Framework for WordPress Theme Development
People who often build and develop WordPress themes are most likely to be fed up with the repetitive code writing and constant mark-up checking during the development process. All they want to do is to focus on the theme design and developing the features. WordPress development framework is a good solution for this. Using this framework, designing and coding a WordPress theme can be a lot faster. The framework minimizes the time required for the development, and reducing the boredom that comes from WordPress’ back end codes that are repeated in every WordPress theme.
This post is not discussing about how to find the best framework. This post is about how to find the suitable framework that can work well for people who are developing WordPress themes. People who are experienced developers will probably choose the powerful and feature rich Carrington or Thematic. People who are still a novice, should try the Whiteboard framework or even download a stripped out and blank canvas theme to make the designing process a lot faster and easier. The blank stripped out canvas theme can be found at the bottom of this post.
Which one would you use?
Thematic – WP Framework
Thematic is a highly polished WordPress Theme Framework that is built upon the 960.gs. At first glance, its backend may look daunting and complex, but you will soon realise just how well organised it is and easy to use. Its power is based upon its flexibility and its simple customisation, you would be very hard pushed to find a project you couldn’t use the Thematic WP Framework for.
Carrington – The CMS Theme Framework
Being by far the most powerful of all WP frameworks, Carrington was built with both developers and end-users in mind, it truly is the complete WordPress package. Upon download, the first time user may be put off by its undoubted complexity and its endless features and options, but don’t be put off. You must persevere with this framework, and when you learn all the ins and outs (with help from its in-depth documentation and forums) you will receive your just rewards, you will see how beneficial, rewarding and time saving Carrington can be. As the tagline goes, it may just be the best thing since you the wheel and sliced bread.
Theme Hybrid is WordPress Framework developed by Justin Tadlock. As with all Justin’s’ WordPress themes (the excellent Options theme), you know that you are getting a very powerful and versatile backend, but still very easy to use and develop upon. Theme hybrid truly is built with simplicity and power in mind.
The theme club has two types of membership, free and exclusive. Free members can download and use the themes for free and participate in the forums. For $25 you can join the exclusive club, which gives you access to tutorials and you are able to post questions on the support forums.
WP Framework is a great starting point when first learning about the WordPresses structure and first stepping into theme development as well as for the experienced user for quick development. Under the hood its foundation it is very solid, and this framework will cut down on your theme development time and allow you to focus directly and from the off on project-specific features. WP Framework is completely extensible, flexible and the starting point for theme authoring and customization.
Buffet Theme Framework
The Buffet Framework is a WordPress theme framework designed not only for the theme developers who will be using the theme actions and filters to create 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 utilises WordPress actions and filters to allow theme developers to add additional content without editing the templates files using the child theme concept.
Whiteboard – WP Theme Framework
Whiteboard will never be as powerful as the Carrington framework or the Buffet framework, it has been developed for simpler development requirements. Simply, it has been designed to speed up the process of designing and coding a WordPress theme by eliminating the time spent on WordPress’ back-end PHP that is repeatedly used in every theme. It is clean, noted, and very small, weighing in at 76kb, its amazingly compact.
The Thesis Theme is a framework that has been built with great typography, a dynamically resizable layout, intelligent code, airtight optimization, and with lots of flexibility that make it versatile enough for most projects. Have a look at this video review of Thesis 1.5.
The WordPress Starter Theme Project
Similar in idea as the Whiteboard framework, The WordPress Starter Theme Project was developed for those who hate repeatedly doing the same actions every time you start a new WordPress project. This is a very easy to use framework, which is ideal for the novice to learn the basics of WordPress structure.
Ashford WP Framework
Ashford has been built to be as simple as possible to use, it is also packed with many useful and powerful features. You can create and edit content with Adminbar, Hints and Admin-In-Place, choose from dozens of page layouts (including a content carousel), content can also be customized using widgets and multiple sidebars and of course all code validates and is fully SEO.
Ashford, like most frameworks, uses child themes, making it even easier to develop with. Unfortunately, child themes for Ashford are as yet limited.
The seemigly ageless Sandbox, is a useful tool for WordPress theme designers and developers, it can be easily developed solely with CSS, so beginners will feel comfortable not having to worry about PHP. Experienced developers and designers can accomplish almost anything with minimal work, thanks to the rich, semantic markup and profusion of classes dynamically generated by the Sandbox.
The main feature of the Sandbox, and the feature that has made it very popular, is its markup. The class-generating functions included with the Sandbox create an extensible and semantic XHTML structure. Please note, the Sandbox has only been tested up to WP 2.6.
The OnePress framework is an integrated website and forum solution. It is, simply, a WordPress theme to serve as the foundation and framework for your web site and online community. Leveraging both WordPress and phpBB projects, OnePress provides a set of features focused on helping you build and maintain your site from the inside out.
PSD Framework for Creating WordPress Themes
If you have ever found yourself reusing elements from previous designs when starting up Photoshop to create yet another WordPress theme, then this PSD download is just for you.
Blank WP Themes
Blank themes are not a development framework, as such, they are a blank canvas for quickly and painlessly starting a WordPress project. Below you will find the best of them.
Blank WP from Anna Linea
There are six themes within this download package.