WordPress is an awesome open source software you can use to create beautiful websites and blogs. The first thing every new WordPress user has to decide is which theme to use on their new website. A theme is essentially the design of your WordPress website. While surfing for the best themes, we commonly come across themes and theme frameworks with child themes. If you are new to WordPress then you can be unsure of the theme frameworks. In this article, we will explain to you what is WordPress theme framework.
What is WordPress Theme Framework?
WordPress theme framework often refers to a code library that is used to facilitate the development of a theme. In addition to the already built-in functions in WordPress, frameworks can add extra actions, filters and hooks for developers to use.
The functionality and features of the theme such as codes, widgets, control panel, templates etc are stored in the framework generally to be used as a Parent theme. Child themes take care of designing such as appearance, colours, layouts etc.
Child themes of a framework will use the same core functionality of the Framework as the Parent theme but still can look completely different due to the customization in the child themes.
In nutshell, frameworks are essentially starter themes that you can use as a foundation to design your own theme to significantly boost performance and efficiency.
Theme frameworks are developed to be used as a parent theme. A framework is never meant to be used a final product. It requires a child theme to be used along with the parent theme to work.
A normal theme can also have parent theme and child theme combination but that does not make it a framework. As the parent theme can also be used as a final product.
So, if you have to update your core files you can update the parent theme without touching any customizations made in the looks of your child theme, thus resulting in no loss of the customizations made to the theme. If you use a theme or only parent themes then all your customization can be lost when the developer decides to update the functions of the theme as it will update the core files.
Advantages of WordPress Theme Framework
Community – Most WordPress theme frameworks have a great community that can answer your questions and queries related to customizations.
Robust Code – Theme frameworks are peer-reviewed, so it will adhere to the best standards of coding and also be compatible to with most well-coded plugins.
Ease of Development – Well written theme frameworks will reduce the development time as they also come with build in widgets and additional functionalities.
Theme updates – They eliminate the risks of losing out the custom customizations and styles make to the child themes as updates are pushed out to the parent theme.
Disadvantages of WordPress Theme Framework
Cost – Most of the frameworks are not free. It may cost you a onetime fee or a yearly subscription to get regular support and updates to the theme framework.
Learning Curve – Most frameworks have their own hooks and filters. To utilize the full potential of the framework you must learn the technical aspects of the particular framework which may be different from other frameworks. You may also have to get familiar with the framework terminology.
Bloated Code – Some frameworks come with a plethora of built-in functionality, some of them are not useful and may not be used ever. For most users, it may not necessarily impact them but for developers, it can play a major role in customizations and compatibility.
Framework Limitations – Some frameworks can have limitations due to the above-mentioned problem of bloated code and to use certain customizations you may have to depend on the framework specific developers or plugins to solve them.
Should You Use a Theme Framework?
There is absolutely no reason why anyone in the market for new WordPress theme should not use a Theme Framework. It may be not available for free and cost you a bit of money and have a bit of a learning curve but in the long run, it speeds up development time. Keep up to date with industry standards with the help of the community of the framework.
Best WordPress Theme Framework
WordPress theme frameworks have developed significantly over the last few years. There are dozens of frameworks available. We use Genesis Framework from Studio Press. It is a great framework for development.
Genesis is the most popular WordPress theme frameworks. It has a very lightweight code and is not bloated like several other frameworks. It’s also SEO optimized and enhances site’s visibility on search engines.
Hopefully, with the help of this article, you must have understood what is WordPress theme framework and if we have missed something please let us know in the comments below.
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