Thesis Theme Vs Genesis: A Detailed Comparison To Help You Decide

Thesis Theme Vs Genesis

Even though there are a number of WordPress frameworks, Thesis and Genesis are the ones which offer great features than any other framework.

These frameworks are efficient and can be used for your extensive publishing purposes.

As I already mentioned last week in one of the weekend read series posts, I moved some of my niche sites and my blogs Jane Sheeba and Tech Buzz Online to Genesis framework (I was using Thesis earlier).

The thought of moving Problogging Success to Genesis is still not in my heart. And I don’t intend to do so.

Coz with Thesis framework I can make my blog look unique while with Genesis, things are easier to configure with child themes. Its a tough decision to make, I know.

That’s why I decided to give these two frameworks a try to be able to see for myself how both these themes perform at various levels. I also wanted to help my readers decide which one should they choose.

Obviously there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. This post will help you to “see” how both these frameworks perform at various aspects and you can then choose depending on which aspect you want more than the others and which one you can compromise.

This is my effort to put before you the strengths and weaknesses of these two frameworks. An unbiased analysis will help you know the merits and demerits to implement for your business needs.

By the way, before you dive in, don’t forget to read my full review of Thesis theme.


  • Both are frameworks.
  • Both are developed by great developers.
  • They load fast.
  • These frameworks are used by serious WordPress users who would like to take maximum advantage from SEO implementations.

Importance of selection of right framework

It is very important to select the most appropriate framework for your blog. You cannot keep on juggling among a set of frameworks as it will cost you much in terms of time, money and effort (trust me, I’ve had it all).

When you switch over to a new framework, the major impact will be on the revenue earning part, and more importantly user experience.

When you change from one framework to another framework you are required to select the appropriate settings in the new framework to get optimum traffic results in terms of SEO.

Hence, you should be careful enough to select the most appropriate framework for your blog.


To install the Thesis framework (aff link), you will need an FTP program plus a set of permissions to install. This cannot be achieved through the Dashboard of WordPress. It is important to follow the instruction carefully otherwise, Thesis framework will not be installed properly.

Compared to Thesis Framework, installation of Genesis is very easy. You can follow the steps mentioned below to achieve the same:

  • WordPress Dashboard -> Appearance -> Themes -> Install Themes -> Upload
  • Select the Genesis Zip file.
  • Follow the same procedure to install the child theme as well (you need to activate the child theme only, not the Genesis framework, if you don’t want the default Genesis theme; but you need to have the Genesis folder in the themes folder of your website in order for the child theme to be functional).
As you can see, installation is very easy with Genesis framework (aff link).

How fast a framework loads

The way a webpage loads in the browser is different from one framework to another framework. However both Thesis and Genesis load faster compared to the other themes. And they are equally competent in this matter.

In order to load a page on the browser, a number of HTML requests are to be processed. These requests include HTML content, CSS styles, background images, Java scripts, etc.

As the number of style sheets is reduced, the page will load faster on the browser. There is cut throat competition between Thesis and Genesis in terms of page load time.

Thesis has a slight edge over Genesis to be precise. Thesis offers options to add additional style sheet for Internet Explorer and the same is not true with Genesis.

Coding and design

Yes you need to know some coding in order to make your blog look professional with Thesis. This is a major downfall, since Thesis itself doesn’t offer any child theme packages as Genesis does.

A fresh Thesis installation will only give you a white blog – a very simple and a clean slate. Thesis indeed wants you to paint your white board as you want it to be.

Thesis Vs Genesis - fresh thesis installation

As a result, with Thesis you can make your blog look the way you want – standing out from the crowd of people using the standard themes/skins or child themes.

However you should be prepared to spend some time or money on it. You need to either know some coding yourself, or you should hire someone who can do it for you. Alternatively you can also opt for skins (I love the ones from Thesisawesome).

When I started Problogging Success on Thesis, I knew ZERO coding. But with the help of Thesis tutorials available online, I tweaked my website and here – what you see now at Problogging Success is designed by me from scratch.

