Local Community

How to Update Thesis?

I’m new to Wordpress, and I’m trying to take over maintenance of an existing blog. It uses the Thesis theme.

However, it appears that Thesis has been retired, or sold, or something. The only site I can find is -

  • which states confusingly:

“We do not sell Thesis directly, but you’ll be happy to know that **Thesis technology is included in the Focus WordPress Theme”

Is Thesis dead? Can I use Focus to update my Thesis blog?

Would appreciate some help on this. Thanks in advance.

I’ve never used Thesis, but it looks like some kind of abstraction layer built on top of WordPress.

Since it looks like a custom way of interacting with WordPress content, I’d recommend reaching out to the Thesis community. From the website homepage, it looks like whoever purchased the Focus theme (the original developer? the site owner?) should have a login for that forum:

Once you become a Focus customer, you’ll gain access to the DIYthemes forums and an entire community of people who are focused on getting the most out of their websites.

Thank you - I’m a Wordpress novice, but I’m pretty sure Thesis is (was?) a “custom theme,” as I understand that concept. Note that Thesis is reviewed (and described) in detail here:

However, Thesis seems to have vanished as a purchasable custom theme, and perhaps has been superseded by “Focus”? That’s what I’m trying to get a handle on. I’m not sure I want to spend $87 for a license to Focus just to get that question answered, and I’m not sure I want to use Focus as the “new” theme when I update Thesis on my current site.

I just want to understand - what the heck happened to Thesis?

Note that this page states “This is the Thesis pricing page that was active from March 29, 2008, through January 25, 2019,” which suggests that it was no longer updated/sold after January 2019. https://diythemes.com/plans/

Any additional help on this would be appreciated, since I’m really struggling!

I think that it doesn’t really exist as a business entity due to various licensing questions. For more backstory, you might take a look a this blog post by Mark Jaquith:

I can’t really say what the best way to go is for you and this site. I know that you’re just dipping your toes into WordPress, and this site sounds like it might be a tricky one to be given.

Still, maybe you thrive on being thrown in the deep end? :smiley:

My gut reaction would be to try and move away from the theme for this site, but that will be dictated by a bunch of external factors.

I would start by asking yourself a few things about this project:

  1. As the new maintainer of the site, what does that entail? Simple things like writing new blog posts, or more advanced things like updates to the theme, or integrating more advanced features?

    If you’re just writing new posts, maybe you can get away with the status quo. If you are doing more advanced things, then eventually the lack of theme support will likely trip you up.

  2. I’m assuming this is for a paying client – do you think they have the bandwidth to pay for a re-design? Are you able to pitch and sell them on the work needed to make the site not rely on Thesis?

    You might be able to work on the site for a while and get a feel for where the pain points are and then use that to make the case for a re-design. Something like “I did this work which should have taken only an hour, but because of ___ it ended up taking 3 hours.”

Hope that helps give you more to think of! Good luck!