Genesis Framework Review And Why I Switched From Thesis To Genesis

Genesis Framework Review

Well, it was one of the toughest decisions I made for my business. I’ve been a die-hard Thesis fan and an affiliate. I was using Thesis on Problogging Success as well as all my other sites (including Tech Buzz Online, Diet Fitness Deck, Merry Relationships, Jane Sheeba and a few others).

So this post is not about how bad Thesis is or calling names. I am not going to criticize anybody or any company for that matter. The switch is totally my personal preference.

Having said that, I wish to openly discuss what factors made me switch – from my perspective this is a BIG decision since I was using Thesis for a long time, I was actively promoting it and I was using it on multiple sites of mine.

So, it was not an easy job to make the switch. Yet, I was kinda forced to do it.

Without further delay I’m going to jump in to the details of it.

I had to wait looooong

Yup. I know it’s not just me. The blogosphere is sort of filled with people who had been complaining about DIY Themes taking so long to release an update to Thesis (the update being version 2.0).

I was waiting, and waiting and waiting and nothing happened. All my sites were stuck at Thesis 1.8.x (I don’t exactly remember the last version of Thesis I used), while the other sites in my niche were moving ahead with Genesis or other themes that were catching up with the rest of the world.

I felt I was left out, seriously. But I was hoping to the last breath that something will happen. But to my disappointment it took a very long time for DIY Themes to release an update, finally.

Was my wait worth it?

NO. That is a BIG NO. I would have stuck with Thesis *if* I got an update. But what I got was a surprise package! On the outside it had many shiny promises, but on the inside it was totally an alien to me.

Now, I know many Thesis lovers will jump in to argue with me about the goodness of Thesis 2.0. OK, I totally agree that DIY Themes might have made a total makeover with Thesis 2.0. But seriously, who has got the time to learn all the new stuff?

I would have dove in to learn if Thesis design is my business. But I have a different business and I used Thesis framework as a tool that helped my business (a framework and theme for my business website). So I was not ready to invest time on that.

Thesis Vs Genesis?

OK, the comparison between Thesis and Genesis is no longer valid. But let me point out some of the things I want you to notice.

1. One of the things I found to be a pain was updating Thesis (while I was using 1.8x). Every time a new update pops up (it wasn’t that frequent though!), I had to Google “How to update Thesis?”, and follow the steps – I guess there are 7 steps (involving FTP and all).

Genesis allows WordPress dashboard updates. That takes ONE click and a couple of seconds. So which one will you prefer?

2. Coding and Documentation – When Thesis 2.0 was released it came out with no documentation (or probably very little to help me and I had pretty good knowledge on coding!). Now, I was a serious Thesis user. I had customized many sites based on Thesis theme using Hooks and custom coding. I was offering Thesis Customization as a service. So I know Thesis pretty well. But even to me, Thesis 2.0 was a total stranger. So think about the other bloggers who just want to blog rather than spending days and nights in figuring out how to use Thesis theme.

With Genesis I have a forum where people talk about issues and there is response from the pros. Plus, they have loads of code snippets for just about anything! So you can totally customize your site the way you want.

And in the StudioPress support forums, people talk a lot about customization and issues with the custom codes rather than talking about how to make the skin work, or why the box is not showing up or why the box breaks the site or how to code something!

In my opinion, Do more, code less – the slogan of Thesis didn’t make much sense to me.

3. Skins and complications – Now, I LOVE Genesis for this. I’m not lazy but when I’m given an option to choose from, I’ll choose that. Genesis gives me loads of Child themes that I can choose for my sites – there is a child theme that suits any niche.

I know many people will say that their site is going to look like one of the many sites that are using the same child theme as theirs. Of course!

But what do you want?

Spending hours, days and weeks on making your site look unique?


Grab a professionally looking child theme, customize it (optional) and go concentrate on building your business?

I’d go for the second options by all means. However, as I said earlier, you can still do lots of customization with Genesis child theme with their support, forums, Genesis plugins and code snippets.

