WordPress is one of the best content management systems out there, and for good reason: the sheer number of themes, widgets, plugins and extensions is truly staggering, and it keeps growing on a daily basis. Considering the popularity of WordPress, it’s no wonder so many developers decide to join in and try to earn some extra cash on the side developing themes. However, not all themes are designed equal.
There are different types of themes developed with different goals in mind, and knowing which one is right for you can be difficult. When it comes to picking between WordPress theme frameworks and standard WordPress themes, how can you know which way to go? The things get even more complicated once you throw child themes into the mix. Read on to find out more about WordPress theme frameworks, how they work, what they do, and what makes them so different.
What Are WordPress Theme Frameworks?
According to WordPress Codex, WordPress theme frameworks can refer to three different things, depending on their complexity and usage. They can be defined as the “drop-in” code library used when developing themes that can’t be installed or used as a standalone theme. These types of libraries are usually shipped with the theme inside the functions.php file. There are, however, WordPress theme frameworks developers use as starter themes when developing their own themes. And lastly, technically speaking, any standalone theme can be a framework, even though not every theme has been developed as a framework.
What’s The Difference Between WordPress Parent Themes And WordPress Theme Frameworks?
Every framework comes with a parent theme, optional child themes, functions, and action and filter hooks which can be leveraged by child themes and plugins. Depending on their complexity, WordPress theme frameworks can also come with widgets, scripts and theme options to simplify the development process, but keep in mind that not every framework includes these elements. In other words, a parent theme without the functions and action and filter hooks is just a basic parent theme, not a real framework.
Why Should You Care About WordPress Theme Frameworks?
The main reason developers use WordPress theme frameworks is to speed up the development process. Using a framework means you won’t have to write the same lines of code each and every time you start developing a new theme. Another great thing about using frameworks are the communities behind them. The code has probably already been used and reviewed by other developers, which means there are fewer bugs, and you can easily find a solution to any problem you might run into down the road.