This article on Thesis 2.0 Boxes is the second in a series of 7 articles on the new DIYThemes Thesis 2.0. Our review on the new DIYThesis is here.
WordPress plugins have been the number one driving force behind its huge success, and the reason that the platform can be so powerful as to seem unlimited in what can be accomplished.
The only trouble with plugins is that they sometimes require a lot of jury-rigging to get up and running, and have to be regularly updated to keep compatible with current versions of WordPress itself.
If you have a lot of plugins, things can get fairly complicated, and if the plugin authors don’t update their code frequently you’ll find many just stop working over time.
Thesis 2.0 offers many unique features to make life with WordPress easier for those who are not exactly world-class programmers, and the folks at DIYthemes are attempting to solve plugins for us in two different ways, using their new model of Thesis 2.0 Boxes.
How Are Boxes Better Than Plugins?
The difference is somewhat subtle, but there are definitely advantages to using boxes over plugins with your own Thesis 2.0 websites. Below are a couple of the ways that this idea seeks to improve the experience of extending a website’s power.
- By enabling very simple activation and customization for all Boxes, similar to the existing Widget system, but with a bit more flexibility and guaranteed compatibility with any Thesis 2.0 Skin.
- By virtue of the fact that these Boxes are a part of the Thesis 2.0 framework itself, they and your website are always updated as one complete and harmonious self, which is perhaps the greatest advantage of all.
Of course, boxes cannot yet (and will almost definitely never) rival the sheer scope of options out there when it comes to plugins, but if a box is available to do something that could be done with a plugin, the box will almost surely be the better choice for use with a Thesis 2.0 website.
What Are Boxes?
Boxes are slightly ambiguous at the moment, but the general idea is that they will add new features and functionality to your website. There is no reason to believe that boxes will be limited, so anything a plugin can do, a box should be able to do with greater efficiency.
Unfortunately, no boxes are currently available. DIYthemes promises that they are on the way and there will be a lot of support for them, but you may have to wait a while longer to check them out.
Can You Use WordPress Plugins with Thesis 2.0?
Definitely, and for the time being that is still the best option. In the near future we should start to see a lot of boxes in development, but it’s going to take a bit of time for the box model to be adopted and right now you will continue to use your favorite WordPress plugins as usual.
Even in the future, plugins will probably still be a part of your website, especially if you have a lot of very complicated features. There are thousands upon thousands of plugins out there, and I wouldn’t ever expect to be able to say the same for boxes.
On the other hand, more is not always better, and if the box model really does gain traction with third party developers it will be great to have a bit more quality assurance in place.
Sometimes being presented with dozens of plugins that all do the same thing is a bit of a chore, and many become broken or work in very inconsistent ways. Boxes should not have these kinds of problems at all.
Something To Look Forward To
Though they are not making a big impact yet, boxes really stand to shake things up and make Thesis 2.0 a very wise and easy choice over any of its competitors. It’s hard to recommend a product based on a promised feature, but the prospect of boxes is so great that it seems to be worth getting excited about.