Chris Brogan and Brian Clark ditch the Thesis WordPress Theme

Big news last week regarding about Thesis’ position in the WordPress premium theme marketplace: Thesis is no longer King of the Premium themes.

Why Chris and Brian left Thesis

First, Brian Clark – part owner of Thesis with developer, Chris Pearson – announced he is leaving Thesis. Besides the “public disagreements Chris recently had with Matt Mullenweg, Brian cited differences over the Thesis roadmap and their relationship with WordPress developers.

Note of clarification: As of the date of this post, CopyBlogger.com still runs on Thesis (Thanks, Chris Cree!)

Not even one week later, Chris Brogan announced that he is moving his blog off of Thesis, claiming he’s “just trying out a new theme framework”.

Ding dong the witch is dead?

Does this spell bad news for Thesis? Probably not. Remember that there is still a massive community of bloggers who love Thesis.

What this does mean, however, is that other premium themes, like Headway, will get more deserved attention.


Visit Headway Themes to learn more about why it kicks ass!
18 Responses to Chris Brogan and Brian Clark ditch the Thesis WordPress Theme
  1. Chris Cree
    August 4, 2010 | 2:58 pm

    When I first read the headline I thought Brian moved Copyblogger off of Thesis in addition to leaving the partnership with Chris Pearson.

    Seems Copyblogger is still running Thesis. At least for now.

    • headwayvids
      August 4, 2010 | 3:44 pm

      Chris – Good point. I’ll update the post to reflect that distinction.

  2. Chris Brogan...
    August 4, 2010 | 3:07 pm

    I’m not sure this would be the first way to get attention, however, to dance on the bad fortune of a competitor. Does that sound anything like the way I conduct myself?

    I have, in fact, already started new relationships with 2 other premium WordPress themes this week alone.

    But if this kind of post signifies the typical Headway community’s professionalism, I’m really not sure that I will get around to it in the near future.

    I like doing business with positive people.

    • headwayvids
      August 4, 2010 | 3:54 pm

      I’m sorry Chris – I’m not sure how this post is a dance on the bad fortune of a competitor. Reminding the reader that Thesis still has “a massive community of bloggers who love Thesis” seems fairly balanced.

      Is it the word “ditch” you have issue with?

      • Chris Brogan...
        August 4, 2010 | 3:58 pm

        “Ding dong the witch is dead?”

        That’s not?

        • headwayvids
          August 4, 2010 | 4:16 pm

          No… it’s not Chris. It’s a question that reflects what might be on the readers mind, followed by a paragraph supporting the idea that Thesis is not dead.

          • Chris Brogan...
            August 4, 2010 | 4:32 pm

            My bad, then. I don’t know. Sounded a bit more negative than positive, this piece. It sounded like someone waiting to put their foot on someone’s throat.

            But we’re not all cheery and rosy like me, I guess. (sarcasm)

            Rock on. I actually like your site’s how-to information. I’m starting to see what I can and can’t do with the theme, which is really useful. : )

        • Marc Reece
          August 8, 2010 | 10:33 pm

          I can sum it up like this, Ed Norton said it the best he said “In the sewer we have a saying, be nice to the people on your way up because your going to meet the same people on your way down”

          One other point Chris, the comments in this blog are peoples opinions on Thesis which are not affiliated to Headway directly, I would agree with you if Grant or clay were bashing Thesis, but that is not the case.

          Headway is a fantastic platform to blog upon.Hopefully The guys at Thesis will learn form the negative comments, that is what you talk about in you book social media 101 isnt it?

    • Jesse Petersen
      August 5, 2010 | 8:43 am

      As a customizer, I jump from theme developer to theme developer and use two frameworks based on what I see as their strengths and how much time it takes to accomplish what I need to accomplish and how well-written the code is. I hate bloated code and avoid those themes/frameworks. I can completely see why Chris Brogan switched to check out the other framework and didn’t see it as a dig against Thesis or Pearson at all.

      Everyone needs a change every now and then, including frameworks. It’s a great way to stay on top of the technology that is out there. It can be embarrassing to say that you don’t know anything about a platform that so many people are using, so I think it’s a smart move on his part.

      • headwayvids
        August 5, 2010 | 10:00 am

        Jesse – great points. I personally have used Thesis and will also start using a few iThemes (which are not as flexible as Headway, but look great out of the box).

        • Marc Reece
          August 6, 2010 | 8:33 pm

          I found this post funny! Each theme is unique and at the end of the day content is what matters. The reality is that in my opinion I found Thesis difficult to work with, its a fact that does not mean its a bad theme. Ithemes is a an awesome company with very easy to use themes user friendly. Headway is again user friendly and the support is great. Why does anybody care what themes are being used by who. Chris Brogans blog will be a great blog regardless of the theme framework he chooses, A great blog is a great blog!

          • headwayvids
            August 7, 2010 | 6:16 pm

            Marc – Very well said, bro!

    • Corey Freeman
      August 7, 2010 | 9:22 pm

      I certainly hope you won’t rule out Headway just from this perspective. It’s a great theme and the people that work around it are very positive about moving it forward. Just ask the man himself. Grant’s a cool guy. :)

      • headwayvids
        August 8, 2010 | 7:20 am

        Which perspective?

    • Mark Corpuz
      January 24, 2011 | 1:28 am

      While I do agree with Chris that “the witch is dead” seems like a statement that’s would probably be better of worded differently.

      I disagree with the overall generalization of the “typical headway community professionalism”. I believe that Headway as a community is still growing and will continue to encourage innovation and ideas.

      It just so happened that we are in some ways overly excited that we finally found a tool that gives us the flexibility to do more than what we would have otherwise have the opportunity to do so in our field of work.

      More power to your blogs as I have recently become a big fan of both HeadwayVideos site and ChrisBrogan’s blog.

  3. Marc Reece
    August 8, 2010 | 10:17 pm

    What does it matter what theme Chris Brogan uses? Headway is a great theme regardless it will be a great theme regardless.If he chooses not to use it, his loss! Thesis was an amazing theme then, Headway is an amazing theme now! And in today society that is what matters!

  4. Vince
    September 16, 2010 | 5:19 am

    I think Chris Brogan and Brian made a good decision. I really think that Chris Pearson needs to learn his lesson of being egoistic, self centered cyber bully.

    I admire his work, his beautiful mind, but not the way he treats the poor fans of thesis who can’t afford it so as making their effort to imitate what he did on thesis when for all we know, it should be GPL…..

    I know some of you will oppose me on this. But com’on this issue is still vague and you must admit it.

    Thesis, Headway, Frugal, Studiopress etc, should be selling the “membership community” but not the theme since it is completely dependent on WordPress which is GPL.

    Would really love to try these themes, but they are really overly expensive where I also don’t like paying for the “supposed” to be free yet people wants to make money out of it.

    Furthermore, it is obviously pure business when you guys give extra charges just to remove the “attribution link”.

    Don’t get me wrong. You deserve some payback to your efforts. You deserve something in return. But I think it is also unfair for the WordPress community when you guys profit from their work which you also got for free, right???

    This whole issue of GPL thing really gets into my nerves whenever I see derivative works which are overly expensive while the main source is completely free, including its upgrades and updates.

  5. bill
    December 27, 2010 | 1:27 pm

    Sorry, I’m with Chris here. He’s offering a valuable product and being up front…people aren’t forced to buy it and it offers options/functionality above and beyond vanilla WP. I don’t hear him being egotistical and actually (sorry to say), I’m hearing Matt actually misconstrue what’s Chris is saying several times. If Matt has a problem with Chris releasing premium themes, wouldn’t that problem equally apply to all pay-premium themes?

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