WordPress is one of the most widely used content management system. over 20% of websites are powered by it. As a designer, building theme from scratch can be a burden but the use of WordPress theme frameworks may ease theme development by reducing the volume of work which may be needed in creating a backbone for your theme (usually by using PHP and WordPress Template Tags) and help you focus mainly on the theme design helping you to finish theme design in record time.
most WordPress theme framework are usually extended by creating a child theme.
Below are the list of some top WordPress starter themes and frameworks.
Genesis is a premium theme framework that empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. three reason to use this the framework are:
Search Optimized – State of the art code and smart design architecture mean search engines clearly see your content. And with automatic updates, you never have to think about it again.State of the art code, smart design architecture, and easy Google Authorship identification make it simple for search engines to see what you.
Turn-Key Designs – The Genesis turn-key designs give you an array of beautiful frames for your content. The design settings give you unprecedented control of the framework.
Unlimited Everything – Unlimited support. Unlimited updates. Unlimited websites. There’s no “Developer Option” here. One low price entitles you to support, updates, and domains.
Thesis is one of the most popular premium theme frameworks, used on over 42,712 websites. There are two licenses, with the less expensive one only allowing use on a single website (the developer license can be used on an unlimited number of your own sites, with additional license fees for use on client websites).
Thesis is powerful. It has a remarkably efficient HTML + CSS + PHP framework and easy-to-use controls that you can use to fine-tune each and every page of your site with a tactical precision that has never been possible before. The days of worrying about your in-site SEO are over—with Thesis, your strategy is “just add amazing content”.
If you do not know coding not a problem. The Thesis option panels allow you to command your site with ease, while Thesis does all of the heavy lifting behind the scenes. You’ve never had this much control over your site before, and this is precisely what makes Thesis indispensable to critical website owners all over the globe.
Some of the feature that make thesis thick include:
Get a Design You Love – Choose one of their pre-made Skins, and love it as is. Or add new functionality as you see fit without ever writing one line of code.
Tweak Without Code – Forget plugins. Now you can drag and drop add-on functionality ANYWHERE in your WordPress design without ever touching PHP files or CSS files. You’re in complete control with Thesis 2.0.
Customize at Will – Now anyone—yes anyone—can deploy complex CSS customizations without ever touching a CSS file. Find the package you want, upload it into Thesis, play with the options, and BAM! You’re done.
Thesis Loads FAST! – ow that Google considers page load times in their search engine rankings, it’s time you get a theme that takes speed seriously.
Get More Search Traffic – Thesis is compatible with every mission-critical SEO feature right out of the box. That means you can see an increase in click-through rates on your search results by 30% to 150% or more.
Killer Support Forum – If you’re struggling with getting your site up and running, no problem. Thesis 2.0 and DIYthemes have your back. Our support experts are standing by in our forums, and they’re ready to answer your questions.
Catalyst is the ultimate WordPress tool to build a website. Even with no coding experience, you can use Catalyst to build your own fully functional website from the ground up. Unlike other theme frameworks, each Catalyst website looks completely different.
How Catalyst Empowers You: Have the satisfaction of creating your own website, Build a website with the features and design you want, Control your website using our point and click interface, Focus on your business, not on learning how to code, Learn how to successfully grow your own web presence and Easy to learn website management.
Thematic is a free, open-source, highly extensible, search-engine optimized WordPress Theme Framework featuring 13 widget-ready areas, grid-based layout samples, styling for popular plugins, and a whole community behind it. It’s perfect for beginner bloggers and WordPress development professionals.
- Perfect to use as-is or as a blank WordPress theme for development
- Fully Search-Engine Optimized
- Extra widget-ready areas (13 in total) and more possible in your Child Theme
- Free and commercially supported Child Themes are available for upgrading the theme
- Includes a sample WordPress Child Theme for rapid development
- A wiki-editable guide to Thematic Customization
- Ready for WordPress plugins like Subscribe to Comments, WP-PageNavi, and Comment-license
- Fully compatible with All-In-One SEO and Platinum SEO plugins
- Multiple, easy to implement, bulletproof layout options for 2, or 3 column designs
- Modular CSS with pre-packaged resets and basic typography
- Dynamic post and body classes make it a hyper-canvas for CSS artists
- Editable footer text—remove the theme credit without harming the theme
- Options for multi-author blogs
Hybrid Core is a development framework with the purpose of giving you a solid PHP code base from which to build. It’s primary purpose is to make it quicker for developers to build new themes. Its features include breadcrumbs, galleries, pagination, enhanced featured images, drop down menus, post templates, and more.
All WordPress themes and plugins available on Theme Hybrid are completely free to download and enjoy.If you’re a developer, you’ll love this theme. Hybrid offers 14 custom page templates, 9 widget-ready areas, lots of actions and filters to hook your functions to. Also, the available child themes are feature rich so starting a development process should be an easy task.
The UpThemes Framework is a A powerful, lightweight theme options framework that makes it possible for your themes to have amazing theme options within the WordPress dashboard.
some of it features are:
Settings API – The new UpThemes Framework takes advantage of the Settings API, making our theme options panel extremely lightweight and easy-to-use.
