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This design is not amazing, and to call this a Thesis “skin” is an insult to the real ones running around the net.

Hell, this code probably doesn’t validate.  In fact, I guarantee it, because I don’t give a damn about the W3C usually ascribe to the “does it work?” school of design and functionality.  The home page is the only one addressed in full by this cheap rip-off of a skin, and thus, as an example, the MM Box ads break due to a path issues on sub-pages.  Oh noes!  Deal with it, heh.

This is the worst Thesis skin (visual design, joke?) ever made.

It’s not really a full skin for Thesis.  At best, call it a demo.  If you want the css, steal it, by all means.  No, seriously.  If you want the custom functions, whine and I may put a zip file here.

The only reason this skin laughable trash is moderately interesting lies in the restrictions I placed on making it.  This skin demo for Thesis was self-restricted in fairly unique ways.  The blue stuff (points down).

Tested in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE7, and for laughs, IE6 (omgz, with the exception of my monkey code the skin “only” breaks with white space to the right of the header image?) —  I’m breathing into a paper bag.

The site loads on average, with a cleared-cache and no plug-ins, in about one second according to ySlow.  Thank you, Thesis — and if you don’t understand why that’s totally hot, please get off the Internet.  Does your bloated home page serve one-second pages?

My ridiculously draconian personal skinny restrictions to self…

1. Install Thesis 1_5_1, then go from “Thesis default” to “a decent skin” — in less than 5 hours.

2. Use only the /custom folder of Thesis or the UI controls.

3. Only use css and php code copied and pasted directly from either the DIYthemes forums or the DIY official Answers blog.  That’s right.  I wrote no code that did not already exist.  The image banner and background images were swiped from some “can Thesis do this?” comp uploaded in the forums.  Update: it sure can.

4. No plug-ins.  I left Sociable, as it was already installed.  Don’t judge me.

5. No more than 100 total lines of combined custom CSS/PHP code.

6. No falling back on Flash, JS, jQuery, AJAX, or other shinies to make this look fake-sexy.

7. Random goal when delirious at 6am added: rank top-10 in under 24 hours for “Thesis child theme” — because hey, Thesis SEO is flat-out awesome, surely a test site with zero backlinks and a stupid domain name will rank, right? Update: #3, ripping out all mention of child theme however, as this is a skin demo, I don’t even know what a child theme would be, it makes no sense.  I don’t consider Thesis a “theme” nor any other theme a theme, but I suppose some word needed to be used for describing the presentation of content that was “bigger than skin” so that skins could exist.

Anyway, you’re looking at the result.

Restrictions were upheld, with minor adjustments* in a few areas.

This sucker took 59 lines of CSS and 38 lines of PHPincluding white space lines and commented code.

So what, you moron?  Why make the worst Thesis skin monstrosity ever?

Awareness.

It’s a consensus that Thesis is a great framework.  Buy it, and stuff.

Less discussed is the value of the support community, official and volunteer.  The current Thesis purchasing model allows members of the two main pricing tiers lifetime access to the support forums and full access to a growing “Answers” blog.  Which, as proven here, helps take default Thesis — or can take default Thesis — from the gray-n-white default to this, in a few hours, all from the value of forum and official answers blog entries.

Worth $87 for life?  I think so.

To those who feel worried they can’t handle Thesis… all I can say is, if you want a blog or profesional CMS-style site that can go from “initial install” to this visually rather different look in under 5 hours, with no core file hacks, and with an unchanged, nearly perfect foundational architecture that will upgrade when you do, Thesis is the only theme you or your business needs to consider.

See all my affiliation links to buy Thesis?  Me either.

That’s a tribe for you.  Here’s a straight no-affiliate link to buy Thesis.

Don’t be mislead by this demo of design, theme skin, whatever this is:

I do not mean to imply that Thesis is one-click easy.

Most Thesis users cannot expect this amazing new weight loss program level of custom design in five hours.  Hire a pro, have minimal customizations required, and… eh, maybe.  Or go get a decent Thesis skin from developers who actually know what they’re doing.

In sum, most Thesis users personally make, and will continue to make, custom changes far beyond pasting code from the forums or other sources (and many forego skins because they like the feel of personal pride and ownership of their blog castle).

Many of these Thesis community guys and gals work their fingers to the bone for days or weeks on their personal love child brand — and then post their source code for all Thesis members to use, share, enjoy, and improve.

The point of this exercise was not to illustrate what a crappy designer I am (that’s been proven many times before).  The point is to illustrate the reality of the Thesis theme allowing a decent custom “skin” (visual design) that requires very little custom code and 4-5 images.

I suck at CSS.  I suck more at PHP.  If I can do this, then the “soccer moms” are going to knock it out of the park.  Think about it — I have a phobia of soccer, am not a mom, and seldom blog aside from testing Thesis stuff.

Yet in under five hours, this looks not completely horrible — in spite of me.

Agree?

Disagree?

Want to say “first!” like a complete moron?

Comments are right down there.

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* Changes were made to visible text content and some URI calls, such as those for the 2 x 3 advertisement area.  Hotlinking is usually not appreciated, so I limited that.  I’m so nice.

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[podcast]Test[/podcast] Excerpts should be used more often, as they can contain completely custom HTML and even Flash. How frackin’ cool is that?