might be afraid of “boiling it down” to a first grade level as it may make the product feel less advanced? For example, what is a skin? Why do I need a skin? What specific changes does a skin make? Show me the difference between skin and no skin. No offense I just wanted to provide some feedback if it can help.

Chris Pearson

Thanks for the feedback, Wayne. We are always looking for better ways to connect with potential users, and comments like yours are quite helpful in this regard.


I read your first page again and it makes more sense to me , but I was thrown off by another website referring to a “skin” but I think it was actually just the appearance to a particular plugin . So I think the framework is more than a Parent Theme because it has more functionality etc, and a Skin is a child theme, and “boxes” are like plugins but easier…does that make sense?

Chris Pearson

Exactly right, Wayne! You nailed it.


How does Thesis 2 work with 3rd party plugins and widgets? Do these just install to wordpress and not thesis2 but will they still work with thesis 2? Or what options exist in thesis 2 specifically? thanks

Chris Pearson

Third party Plugins and widgets “just work” with Thesis 2 in most cases. In the event these Plugins don’t work, you can always get a quick answer on integration from our forums.

For almost all popular Plugins, other members of the Thesis community have already figured out precisely how to achieve complete integration, and they’re happy to share their results.

Again, though—most Plugins work perfectly with Thesis right out of the box.

Finally, Thesis is designed to minimize the number of Plugins you need to run your site. For example, Thesis contains comprehensive SEO options that provide you with everything you need (and even some stuff no other theme or Plugin offers!).


Thats awesome, thanks.


I really like some of the new features in 2.1, I especially like how you can do everything from the comfort of the wordpress dashboard now – makes it so simple to use. I’ll definitely be using this more in the future.