WordPress-Standard Media Uploader – No longer a separate piece of functionality, the Framework now uses the built-in WordPress media uploader for enhanced security and less code overhead.
Custom Layouts & Color Schemes – Many themes offer a choice of layout and color scheme. The UpThemes Framework makes it incredibly easy to select the layout and color scheme that’s right for your website.
Live Theme Customizer – With the new theme customizer, the UpThemes Framework now allows you to preview every option, including instant header and background image updates.
Customizable Header and Background Images – Easily update the logo and background image or color instantly!
Multiple Language Support – Most themes come with multiple languages to choose from, and if not – we make it easy to add your own language.
If you’re looking to create WordPress themes using HTML5, the HTML5 WordPress Shell could be a great starting point. It can be used to create responsive themes, with media queries included for major devices.
It’s a WordPress Theme and WP Framework. The Mission: to assist in rapidly creating and deploying WordPress driven websites. It’s a blank theme that provides the most flexibility for creating child themes from Simon WP Framework. Theme comes with custom icons. This Framework is widget ready in the sidebar and in the footer. a run down of it features are:
Screen SizeAs users adopt larger screens this WordPress Framework proves size does matter.
Widget Ready Customized Theme with Widget areas within the Sidebar and the Footer
Post Formats A piece of meta information that can be used by the Theme to customize its presentation.
Child Theme Update the Framework directly or download the Child Theme as your starting point.
Really Free Unlike other WordPress Frameworks that claim to be free, the goal here isn’t to sell memberships or Themes.
Open Source Theme code base is open to programmers and designers to improve upon.
Gantry is a freebie by the RocketTheme dev team which consolidates their extensive theme-building experience into a simple yet powerful starter framework. Apart from the other frameworks listed here, Gantry is compatible with Joomla in addition to WordPress, which extends its usefulness beyond the confines of a single CMS.
This is probably one of the most feature-rich free frameworks, boasting a configurable admin interface, dozens of widgets, built-in extendable AJAX, and many more, making it an extremely flexible instrument.
the RocketTheme website offers a very detailed set of documents and tutorials on Gantry.
Whiteboard includes only core WordPress structure, which keeps it from being bloated and means that you won’t have to start each project by removing half of the code. Features include multi-lingual compatibility, the Less Framework and CSS3, HTML5, and it is lightweight.It is designed to speed up the process of designing and coding a WordPress theme by eliminating the time spent on WordPress’ back-end PHP that is used in every theme.
Whiteboard is clean, noted, and compact (only 76KB in size – unzipped!). It includes all the standard PHP tags and PHP files needed for a WordPress theme – plus a few extras.
The Sandbox is a powerful tool available for WordPress theme designers and developers. The Sandbox can be easily designed just with CSS, so beginners will feel comfortable not bothering with PHP.
Experienced developers and designers can accomplish almost anything with minimal work, thanks to the rich, semantic markup and profusion of classes dynamically generated by the Sandbox.
Carrington is a CMS theme framework for WordPress that makes it easy to create unique looks for different categories, posts and comments just by creating custom templates. Framework with full documentation, community forums to have Your problems explained, very friendly!
- h4>vanilla-theme – The template engine WordPress
Vanilla’s key boast is this: Exceptional power and freedom for designers, without (or barely) needing to know or touch PHP. Thanks to the combined capabilities of PHPTAL templates, Carrington’s atomic templates, YUI CSS and full widgetization (including custom widget controls).
Lovely framework released under code.google.com section where several frameworks is combined together – definitely worth checking out!
A rapid popular theme development Framework for WordPress.
Reverie is a versatile HTML5 responsive WordPress framework based on the Power of Foundation. a powerful tool for building prototypes on any kind of devices. Reverie follows HTML5 Boilerplate standard and is hNews microformat ready. It is optimized for Search Engine while at the same time improve readability.
It is extremely easy to create your blog, CMS, brochure and any other kind of sites with Reverie.
Reverie uses media query to adjust for all kinds of devices, including phones, tablets and computers. Reverie is also optimized for iPhone and iPad. Icons and loading images will be display when you save your website as a Home Screen app (example in the above image). Add this page to Home Screen on any iOS devices to see what I mean. You can resize this page to see how Reverie responses according to different browser resolutions.
The Bones framework comes in two variations: classic and responsive. The classic version is built on the 960 Grid. The responsive version gives you are starting point to design for multiple devices, with a stylesheet set up for media queries and a mobile first approach. Bones isn’t intended to be a framework for which you develop child themes. Instead, it is intended to be a project template. Get started working with the future of CSS today. Using LESS or Sass can speed up your development time when used properly. Bones gets you started by giving you a great starting point.
Bones makes it easy to add Custom Post Types by giving you a well documented example. It also includes functions to customize the admin area for your clients. These are totally optional though, so if you don’t need them, delete them. No big deal.
With a fantastic Mobile-First approach, Bones serves up the absolute minimum to small devices, saving precious bandwidth and speeding up load times.
