A little bit late perhaps for a branded Theme like Thesis, but as the saying goes, better late than never. While almost all other Premium WordPress Theme developers have leapt ahead to make their Themes responsive, Thesis developers took their own sweet time much to the chagrin of their users. Today, DIY Themes finally decided to to make the Thesis Theme responsive, well, in a way at least, to pacify the crowd at the Forums.
No one really knows what is going on with the development of the Thesis Theme or if ever there is going to be a Thesis Version 2 which they have been touting for ages. The only hint is that version 2 will be developed from ground zero so I guess there must be some very major changes.
My wild guess is they might make or are trying to make the Theme independent from WordPress so that the Thesis Theme becomes a blogging platform by itself and do not have to rely on anyone to run. It has always been the ambition of Chris Pearson to make the Thesis Theme independent so he do not need to have his Theme tied to any licensing terms which WordPress adheres to and which he had a major spat with Matt Mullenweg some time ago.
How To Make Your Thesis Theme Responsive
Anyway, in view of the long delay and to keep customers happy, DIY themes found a way to make the Thesis Theme responsive by not making any changes to the main Thesis Framework. Instead, they have released what they called a Responsive Starter Skin and a Responsive Starter Child Theme.
Both the files actually contains the same custom CSS and Functions codes needed to make the Thesis Theme responsive except if you decide to use the Starter Skin, you upload the code files directly to your existing Thesis Theme’s custom folder. For the Starter Child Theme on the other hand, you upload the Child Theme which, like all other child themes contains a separate CSS file and a Functions php File which will over-ride the files in the parent Theme.
Doing it either way will not change anything in the Core Thesis Framework so if one day there is a major upgrade, you will not be affected. I can think of no reason as to why they took this route and not release a proper upgrade as Responsive Themes is something that will be a permanent feature and not a feature that people will want to turn on and off. Maybe changing the core files now will affect the future upgrade when Thesis 2 is released. I am 100% sure version 2 will be a responsive theme so this release might just be a temporary measure to keep users happy for the time being.
The Responsive Starter Set Works Only With Thesis 1.84
Before using any of the 2 Responsive Starter Sets, make doubly sure you have the latest version of the Thesis Theme. The latest version is Version 1.84 and it will not work even if you have Version 1.83. Like all Thesis upgrades, you have to do it manually via FTP because you have to set permissions to a couple of file and folder after uploading your files.
The 2 Free Thesis Responsive Starter Sets can be downloaded here.
Thesis 1.84 can be downloaded here.