Is A WordPress Theme Framework For You?

A lot of people I have heard from like the idea of using a framework to use as a base to design their website. There are quite a few free and premium frameworks out there available that are great. However, it might not be for everyone.

The pros for using these are that these frameworks work and have been developed carefully. They can be applied to themes, however, if your has a big difference in design elements, you might have to move code or even add code to get what you want. Premium frameworks usually have become commercially GPL supported – meaning that you have someone that can coach you through and help you if you run into problems. Freebie frameworks, you might be able to get some forum support with the developer.

However, the huge con that you might run into is that if you choose a framework, your site might look like another cookie cutter layout. It is kind of like two actresses wearing the same gown to the Oscars – not cool and you definitely want to change right away.

If you have a layout design you want to convert to WordPress, frameworks might not always work in your best interest, especially if you are not code savvy enough about the framework and about WordPress coding. You may need to apply certain WordPress functions and some frameworks might interfere with your coding or even plugins. Of course, you can always get the framework, alter it and use it how you want. You could browse the WordPress theme directory, choose a theme that best suits what you are looking for, leave the credits intact. There are perfectly good layouts there.

However, if you are a designer, you may want to create a fresh theme with a fresh framework that you can personally market to those who are looking for a framework. Be unique! Make sure your framework offers different types of choices in navigation or features for the content. Offer different alterations of your framework to show your potential clients the flexibility of your layout.

Do you like to use a particular framework when designing a WordPress-based site or do you like to code as you go? What frameworks do you like best and why? What frameworks would you tell people to avoid, and of course – why?

Comments

  1. says

    I tend to code as I go, and frankly, I have to laugh when I do because I can do a theme for three of my blogs and all three will look the same with different color backgrounds, links, and graphics when I am finished. I am not even trying to do that and I still do it.

  2. says

    Great post, thanks for the info.

    Only just starting out with Wordpress and didn’t know frameworks existed. Will take a look around and see if I need one or code a style myself.

  3. says

    No matter how much you change a framework, it will always be similar to others. Creating an original and unique design is a head start for your blog to succeed.

  4. says

    Wordpress has always been good to me. The ease of plugins help you with all sorts of things. I will always be a Wordpress fan!

  5. says

    Nile,
    For me it was easier to hire a technical person to set up my blog sites. For one site, I found a great theme but it did not look good as the complete page. So my tech guy put that complete theme, in a smaller version, into a different theme that took up the whole page. The coding for that was too complicated for me to attempt alone.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica

    • says

      I agree that having a technical person to help with these things is crucial. You might pay him , he might help as a friend but it is totally worth it. I can’t code complicated stuff as well 🙂

  6. Dhyann says

    Themes are also important for WordPress and it is better to choose the best one for us that suits our needs. Great tips!

  7. says

    I usually find a wordpress theme that I like, I look at its license and if I have the right, I modify it to suite my own needs.
    For really custom stuff I tend not to use frameworks. I believe they sometimes tie my hands.
    Thank you!

  8. says

    Nile,

    I had a friend help me get my blog up and running. I’m pretty sure I’m using a word press theme. I just liked the ocean wave. lol. I have seen other peoples sites that I like. Maybe someday, I’ll get help to make me a site that’s really cool!

    Tom

  9. says

    I like the simple design theme, and cost is become a consideration to me. I have a tight budget to run my business from my blog.

    So, I definitely pick a simple and low cost theme (free if possible).

    thanks for your post, it so real case for bloggers

  10. says

    I couldn’t agree with you more. You want to be unique and express yourself. If you look like a cookie cutter site, then that does not good for you. Thanks for posting.

  11. says

    This is so true. I really want to avoid looking like a cookie cutter website. I want to have a look and feel that is all my own and completely different.

  12. says

    I’ve used Thesis Framework a few times and found it very very good for ease of use and SEO value. The support is also top notch.

  13. says

    Great topic to blog about – There is a lot of programs that allows you to use Pre-based HTML themes to build your own – or even when buying a theme – there is sooooo many wordpress websites out there, Even if a thousand people bought the same theme as you the chances are they won’t notice if you just make the basic changes to the theme bought like colours and fonts etc.

    Overall – Awesome post, the comments made for a terrific read as well. Thanks for sharing the awesome post.

    • says

      Maybe a thousand people will have the same template with you but you can always add a personal touch in it. If the budget is low and you can’t afford a professional to design your blog, at least try to be original and unique.

  14. says

    A very helpful post. Thanks alot. I have used both WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and I think WordPress is great for starters as its easy to understand and use. Joomla is very future-rich and Drupal is the most customizable of all.

    • says

      Hi Subodh! Thanks. I have a question: did you contact the WordPress Foundation to see if you can use the word “WordPress” in your domain’s URL?

  15. says

    I use the Genesis framework for my blog and I have to say that with no coding knowledge, I have been able to get the site up and running in no time at all. Sure, your blog may end up looking like a lot of other blogs, but with the variety of child themes that are available in the StudioPress gallery, chances are, you may still end up with a unique look. There’s great support, the customization options are actually pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it, and there are many experts to customize it for you, if you ever need something special. After working with the Genesis framework, I simply cannot go back to individual themes.

  16. says

    Hi Nile, there are so many great premium themes to choose from and so many ways to customize it. I personally use thesis framework combined with a thesisawesome skin…

    • says

      I have worked with thesis awesome. Not a fan of Thesis or Thesis awesome… Thesis awesome- some coding in there that is not clean and I have had to fix for clients constantly. Also, I am not allowed to promote products that are nothing shorty of 100% GPL as I speak at the WordPress conferences.

  17. says

    I just use a standard out of the box theme for my WP blog. I would love to make it a bit more personal. I’m no techie so I’ll have to get my website guy to sort it.

    I lways thought a plug in was a type of air freshner

  18. says

    thank u iam searching this type of themes ,I usually don’t use frameworks to design my blogs, but for the future I consider testing this technique. thank u!

  19. Jeffrey T. Sooey says

    Thanks for the post. As usual you have shared very useful information for those of us who would like to improve our sites. I am not much of a technical person but will consider the tips you gave and will keep them in mind for the improvement of my blogs and sites.

  20. says

    I’m a pragmatic guy who wants fast implementation. I also like SEO-ready themes. Therefore, I use the Genesist framework from StudioPress. There are 50-60 themes that if I cannot find one I like there must be something wrong with ME 🙂

    Plus, they were built from the ground up for SEO and there are a good number of plugins made specifically to work with Genesis.

  21. says

    I have used WordPress for most of my project and i find it is amazing with great plugin and new up gradation. The features listed under workdpress ad amazing and the navigation is user friendly

  22. says

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.

  23. says

    Hey Nile,

    I heard a lot about different word press frameworks but the thing I worry most about it is, what happens when the developers of these frameworks decided to either quit or not do proper updates any more?

    that is why I usually just use normal free themes, and switch to a different one when I get bored or if I find something better.

  24. says

    Great article. I just recently setup a real estate website using woo themes and their framework. Definitely helps make it a “non cookie cutter” website. Their theme is SEO friendly which helps too.

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