Skeleton is a simple responsive theme that can be used as is, or it can be used as a starting point for your own custom themes. It’s features include shortcodes for CSS3 buttons, column shortcodes with media queries, and more. It is a theme aimed at helping you build simple, uncluttered, useable, and mobile-friendly websites. Skeleton has styling for typography and form elements + includes simple tabs and accordions.
Roots is a WordPress starter theme based on HTML5 Boilerplate & Bootstrap from Twitter. three main feature that make root unique are:
Write Less Code With the Theme Wrapper – Template markup is handled by base.php instead of being scattered across all template files like typical themes.
Cleaner WordPress Code Output – We clean up lots of code that you’re used to seeing in WordPress themes.
Cleaner WordPress Code Output – We clean up lots of code that you’re used to seeing in WordPress themes.
PressWork is a free, open source WordPress theme framework built for modern browsers using HTML5 and CSS3. Features include a drag & drop front-end editor for easy customization, the top 20 most popular Google Fonts and a responsive design using media queries so your site will look good on the iPad, iPhone and other handheld devices.
Foundation, for WordPress, is a blank starter theme built on ZURB’s Foundation Framework v4.
It features clean semantic code, support for custom headers and backgrounds and the WordPress Shortcode API.
Yet another HTML5 wordpress theme framework
Wonderflux is a professional, free WordPress theme framework. It allows you to rapidly develop highly sophisticated, custom WordPress themes with just a handful of files (minimum is just 1 – style.css) using the principle of a Child theme. It has location-aware template parts that allow you to concentrate on the content, not the code. The framework comes with a fully dynamic CSS grid system, simple administration controls and over 100 display hooks.
There are several important stuff behind Elastic: a visual theme editor, a theme engine, and a set of protocols that link these two.
It aims to bring a new approach to editing and creating themes which both developers and end-users will find easy to work with.
The Buffet Framework is a theme framework designed not only for the theme developers who will be using the theme actions and filters to create the child themes, but also for the end users who would be able to add and remove what they want.
Like most WordPress theme frameworks, the Buffet Framework utilises WordPress actions and filters to allow theme developers to add additional content without editing the templates files using the child theme concept.
Another key feature of this framework is the usage of extensions. Theme developers can group a set of action and filter functions into a class and register it as a theme extension. With it, users of the child theme itself can enable/disable that extension easily whenever they want via the options panel.
- Search Engine Optimization – includes many SEO features such as breadcrumbs, headings, canonical URLs
- Support for Microformats – compatible with some of the microformats like hAtom, hCard and XOXO
- jQuery Powered – comments form validation, SuperSleight for IE6, Superfish menus, jBreadcrumb included
- Packaged with CSS Frameworks – comes with 960gs and Blueprint CSS
- Action & Filter Hooks – using the parent-child theme concept (with inline documentation)
- Theme Options – organized in tabs, with features such as custom RSS feed links and custom footer messages
- Theme Extensions – allow end-users to enable/disable features using the extensions feature
- Plugin Compatibility – works with WP-PageNavi, WP-Print, Subscribe to Comments and more
- Localization – fully localized, ready for translation
WooFramework is a turbo charged engine behind all our WooThemes WordPress themes. Some of the many benefits of the WooFramework:
Consistent code & structure themes are coded using the same naming conventions, hierarchical folder structure and well commented functions meaning it’s simple for developers to cut and paste modules across themes.
One-click upgrades The WooFramework receives constant tweaks and upgrades, and thanks to the in-built framework updater you can make sure you are running the latest version with the click of a button.
Custom Branding In the backend remove all WooThemes references and add your own logo to the theme option’s panel, and footer credits. Impress your clients with the help of Woo magic.
Custom Shortcodes it include Custom Shortcodes that allow you to easily add buttons, boxes, social buttons, columns and more to your posts, pages and widgets.
Backend theme options Making simple changes without editing code, like adding your own logo, changing to an alternate color style, adding Google Analytics code, couldn’t be easier with our WordPress backend theme option’s panel.
Cross-browser compatible it has been tested to ensure they are compatible with all the modern web browsers like Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. They should also all be web standards compliant.
Auto-sizing thumbnails An image re-sizer script built into the Woo framework automatically scales your post images for pixel perfect display in our templates. No need to upload new cropped images when re-designing your website.
Custom page templates it come packaged with a full width page template without the sidebar, and site map/archives page templates for efficient quick links to all the hidden posts you wrote ages ago that still deserve to be seen.
Ashford Pro is a CMS framework that professionals and coders trust to build remarkable WordPress web sites and blogs.
When you buy Pro, you get a brilliant and high quality theme that can be customized without any knowledge of CSS, HTML or PHP. If you are a developer, you can code a custom child themes and deliver sites that make client’s happy.
K2 is an advanced template for the blogging engine WordPress. Think of it this way: Where WordPress is everything that goes on behind the scenes, K2 is what your readers see.
WordPress itself takes care of authenticating users, fetching and sending data to and from the database and provides you with the backend administration interface.
K2 on the other hand is the facade of WordPress. It’s main concern is displaying the data fetches through WordPress in the right way at the right time. Furthermore, where more basic themes like Kubrick have little situational awareness, K2 cares about you and is always trying to make sure you are presented with exactly the tools and data you need.