So yes you need to be willing to spend some time or money to make your blog look unique and stand out from the crowd, if you’re a Thesis user.

On the other hand, if you don’t care about standing out and just want to kick start with blogging, Genesis is a sweet option. With a number of Genesis child themes available, you can simply pick one that suits your blog and start blogging.

Also if you know a bit of coding you can customize the Genesis child themes as well – like tweaking the header, fonts, colors etc.

SEO Options

I don’t find a big difference between the SEO options provided by Thesis and Genesis. Both the frameworks offer great room for homepage optimization.

And both frameworks offer additional custom SEO options for every post.

The way the theme structures the site is also so elegant for easy crawling for search engines, in both the frameworks.

It is also possible to set 301 redirects for any post, page or URL.

With both Thesis and Genesis there is no need for a third party SEO plugin.

In my opinion, I will give Genesis an extra score because it has more options to customize single posts and pages – like the layout, custom body and class, custom redirect, custom canonical, custom tracking code – and all these options are much more easier to implement than with Thesis (some options are not available with Thesis).

Thesis Vs Genesis - Genesis post options



No matter what framework you select and to which framework you hook on, it is essential that you should expect a decent support both at current times and in the coming days.

If the framework is supported by a good development team, you will get updates at regular intervals of time.

Both Thesis and Genesis are backed by a noteworthy bunch of developers.

Even though Genesis is backed by a number of support staff, it lags behind in attracting enough community members.

On the other hand, communities around Thesis are bustling with activity. You can find exhaustive tutorials on Thesis. The same is not true with Genesis. But this could be also because users of Genesis are just happy with what the child themes offer.

In addition to the ‘How Tos’, Thesis offers detailed documentation on any hook or filter.

You can find extensive information on various facets of the framework from community members.

Genesis has the advantage of the auto-upgrade feature which gives the least trouble to users. While with Thesis, updating is bit of a PITA. I refer to the step by step tutorial of upgrading every time; and if I do anything slightly wrong, my site breaks down!


Genesis has great prospects to excel in the coming months. The framework has shown tremendous growth in the past six months.

Thesis had shown a consistent track record over the past two years and it is expected that it will grow leaps and bounds in the coming months.

Thesis 1.8 which brought revolutionary changes in the framework with the inclusion of Google Fonts and WordPress Security API will take it a long way and many WordPress users are going to embrace it.

Good documentation and support from community members is a plus point for Thesis’ growth.


The cost of the product is one of the main factors that decides its success. Genesis is comparatively priced lesser than Thesis.

Thesis for personal users costs $87 and developer version costs $164 (developer version is not the client version. Developer version allows you to use Thesis on unlimited sites that you own. For client sites you have to pay extra $40 for each site).


Genesis framework costs $59.95 and and child theme plus framework costs $79.95. Genesis Pro Plus costs $349.95.

Thesis personal option allows you to work on one live website and one local server. Developer’s option allows you to use Thesis on a number of websites owned by a single user. If a developer is working for a client website, he/she can pay $40 for every single client site license.

Genesis framework which costs $59.95 can be used to work on unlimited number of websites whether own or those which belong to a client. Theme plus Genesis Framework allows you to use on unlimited number of sites whether to own sites or client’s sites.

Proplus packages let you use Genesis Framework plus every child theme developed by StudioPress on unlimited number of sites whether they are owned by you or by clients.

So when it comes to pricing, Genesis clearly is a winner in my book.


Genesis and Thesis are undoubtedly the two big giants in the online world helping people to build beautiful and effective websites. With my personal experience in using both these frameworks, all I can say is they are similar at the performance level.

However as a site owner, if you dare not to spend any time and money (apart from buying the framework+child theme/skin) Genesis should be the option for you.

Since Genesis doesn’t want you to go through building your site from scratch, you have everything in position with Genesis framework so that you can simply start blogging.

At the same time, you should be prepared to give up the option to make a unique looking site. Since Genesis offers child themes, unless you spend on a hefty custom design, your site will look pretty much like many other sites that use the same child theme. With Thesis, this is not the case.

