Making the Switch – Is It Time To Upgrade To Thesis 2.0?

DIYThemes Thesis HomeThis is the first of a series of seven articles on Thesis 2.0 by DIYThemes. You can read our full review on the new DIY Thesis here.

If you have used Thesis by DIYThemes in the past, you know that it is a very powerful and flexible tool that can make managing websites a whole lot easier.  DIY has made a great deal of improvements with Thesis 2.0, and if you’re using Thesis 1.8.5 you might be considering upgrading now to gain the new benefits available to you.

Upgrading right away though isn’t always the best course of action, so in this article I’m going to go over some of the reasons to upgrade, the benefits, and any potential problems you might run into.

For some users it could be better to wait and upgrade in a few months.

For others of you, changing your blog over now may be the way to go.

If you are new to Thesis, you’ll be starting off with a terrific new framework.

Reasons to Upgrade

The new framework is undoubtedly simpler to use than it was in the past, and just as important, it’s also more powerful.

One of the main benefits to upgrading is the new skinning engine itself.

If you’re not a very experienced designer and you don’t like to deal with raw code very much, this new system is going to be a lot easier for you to work with.  With the old Thesis framework, you could create theme that was completely original to your website.  But to do this, you needed to be familiar with some coding to create your own original theme.  Now pages are all created and managed with simple drag-and-drop actions.

As the people at DIYThemes put it, they convert your mouse clicks into code.

Besides being easier to use in general, there are also new features coming with the new Thesis 2.0, such as Boxes.

These new Boxes are meant to replace or at least compliment WordPress plugins.  This is really great because when you have the option to use a Box over a plugin you can be sure that it will have perfect compatibility with your Thesis pages.  If you’ve ever had problems with your website because the plugins you’ve installed are incompatible with each other or with your theme, you know that this is a major bonus.

They promise many Boxes are on the way in the near future.

Finally, now that the company has moved on to this new version of Thesis, you are much more likely to see improvements and fixes made to 2.0 than to 1.8.5.

They say they are continuing to support the old Thesis, but if you want to keep up with trends and be on the cutting edge, the future is with Thesis 2.0.

Reasons to Wait

There are several reasons a person might not want to upgrade from 1.8.5 to 2.0 right away, and in fact, the folks at DIYthemes don’t recommend making the switch immediately for certain users.

They are working to provide higher compatibility between versions and an upgrade path that will make sure you don’t wind up seeing anything not working after you have upgraded.  If you don’t want to risk running into problems, it’s best to wait.

In addition to that, some of the Thesis 2.0 features aren’t quite ready for prime time at the moment, so you’re not going to be able to get the most out of things right away even if you do upgrade.  Boxes are still in development, and the feature feels more like a promise in its current state than something you can use right now.

As time passes not only will DIYthemes and Thesis itself provide more features for the framework, but the community will move over to the new system and third-party development will pick up.

This always takes a bit of time with any type of software, but a few months from now you are likely to see a lot more skins and Boxes available to you, and in a year there is no telling how strong development will be.

Our Recommendation

Things are only going to get better with time, so for most users it is probably not urgent to upgrade for any reason outside of the streamlined new skin editor.  It’s a good idea to wait for bugs to be worked out and for new features to mature, but don’t let that stop you if you are excited to get hands-on with the editor and start creating new designs.


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About Beth Kelley

Beth Kelley is one of the editors of She has worked with WordPress blogs since 2002. One of her joys is sharing interesting and useful information with others and helping them make the most out of their blogs. Connect with Beth on her Google+ page.


  1. Hi Beth,

    I’m still running Thesis 1.8.5 – do you have any new information about converting? Do you have any suggestions for someone who might be able to help us convert?


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