10 Best WordPress Theme Frameworks Reviewed (2021)

Creating new WordPress themes from scratch could be a time-consuming and demanding process that requires in-depth coding information and fixed studying to maintain up with the updates of the WordPress Core. In reply to this problem, increasingly WordPress theme frameworks have appeared in the marketplace lately.

Theme frameworks operate as a scaffolding for a brand new theme; they supply builders with a set of options and functionalities they’ll use to create their very own themes.

Opinions about WordPress theme frameworks are divided within the developer group. Followers argue that they’re actual timesavers, shorten and facilitate the event workflow, take the burden of intensive coding off our shoulders, and make it doable to focus extra on design. Opponents say theme frameworks can have excessive studying curves, and they’re too restrictive as nicely, as, by their predefined guidelines, they prescribe what we are able to do and what not.

counter-argument towards larger studying curves will be that we now have to know the logic of a framework solely as soon as, then we are able to reuse the identical information a number of occasions and don’t have to fret about following all the brand new updates of the WordPress Core. Predefined guidelines, the opposite criticism coming from opponents, are known as finest practices by the followers.

No matter stance you’re taking, WordPress theme frameworks have develop into wildly standard lately, so it’s price testing what they’ve to supply. In the remainder of this put up, we are going to check out 5 premium and 5 free WordPress theme frameworks to be able to determine in the event that they’re price their salt.

1. Genesis


Genesis is a extremely customizable, safe, and mobile-friendly WordPress theme framework providing customized web page templates, featured content material widgets, elaborate Theme Choices, and lots of different cool options. The framework itself must be put in as a mum or dad theme, then you possibly can customise it based on your wants through the use of a baby theme.

The mum or dad theme (Genesis framework) itself is presently the most well-liked WP theme on the market. There are additionally {many professional} Genesis little one themes accessible on the net (premium and free), however you possibly can create your individual little one theme if you would like as nicely. Take a look at Genesis’s showcase if you wish to see how different designers made use of it.

2. Underscores


Underscores, the favored and versatile starter theme framework created by Automattic, is the start line for a lot of skilled theme builders. It’s really useful solely to superior builders, as Underscores comes with neither a visible builder nor a Theme Choices panel.

In return, it has excessive coding requirements, well-commented HTML5 templates, a well-organized starter type.css file, a toggled dropdown menu for small screens, a useful 404 template, 2 pattern CSS layouts, and lots of different developer-friendly options that takes theme improvement to the subsequent degree.

3. Thesis


Thesis is a versatile theme framework that focuses on search engine marketing and simple customizability. It has a drag-and-drop visible template editor that makes it doable so as to add completely different functionalities, akin to e-newsletter signup kinds and social buttons, to your designs.

It additionally comes with editable Skins that enable builders to shortly implement stunning designs. It’s not only for novice builders although, as skilled coders may take leverage of its flexibility with the assistance of the event instruments of the Thesis API.

4. Headway


Headway is a chic drag-and-drop theme builder that may be an ideal selection for designers who don’t wish to get their fingers soiled with code. Constructing themes with Headway is a two-step course of: first, you’re speculated to create the format with the assistance of the Visible Editor; secondly, you possibly can add customized stylings, akin to typography, colours, and different visuals utilizing the Design Editor.

If you wish to tailor the CSS code, there’s a Reside CSS Editor for that objective as nicely. Headway additionally makes it doable to export your themes to different Headway-powered WordPress websites simply.

5. Storefront


Storefront is a theme developed by the group from WooCommerce. It comes with minimal styling with deep integration with WooCommerce.

It makes Storefront an ideal base to create a customized WooCommerce theme. You possibly can simply modify the format, the typography, and different design components by way of the Customizer or by way of little one theme.

6. GeneratePress

GeneratePress website homepage

GeneratePress might be one among few WordPress theme frameworks that I believe may be very nicely constructed. Every function is modular, which lets you allow or disable a selected one as wanted, and allow it to be performant proper of the field.

It additionally integrates with the brand new editor in Gutenberg seamlessly by way of its sister plugin, GenerateBlocks. The theme framework and the plugin gives an ideal expertise for the developer to construct a website and the end-users to authoring content material.

7. Gantry


Gantry is a quick and light-weight theme framework for creating WordPress and Joomla themes. It’s developed by RocketTheme, a well-liked premium theme webshop that determined to offer their framework away to most people totally free.

Gantry has a visible menu editor, an Ajax admin that makes the backend extremely quick, a drag-and-drop format supervisor, a content material block builder known as Particle System, and lots of refined visible design options, akin to a picture picker, an icon picker, a font picker, and lots of others. Gantry pleases advanced developers as nicely, because it helps CSS preprocessors (SCSS and LESS), the YAML syntax, and Twig-based templating.

8. Sage

Sage homepage and command lines to start a project with it

Sage is a complicated WordPress framework for builders to construct a customized WordPress theme from Roots. It comes some fashionable improvement instruments like Webpack, Blade templating, Sass, Yarn, and Composer pre-configured and fine-tuned for WordPress improvement. So you can begin constructing your subsequent superior theme with out losing time on organising configurations.

By combining it with the compona instruments, Bedrock and Trellis, you may get an entire end-to-end software for each the theme improvement and deployment to the manufacturing website.

9. Tonik


Tonik is a framework that goals to modernize WordPress theme developments by way of higher file group, buildings, and improvement patterns in PHP, JavaScript, and CSS. The framework contains the starter theme with centralized configurations, the customized features like templating, hooks, pre-configured Webpack to compile JavaScript, and the CSS recordsdata.

What’s distinctive about this framework is that it additionally gives its own “tonik” CLI as an extra software that enables to generate theme scaffold or refactor the theme.

10. UnderStrap


UnderStrap extends the Underscores begin theme with Bootstrap 4, which lets you simply reuse parts just like the Grid Layouts, Buttons, and Varieties on the theme.

It additionally integrates with some Jetpack functionalities, WooCommerce, and gives Panel choices to customise the theme from the WordPress dashboard. It’s a theme framework with apt instruments and built-in options to construct your subsequent superior WordPress theme.

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