So there you have it – now it all depends on what you want. Every person and every business is different. So what I opt will not suit everyone.

If you know what you want, it should be easy for you to make a decision from the detailed comparison I’ve given in this post.

I appreciate your comment as always!

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  1. rakesh kumarrakesh kumar says

    Great comparision, Thank you very much for this detailed question which bother me always , both themework needs child theme, Thus they will increase the loading time of the whole theme. On the other hand a custom build theme can reduce this loading time. And this custom build theme i think will cost lesser then obtaining two licence ie for theme framework + child theme. Am i right ?

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Rakesh, using Child themes (in the case of Genesis) or skins (in the case of Thesis) do not increase page load time. Plus buying a custom build theme means designing your site from scratch – I don’t think it will cost any where near that of buying the framework+child theme – that’s for sure, coz I do custom designing and I charge bulky lol. Custom designing is a lot of work and it will cost much more than you think.

        • Jane Sheeba says

          Hey Reeja,

          As I’ve mentioned in the post, installing Thesis will give you a plain blog. You will need some sort of code or a skin to get some design. I offer Thesis Theme customization as a service; if interested check it out here >>

          If you want to go with one of the well-known existing child themes, but want to launch your blog without touching any code, then you should go for Genesis.

          Let me know what you choose. And I’d appreciate if you could go through my link. Thank you!

      • Neha patelNeha patel says

        hi jane,
        i really love Genesis framework for my all sites and it’s easy to custom when in thesis it’s very difficult for me to some small customization as well as in Genesis eleven40 is my best loving theme for easy to use and easy to custom with my requirement and user friendly. thanks jane for comparison :-)

  2. Jens Berget says

    Hi Jane,

    The details you provide in this post is awesome. I have bought both Thesis and Genesis and I have been using both. Lately, I have switched to Genesis, and that’s mostly because I wanted access to all the pro themes, for one price, and I loved how easy it was to set up and configure. There are a lot of benetifts with Thesis, but to me, switching to Genesis has been one of my best business moves :)

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Yes Jens, I can totally see your point. When you want to get along and just blog, Genesis is a sweet option since you don’t have to spend time and effort in customizing things.

  3. Rahul kuntalaRahul kuntala says

    Hello Jane

    First off, I congrat you for writing a detailed comparison between Thesis and Genesis. And, really creative pic for this article, too cool(can’t say who is more beautiful – that’s what this article really needs) :)

    While taking money into consideration, Genesis is the best framework. If you know the coding, Thesis can make you stand out from the crowd. I think it can be done even with Genesis too, yet Thesis is more effective.

    Currently I’m using Thesis for my blog. I too don’t know much coding, learning it from the scratch.

    BTW its tough to write an article on this topic, you’ve managed it well as usual and left the decision to us 😛

  4. Shalu SharmaShalu Sharma says

    Brilliant comparison between the themes. Till now I was confused and torn between the 2. Its a difficult one. Thesis is slightly more expensive compared to other. So if one is on budget Genesis is the best option. But Thesis theme is the professional bloggers first choice. Thank you for this review, I am more included towards Thesis now.

  5. Bharat ChowdaryBharat Chowdary says

    Hi Jane, I just managed to make brief comparison of Thesis vs Genesis frameworks, you really worked on this thing and the result is awesome.

  6. Jeremy RugglesJeremy Ruggles says

    Hey Jane,

    Both of these themes rock! I am a fairly new blogger, but I have seen and been told by experienced bloggers that Genesis and Thesis are the two best WP themes is you are serious about blogging.

    Thanks for the info!


  7. Oliver TausendOliver Tausend says

    Hi Jane,

    thanks for putting this comparison together. At the moment, I see many advantages for Genesis – starting with the pricing. For unexerienced users it seems to be less complicated too.

    Take care


  8. Rizwan SultanRizwan Sultan says

    Hey Jane

    Very detailed comparison indeed both have almost same but I think Genesis give more support to SEOs.

