Fusion VS Adaptivetheme Which One?

For the past month I’ve been looking at both of the Drupal Starter themes Fusion and Adaptivetheme. And, I should say I still have more questions than answers.

I’ve been doing my research carefully as I want to move one of my websites, over 500+pages to Drupal. What I originally thought would be and easy choice has become even more complicated.

Fusion to carry everything including the kitchen sink with it, and appears to have a far larger variety of available themes for it. Yet, it seems to be really heavy on the code side.

Which brings the question of SEO into to play “text to code ratio” or should it even really matter.

The themes for Adaptivetheme are fewer and most are still in the dev stage. On the plus side it generates cleaner code which should give it an advantage on the SEO side of the equation.

The question I have for other Drupal users that stop by is “which one would you use and why?”

Would a person be better off to use neither of them and just modify and existing them to their liking?

Share your thoughts or experience with Fusion or Adaptivetheme.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Max Westen Apr 1, 2010 @ 23:26

    Hi Glenn,

    Why not start from scratch?
    In my experience it’s easier to create a template for Drupal from scratch (with some lookups in other theme-code on how things are done). Especially if you already have the HTML and/or CSS templates as how the site should look.

    Most themes you can download are meant for people that don’t like to get their hands dirty and don’t really care for performance…

    Just my 2cts.

    • Glenn Apr 6, 2010 @ 12:49

      You’re right Max sometimes it is easier to just start at the beginning.

      • dalin Apr 2, 2010 @ 20:13

        I disagree with the poster that suggested starting from scratch. There’s a reason that we don’t write our own operating systems or CMSes or themes. While yes you _can_ do it, you won’t be able to build something as good as what tens, hundreds, or thousands have collectively built.

        • Glenn Apr 6, 2010 @ 13:02

          Hi Dalin,

          I don’t believe that Max was talking about building and entire CMS system, but when it comes to Themes many do modify them substantially.

          I guess it really depends on if it is easier to start one from scratch or modify and existing one. I find that tearing a theme apart really helps with the learning curve.

  • joshmiller Apr 2, 2010 @ 4:49

    For my money, I have stripped out the best of the template logic of adaptivetheme and standard tab styles from zen and have created my own html and css.

    Takes about 8 hours and I can have a completely custom, only the code I need, theme that stands on it’s own.

    Something to consider, though: if you’re in the market for a commercially supported starter theme, definitely go with Fusion. They have stability and are the future of Drupal theme development.


    • Glenn Apr 6, 2010 @ 12:51

      Hi Josh,

      I do like the clean layout from Adaptivetheme to use as a starter platform. Often it seems it is easier to build-up, than to tear it apart.

  • Wayne Apr 2, 2010 @ 6:08

    I’ve built quite a few sites with both themes and they both have their strong points.
    I don’t seem to see any effects of the slightly greater amount of code in fusion (I’m an SEM consultant so we watched that carefully) -I think the Search Engines are also quite a bit smarter today.

    I find fusion slightly more flexible for certain things, especially out the box for a site with more complex layout requirements. The theme development time seems to be reduced with fusion.

    Having said all that, AT has also been awesome to work with and I think will come into its own in the coming few months. We played with their KODA theme recently and it was a lot of fun to work with.

    Bottom line -you might find that its worth looking at your site layout requirements when deciding which will work best for you. if your site will be on the simpler side AT will be fine. Slightly more complex layout – go fusion and make your life easier.

    My $0.02 for what its worth.

    • Glenn Apr 6, 2010 @ 12:54

      Hi Wayne,

      AT Koda is what I’m working with at the moment. I actually find it even has to much complexity for my tastes…

      But then we don’t have to use everything just what we need.

  • greggles Apr 2, 2010 @ 9:22

    Take a look at this blog post: http://fusiondrupalthemes.com/story/100402/new-fusion-drupal-7-theme-release

    Fusion is getting ready for Drupal 7 and has a whole theme upgrade guide just for people using it. The support that TopNotchThemes gives to their end-users is what makes their themes worthwhile in my opinion.

    • Glenn Apr 6, 2010 @ 12:57

      Hi Greggles,

      I do believe everyone is getting ready for Drupal 7. When it comes to themes being ready it’s one thing, the modules we’ll need are more important.

      Can’t wait until it gets into the release category.

  • gael May 12, 2010 @ 20:05

    Thanks for starting this, Glenn, looking forward to seeing more comments from experiences with both base themes.

    Curious to hear impact on average page weight and load time between the 2, and what caching options fusion has.

    Bandwidth and infrastructure of the internet in Asia mean that we still have to be very careful with how much data is being loaded.

    Thanks again!

  • karl May 21, 2010 @ 18:32

    I have tried most of the current Drupal base themes and have decided on Adaptivetheme. I believe all the people involved in the main base theme projects all are genuinely want to make the best base theme however people have different logic. I went with Adaptivetheme because it “fitted” my brain. I found it fun because I could get my visualized ideas into working themes quicker than with the others. I really wanted to love Zen and I really wanted to use Fusion but Mr. Brain wanted Adaptivetheme so I guess the best one to use is the one you can use, you’ll get more done!

  • peach - all drupal themes Apr 2, 2010 @ 0:14

    Text to code ratio isn’t really a SEO issue. More like a SEO myth.

    • Glenn Apr 6, 2010 @ 12:50

      It does not appear that way today, yet taking up less bandwidth is still the best option.

  • TSI Apr 2, 2010 @ 16:19

    From my experience, the biggest advantage of AT, as mentioned in the project page is that it is content-source-ordered, which means content is printed before sidebars.

    • Glenn Apr 6, 2010 @ 12:59

      That is one of the advantages that I looked at between Fusion and Adaptivetheme. I’ve always liked my websites to be structured that way.