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There will be no more development for Atahualpa (or any other theme), and no support. Also no new registrations. I turned off the donation system. I may turn the forum to read only if it gets abused for spam. Unfortunately I have no time for the forum or the themes. Thanks a lot to the people who helped in all these years, especially Larry and of course: Paul. Take care and stay healthy -- Flynn, Atahualpa developer, Sep 2021

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Better than Thesis?

Old Jun 22, 2009, 01:58 PM
11 posts · Jun 2009
I keep hearing propoganda for a theme called "Thesis" but it costs a lot of money whereas Atahualpa seems comparable (maybe better?) and is donation-based.

Has anybody here tried both and could compare their strengths and weaknesses?

(I was also wondering if the Atahualpa authors keep an occasional eye on Thesis and try to stay even with, or ahead of, it in capabilities.)
Old Jul 17, 2009, 08:52 AM
LabbyRoad's Avatar
13 posts · Mar 2009
I just purchased the personal license for the Thesis theme and I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

The user interface for configuring Thesis is very fast and very slick, however I'd have to give my vote to Atahualpa for sheer flexibility of layout and styling. In my opinion, Thesis can't hold a candle to Atahualpa 3.4 in these areas.

If you're don't need to customize your site too much and ease of use is impoirtant to you and you don't mind spending the money, Thesis is a good choice. I'm sure that it will be expanded and improved over time.

If, however you want fine control over layout and styling without having to directly edit css files, you'd be much better off throwing a donation Flynn's way and using Atahualpa.

Money doesn't always buy happiness. ;-)
Old Jul 22, 2009, 05:43 AM
10 posts · Jul 2009
Boston, MA
I love both themes, and use them for different things.
If you don't mind the shameless plug-
I wrote a blog post comparing the two:

I'd love comments and input from people who have used either more extensively than I.
Old Jul 22, 2009, 08:34 PM
35 posts · Feb 2009
I bought Thesis with intent to use it on my next project but gave up due to multiple inflexibilities.
It is an excellent general purpose blog theme with careful attention paid to SEO features and basic customizations.
Right off the bat is look nice.

What turned me off if inability to create multi-level navigation menus for it.
I compensated for it and even created an multilevel nested custom navigation for Thesis theme tutorial.

But Thesis does not support fluid layouts and to customize CSS you have to go and edit it's custom.css file directly. Additionally to that to customize functionality you have to get your hands dirty and edit custom_functions.php directly as well.
With Atahualpa you don't need this - everything could be done via admin panel, including PHP inserts - which is great.

Plus with Atahualpa you can customize 1000 more things that neither Thesis nor other themes are even coming close.

Thesis is great for totally non technical webmaster who wants working and nice looking blog right off the bat and doesn't mind looking like twin to thousand other blogs.
It's not exactly me - so I reverted back to Atahualpa.

I still decided to customize Atahualpa's navigation menu - see my new vga capture site with custom menu. It's a bit less work to do compare to Thesis.

Hope my brief comparison helps a bit.

Old Jul 22, 2009, 10:36 PM
93 posts · Jul 2009
ATA 3.6.4 and WP 3.1
Originally Posted by gesman
...and doesn't mind looking like twin to thousand other blogs
I noticed that, too, from from looking at the 'Showcase' on the Thesis website. Judging from the Atahualpa showcase thread in this forum, there are many Atahualpa lookalikes as well, my blog probably being one of them (I haven't even bothered to change the 3-cubes-logo, but that's because I like it).

That said, without having ever tried Thesis, I do think that Atahualpa has a lot more customizability, and I couldn't live without multi-level navigation.
Old Jul 23, 2009, 11:03 AM
44 posts · Jan 2009
hmmp - one other thing to add - I think Flynn is updating atahualpa MUCH faster than Chris Pearson updates Thesis. I mean - you can now use atahualpa to make anything from a single column to a FIVE column site with almost complete flexibility on layout. He added that in a couple of months! Which is not at all to rag on Thesis - I think it is the best paid theme out there
Old Jan 13, 2010, 07:30 PM
22 posts · Oct 2009
Mountain View, CA
Belated thoughts, six months downstream from the original thread.

I viewed the excellent video demos at the thesis site today (http://diythemes.com/).

What struck me was that you jolly well do have to tweak the CSS in Thesis in order to do simple stuff like stack the nav bar beneath the heading. Of course, in Atahualpa you also have to do a CSS insert to change the look of your post body text. - But that was fairly easy to do with help from the forum. (I surely wish there was an Atahualpa user's guide, i.e., manual where that sort of thing was explained.) Anyway, back to the story - I was mightily impressed with thesis up to that point, and then I was completely de-energized about it; I thought "I can do anything in Atahualpa that I could do in Thesis.

Of course, the menus are laid out much more conveniently in Thesis, but that's minor for me, as I'm not tweaking themes continually, just doing one big design go-through and then maybe a touch here and there.

All in all, I'd much rather use Atahualpa and give a donation. (Waiting for payday.)
Old Feb 11, 2010, 03:23 AM
79 posts · Nov 2009
Copying my comments from Adam's original article:

1) Thesis comes with a cleaner more professional look “out of the box”. HOWEVER if this is your main reason for buying, look at my free Thesis theme look-a-like (based on Atahualpa):


2)On balance I think Atahalpa has more options. HOwever some of the things that Thesis does are very difficult to replicate without coding

3)Support for both is excellent. Except for Thesis you have to pay for it (can’t get in to support forums without a purchase — not even with a client license, which is a big beef of mine and the reason I no longer sell Thesis client licenses).

4)SEO is a non-issue. Both are fine. (Use All-in-one SEO on Atahualpa)

I am not by any means a “GPL Nazi”. If Thesis does the job for you and you like it, buy it (and use Adam’s affiliate link for chrissake). However if you like to hack start with my free version.

Marc Beneteau

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