Moving to WooThemes

So the last post before I lost the site was how I had moved this site from Thesis Themes to WooThemes (Canvas). I’ll most likely be moving some old sites to WooThemes and most new sites that will be created/is in development will be using WooThemes instead. And as this move was not part of the backup, here I am writing about it again.

The last cached version didn’t really go into the hows and the whys, so I thought I’d flesh things out a bit. So why am I switching frameworks?

The Cons about Thesis:

  • Thesis 2 had launched recently. It feels like a totally new framework. It has a lot of great things going for it. Unfortunately, most of these are/feels fairly technical. While I can write a bit of code myself, I do not consider myself a developer. Learning and then moving everything over to 2.0 is possible, but it will take a whole lot longer for me. I really don’t have the time.
  • I understand that Thesis 2 is still new, but again, I don’t have time to wait for it to settle in and have available all the plugins and skins that I will need.. like right now.
  • There is currently no clean upgrade path from Thesis 1.85 to 2.0. Again, this is a problem with that time thing.
  • I do not create all that many sites anymore and only have a few here and there. So the out-of-the-box-SEO benefit of Thesis no longer matters that much. Since I only have a handful of sites now, I have the time to tweak and manage the necessary plugins for the non-Thesis sites to fill in the gaps.
  • I don’t like how Thesis has functionality that overlaps what WP core does. An example would be the featured image functionality. This has caused some headaches on my end. Integration is not it’s strong point.
  • Most of my current Thesis sites are using 1.85. DIYThemes say they will continue to update and support the 1.x versions right now, but what about the future? WP will continue to evolve. With Thesis 2 being worked on, will 1.85 be kept up with? Where is it in the priority scale? I don’t like this uncertainty.

The Pros about WooThemes:

  • The theme I am primarily (almost exclusively) working with is the Canvas theme. It’s very easy to use with and is super intuitive. At this point, my requirements for the functionality of the site is basic. So as long as the foundation is solid, being able to “skin” it with custom CSS is good enough for me.
  • As mentioned previously, I don’t create all that many sites for myself anymore. I also am extremely picky in taking on freelance web design projects, so I don’t have to worry about that either. Now, I have the time to focus on just a handful of sites and I can keep things lightweight by just downloading the plugins for the functionality that I need.
  • WooThemes has terrific support and a great community. Things are constantly being updated and I can get the help when I need it. I feel like they will be around forever. It gives me a nice feeling of security.
  • My main reason for my move to WooThemes as opposed to other frameworks (Headway, Genesis, Catalyst) is that my primary source of income is from the sites/brands that currently sell things or will do so in the future. The shopping cart platform that I use is WooCommerce which is actively developed by WooThemes. They have fantastic plugins for the shopping cart and really fantastic support. So why wouldn’t I buy the themes from the creators of the shopping cart platform that I use? Integration between the two is seamless and easy. I like that!

So there you have it. These are the main reason for the switch. Of course it’s not to say that I am giving up on Thesis forever. I am just pursuing other options that make more sense to me given my changing business model. AnnAgain.com will most likely be the Thesis 2 playground once their documentation is more complete and as soon as I find the time to do so.

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