As a new blogger when I used to search for new themes for my blog I came to know about “WordPress Theme Framework.” When I searched about the Framework information I came to know the best things about using wordpress theme frameworks. In this article I will explain the importance, advantages and also the disadvantages of using wordpress theme framework.
Importance of WordPress Theme Framework ?
When we say “Framework” it will mean an essential supporting structure of an object. In the same way when we say wordpress theme framework it means it is an essential code library supporting theme development.
WordPress theme up gradation brings the biggest problem of loosing custom styles. As every wordpress theme comes with its own functionality code, there is almost no chance of importing the old theme functions to new theme. To overcome this situation the core team and community came together and concept of parent theme and child theme was introduced. After the introduction of this concept, core team started building the framework with built-in functions. While the community started to build the child theme based having custom styling and using the functions defined in framework. Framework are used to build the parent theme, but you cannot say that framework is parent theme.
If we look into the definition of Parent theme and Child theme, it will be.
A parent theme is the backbone structure which contains all the functionality codes of your theme.
A child theme is meant for styling the front end part and it inherits the functionality of parent theme. A child theme allows you to modify, add the functionality of the parent theme.
This makes changing or updating themes smoother for any wordpress blog, as just change the child theme to get a new look without loosing any functionality. Even if there are some functionality updates or patches your styling will not get affected as functionality update will mean updating the parent theme.
Types of Theme Framework
- Code Library
- Base/Starter Theme
This type of Framework is bootstrapped into the theme itself to avail the framework functions. In short libraries are available in the theme itself and you cannot use such framework as stand alone theme.
Now this framework is stand alone theme and serves as parent themes for child themes. This is more flexible framework than the “Code Library.”
A detailed information about the wordpress theme framework types can be found in the wordpress website.
Contents of WordPress Framework Package
WordPress theme Framework package consists of two themes, parent theme and child theme. Parent theme includes the framework in it. Users can modify, add functions or custom styles on the child theme provided with the package.
Pros of using Framework
Ease of Development
Being all the functions either bootstrapped or contained in the parent theme, development of child themes is more easy.
Frameworks have strong community backing up the core development and fixing up various coding and security issues.
Frameworks come with built-in widgets, drop down menus and more functionality making it go beyond the traditional designing of wordpress blogs.
Frameworks are prepared with best standards defined by W3C community. Thus it helps search engines to crawl your blog properly.
Being backup up by strong community regular patches, security issues and frequent updates makes it strong. The upgrades are always smooth because the parent theme gets the updates and styles of child themes are unaffected.
Cons of using Framework
Using frameworks you will be bounded within the limitation of using functionality defined in the parent theme. It is very difficult to over ride the core files defined in parent theme.
Frameworks comes with built-in functions and most of these functions are not useful for everyone. So there is unnecessary coding present in parent theme and that cannot be omitted.
Some of the high quality Frameworks are not free and you need to pay a hefty amount as fee to receive annual updates and support.
After discussing all pros and cons about using framework for a wordpress blog above I would recommend using a good framework for the readers. There are many pros using a framework and for the cons are concerned, after sometime users can adjust with the limitations. As you know now days Google is getting stricter applying search based algorithms Panda and Penguin updates to its search results. Like Google every search engine likes to have standard code for your blog and framework follows the best standards defined by W3C community. Therefore framework would provide a good SEO for your blog and will improve search rankings.
Recommended reading for knowing what is Google Panda and Penguin updates and SEO techniques.