Overall, I’m not satisfied with having spent $87 on a hard-to-customize WordPress theme. I was just woefully informed that I would not be able to change the output of the teasers. Those are the smallerlittle excerpts of my posts, specifically the last four entries on the home page. These excerpts take the first 100 characters or so of the post and output them as-is. The problem is that I’ve got some posts that feature a video. The video is embedded via FLV Embed, and well, it’s pretty ugly to see the exposed code in the automatically generated excerpt.

Of course, there is a solution: write my own custom excerpt. However, as John Chow understands, time is the most valuable commodity we have, and automation is the key to freeing up some time to do other things that really matter. But that’s not even the point. I should be able to customize to my heart’s content. As I should’ve realized, having a closed system isn’t good for customization. As I’ve said it time and time again, Thesis makes it rather difficult to do any in-depth modification. If you look at their showcase of sites that use Thesis, you will actually see that many of them are quite similar. The discerning eye can tell that these are all sites based on the same exact theme.I suppose what I’m looking for is a true framework, and not a “theme”. I want a theme that is so stripped down and easily accessible that anyone can transform it into whatever they like. I am starting to get the hang of using OpenHook and all that, but really, the fact that there is actually something that I cannot do to my theme, that I purchased no less, has got me rather angry.Ihaveyet another little nitpick: why am I not allowed to remove the attribution link at the bottom? I know so many free themes that actually don’t mind if you remove the attribution. This forced attribution is all about vanity and ego: they want to sign their work and show the world how many people are using their theme. I think it’s absurd: if I paid for the product, I should be able to do damn nearly anything I please with it. Imagine that I buy a shirt with a Tommy Hilfiger logo on the cuff. If I don’t like the way it looks, I can go to a tailor and ask to have it removed. If the department store made me sign a contract defining how I could wear my shirt, I’d storm out of there in a huff. Of course, I was aware of the fact that I was not allowed to remove the attribution link (unless I paid for the more expensive developer’s license). But that doesn’t mean my points are any less valid.

My final opinion is that I feel outraged at both Thesis and myself. The Thesis framework is so closed off and inaccessible that it will undoubtedly frustrate anyone who demands that their blog looks and behaves exactly as they want. And I am angry at myself for not having read more reviews. The damnedest thing is that I had a pirated copy of Thesis 1.5.1. I should’ve just played around with that more before I took the plunge. Being a good citizen of the Internet, I thought I would just do it the “right” way and buy the theme. What a mistake that was.

I’m not really saying that people should not buy Thesis. But I just want to say that you should really do your homework and see if it’s what suits your needs.