And with Thesis you have skins (they launched a few recently), boxes, etc. The terminology scared me. I want to keep things simple. And it is not like, install and start blogging. There is quite some misbehaviour and you will feel frustrated to make your site look like how you wanted it to look like.

4. Support?

When I buy any product, I mostly pay for the support rather than the product itself. I found Thesis support to be quite mediocre. On the other hand, Genesis provides top notch support! I can say that again if you wanted to hear.

Plus there is a great community of folks at the support forum who are willing to help you.

5. Pricing

Here, Genesis wins, certainly. I’ll let you look at the screenshot rather than me explaining it to you

Thesis pricing:


Just in case you’re wondering what the 1, 2, 3…. are here are the details


Genesis pricing:

Now, the Thesis basic option sounds reasonably low priced, but it doesn’t come with any boxes or other frills except for the Classic skin. And you get only 12 months free upgrades and 12 months support.

You might have mixed opinion since every business and its requirements are different. In my case I have a bunch of sites and I plan to launch a few more sites. So apparently I want more different themes to suit different niches. So I went for the Pro Plus All-Theme package.

But if you have only one site and if you need only one theme, you can buy Genesis framework + 1 child theme.

Now, you can get a 25% member discount on any purchase once you’re a member.

So here’s the hint to avail that discount > Buy Genesis Framework. You will get a “Welcome” email from StudioPress with login details. Now, login and then shop for themes or go for the Pro Plus package to avail membership discount. See the pricing difference below with and without membership discount.

Without membership discount:


With membership discount:


Other major stuff I love about Genesis framework

Well I’ve spoken a lot already about the various features of Genesis in comparison with Thesis, just above.

But what I like the most about Genesis (StudioPress Themes) is they keep up with the changes in the web world. Be it HTML5, Responsiveness, Schema Markup – you name it.

They’ve got it all covered.

I must also say that I was bit afraid when Genesis 2.0 was about to be released :) But to my goodness, the StudioPress team did a big leap indeed with 2.0. Schema markup is now automatic!

And most of the child themes already support HTML5 as we speak!

Since I started using Genesis, I ditched the plugins I was using for mobile responsiveness.

And I find the framework to be very light for the user (suits both advanced and newbie users) yet, has some very advanced functionalities at the backend. And unlike the Thesis options screen, I am not presented with too many complicated things to configure. Genesis settings panel is very simple yet very effective.

And did I mention that Genesis makes your site SEO friendly?

Let me put a big disclaimer here!

This post is not to bash anyone. But I’ve been getting emails from people every day since I switched to Genesis asking why I switched and many have also asked me to write a post about how I feel about the features of Genesis.

I didn’t mean to sound harsh but I’ve just spoken what worked for me and what didn’t work, in this post.

I really hope I answered the questions I received from my readers.

And yes, I highly recommend Genesis and its child themes for all bloggers who want to build a serious business!

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  1. Ankur UpadhyayAnkur Upadhyay says

    Hii Jane,

    I too prefer Genesis over Thesis. I especially like the child themes and there are hundreds of them literally. These child themes vary greatly in design and features and can be used out of the box.
    I have seen a lot of Thesis users having problems with version 2.0. Now, I was never a Thesis user so I don’t know the problem exactly. But there must be some problem if so many persons are complaining at the same time.

    I am currently using Eleven 40 child theme with Genesis framework but want to upgrade to Metro Pro. Will Metro Pro child theme suit my blog? How is Metro Pro Child theme compared to Eleven 40? I must say your blog looks really great on eleven 40.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post with us. :)

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Hey Ankur, changing the child theme is really a personal preference and I cannot comment on that :) But if you ask me, your site looks good on Eleven40.

      The only drawback is that Eleven40 is quite popular (for its clean content presentation) so it is used by many bloggers. So with this theme your blog will look like many other blogs in the blogosphere – and this is why I customized Eleven40 to make it different.

      So in this context yes you can go for Metro. That’s a cool theme as well!

