Developing a WordPress theme from scratch is a time consuming task and needs a lot of knowhow of PHP coding. More chances of error are there which means less productivity and more hard work. WordPress Theme frameworks is a flexible foundation for theme development that eliminates extra volume of work by providing a basic groundwork for theme development. They serve as parent theme and allow us to build child theme based on their framework.
Framework increase productivity and eases the life of theme developer. Very little knowledge of php is required. There are premium wordpress theme frameworks that provide you same functionality as free wordpress theme frameworks, but in this article we are considering only free wordpress theme frameworks.
Most compelling benefit of free frameworks is, you pay nothing and can create professional looking theme that may cost you 500+ if hire some developer. Why not to save some bucks and use it in future projects. I am listing the main features for quick selection to start your work.
This is open source, free, highly customizable and best suitable for beginners to develop professional looking theme. More features are,
- Fully Search Engine Optimized
- 13 widget ready areas,
- Free & commercial support for child theme,
- Sample child theme available for quick development
- Wiki guide for customization,
- Styling for popular plugins
- Editable footer text,
- Options for multi author blog
Hybrid is a user friendly framework with support for 18 templates. Search Engine Optimized framework with 15 built-in plugins for better compatibility with theme.
- Developed with child themes in mind, so you’ll never lose your customizations.
- SEO optimized. No need for plugins to handle this anymore.
- Theme options that are about content/information. Templates for everything.
- 13 page templates.
- 15+ plugins supported within the theme.
- Attachment handling like you’ve never experienced.
- Advanced breadcrumbs beyond any other theme.
- Ability to run just about any type of site.
- And over 20 tutorials to start.
Please also note that latest version of Hybrid Theme framework is WordPress 3.0 compatible which means you can use latest features of WP 3.0.
A CMS theme framework for WordPress that makes it easy to create unique looks for different categories, posts and comments just by creating custom templates.
The Buffet Framework is a framework designed not only for the developers who will be using the theme actions and filters to create the child themes, but also for the end users who would be able to add and remove what they want.
Like most WordPress theme frameworks, the Buffet Framework utilizes WordPress actions and filters to allow theme developers to add additional content without editing the templates files.
4 Widget ready framework
Search Engine Optimization – includes many SEO features such as breadcrumbs, headings, canonical URLs
Support for Microformats – compatible with some of the microformats like hAtom, hCard and XOXO
jQuery Powered – comments form validation, SuperSleight for IE6, Superfish menus, jBreadcrumb included
Packaged with CSS Frameworks – comes with 960gs and Blueprint CSS
Action & Filter Hooks – using the parent-child theme concept (with inline documentation)
Theme Options – organized in tabs, with features such as custom RSS feed links and custom footer messages
Theme Extensions – allow end-users to enable/disable features using the extensions feature
Plugin Compatibility – works with WP-PageNavi, WP-Print, Subscribe to Comments and more
Localization – fully localized, ready for translation
Free, Open Source – under the General Public License (GPL) v3
WP Framework is ever simplest framework to serve as the starting point in WordPress theme development. It provides you with commonly used functions and features. So you have basic functionality when you start new project using WP Framework. Due its simplicity, this is light weight and less feature rich framework with only one sidebar widget.
Other Resources to Help You in Theme Development:-
- Make Your Favorite Wordpress Theme a Blank Framework
- Why I Really Created a Theme Framework
- So You Want to Create WordPress Themes huh?
- How to Create a WordPress Theme from Scratch
- Customize Your 404 Page
- 13 Tags to Delete from Your Theme
- 135+ Ultimate Round Up of WordPress Tutorials
- Digging Into WordPress
- A Pictorial Guide on Making Child Theme for Beginners
- WordPress Theme CSS Showcase
These are most popular and highly documented theme frameworks to start your work. Tell me about your choice of free wordpress theme framework so we have an idea of most popular framework now a days.
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