Theme Frameworks

There are a number of advanced WordPress themes that allow users to build very customized layouts by choosing options rather than writing code. They also provide a solid framework for developers to build complex sites. These theme frameworks are all different, but they have a few things in common. They use theme options pages to make choices simpler for users. They take advantage of the template file hierarchy, which you learned about in the previous chapter, to create rich context in archives. They include their own widgets or even lull plugins using the theme functions file. They use child themes to let site owners customize the themes while maintaining the originals separately, allowing the developers to offer upgrades without destroying those modifications.

A framework could provide a good basis for your project, or you might just look into their inner workings for inspiration. Some of these frameworks are not free, and not all of them comply with the WordPress GPL license. Paid ("premium") themes are marked with the $ symbol. Other frameworks might be free to download, but require payment for support.

Carrington: carringtontheme.com/

Genesis ($): www.studiopress.com/themes/genesis/

Hybrid: themehybrid.com/themes/hybrid/

Sandbox: www.plaintxt.org/themes/sandbox/

Thematic: wordpress.org/extend/themes/thematic/

Thesis ($): diythemes.com/thesis/

Whiteboard: plainbeta.com/2008/05/20/whiteboard-a-free-wordpress-theme-framework/

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