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Genesis Framework vs. Thesis Framework: The Comparison That Matters

June 22, 2016

7 Min Read
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Today, we are going to take part in the long debated topic of choosing the best WordPress framework between Genesis Framework and Thesis Framework. Both the frameworks have a huge fan following and in fact both Genesis and Thesis have their plus points, benefits, and blog requirement based features.

Genesis Framework vs. Thesis Framework

Genesis vs. Thesis is a huge topic and it is not an easy picking. You have to go through the features of both of them in order to pick one. I would never say that either of these options is the worst choice. But, it depends on various features and points that need to be discussed before we finalize which an option you are going to choose.

50+ Best Frameworks for WordPress Theme Development

So, let’s start the comprehensive comparison between Genesis Framework and Thesis themes.

Loading Speed

Loading Speed

Speed is an important factor for any website. We see many themes slowing down when loaded with plugins and huge amount of data. In today’s fast speeding internet world if a user visits a website which is slow, they may not visit it again. Loading procedure of both of these is totally different as Genesis loads in traditional WordPress way, i.e. using different templates for header, sidebar, and footer etc., whereas Thesis does not uses this same method. But still both of these are extraordinarily fast loading.

So, let’s break down into the speed comparison.

Loading Speed Test

GTmetrix is one of the popular speed testing tools that tells the reason of slow performance pages reason and does it in a rating style. For comparison, we are going to run fresh WordPress install with Genesis and Thesis. In our test, we found:

  • Genesis scored 3 seconds loading time
  • Thesis scored 2.5 seconds loading time.

So, we can see Thesis is slightly faster than Genesis. However, it shows both of the frameworks will require some type of optimization technique to beat the loading time of 2 seconds.

Winner: Thesis

Skin Options

Skin Options

Having various skin options is a crucial feature that bloggers think of while choosing a theme. Let’s look into what skin options both of these competitors offer to the users.

Thesis

Thesis framework does not include themes for users. So, we have to look to third-party skins and themes. I would prefer you to go for Themedy because it offers awesome Thesis themes which can be used in all categories like WooCommerce website, Individual, Product Launch, and others.

Genesis

When you buy Genesis Framework, you have the option to purchase its child themes as well. The best part is that there is a vast collection of Genesis Child themes made by StudioPress itself. This means these themes are updated and tested for end-users.

There are third-party child theme developers as well for Genesis. With time, there are child themes for every niche of the web for example: Creative Types, Bloggers, Photographers, Businesses, WooCommerce Stores, and many more.

Winner: Genesis Framework

Difficulty in Usage

2 – Customization made easy and safe

You might be wasting time if a theme is asking for too much effort and time. A framework is there to help you out is usage. So, if a framework is not providing you ease-of-use, then you might be rethinking your choices. Let’s look into usage difficulty level of Genesis and Thesis:

Genesis

If you are a blogger who is running few blogs, you will need a simple framework like Genesis. You just have to install the framework, followed by a child theme, and you are ready to publish.

Thesis

Thesis, on the other hand, had lost many users due to the difficulty level of theme usage. Some people were experts in blogging, but they could not keep up the changing pace of Thesis and shifted to other options. Thesis 2 was supposed to be more awesome than the previous one. Although it is technical and strong, it is quite difficult to understand.

Winner: Genesis Framework

SEO

SEO-friendly website is one of the priority demands of any blogger. Both Genesis and Thesis offer a good SEO support. Let’s take a look.

Genesis

Genesis offers great SEO control over your website. You can fully configure what goes in the head of your web page. Also, you can set H1 tag to your homepage sections, robot meta control (noindex and nofollow pages), and URL control as well.

You can customize title tags, meta descriptions and add custom meta tags as well. All these features help bring great SEO power in Genesis framework.

Thesis

Although Thesis provides good SEO features but still there are some lacking, like you don’t have greater control over the document head. You can also 301 redirect of any post or page to a URL and also have access to robot meta control.

Although both Genesis and Thesis are good with SEO, Genesis is a bit better than Thesis.

Winner: Genesis Framework

Designing

Let’s look into design features that both these framework provide.

