Most Popular WordPress Frameworks 2017
If you are developing themes for WordPress, chances are you’ve come across a framework at least once in your search for tools, resources and general information regarding WordPress development. Here we comes with Most Popular WordPress Frameworks list. Using a wireframe can make developing a theme faster, easier and more fun, provided that the framework is following the latest trends and techniques.
By incorporating an underlying infrastructure to your development process, the obvious benefits are plenty and good enough on their own, but it is crucial that you select the correct framework for the project in question. With more than 40+ different frameworks out there, it can be difficult to choose the correct one, and even more difficult to keep up to date with what the different platforms can offer you as a developer.
Some of these frameworks are even designed to be beginner friendly, meaning that the documentation is extensive and easy to understand, the code is at minimal difficulty, and there’s hundreds of active community users to help you answer any and all questions you might have.
Whether you want a framework with predefined layouts, drag-and-drop page builders or perhaps just a simple bootstrapped structure on which to include your own code and functions, on this list, there’s a framework that’s right for you:
We’ve broken down the list into two (2) main categories, open-source and commercial ones, but the common denominator is that all of these frameworks have a solid codebase, clean and responsive designs, and they are all optimized for SEO according to WordPress best practices.
Open-Source WordPress Frameworks:
Cherry Framework 4
Cherry Framework 4 is a free, powerful and user-friendly solution developed by TemplateMonster. Intended for the users of different backgrounds and all skill levels, it is packed-full with a number of advanced features providing for its seamless installation and management. Fully responsive, it is pre-loaded with a number of shortcodes and Shortcode template editor. While the former will work well for beginners, the latter is more oriented of professional webmasters.
A number of custom Cherry plugins is included to spice up your web project with any piece of content possible, without wasting time on installing third-party plugins or tweaking the code. The Framework is GPL compliant. WMPL support ensures a proper translation of your site’s data into a number of foreign languages, thus expanding your business reach. Cherry Framework 4 is compatible with all the popular WordPress extensions. Theme settings backup feature allows you to feel save that your customization efforts will not go in vain.
This framework helps you develop a WordPress theme with ease, without having to clone from GitHub, SSH into your servers, or any other cumbersome activity. By simply going to the website, you’ll be met by a small generator script, asking for a few details such as the theme name, author name, and text domain.
Once you’ve filled out this information, you’ll download a zip file containing your new theme. This framework does not provide mobile responsiveness out of the box, nor any styling, so you will have full creative control, the ideology of underscores it to provide the bare minimum structure, without any excessive bloat or superficial features.
One of the oldest frameworks out there, Gantry was originally developed for Joomla themes but has since been ported to work with WordPress, which is now the main use for this framework. RocketTheme is the developer and has been known for excellent support and extensive community users.
Gantry comes with a visual editor, which means you won’t have to know any code in order to create a stunning theme, but with the massive amount of features, newcomers might find this too technical and advanced.
For the more advanced programmer, Roots could be the ideal framework. This is not like the 2 other free frameworks since it requires Vagrant, a virtual server system that can be quite complicated to understand and set up for new users. However, the features it provides are quite extensive, and if you’re a serious developer, it could be worth investing some time into learning more about this system and its capabilities.
There’s also some very cool plugins that can be paired with Roots, such as HTML5 boilerplate .htaccess, allowing for advanced control and manipulation of the WordPress auto-generated .htaccess file. But perhaps the most interesting plugin is that Stage Switcher, which enables a single WP installation to contain both Production and Development environments, greatly reducing overhead on environment programming.
Commercial WordPress Frameworks:
A drag and drop builder for WordPress, this is an easy to use service for anyone wanting to build and design their own templates and layouts. Plenty of features for beginners and intermediate users, but advanced programmers might want to look at some of the other commercial options, as the extendability is somewhat limited.
Compared to the other frameworks on this list, beginners can rejoice in the fact that no coding or programming knowledge is required to build an awesome website with this framework, and if the requirements are not all too sophisticated, the possibilities with this starter theme can satisfy most needs.
One of the best selling frameworks on ThemeForest, Divi can be used to create virtually any type of WordPress site. Comes with all the latest code and technology, but most of it can be stripped away if you feel there’s too much bloat. A solid choice for a commercial framework, with great support.
Apart from an extensive set of ready-made designs and pages, Divi comes with a page builder that works on the drag-and-drop principle, eliminating the need for most coding, although still keeping that option open for anyone who prefers to add their own code in unison with the shortcodes and other helpful assets that Divi provides it’s customers with.
Another of the best sellers on ThemeForest, Avada is much like Divi in that both of the skeletons are ready to use, and comes with a number of predefined layouts. You might even call this a theme first, and framework second, meaning that there’s already tons of settings you can use, and unless you need a completely original type of function or feature, most likely Avada already has an extension, plugin or visual page builder you can use out of the box.
With one of the best-rated products on ThemeForest, as well as having dedicated supporters to assists customers with help, this could be an excellent choice for commercial products where speed and reliability is of the essence.
Hardcore developers and programmers might not need a WordPress Theme Framework, but the rest of us can save considerable amounts of time and energy by using one. Furthermore, using one of the above frameworks, or another one not on this list, can help ensure the following of WordPress guidelines, provide correct mobile responsiveness and SEO optimization, and more often than not, they look great out of the box.
Whether you’re developing your own business website, or designing one for a client of yours, we hope you’ve found some useful information here. Thanks for reading!