Why I Design and Develop on the Thesis Theme Framework

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Caffeinated Design Studios

Are you in the blog design business? Do you want to learn how you can improve your business?

Look no further…

I’ll show you why I focus exclusively on the Thesis Theme Framework.

Theme Frameworks are a Designer’s Best Friend.

When my design business was new, I had more time than projects. Even with an abundance of free time, I was still looking for ways to streamline my processes and save time. Why? Because I could focus on finding new clients.

Now let’s say you already have a booming design business. You know that your income varies depending on the number of projects you complete. And if you take pride in your work, you would never rush a project just to make money, right?

Right! The question is, how can you speed up design and development, without sacrificing the quality of your work?

The answer is simple. Use a theme framework.

Why?

When you design on a theme framework, you can focus on your core product—the web design—and not code because theme frameworks are often beautifully executed WordPress themes with advanced SEO functionality, and a slew of other options.

Why I Use the Thesis Theme Framework Exclusively

It was 2009, and I happened upon the Thesis Theme Framework, and heaven opened up, the sun broke through the clouds, and angels began to sing.

Kidding :-).

The first thing I noticed was the price tag; and I realized that if I chose to use Thesis, I would be deciding to ONLY use Thesis. Plus, I wanted to invest my time exclusively into one theme framework so I could be proficient as possible and focus on what matters, design.

Then, I decided to test Thesis on my websites first, and within a week of using it, I fell in love and have never looked back. Getting used to designing on Thesis was easy, and I’ll explain why as you keep reading.

Why Should You Design Using the Thesis Framework?

When you love your clients, you want them to love you too, and Thesis helps with that. More specifically:

1) Thesis doesn’t break when your client updates WordPress.

Ever create a WordPress theme, and then a WordPress upgrade breaks your theme?

Of course. When you consistently improve software, sometimes it’s required to deprecate older, less-useful pieces of code. However, when you use Thesis, the Thesis Dev team ensures compatibility with WordPress, and upgrading your client’s website is a cinch.

Not only that, but you can often upgrade Thesis without losing your website’s look, as long as you don’t modify the core files. This has saved my clients—and by extension, me and other designers I know—a lot of frustration, wasted money, and heartache.

(Yes, heartache. Doesn’t your heart ache when something bad happens to your website? No? Well, this is a little awkward…)

Editor’s note: When WordPress releases a new version, Thesis isn’t automatically compatible. However, the Thesis Team rushes to ensure maximum compatibility and releases a fix. So, instead of updating each of your client sites individually, you only need to update their Thesis installation.

2) Thesis can be modified by any Thesis-capable designer.

Let’s say you’re swamped with projects and one of your existing clients needs some work. Chances are, you would either refer the work to another designer, or in some cases, let your client find a designer on their own.

When you use a Theme Framework like Thesis, there are tons of great designers that specialize in that framework. Also, there is extensive documentation and tutorials that empower your clients to make small changes—adding facebook like button, tweet buttons, etc—without needing your help.

In short, giving your clients peace of mind is priceless. So, whether you’re busy with other clients or on vacation, having that extra layer of support helps keep your clients happy.

3) Two words: DIYThemes Forums.

No matter how much code you know, there is always one stupid piece of code that doesn’t work. Since I purchased Thesis, I gained access to their priceless support forums, and I’ve never had that problem again. Let me explain.

Before I started using Thesis, I used a handful of free themes as my development base. Unfortunately, when I got stuck, it was difficult to find help. Sometimes I was left wondering why I didn’t just start from scratch with Notepad and a fresh pot of coffee.

However, with Thesis, you gain access to the DIYthemes forums which is a huge brain trust of people who can help. I have spent a great many late nights, coffee in hand and the other hand on my keyboard, perusing those forums, and I have never left without finding what I needed!

In other words, it’s easier to build a mansion with a twelve-foot pool when you have access to the secret underground batcave that contains answers to many common questions and problems.

In conclusion, I love Thesis.

As long as I’m in the design business, I’m using Thesis. It helps me build better websites, makes my clients feel secure in what I give them, and pushes me to be a better developer.

How about you? Do you develop using Thesis? What were your experiences?

About the author: Rachael Acklin used Thesis in her web design business.