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Mom Loves You Best… A WordPress Theme Dilemma?

I was going to wait and make my big announcement once my new and improved website was in place so that you could see exactly what I was talking about. But after reading the comments section on one of Chris Brogan’s latest posts , I felt compelled to write now.
This is all about a new WordPress Theme and an older WordPress Theme.  Headway and Thesis.

My current site, the one you’re on right now(before 8/10/2009), is built with the Thesis theme.  I, like Mr. Brogan, love Thesis. When I moved my site from a free service, I knew I wanted to use WordPress and build a ‘blogsite’ rather than a traditional website. There were many reasons that I won’t go into here, because that’s not why I’m writing today. I needed a theme that would allow me to customize, because being the girly geek I am, I get an idea of what I want in my head and I’m not happy until I can get it done. Someone suggested that Thesis was the best theme out there for the job.  So I bought it.
That was no small thing for me, buying a theme when there were lots of free ones out there.  But I soon found out it was worth it.  With a bit of time spent in the Thesis forums, I managed to pull this website together. And I’m pretty proud of it.

But. You knew there was a but coming didn’t you?
I’m switching from Thesis to Headway. In fact, I’m even switching my hosting service to do so.

Why would I do that  if Thesis has made me happy and I’ve learned to do what I want with it through a bit of CSS coding?  Because I love to change things, a lot. And I’m getting busier every day with client work, my own projects and teaching classes at SPU. Which is very good. Headway offers me an easier way to customize, give my website a completely different look as often as I want, without a lot of CSS coding.  In fact, if I wasn’t such a girly geek, I could do it without the coding at all.
The entire leaf system, allowing me to drag and drop components, including widgetized sidebars, change the orientations so that a sidebar becomes a widgetized footer, is so easy, even easier than dropping code into OpenHook for Thesis.  I’m a woman, I change my mind about where I want things.  The same way I want to move the furniture around in my living room, I want to be able to move components around on my webpage.  Or add new ones when the need arises.  The ease and flexibility of Headway allows me to do all of that right from the WordPress Dashboard with just a few simple clicks.
It is very, very different from Thesis, or anything else I’ve ever seen or worked with.  So, what about all of that heated discussion stuff in the comment section of Mr. Brogan’s post?
Honestly, I was very surprised and disappointed to see that the Thesis people were rather accusing of the Headway folk.  The whole mention of the fact that many of us singing the praises of Headway were in the Thesis forums was said as if we (or they) were there to rip them off.  I don’t believe that.  I think that they are all like me.  We’ve all used Thesis. We all loved Thesis.  And heck, I’ve even sung the praises of Thesis here, there and everywhere.  None of us are saying Thesis isn’t still a GREAT theme.  We’re just saying that there’s something else out there that’s different and in this case, better for us.
I hate the fact that it seems to have to be an us against them mentality.  I understand that there is going to be an immediate comparison between Thesis and Headway because Thesis has been the reigning king of themes for awhile and people are going to want to know how Headway stacks up right?  But I don’t think that means that Headway is specifically marketing to ‘steal’ Thesis thunder. I think they are just addressing the questions that come naturally.  And yes, if you’re someone like me, looking for the things that I need from a theme, Headway kicks butt.
Both themes should be able to co-exist peacefully.

By the way, the someone who convinced me to purchase the Thesis theme?  One of the Headway folk. I know they have respect for Thesis and I would hope Thesis folk could have the same for them.

As I used to tell my children,  you’re both different and that allows me to love you both at the same time.

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Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.

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