  9. Trung NguyenTrung Nguyen says

    I love Genesis, this is a very simple, fast and awesome wordpress framework theme, of course, the choice is yours, just wants to say my thinking :)

  10. ElenaElena says

    Hi, Jane. I’m back from a small vacation, is good to read you again. I want to give my two cents about this article: it’s something I don’t like about the Genesis Framework – I don’t have unlimited site adjustments and I can’t change certain features.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Elena, sure if you’re a gal who wants a lot of customization (that’s my kind by the way :)) Thesis is the go-to option.

      BTW: How was your vacation? Hope you had a great time!

  11. Kostas says

    Hi Jane,
    Nice review of the best wordpress themes avalaible, I personally use thesis but I know that genesis is great too. The only problem that thesis has it’s that it’s not so easy to configure it and as you said updates are certainly not a piece of cake. If you could upgrade automatically it would be way better but anyway we cannot have everything in life…
    Kostas recently posted..Free WordPress Installation Service – Start Blogging NowMy Profile

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Kostas, that’s for sure. Apart from the difficulty with customizing, Thesis has a major minus – the inability to do one-click upgrades via WP dash. May be the next update of Thesis takes care of this!

  12. PrakashPrakash says

    Hi Jane,
    Both the themes are nice. I am using genesis also and confusing about what to use in my other blogs and searching for it these days. This is nice post about this……

  13. Ileane says

    Hi Jane, I appreciate you for taking the time to write this comparison. I’m a Thesis fan but if it wasn’t for Hesham and Thesis Awesome I would give Genesis a try. There is one point about SEO that I wanted to mention. A lot of people like to use the Yoast SEO plugin and if you do, you should go with Genesis. I’m not sure I understand all of the details behind it but I heard this from Yoast when I interviewed him.
    Thanks for the post Jane.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Yes, Ileane, I too have heard that SEO should not be integrated within the theme and it should be an external plugin. I have mixed thoughts about this though!

  14. BishwajeetBishwajeet says

    What about a much sexier option(after watching these two hawt ladies out there 😛 ) ?? 😛 Any fans of Elegant Themes out here? I have used some of their themes and quite impressed by them. Or you can use Themeforest to get some real awesome themes at super cheap prices.
    Any theme can be optimized for SEO and I don’t believe in the myth that certain themes are good for SEO. #justmy2cents

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Bishwajeet sure there are lots of options out there when it comes to premium WP themes. I’ve also used Elegant themes and themes from Theme forest, but I can’t really compare those for Thesis or Genesis.

      And, SEO optimized themes are no myth. Being able to optimize homepage, posts and pages for search engines, clean coding, site structure and many other aspects count for SEO.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  15. AzamAzam says

    A professional comparison of two frame works. We can get either of them but if there is any coupon facility for the customers.

  16. kimberlykimberly says

    Hi Jane,
    We keep hearing about genesis and thesis themes always. But many of us might not be aware of the exact differences between the both. You have compared them well. For small site developers who develop multiple sites, genesis is the best option due to the cost. But some people who prefer great degree of customization in the appearance. they can go for thesis. I vote for genesis.

  17. mattmatt says

    Hi Jane, I am using genesis framework on some of my blogs so far I don’t have any problem with it. I haven’t tried thesis but hopefully if I will create a new one then I try it for a change.

  18. JohnJohn says

    Very good comparison. I’ve run sites on both Thesis and Genesis. Currently, the majority of my sites are running Genesis, simply because I am not good at coding at all and I really like the Genesis child themes. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either framework. Both are rock solid.

  19. Chris OlbeksonChris Olbekson says

    Thanks for the in depth reviews. And I guess either way you win right. Do a side by side comparison of two products and make affiliate money either way. Sorry to be such an ass but every comment has a link to the commenters own affiliate based theme review recommendations. I have nothing against affiliate marketing but at least try to provide some useful content along with it.

