Why use a WordPress Theme Framework with a child theme?
A child theme is simply a theme that inherits the functionality, layout and general appearance of a “parent” theme. The idea of a child theme is that you can modify, and add to the functionality of that parent theme without modifying it directly.
A non-technical way to think about it is to compare it to a kit car (popular in the 80’s). Basically, you would take a VW Beatle or other small car and place a fiberglass body designed to look like a Ferrari, Delorean, Roadster, Daytona or other make (generally sports cars) on its frame. The engine, brakes, transmission, steering and electrical were all the original vehicle but the look and style were all kit car.
The advantage of a theme framework is not simply that you don’t have to start your WordPress design from scratch but also that the core code which drives functionality is kept up to date. This means that when WordPress has a major new release you won’t need to scramble because your menus or other site elements aren’t functioning properly and error codes aren’t appearing on your site.
WordPress Frameworks come in a range of flavors, some spartan others heavily GUI (Graphical User Interface) loaded with Drag and Drop functionality. Our preference is the Genesis Framework because it’s rock solid, has no recurring fees and is incredibly modular. While it’s not as easy to learn as other frameworks it prevents accidental damage to website design by not having tons of easily modifiable options that can completely change the look and function of your site.
In addition to the Genesis Theme Framework, a number of other popular Premium and Free Theme Frameworks are available; you might want to check out:
- The Default WordPress Themes 2014, 2015, 2016 can all be used with a Child Theme
- Divi an all-around solution for web developers that comes with everything you could possibly want in a theme framework.
- BootStart built on top of Bootstrap, leverages the technology’s functionality to the fullest giving you the power to use the amazing features that come with it.
- Thesis 2.0 theme is an elegant theme framework, designed for bloggers and small business owners, that comes with social media and email subscription services right out of the box
- iThemes offers over 65 themes and their iThemes Builder is the powerful framework that is designed to be used as a parent theme for them as well as to create custom child themes
- Upfront by WPMUDEV – Drag, scale, position, customize and see every edit as it’s made – in real-time – with Upfront theme framework for WordPress.