Best WordPress Theme Frameworks And Theme Generators
- Intro To WordPress Framework
- Advantages And Drawbacks Of Using A Framework
- Top-4 WordPress Frameworks In 2018
Intro To WordPress Framework
WordPress Framework is best characterized as a basis for a WP theme. The framework includes a main code that encompasses the principal features and elements of design so that it can then be used as a launch point for a new theme. To create the product, new functions and elements of design should be added to the framework. WordPress Theme Frameworks can be divided into two categories:
- In-house frameworks can be used by a specific theme shop (TeslaThemes);
- Frameworks with public access that can be used as a basis for the projects. You may find either free (Beans) or paid (Genesis) products in this category.
Please be aware that the frameworks may be designed in one of three methods:
- As a parent theme for use with child one. Either the child theme adds style and functionality while the parent theme has minimum information, or the child theme plays a role of so-called ‘skin’ while the parent theme offers everything you need.
- Independent theme that does not require use of child one.
- Add-on that you join to a compliant theme. The plugin adds functionality while a theme provides styling and configuration.
Advantages And Drawbacks Of Using A Framework
Since you already know a bit what framework is and have decided that this option is for you, you should also know not only benefits of it, but disadvantages as well. Below you will find pros and cons of WordPress theme frameworks.
- Reliable code. Well-written framework follows WP coding standards and is compliant with well-coded plugins. To make sure the framework adheres to this experience, choose the one with the extensive user database.
- Support. When using a framework, you will get a support from developers or user community in most cases. You may also face combined supporting.
- Hassle-free development and updates. Framework allows bringing designing time to the minimum, makes theme switching more convenient, prevents design and code changes loss when the theme is updated.
- DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle that you follow using the framework. You will get a start point for every new site development, so that you will be able to save time on the fundamentals.
- Built-in widgets and other functions e.g. custom layouts are included with the framework and make the use of plugins unnecessary.
- Learning curve. WordPress frameworks are more complicated than usual themes. To get the power of a framework in its fullest, you need to get acquainted with its terms.
- Useless code. Even though we have found built-in functionality to be a benefit, it still may become a disadvantage if goes in excess. Regular user will not need some of functions while developer finds advantages in a wide range of them.
- Framework restrictions. In some situations, you may face different limitations. In case you require a custom setting, you may have to communicate your request to a developer, so he redefines the basic files to get to it. If you consider this way to be challenging you may send a request for a specific feature or create your own patch, so it will be included into the future update.
- Pricing. Some of WordPress frameworks are free, but you should remember that their support level loses a battle with premium ones. Pay special attention to the cost because it ranges between different frameworks: some of them require a one-time fee, and the other demand annual payment to go on acquiring updates and support.
Top-4 WordPress Frameworks In 2018
Since adaptive design and e-commerce have become main tendencies in web development, the importance of these frameworks has increased because most of them provide responsiveness and best experience in web. Here we are going to cover top-4 frameworks.
Genesis is the most renowned premium theme framework for WordPress. It has been installed on more than 210,000 websites. To get all the power of Genesis including reliable code, SEO optimization, security and future-proof along with a range of setups for headers, footer and widgets, you will have to make a one-time payment of $59.95. The framework is created to be used with a child theme that add $40 more to your shopping cart if you decide to go with the one offered by StudioPress e.g. Infinity Pro, Magazine Pro and Parallax Pro. Let’s sum up the information considering benefits and drawbacks of Genesis.
- Clean code.
- SEO friendliness.
- Responsive design.
- More than 90 child themes provided by StudioPress and lot more offered by outsider developers.
- A wide range of features.
- Extended API.
- Advanced settings may be tough for a novice.
Note: Please be aware that Genesis is mostly recommended for intermediate and advanced developers.
Headway if one more famous framework supporting about 50,000 websites. With the original drag-n-drop WordPress layout builder you can fully control your design. You can also:
- Create any layout from a blog page to e-commerce site.
- Quickly apply changes.
- Start your web page with a template offered by Headway.
- Make your site look uniquely yours.
- Having coding skills, you can work with the Live CSS Editor, Custom Code blocks, WordPress hooks, or the Block API.
- Make your website responsive.
Pricing plan of the framework is the following:
- $89 is for a Standard package allowing to use Headway on three websites and offering a year of support and updates along with one official template of your choice.
- $199 is for a Deluxe package enabling using Headway on the limitless sites and offering a year of support and updates along with all official templates and Community Builder Block.
Let’s take a closer look at benefits and drawbacks.
- Design Editor and drag-n-drop UI.
- User-friendly for beginners or those who have no coding knowledge.
- API contains a number of action hooks.
- Starter theme is available.
- Insignificant quantity of child themes (only 8).
- Extensions have extra fee.
Cherry Framework is free, open source and easy to use. It features a thorough documentation which means that every framework block is well-documented and provides detailed instructions on how to apply it to the themes and plugins. Other features are as follows:
- Security corresponding to the newest security progressive methods.
- Modular structure. Version control included within the framework allows you to use it in many plugins or themes at once. This guarantees that your platform is relevant and operates perfectly after updates.
- Thanks to version control, you can expand the core of the framework with your own blocks.
- A great number of child themes.
- A diversity of design options e.g. colors, fonts and sliders.
- Custom widgets are available.
- Portfolio layout options.
- Сontinuous support.
- API is not available.
- Child themes are paid.
- Slideshow function may be difficult for a novice.
- Drag-n-drop Layout Manager.
- Open source.
- MegaMenu support offering full-width MegaMenu or regular drop-down menu design.
- Ajax admin.
- Visual Menu editor for configuring menu hierarchy.
- Limitless Undo/Redo options and many others that can be found on the official website.
- Free and open source.
- Detailed documentation containing demo videos.
- Numerous widgets included.
- Few child themes.
- Limited support.
- Tough Learning Curve.