  2. Kulwant says

    Wow !! Such a brilliant article with great comparison and story. :)

    I am very happy to hear that finally you are also on Genesis, and my guarantee that you are going to love it forever. Updating genesis is so easy, just click update button and it will get updated without touching even a single line of code in your child theme.

    Recently they have launched Genesis v2.0, which is out of the box, and I think they are the first in this world who are making child themes HTML 5 and Schema compatible. Schema is a new shift happening in SEO world and they are very well aware about this.

    I was eagerly waiting for Genesis 2.0 and after its launch the very first thing I did was; my blog redesign.

    Many congrats for joining the genesis club. :)
    Kulwant recently posted..How Am I Getting High PR Backlinks Using Scrapebox?My Profile

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Hey Kulwant, yes Genesis 2.0 perfectly caught up with the rest of the world. Be it HTML5, schema mark up – they got it all covered ahead!

      I’m happy to have joined the Genesis club too :)

  3. Aditya Singh says

    Hii Jane,

    I too prefer Thesis. It is got decent look plus more seo friendly. Yes, it is true thesis updates are less but still it good . As Genesis is too common now days. Almost everyone is running the same theme elven40.

    New version on thesis is all awesome as the previous version is having some problem is solved in the new version.

    Thanks For sharing This article.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Hey Aditya good to know you’re happy with Thesis – as I said its a personal preference. I agree with you that Eleven40 is quite common these days, which I why I customized it a bit to change the look :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Tharun says

    Hello Jane Madam,
    That was really an awesome post on your experience. I am very much thankful to your post for your explanation and It would be a tough job to find the best among genesis and thesis frame work.

    Thanks for all your experience, you have given us. Really you have given us many reasons why we need to go for Genesis. I got many points to my brain from your article.
    Tharun recently posted..Tips to Drive More Targeted Traffic To New Blog PostsMy Profile

  5. Rajeesh NairRajeesh Nair says

    I have read and heard a lot of accolades for Genesis Framework but the only thing I miss on Genesis is that StudioPress has a great list of Child Themes that are good for Blog Style but I didn’t like any of its theme fit for a Magazine style. As I am not a developer or designer myself I can’t fix that. But then there’s no benefit of a Magazine style over normal blog style theme but for me its all about satisfaction.

    I am a bit nostalgic when it comes to themes. :)

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Hi Rajeesh, I’m a bit surprised to know that you don’t like any of the child themes at Studiopress. They have a wide variety of collection to suit multiple niches. And of course, there’s a Magazine child theme too.

      But yes, again, liking a theme is totally a personal thing. Thanks for sharing your opinion :)

      • Rajeesh NairRajeesh Nair says

        Hey Jane,

        I am totally in favor of Genesis and I have seen many blogs and bloggers recommending them and those blogs happens to be quick in loading speed and other stuff.. And I agree there are some great Child themes and the Magazine them you might be referring to is the “Metro” I believe.

        Actually Genesis is more about customizing a Child theme into your personalized theme and compared to default WordPress customization options, Genesis gives an easy approach. But again as I said I am not a designer or developer myself so I find it a bit hard to do that.

        But soon I will be teaming with a WordPress theme expert and customizing a theme for myself on Genesis framework and using it..

  6. Enstine Muki says

    Hey Jane,
    I think it’s a correct move you just did.
    One area of any software that must be given adequate time to is update. With the constantly changing WordPress world, lack of frequent updates may be a security issue.

    I started off blogging on Genesis and I don’t think I have plans to switch. You mentioned the fact there are so many variations of themes. Now, this makes it the winner. You can always get what you want no matter the niche.

    I have not used Thesis so I don’t have any opinion about that 😉 However, good luck to you and welcome to the Genesis world
    Enstine Muki recently posted..How to treat your blog like a business!My Profile

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Hey Enstine, yup frequent updates are a must because there are so many things that are changing everyday. And given that WordPress is changing things to suit the “new” web and HTML it is necessary for any WordPress based theme to keep up with the changes.

      Lucky you – you started with Genesis :)

    • Jane Sheeba says

      That’s right George – unless you are willing to spend on hiring a designer, or doing it yourself (if you know coding) you will be disappointed in an attempt to create a good looking site with Thesis.