    The title of this post should be: Thesis Theme Vs Genesis: A Detailed Comparison To Help You Decide. Either way I’m getting paid.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      That’s right Chris, either way I get paid. Why not? I’ve spent money to try out both the themes – and have presented my honest opinion (from my point of view). Since I have not found anything negative with both the themes so I don’t have a problem in giving my aff link of these two products. I’m happy with them and I recommend them!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  20. akhilendra says

    You rightly pointed out that manual customization through codes could be an issue for a blogger who neither have those skill nor is interested in acquiring them. For these bloggers, Genesis could be a better option.

    I use Thesis and i m quite happy with it.

    Thesis offer better customization and it doesn’t take much to learn the customization due to abundance of resources available on internet.

    Also, one can get thesis skins to further improve the look and feel of the blog.
    akhilendra recently posted..Why You Cannot Ignore Email Marketing?My Profile

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Yes Akhil – its a matter of preference. To be honest I use BOTH Thesis and Genesis on my blogs (I have a bunch of blogs :)) and I’m quite happy with BOTH of them.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Yes Alex, its actually a matter of preference. Some don’t mind their blog looking like other blogs with a standard Genesis child theme. And they probably also don’t know how to custom code their theme and they’re not willing to pay additional money to a designer. For them Genesis is really great – I have Genesis with a few of my sites.

      If you’re good at coding or if you’re willing to spend money on a custom design and if you want a custom looking blog/website, then Thesis is the best option :)

      Thanks for stopping by Alex!

  21. Deepak MehraDeepak Mehra says

    HI Jane,

    These information really impressive and useful for me!! I much needed to this type of theme!! I will defiantly try it.

    Thanks for share with me!!

  22. Temilola Globalwalyy says

    Thesis or genesis, i think the scores is yet to be settled, but i was asked to choose one, i would probably go for genesis.. With lots of crowd using genesis its easy to see who have experience the problem you are currently facing, and that will make it easy for your problem to be easily solved without sweat….
    But when it come to SEO, I really don’t know which one i should Go for, because both of them are surely Good when it comes to SEO.

    Thanks for sharing your honest reviews, this will surely benefits thousands of Bloggers out there..

    Best Regards
    Temilola Globalwalyy recently posted..Maintaining Flawless Skin by Taking Care of Overall HealthMy Profile

  23. Mohamed ShajidMohamed Shajid says

    Actually Thesis Frameworks relys on major developers for mostly SEO. Genesis also same kind of that purposes of SEO. But Genesis Framework is better than thesis from my consideration in blogging and also Perfect On-Page SEO. Thesis Little higher cost. Nice layouts good SEO stuffs and all. but i hate it due to Bugs on Thesis 2.0

    Mohamed Shajid

  24. Jon says

    I am a Genesis user and I am very happy with the performance of this excellent theme. I did use Thesis a couple years ago. What concerns me about Thesis is that it took them forever to come out with their latest update, and I do not want to run my business from a platform that is trying to catch up.

  25. PaulPaul says

    Hi Jane

    Believe me am completely elated, with the level of information you have shared here, am actually in the process of building a new niche site, and i was opportuned to learn from a well experience internet marketer, though his recommendations was Thesis, but after reading through your post, i think i have decided to go with Genesis, due to the fact that am not a programmer. Though i can see that thesis frame work will give you greater control, but it’s tailored towards programmer. But i can still give it a try if i can find resources to learn how to code a little.

    Thanks for this great post.

  26. Shalonda Gordon says

    Greetings Jane, This post helped me out significantly.. as I just placed Genesis on a new blog.. yet placed Thesis on my older blog. I’m loving Thesis and I’m thinking about changing the Genesis on the new blog to Thesis… I felt I wanted more information prior to making my final decision.. and BAM.. your post.. I’m ready to decide.. thank you.. keep smiling

  27. Mahendra Kumar says

    I feel Genesis is the best. Its SEO helps you to get your post to a good ranking in Google and other Search engines. You don’t have to submit each and every page when it is published.

  28. Anup Deb Roy says

    First of all thanks Jane for this informative article actually i am looking for this topics from last few days found this post by google. very good comparison

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