Stop the Genesis vs Thesis Framework Battle – Which is Better?

Have you ever wondered the differences between Genesis vs Thesis? You either love them or hate them, and I love them both. A good place to start investigating themes is firstly by their size and the company’s support.

When browsing their support, check people’s questions, are they negative or somewhat positive? When I decided to start Bloggers Refuge, I decided I wanted to buy a theme because they’re far superior to free themes, but even they can be temperamental if you don’t buy the right one.

My Genesis vs Thesis beginnings

Genesis Vs Thesis

Prior to venturing into Genesis and Thesis, I used Avada and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Firstly, allow me to tell you that Avada overtook my WordPress with all its huge options.

Some may consider many options a blessing, but if you really knew the truth behind such enormous themes, you wouldn’t touch them.

I’d advise you not to buy a theme with so many unnecessary files and shortcodes that you don’t need, they slow down your website.

Google takes note of slow websites and customers generally move on to another site very quickly.

The Avada theme is so big that you have to upload via FTP. Avada’s package contains 998 files, 123 folders and weighs in at 265MB – that’s not funny! Today especially, there are hundreds of similar themes all competing to create the biggest and best, but with such heavy-weight coding, they aren’t the best at all.

With this mind, I contacted Themeforest for a refund, but I was denied it – that’s not funny! So, I gripped my teeth and moved on looking for lightweight themes and this is what brought me to my humble beginning of Genesis and Thesis.

Want to know how easily I designed this page, then check out my review: Thrive Architect – Everything Has A Beauty But Not Everyone Sees It!

The differences between Genesis vs Thesis are chalk and cheese; however, they share similarities; in that, their coding is simple. Thesis is a lot simpler behind the scenes especially if you buy a skin, but can be more complicated to use if you buy the DIY only. However, if you’re technologically curious like me, then you might embrace it with kindness.

Furthermore, if you’ve not worked with other themes, then working with Thesis could be an option since it’s what you get used to from the onset.

My Thesis likes and dislikes


Price: Basic $87, Professional $197, Basic Plus $164

At the time of writing, the Thesis 2.1 contains 141 files, 21 folders and weighs in at 1.78MB. This is somewhat bigger than the Genesis framework, but once a child theme is added, it would equate to almost the same.

Thesis’ humble beginnings began during 2008 and their goal has always been to eliminate backend work and coding. Thesis has always been considered revolutionary; back in the day, it was the only drag and drop theme around. Though today, there’s a lot of competition for drag and drop in a different way compared to Thesis.

Genesis is drop-dead easy, which is why it’s good for you and bad for me because it limits my creativity. Thesis reviews suggest that the 1.0 and 1.8 versions are far superior to version 2, thus, I got to work to find out the truth. Upon loading version 1.8, my first thoughts told me it was impressive, but after a while its limitations soon became apparent.

Thesis 1.8 and 2 are completely different but share slight similarities. I realized people are comfortable with 1.8 so why would they want to learn a virtually new platform? Upgrading to 2.0 offers higher security and there are lots of newer features, but if you’re not coding savvy you’ll want to buy a skin.

I don’t recommend buying the DIY thesis without a skin, this is awesome buythesisskins, all boxes are complete with your purchase and their service and support are second to none.

Why do people opt for Thesis?

I loved the fact you can work in its editor, create different page styles, create widgets, change colors and much more. With Thesis, you can use shortcodes and coding to change your theme by plonking them in the custom CSS. If you want to change your thesis skin for another skin, then all you have to do is copy and paste into the new one.

  • Thesis automatically includes high security.
  • Thesis hides the fact you’re using WordPress
  • Some plugins are hidden
  • It automatically hides the Thesis Framework and skin you’re using.
  • SEO is inbuilt.
  • Customizable CSS sheet – Genesis doesn’t include this.
  • You use fewer plugins because of the boxes provided.
  • Thesis 2 is fully responsive and from experience, mobile layout is better than Genesis.
  • Thesis skins equate to a Genesis child; skins weigh less compared to a child.
  • Each Thesis skin is uniquely designed plus the look and feel are quite different.
  • Thesis boxes equate to plugins, but without the backend coding.
  • No need for huge amount of widgets.

My Genesis likes and dislikes


Price: Framework $59.95, Single themes from $79.95, Full package Pro Plus $399.95

Genesis Framework contains 90 files, 16 folders and weighs in at 976KB. Of course, you will need to buy a WordPress Genesis child which vary in size, but average around 20 files, 6 folders and usually weigh approximately 400KB.

I’ve tried all Genesis child themes and they’re pretty easy to work with. 

People are drawn to Genesis because they’re generally straight out of the box ready and easy. However, I suggest you choose your child wisely because each one offers different options. 

You can cherry-pick one here My Preferred Free WordPress Genesis Themes – WOW Grab One! 

…and browse Pros & Cons 15 Essential Steps Choosing A Genesis Child Theme.

It’s amazing how easy Genesis themes are, but you must buy the design you need or you may not be happy with it and that would be a waste of money.

Genesis’s themes produce their own shortcodes, and although this could sound negative it isn’t. There are so many Genesis themes, thus should you want to swap, then your shortcodes won’t be affected.

Why do people opt for Genesis themes?

  • They’re flexible
  • Have numerous widgets to create optional designs
  • HTML5 and/or CCS3
  • markup ready
  • Mobile and iPad responsive
  • Have own built-in SEO
  • Easy to add and delete code in the style.css and functions.php
  • Easy to add extra PHP files

and much more…

My only gripe with Genesis is that the majority look similar, if you’re familiar with Genesis, then you’ll know a Genesis site when you see it. However, lately, developers appear to be introducing a variety of tasteful child themes.

Genesis produces their own shortcodes, thus should you want to change your theme for a non-Genesis you will have to go through your whole site to change the codes. Everyone gets bored with the theme of their site, trust me when I say, you will want to change it at some point. Thus, if Genesis appeals to you, then you’ll need to think about swapping for a Genesis alternative or buy their third-party Paint Pallete Pro to create a different design.

Changing shortcodes is painstakingly time-consuming when you have hundreds of posts, I’ve been there – I’ve done it. I find it better to use a plugin such as Thrive Architect or any other.

My Conclusion to Genesis vs Thesis

I believe neither is King of the internet! Why would I make such a statement?

Because there really is no competition between them both; they’re both completely different and each one comes with their strengths and weaknesses.

I have used all Genesis child themes of which vary in every way possible. I have also used the DIY thesis framework on its own without a skin and found its simplicity quite boring but yet complicated to style. With Thesis, you need a skin because it will make your life so much easier rather than have to style the DIY Framework.

The other difference is that Thesis is a lot more expensive than Genesis so I believe a lot of people opt for them based on price.

If you’re looking for something unique, feather lite and easy, then the answer to this is to buy a Thesis skin like I did. I find skins very different to Genesis child themes because they’re different in appearance. Nobody would know your using Thesis, every design is very unique, they’re simple and I’d like to add very beautiful – problem solved and end of story!


You're talking to Sharon May...I love all things creative. Why not use my years of expertise to fast track your website? Today, let me show you how to make the right choices that will deliver! Explore the amazing things you can do when creating a website. Give yourself more power and less worry over what you can trust!

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