Some of the best premium and free theme and plugin options frameworks for WordPress can be found in this article. You may be familiar with some of these frameworks, but others most likely won’t be. In any case, by the end of this article, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the various frameworks on the market, allowing you to choose the best choice for your website with confidence.
Let’s start with a brief explanation of what a theme framework is, though, before we move on to the frameworks themselves. We’ll next discuss a few advantages of adopting a framework after that.
What is a WordPress theme options framework?
A collection of files called a theme options framework is used to create WordPress themes. When creating a new WordPress theme, a theme framework serves as the base. It manages basic theme functionality and design and has a number of standards and customization options that enable developers to create a unique theme on top of it.
There’s a potential that you’ve utilized a WordPress theme created with a theme framework even if you’re not familiar with them. Many WordPress theme developers construct a theme framework, after which they produce themes as variants on it.
There are many developers who produce themes using another person’s framework. WordPress theme developers like the framework-based approach since it minimizes work and offers a solid foundation for routinely publishing new themes with minor adjustments. You can create your own WordPress theme using these options frameworks without beginning from scratch.
The advantages of theme frameworks
The usage of a framework gives theme creators a head start on a project, which is advantageous. The ability to change themes without losing access to the essential features and functionality of their website is another advantage of using a framework for websites. It is frequently possible for website owners to maintain their settings, options, and other configuration choices by keeping with the same framework while changing themes.
- There is a ton of built-in functionality, including pre-made widgets, drag-and-drop capability, large code libraries, and custom hooks, all of which help and speed up development.
- They tend to be more secure and well-coded since they are created utilizing the finest development practices and peer-reviewed by qualified participants.
- Huge communities and resources – well-known theme frameworks are supported by a wide range of developer networks, which you can contact for advice and assistance.
- Old customization won’t stop working once the core is updated. As a result, developers can adjust as necessary without losing their work.
Why Should You Use Options Framework?
As previously indicated, one advantage of employing a theme framework rather than a standard WordPress theme is that it can facilitate theme swapping. The migration can frequently be made much easier if you stick with the same framework but use a different theme that was created using that framework.
A theme framework is another incentive to pick one for your website because, depending on the framework, it may be a reliable indicator of the quality of the theme.
Popular frameworks typically have strong support networks that have grown up around them. This implies that you can seek assistance from the community if you encounter issues or wish to modify your theme.
How do WordPress theme frameworks work?
When using a WordPress theme framework, a developer first establishes the framework as the parent theme before building a new child theme off of it. The parent theme (the framework) contains the essential functionality of the child theme, while the child theme contains its own unique styling and features. The new theme won’t lose its modifications because the framework and the new theme are kept apart while still receiving automatic upgrades.
Theme frameworks come in a variety of prices, capabilities, and usability while being primarily intended for theme developers.
While some theme frameworks have an interface more akin to drag-and-drop, others need you to write things in. Consider whether you would want a more DIY-style solution or a more beginner-friendly choice while shopping with a theme framework.
Comparing WordPress theme frameworks and themes
The distinction between a WordPress theme and a WordPress theme framework should be made at this stage. In a nutshell, the WordPress theme options framework is for creating WordPress themes, whereas WordPress themes are for creating websites.
More specifically, WordPress themes don’t need to be modified to be used on a website (even though, of course, website owners will customize their theme design to fit their site).
The front end of WordPress theme frameworks, in contrast, is less developed than that of finished themes. They should not be utilized as themes out of the box; instead, they should assist you in creating a theme.
Therefore, frameworks come with a larger code library that enables more function modification as well as tools for building the themes themselves. Typically, these functionalities are not included in standalone WordPress themes.
1. Bootstrap Framework
The incredibly popular Bootstrap Framework is the first option on our list of the best WordPress theme options frameworks. The extremely user-friendly interface and an abundance of sophisticated features contributed to the success of the open-source, free-to-use CSS framework.
It is also among the greatest places for creating responsive websites that are mobile-friendly, which is something that is becoming more and more crucial.
- Adopts a mobile-first strategy and incorporates responsive design elements throughout.
- There is a ton of pre-styled stuff to make designing easier.
- Numerous UI elements and strong customization tools give you complete control over the appearance and feel of your project.
- enables simple integration with platforms and frameworks from third parties.
The most well-known and extensively used WordPress theme framework is Genesis from StudioPress. For a one-time fee of $59.95, you may access the framework as well as limitless maintenance and updates for an infinite number of websites. It is renowned for being one of the most lightweight and SEO-friendly frameworks.
To get the best results when utilizing a Genesis framework theme, you must couple it with a Genesis child theme. This ensures a responsive, safe, and well-coded theme for a website that performs well. With a child theme loaded, you may use the Theme Customizer to change the theme’s colors, content, and other settings; you’ll find it works best for layouts that are more open and simple.
- A clean, optimized website will perform better in SEO.
- There are several layout possibilities available to meet your needs for personalization.
- It is almost hack-proof because of the integration of advanced security protocols.
- Integration with your organization to boost SERP performance.
- Gain access to a huge selection of personalized widgets and the choice to construct numerous regions.
3. Redux Framework
Another popular choice among WordPress developers is the Redux Framework, which offers an all-inclusive solution for creating WordPress interfaces and panels. You and your users have complete modification control over the WordPress themes thanks to the open-source platform’s full interaction with the WordPress Options API.
- Access to more than 30 field types and validation options in a flexible framework.
- allows you to easily develop the options page for your visitors while providing access to a clean and rich codebase.
