I was asked again today about theme frameworks. The word “framework” has been popping up a lot lately in WordPress discussions and many have asked me to explain what that means and what effect, if any, it will have on their site. So here’s a quick rundown!
What is a WordPress Theme Framework?
What a framework means for you is more robust functionality within your WordPress Dashboard through each framework’s own dashboard. This pretty much makes a whole bunch of features that used to require coding knowledge or ability to successfully weed through PHP files no longer necessary.
To quote WordPress Codex:
“A theme framework is a theme that is designed to be a flexible foundation that can serve as a parent theme for building child themes. The use of WordPress theme frameworks may ease theme development by reducing the volume of work which may be needed in creating a backbone for your theme (usually by using PHP and WordPress Template Tags).”
Benefits of WordPress Theme Frameworks
What’s neat about frameworks is it allows premium theme developers to create a core theme that all subsequent themes, known as “child” themes can then play off of.
It allows you to have the same dashboard across all the developer’s themes while allowing him or her to integrate cool features and functionality across all their new themes (child themes) that you can then integrate and config with point and click ease. Picture a house, the parent theme or framework are all the 2 x 4s, electrical wiring and insulation. Child themes are then the wallpaper, paint and furnishings within the house. All of which you can change without messing with the 2 x 4s, electrical wiring or insulation.
StudioPress has the Genesis Framework which I use exclusively for my sites. Read: Genesis Framework for Beginners StudioPress was ahead of the curve by creating their Genesis framework to base their future themes upon. Now, new frameworks are being developed every day.
You want to have a framework/child theme setup so that you can customize the child theme and maintain those changes if/when the framework requires updating. This allows easy updating when necessary, while allowing users to keep the same interface they have become accustomed too.
Frameworks are pretty much, in my world anyways, the next best thing to sliced bread!
At your service,
P.S. Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Read my full Affiliate Disclosure Statement here.