A framework is literally a frame upon which a web designer adds the design elements. A WordPress Theme frameworks is a skeletal frame set with HTML and CSS with all the WordPress code embedded within it, upon which a designer can paint the website walls.
Most WordPress designers and developers either create their own WordPress Theme frameworks or use one already created for every WordPress site they develop. It’s important for them to be familiar with all the HTML and CSS design elements so they can quickly apply the design elements, whether from scratch, wireframe, or from a Photoshop to WordPress conversion. The more you understand how a Theme framework functions, the faster the design work can be applied.
Basic information on frameworks for WordPress Themes is found in the WordPress Codex article on Theme Frameworks, but it does little more than link to free WordPress Theme frameworks and a few articles and references. While the volunteer documentation team on the WordPress Codex works to improve the article, here are some resources that might help you understand how WordPress Theme frameworks work, how to build one yourself, or how to choose one upon which to build your WordPress site. Below that is a list of free WordPress Theme frameworks for you to experiment with.
- Why I created a WordPress theme framework – Justin Tadlock
- WordPress Theme Development Frameworks – Smashing WordPress
- The Top 10 WordPress Theme Frameworks | Wptuts+
- 15 Responsive CSS Frameworks Worth Considering – Specky Boy
- WordPress Theme Frameworks: Options You Should Consider – Six Revisions
- 10 HTML5-Ready Blank, Bare-Bones and Naked Themes for WordPress – Specky Boy
- 15 Free WordPress Themes with a Responsive Layout – Specky Boy
- Top 10 Preferred WordPress Theme Development Frameworks | inspirationfeed.com
- Build WordPress themes smarter: 23 theme frameworks compared | WPCandy
- 20 Free HTML5 WordPress Themes and Theme Frameworks – WPLift
- 20 WordPress Theme Frameworks And Starting Resources – 1st Web Designer
- Top 10 Free WordPress Frameworks for Designers | Most Inspired: Design Inspiration Blog
The following are free WordPress Theme frameworks available for downloading and designing with. Each one offers a variety of features so explore their feature sets thoroughly. Some of the articles above offer comparisons between the different Theme frameworks and tips for working with each one. Some of these are especially designed for HTML5 and/or CSS3. Most typically are cross-browser and mobile friendly.
- Ashford WordPress Theme
- onepress WordPress Theme Framework supporting phpBB
- The 1140px CSS Grid System
- H5 WordPress Framework
- BLANK WordPress Theme
- Fluid Baseline Grid (HTML5/CSS3)
- Golden Grid System
- The Goldilocks Approach to Responsive Web Design
- HTML5 WordPress Shell
- HTML5 Reset
- Less Framework 4
- Brave New World WordPress theme
- Handcrafted WP Starter Theme
- The Semantic Grid System
- Simon WP Framework
- 320 and up
- Gridless (HTML5/CSS3)
- Bones (HTML5)
- Reverie (HTML5)
- Hybrid theme framework
- Toolbox (HTML5)
- Whiteboard Framework for WordPress
- Roots WordPress Theme (HTML5)
- The Buffet Framework
WOW there are a lot of frames here. Picking one seems to take more time than I want to give it right at the beginning, but I’ll need to set time aside and really look at each one of these to make a good decision for me.
FRAMEWORKS! Frames are for pictures. LOL!
The key is to determine what your framework needs are and find the one that best matches those needs.
Which to choose? Responsive vs. non responsive frameworks…
I’ve been looking for a HTML5 / CSS3 framework to build my first WP theme and have discovering responsive layout frameworks like Skeleton, Reverie, Foundation and Yoko, These all appeal to me, particularly Skeleton.
However, I’m not sure what I’m getting into with these frameworks regarding their ‘Responsive’ nature. Because this is my first WP theme and because I prefer fixed layouts over fluid layouts … should I look for a non-Responsive framework instead or I go for Skeleton or Reverie? I prefer not to fixed designs over fluid designs but it would be nice to support other media devices better.
What additional work / skills / time are required to work with these responsive layouts?
Am I limited by these types of frameworks?
Wow, the only answer I can give you is “it depends.” I wish I could be more specific but you are asking for a wide spectrum of advice when you aren’t sure yourself what you want. Experiment. Try different ones. Test them out. This is just an article with a list not a comprehensive technique to support my WordPress and blogging classes. Poke them and see how they work for you.
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