- You can promote your brand by using white labeling.
- Possibility of real-time framework testing. Your need for troubleshooting may be met by this.
- fully open-sourced and supported by a sizable community.
A straightforward and compact WordPress options framework for themes and plugins is called NextCode. WordPress theme frameworks come in a wide variety of types. This options framework is amazing and is developed by Themedev. It does not have as many possibilities as other others. You get what you ask for. Most other plugins are compatible with it.
NextCode supports all of the standard customizing choices, including fonts, design elements, categories and tags, images, and other media. Additionally, compatible with Google Fonts, NextCode generates the required CSS on its own.
- A large number of features and custom fields are designed utilizing the OOP approach. It is a very advanced and contemporary framework.
- Enables the creation of unique post types for your theme services or plugins. We provide a variety of setups with complex fields.
- Enables you to create a submenu for setting the main page of your CPT. We provide a variety of setups with complex fields.
- Allows you to apply specific taxonomy settings to every single one of your categories, tags, or CPT. We provide a variety of setups with complex fields.
- Allows you to customize the meta box settings for each of your pages and articles. We provide a variety of setups with complex fields.
- It enables you to add customized nav menu item settings to each of your menus. We provide advanced settings with lots of fields.
5. Gantry Framework
Consider downloading Gantry if you’re seeking a free framework that’s relatively simple to use. The building process is made easy and clear-cut using this framework’s drag-and-drop layout manager interface.
You can choose from a variety of widgets, or “particles,” as Gantry refers to them, inside the builder, each of which adds a unique capability. These particles can be used to enhance your theme by adding sliders, photos, icons, megamenus, and more.
Although Gantry can be downloaded independently, a child theme is required to use it. The website offers free versions of the themes Hydrogen and Helium. Starting with Helium is what the creators advise, and getting started with it is simple if you adhere to the framework’s comprehensive instructions.
- A specific backend layout manager to assist you and your users in managing the design.
- assists you in building a distinctive and adaptable admin panel that is essentially independent of any CMS ideas.
- Ajax-powered admin panel to provide incredibly quick user interaction.
- a wealth of rich built-in features, including collections, an image picker, and a font picker.
- Rich interface blocks are presented to users through a potent particle system.
6. Cherry Framework
WordPress developers that feel comfortable digging into their projects’ source code should choose Cherry Framework. It is a well-known and free framework created by Template Monster that is intended to be DIY-friendly and approachable for both beginning and seasoned developers.
Cherry Framework uses Bootstrap CSS to guarantee responsiveness on mobile devices and is updated frequently to maintain security and performance. Additionally, it has built-in version management so your themes keep working properly even after updates.
- Uses a modular system approach to development, which makes it incredibly simple and easy.
- Option to add your own modules to the basic framework.
- Open-source and totally free, with a vibrant community.
- Uses the greatest coding principles to guarantee stability and security.
- Access more than 300 child themes created especially for the Framework.
7. Codestar Framework
The Codestar Framework is made to assist you in creating a contemporary options panel for your WordPress plugins and themes. It is built using the OOP paradigm and has a ton of configurable options and fields to help produce a result that is up to date.
Additionally, it connects with many of the key operations and features of WordPress, providing you and your users far more in-depth control over everything.
- An admin panel with a ton of custom fields and settings.
- Helps you with real-time customization by building on the WordPress Customizer by default.
- Allows you to edit the settings for your pages’ and posts’ custom meta boxes.
- Custom taxonomy settings can be added to your tags, categories, CPT, and other elements.
- Shortcode editor is built-in to help you manage your content more effectively.
8. Vertex Framework
The Vertex Framework is a top-notch WordPress Theme Options Framework that can save you and your users countless hours of design and customization effort. It includes a number of features and functionalities that enable you to outline the central logic and organizational framework of your theme.
Additionally, it enables you to specify a collection of theme customization tools and choices to give your users extensive control over your theme.
- It has an amazing GUI interface for theme control for you and your users.
- Compression of JS and CSS is supported.
- Access the Flex Menu System, which offers a sophisticated navigation system.
- With the option to publish widgets to menu items, a custom menu system.
9. Zurb Foundation
The Zurb Foundation is the last entry on our list of the top WordPress theme options framework. This is another well-liked responsive framework for building mobile-friendly websites, much like Bootstrap.
Along with emails, responsive websites may be made using the framework. It provides you with a strong HTML, CSS, and JS toolkit to speed up your design process.
- It assists you in designing with a mobile-first approach.
- Appropriate for developing responsive themes and websites.
- Because everything is semantic, you can utilize clean markup in your design.
- The layout, color, typography, and other design elements are all highly changeable thanks to the abundance of tools at your disposal.
- Provides you with access to a large library of HTML, CSS, and JS.
So those were our top recommendations for WordPress theme framework alternatives. Please let us know whether you found the reading to be worthwhile and if it was of any assistance to you. By selecting the ideal platform for their upcoming project, developers will undoubtedly prosper. However, this ought to offer the typical WordPress user a good notion of what to anticipate from themes created using these frameworks.
One of the most sophisticated ideas in the WordPress community, WordPress theme frameworks are perfect for intermediate to advanced website owners who don’t want to limit themselves to a pre-built theme.
It’s true that using one will involve a little more effort, money, and experience. Theme frameworks, nevertheless, remove a lot of the restrictions connected with themes to enable you to build the precise size you desire. Give any of the preceding alternatives a try if you decide it’s beneficial.