Surveying the WordPress theme spectrum

Thesis, Headway, Genesis, Elegant

One of the great things about WordPress® is the ability to easily change the look and feel of a site by trying out different themes. There are thousands of available themes from multiple sources, spanning a huge range of design styles. Themes were first introduced into WordPress back in 2005, and have become a cottage industry unto themselves.

Elaine Griffin, on her blog The Laine List (subtitle: “Because I’m Kicking Life in the Ass”), has grabbed five of the most popular themes and taken them out for a spin. Elaine dug into Thesis, Headway, Genesis, Elegant and the Default WordPress themes, and came up with her list of the pros and cons of each.

Want a theme that’s easy to use that supports drag-and-drop editing? Thesis has its advantages. Need something that’s flexible with different templates for pages and posts? Headway might be worth a look. Want 50 themes that all share a common approach? Genesis might be the way to go. Want a lot of options, and are OK with forum-based support? Check out the Elegant theme framework. On a budget? The Default WordPress theme might be for you. (The current version is creatively called “Twenty Fourteen” since it came out in — you guessed it — 2014.)

Elaine covers a lot of ground in a review post with a high signal-to-noise ratio. If you’re looking to give your site a facelift with a new theme, or just getting started and not exactly sure where to begin, check out her post and take a look at what’s out there.

Are there particular themes or theme frameworks that you recommend?

Christopher Carfi
A veteran of both startups and the enterprise, Chris has a deep track record in developing customer community and evangelist programs for brands such as Adobe, H&R Block and Aruba Networks while holding executive positions at Ant’s Eye View and Edelman Digital, and he was co-founder and CEO at Cerado. He currently lives in the Bay Area with his family.