Create Your Own WordPress Theme Framework

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Create Your Own WordPress Theme Framework, 01

If “premium theme” was the talk of WordPress Land in 2008, I’d wager a bet that the favorite talk of 2009 will be over “theme frameworks.” There are plenty of awesome frameworks out there for you to use, too.

This series of posts is going to offer a method for developing your own theme framework. We’ll learn from the aforementioned awesome themes, develop a plan of action, and follow through with building it out. Care to join?

What’s a theme framework?

A theme framework works ideally like any other type of framework. From one we should be able to build out other themes, faster and more easily than if we started from scratch.

Odds are you’ve at least heard of one or two of the WordPress theme frameworks out there: Sandbox, Thematic, and Theme Hybrid are a few that get lots of use. Carrington is a fairly recent addition.

But enough about them. This is about your theme framework.

Why does it have to be yours?

This is all about you, and not about any deficiency in any of the current theme frameworks. In fact, a key part of this whole process will be taking a look at some of the popular ones, to see just why they are as popular as they are.

There are a number of benefits to having your own framework, and building themes from them:

  1. Your framework will grow with your knowledge, and vice versa.
  2. A big part of WordPress is about the freedom to be empowered and create something of your own, something better.
  3. Manage your own roadmap. No changes you aren’t hip to.

Of course, not everything with a project like this will be rainbows and skittles. Creating and maintaining your own theme framework will bring with it its own difficulties:

  • It means you’ll need to be staying on top of WordPress development. (Psst, keep on eye on this blog.)
  • It means responding to questions/support, assuming you want to make your theme public.
  • It means diligence — use your framework. If it works, it should work.

Frameworks aren’t for everyone, and managing your own framework is for far fewer. But at the very least the process of creating a theme framework can be both enlightening and rewarding. What you do with it in the end is up to you.

Coming up next we’ll look at the most popular theme frameworks and try to figure out why each one is so great. It’s the smartest and fastest way to catch up with what’s been happening in the field. It’s also the best way we can create something unique, something that stands out apart from the rest.

Posts in this series

12 thoughts on “Create Your Own WordPress Theme Framework

  1. I still don’t understadn the difference between a theme and a framework..

    BTW, thesis has nothign special.. u can find everything that thesis has, in other themes as well… the only reason why thesis got popular, is because it was well marketed.. with aggressive marketing.. all over the place via affiliates…

    anyone can do something like that.. it is nto that hard at all..

    in fact, i discovered dozens of bugs and weakneses on thesis..

  2. Should be interesting. I’ve been working on a lot of Thesis theme customizations lately and I have to say that while I don’t like frameworks I can see why bloggers who can’t code would grow to love them.

    • I would say there are frameworks that are intended for those who don’t know code (Thesis would probably be up there on that list) and others intended solely for developers. I would say that most of the theme frameworks we covered recently would fall into the “meant for the developers” crowd.

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  6. Hello Ryan Imel, this is a good start for theme framework. But cannot find for the rest of the tutorial, please let me how or when I can get all the tuts. Thanks

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