For those who still find WordPress Theme Frameworks confusing, let’s explain what Theme Frameworks are. Theme frameworks simplify the very arduous task of creating common functions found in a WordPress theme and designing layouts from scratch. They are more powerful and feature rich than standard wordpress premium themes. They can used as the basis for the creation of your own theme and could significantly improve your performance, speed and efficiency.
Most designers use them because they allow them to create theme layouts and add functionality quicker with less coding. Aside from that, it is also cleaner when it comes to the programming PHP. If you are developing WordPress themes, you will probably be sick and tired of writing the same code again and again so these frameworks will save you from that.
It must also be said there are still debates as to whether to use these frameworks or not. Arguably, they are easy to use and they save a great deal of time. They are also supported by communities which can help you with bug detection and issue resolution fast. Aside from that, they are written in optimized CSS, HTML, PHP and SEO functions using the best standards and practices. However, despite these advantages, some designers still argue that they can be a hindrance to learning. Because of the easy-to-copy codes, learning the new coding language could be more difficult and take more time as a result. Aside from that, Frameworks don’t come cheap so, it adds to the total cost. Topping all of that is the opinion that it hampers and limits the creativity of the designer to code.
If these limitations don’t outweigh the undoubted benefits for you, then I would recommend looking at the wordpress theme frameworks below which I believe are the best available.
Highly recommended by many professional wordpress designers, Genesis boasts a great balance between affordability and power. Its features include SEO friendliness and highly customizable elements. The Genesis framework is suitable for intermediate to advanced wordpress developers but beginners should be able to learn how to use it relatively quickly – certainly quicker than learning to code a wordpress theme from scratch.
Headway is a great theme framework for non-coding designers because it has a drag-and-drop framework. This allows the user to control almost everything in the design without even touching a single line of code.
With the Headway Grid, you are at liberty to create different layouts according to your preference. You can create one-columns, two-columns or even three columns. It’s all up to you. Aside from that, you will also be assured that your code follows the best standards of coding and responsive designs and you won’t be worried that it might just fail any time soon. So, if you are a non-coding person but want total control of your website, Headway and you may be a perfect match.
Another theme for non-coders is Builder from ithemes. This WordPress Theme Framework is easy to understand and is made up of a responsive framework and a layout editor. Aside from that, there are also 80 templates to choose from. Trust me, you’ll never run out of designs. Finally, what makes Builder amazing is that it has a very structured staff support, tutorials and walkthrough.
Thesis 2.0 is a Theme Framework used in more than 42,000 websites all over the world. It has grown massively and become on one of the most talked about and favoured frameworks available. Thesis 2.0 was released in on October 2012 after 2 years of development and the owners claim the latest version contains a “new website engine that will define the future”.
The options panels is pretty impressive and gives you so much control over the framework. So many elements like fonts, sizes, colors and columns can be changed intuitively without getting your hands dirty with coding. The have also paid particular attention to SEO to ensure your designs use on page SEO best practices.
The creators of the Ultimatum wordprress framework have described it as the ‘total design suite’ where you are in total ‘control of any aspect of your site with no coding skills required’. This is quite a bold claim and I am sure many developers would say you need to get involved in the code to have ‘total’ control. However, it does looks like a powerful framework, especially for non coders.
Thematic By Themeshaper
Thematic is a free, open-source and optimized framework which features 13 widget-ready areas using a responsive design. It’s recommended to both newbie bloggers and developers.
Another one of the drag-and-drop systems, PageLines gives you a sturdy responsive base framework without having to edit PHP code. With this framework, you can place any element wherever you want from within the page builder area. For non-coders, this will allow you to focus your attention on the design and layout. On the other hand, coding fans will find it lovely because it allows them to create creative mockups without spending a lot of time and effort.
Dynamik Website Builder allows you to put a touch of yourself into the design without even typing a single code. Everything is pretty controllable with Dynamik from its responsiveness to mobile devices to customizing child themes.
Backbone simply is the theme framework that offers you many possibilites. You can customize it with ease and it features a wide array of child themes, built-in templates and an easy to navigate theme panel that surely would be worth your time.
These wordpress theme frameworks are designed to simplify and speed up the development of wordpress themes and I am sure you will agree that if are coding from scratch these are tempting alternatives. They all are quality-checked and will surely help you achieve the look that you are looking for in a shorter timeframe.