  7. Jason Mathes says

    Jane, I had to go through the same thing this year. I posted a review as well and did point out the issues with diythemes. I’m definitely not a fan of Thesis.

    Although I do have to disagree about diytheme’s support – the diythemes forums do have some great people that offer support on there. They had always been able to help me out with my silly questions I had.

    Although I miss a lot of the features that Thesis 1.8x had? I don’t find myself missing them that much. Plus the painless update with Genesis over the web makes it that much easier for me to be able to focus on more important things as well!

    I’ve only seen ONE major blogger out there make the switch to Thesis 2.0. And that is Patt Flynn. He has an amazing launch page – but the rest of the blog just doesn’t look right to me. Everyone else? Has pretty much moved on to Genesis or are still using Thesis 1.8x.

    The new site looks great!
    Jason Mathes recently posted..How to Fight Bloggers Who Steal Your ContentMy Profile

  8. Ashish says

    Hello Jane,

    Awesome review of genesis! Well I’ve been a fan of genesis framework since the beginning of my blogging journey and I’m using genesis for my blog’s, The best thing about genesis i liked is “it’s really easy to customize and the themes are really elegant.


  9. Theodore NwangeneTheodore Nwangene says

    Hello Jane,
    This is a very amazing comparison indeed and, i love it. I’ve never used Thesis before so, i will not say much about it but, I’ve been using Genesis for about 6 months now and, i must confess that its so awesome indeed :).

    Every theme out there has its own pros and cons but, from my own personal experience with Genesis and based this post of yours, it still appears to be one of the best.

    Although, what i like might end up being what you hate due to one thing or the other. I also know some people that are using Thesis and, they are also saying lots of awesome stuffs about it.

    Someone like Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, i know that his blog runs on the Thesis framework and, he has said some good things about it so, it all depends on what we want and like.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. shrishshrish says

    Hey Jane,
    Thanks for your review on Genesis themes but i am not going to use it because i am using sahifa theme which is better for ranking in google search. BTW good comparison by you.

  11. Srihari Thalla says

    Hi Jane,

    Interesting case study!! And the site is clean (although I am using AdBlock Plus :P).

    I have been reading Genesis reviews about how powerful it is, customizable, secured, seo-friendly, fast and the support – by authority bloggers like WPBeginner, Yoast and the other. I begin to like this framework and some day, I will be moving over to Genesis.

  12. Ayan says

    Thanks a lot Jane for this post.

    I never used Thesis themes neither Genesis theme but I was curious about Thesis because I read many blogs related to blogging and they all are using Thesis. There templates are awesome and their blog looks stunner which always attracts me. But after navigating through your blog I think is more robust and responsive.

  13. Sagar Desai says

    Hi Jane,

    Really nice comparison between Thesis and Genesis. After reading your post, I realize that I took the right decision of going for Genesis.
    I started my blogging on Genesis and now I don’t plan to switch the theme as it is time taken hectic task.

    I can not comment on Thesis as I have never used it :)

    Read more: Genesis Framework Review And Why I Switched From Thesis To Genesis
    Sagar Desai recently posted..List Of Most Interactive CommentLuv Blogs To Get Free BacklinksMy Profile

  14. Pau says

    Thank you Jane for your in-depth comparison, it is truly helpful! I have been using a free wordpress theme for my sites because I am very new to this, but I was considering buying a professional one in the future and was having doubts between Thesis and Genesis. I have been reading that A LOT of people have switched to Genesis lately. I will definitely go for Genesis when the time comes :)
    Pau recently posted..Image StreamingMy Profile

  15. Nancy BadilloNancy Badillo says

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for providing such a great case study! After reviewing this post, I will definitely try Genesis Themes.

  16. Shiv SaroyaShiv Saroya says

    I have moved all our low & mid range wordpress sites to be based on Genesis now.

    The flexibility of the framework is amazing. Just came across this post while writing an email explaining to a client why we use genesis. Thanks!, also I like you portfolio, very nice.

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