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 Merry Relationships 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.
- 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).
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.
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.
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).
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!