Genesis

With its awesome child theme collection, you can call Genesis the best Designing options. There are literally child themes for every niche that you would want to go for. The best part is that you can customize every theme into the look you want it to be. Theme Chooser tool by StudioPress helps you to pick the right theme for your requirements.

Thesis

Thesis offers a Drag-and-Drop feature in the options panel to its users. This was introduced in Thesis 2.0. It helps users with creating a design of your choice.

Although Thesis provide good control over the design in its panel, but yet Genesis beats it up by giving more control over child themes.

Winner: Genesis Framework

Plugins

Plugins enhances functionality of WordPress blogs and websites. However, not all plugins behave properly. Therefore, specially-made plugins matter when it comes to framework usage. Let’s compare how Genesis fares with Thesis in this department.

Genesis

Genesis Framework popularity can be known by the fact that there is a huge list of plugins that are made especially for this framework. Top Genesis plugins include: Genesis Connect for WooCommerce, Genesis Optimized Social Share, Genesis Footer Builder, and many more.

Thesis

Although most plugins are supported by Thesis as well, but yet there are limitations. Unlike Genesis, there are not many Thesis specific plugins.

Winner: Genesis Framework

Pricing

For many, this can be the decision maker. For a blogger who is running a few success blogs, every dollar matters.

Genesis

The best thing about Genesis’ pricing is its unlimited usage. It does not matter if a user picks the framework or a package, there is no per-website limitation on usage.

  • Genesis Framework: $59.95 (unlimited usage)
  • Genesis Pro Plus Package: $499.95 (unlimited usages with all StudioPress child themes included)

Thesis

The pricing for Thesis Framework is tricky.

  • Thesis Basic Package  $87 (only one website)
  • Thesis Professional Package $197 (unlimited website)

Winner: Genesis Framework

Documentation & Support

While many decide over pricing, a good decision could only be made on the basis of support. Buying something is easy. Using it is the real game. Will Thesis be better in documentation and support? Let’s see.

GenesisIt is a general rule that if one thing is used more than the other. It will have more support and documentation as well. Genesis offers the clean and helpful knowledgebase. Forums also add to the support of Genesis.

You can find third party support from various sources like Genesis ones, Bran Gardner tutorials, and ay others.

Thesis

Thesis provides also a comprehensive user manual for help. Thesis 2.0 at the time of release had no documentation first, which caused a major loss of customers for Thesis Framework. But, now they have added a good support and documentation.

Winner: Tie (both provide equal support)

Popularity

bloggers

To find the best choice for us, we must also look at what market gurus and professionals are choosing for them. When choosing a premium theme framework, it is important that you look at the top bloggers using those themes.

There was once a time when Genesis and Thesis were a close contest; however, it seems Thesis is losing steam as it is not easy-to-use anymore.The framework has lost major love to Genesis. Syed Balkhi, Darren Rowse, Neil Patel, Harsh Agarwal, Brian Clark, and many professional bloggers prefer using Genesis over Thesis.

The biggest case of conversion: Wp Beginner. Let’s discuss few reasons why they shifted from Thesis to Genesis:

  • With the release of Thesis 2.0, it was even difficult for bloggers to understand and implement new things. Genesis has far more ease of use for users.
  • Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s webspam team. And he also switched from Thesis to Genesis.
  • Matt Mullenweg (Founder WordPress) and Mark Jaquith (Developer, WordPress) are also supporting Genesis Framework.

Thesis did not add ease in its latest versions and caused more people to shift from Thesis to Genesis.

Winner: Genesis Framework

Our recommendation

As we have gone through a detailed review of both these frameworks. I have no doubt in saying that I would recommend Genesis framework for my websites. It is very cheap when compared to Thesis. Thesis is awesome, but the 2.0 version is a little difficult to use and understand.  Unless you are not a person of adventurous development, it is best to start with Genesis.

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Danish Ashrafi

Danish was a WordPress Community Expert at Cloudways - A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform. He loves helping out WordPress beginners and solving their problems. His passions takes up his free time as well and he spends time designing, developing and learning new stuff. You can email him at danish.ashrafi@cloudways.com

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