Thesis, Headway, Thematic and Hybrid: WordPress systems, Part 1

NB: we note for the record that this blog – and particularly this discussion – are currently running the K2 theme – in order to approximate a neutral forum.

Remarkablogger has a post and thread about the respective virtues of the Thesis Theme and the new Headway Theme. If you’re considering using either theme system, read Meet Headway: The Next Evolution in WordPress Themes, and make sure to read the discussion in the comments.

Also:¬† John Haydon switched from Thesis to Headway, and that’s a post worth reading.

One aspect of Thesis is, to my mind, beyond debate. Brilliant designers use it do brilliant work, and swear by it. An excellent example: Lisa Firke (HitThoseKeys and the Wild Keys blog, Lisa’s portfolio here). If that doesn’t persuade you, here’s the Thesis Gallery Showcase.

There’s no question that Thesis is a powerful tool in the hands of skilled designers. One question on the table is – what are the better choices of WordPress systems/tools given user skills and learning abilities?

I’d like to make several points and disclosures:

  • I’m a paid-up, true-believer Thesis user; but certain of its capabilities depend on coding skills that I don’t have; that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been able to do more with Thesis than with other themes, paid and not – but my limitations become limitations on the use of the theme; I’ve also paid for Ian Stewart’s work and Justin Tadlock’s. I’ve started (and manage) more than a dozen sites on the WordPress platform, and all of them are works in progress – I haven’t gotten any of them exactly where I want them¬† – in part because I have very limited (read = zero) graphic design/photography skills.
  • I think this might be a more interesting conversation if it were a comparison between Thesis, Headway, and the work of two other developers:

Ian Stewart’s Thematic system: the Thematic base (or “parent”) is free, and the various “child” themes – built by a growing number of designers, range from free to perhaps $30 – making the cost of experimentation lower. (Gallery of “child” themes here; Stewart’s outstanding WordPress blog, WPAZO, is not to be missed.

What we’re talking about here are WordPress systems – which is why it doesn’t make sense to compare them to, for instance, the work of Brian Gardner, whose brilliant themes are more or less out-of-the-box – there are many variations – but the range of customizability is limited.

In Part II – more about Ian Stewart’s Thematic system – and the work of Justin Tadlock – the Hybrid WordPress Theme Framework..

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2 Responses to “Thesis, Headway, Thematic and Hybrid: WordPress systems, Part 1”

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  1. diamondTearz says:

    Great! I’m ready to hear about this. I’m sitting on the Hybrid-News theme right now but wonder if there might be something new/better.

  2. Lisa Firke says:

    Thank you for the compliments about my work.

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