Framework(s) and Themes for your WordPress Website

Since the era of Blogging has begun WordPress has gained great popularity. Now it has come up with Frameworks to aid users and enable them to use WordPress for not just building blogs. With complex features and functionalities required by the users, frameworks market too was developing gradually. Currently, dozens of WordPress Frameworks are available in the market in both free and paid versions. But the major objective of any framework is to provide the website owner with all the basic features of a theme while making it flexible to design as they plan.

This blog post, targets in educating about WordPress Frameworks and cover a few more details about them.

What are WordPress Frameworks?

In simple terms, WordPress Frameworks are building blocks of a WordPress Theme. It holds the core code which enables to design a theme from scratch. Additionally, features can be accumulated in the framework to design the theme into a masterpiece.
Categorizing the frameworks, there are two major types. In-house frameworks which were designed for a specific theme development organization. All of their themes were built on that particular Framework. The other category is those frameworks that can be used by anyone to build themes.

The Genesis Framework is a commercial product that can be purchased by any developer to build themes on it. While Beans is a free Framework to build themes. While using Frameworks, it is required to use a child theme in order to safely deploy the updates of the framework without having a much impact on the built theme.

Reasons to go for WordPress Frameworks.

The major reason to use any WordPress Framework is to make update process easy. The other benefit is that Frameworks make theme switching a lot easier. When we decide to use a different theme from the same framework, migration can be often flawless. A Framework is a standard for theme quality. Although stand-alone themes are well coded, few of them include a lot of bloated code. Few Frameworks were reputed for being secure, responsive and well-coded.
A great framework will build a great community around. So when developers and users face any issues, developers can be available to resolve them.
If you require a simple blog, it’s best to go with a Premium WordPress Theme. But if you need a powerful theme for a big website for your organization, the framework is the best idea.
If you’re a developer/designer with regular modification in your code and content, then Framework is your best friend.

How good are WordPress Frameworks?

PROS

  1. Robust Code
    A well-written framework will adhere to the coding standards of WordPress and also works flawlessly with Plugins. No one guarantees these practices, but the Frameworks with a large number of users and community base can be assured.
  2. Most Frameworks, both Free or Paid, includes support from the Developer or the community of Users. In most cases, both. Before switching to a Framework, make sure of the support it provides and the number of users that uses that specific framework.
  3. Development feasibilities and Updates
    The framework can significantly decrease the development time for a theme. And switch themes easily. This reduces the risk of losing all our custom styling and functionalities added.
  4. In-built features
    WordPress Theme Frameworks normally added with built-in features, widgets such as custom layouts to reduce the needs for additional plugins.

CONS

  1. Curve of Learning
    These WordPress frameworks are more complex and hard to understand when compared to normal themes. They have custom features written for that specific theme and utilizes the framework to a maximum extent with the help of custom hooks and filters.
  2. Irrelevant Code
    Most theme framework comprises of unnecessary code which doesn’t even be used in the theme by normal users. For a developer, this code impacts their functional goals.
  3. Limitations of Framework
    The framework may not be able to fetch your desired requirement without modifying the core files or requesting an update with the customization. This might cease the work at a point where there is no turn back or move front.
  4. Cost
    Although some frameworks are free, the support offered by a premium framework is never comparable. The cost variations can greatly impact the business when depending on theme frameworks.

Performance of WordPress Framework

While considering the performance of a framework, the best in the market has taken care to make sure their framework supports SEO as an in-built feature. The code is made light-weighted. In an overall comparison, frameworks have proved that they are better in every aspect than many popular standalone WordPress themes.

Market’s top 5 WordPress Frameworks

Since the evolution of Frameworks, a great market has been waiting for Themes built on Framework. Although there are dozens of them available, we have chosen the best and top 5 for you to try with.

1. GENESIS

This Framework is known to be the best among its competitors in the market. Genesis is used on more than 200000 websites online and takes about 9% shares in theme markets.
It is lean, SEO friendly, secure and future proof. Most importantly, it is Mobile Friendly. It also has an active developer community to support developers around the globe. This costs around $59.95. You can purchase the developer’s bundle for $499 which gives you access to all its current and future themes.
This theme isn’t recommended for a beginner as it has more advanced features and customizations that can be confusing and difficult.

2. HEADWAY

A drag and drop based framework for people who want to take control over the entire website with minimal knowledge of coding. The cost can be up to $89 for 3 sites and $199 for unlimited sites with support for a year. The child themes provided for this theme are relatively less (around 8).

3. THESIS 2.0

Thesis Framework remained a direct competitor to Genesis. It focusses more on SEO. The basic framework starts at $87 and the complete bundle is around $197 with unlimited domains, lifetime updates with all themes and add-on boxes.
It takes much time to learn and currently has only 5 skins available.

4. CHERRY

An extremely easy to use framework and comes with equal features of any premium framework. It gives backup and restore features and many customization options. This is free to use and comes up with around 300+ child themes. The slideshow features is challenging for beginners. And its child themes aren’t free like others.

5. GANTY

A free Framework from RocketTheme that is available for WordPress and Joomla. This is built on Twitter Bootstrap for more compatibility. This is free to install and use. It has only a limited amount of child themes and support.

Final Word

The WordPress Frameworks has a huge list of benefits including easy to use design options and robust code. Also, a powerful SEO and security. In addition to that, they help in improving page speed and page ranking. If you are building a complex site or regularly changing the functionality, then WordPress Frameworks are the best solution to your websites.

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