Which are the most popular Theme Frameworks of WordPress


(Ahsan Parwez) #1

Hi guys,

I know there are a lot of lists available if you Google it, but I want to know which are the most popular except these?

1- Genesis
2- Thesis
3- Canvas
4- Bootstrap


(Justin Tadlock) #2

My framework, Hybrid Core, is fairly popular. It’s also one been in development and maintained longer than all other frameworks that I know of besides Carrington and WP Framework (don’t think this one’s active anymore).


(Leland Fiegel) #3

I wouldn’t really call Bootstrap a WordPress theme framework, although many WordPress themes do use Bootstrap libraries.

Also…Thesis? Haven’t heard much about Thesis in a long time, besides getting universally panned in scathing reviews for version 2.0 well over a year ago. Many “high profile” Thesis users jumped ship to Genesis before that.

I’d agree that Genesis and Canvas are probably the most popular paid theme frameworks. Maybe throw Headway and iThemes Builder on that pile too.

Of course, @justintadlock’s Hybrid Core gets a nod.

I’d be interested to hear about Roots’ usage numbers. Maybe @benword can weigh in on that.

Underscores is mostly referred to as a starter theme, although depending on your definition of “theme framework,” I’d say that one is pretty popular too.


(Ahsan Parwez) #4

I will check out Hybrid Core, heard about it for the first time.


(Ahsan Parwez) #5

I heard about _s underscores, that framework seems to be pretty good, and thanks for referring me to other frameworks. I will be compiling them up and go through them one by one. :smile:


(James DiGioia) #6

I use Roots and love it, and the community around it has definitely gotten a LOT bigger. I don’t know if you’d call it a framework though; it’s a starter theme a la Underscores.

Timber is new but seems really interesting. It’s a plugin that allows you to build themes using the Twig templating language rather than putting your PHP code directly in the theme. Haven’t tried it yet, but seems pretty cool.


(Leland Fiegel) #7

Interesting, will have to check out Timber.

And yeah, Roots is definitely more of a starter theme like Underscores.

This post does a good job explaining the differences of the different types of “frameworks” http://www.poststat.us/on-wordpress-themes-and-frameworks/


(Stephen Cronin) #8

I have to admit I’m a little bit against frameworks like Timber. It’s fine for your own site, but if you use it on a client’s site and they need to customise something later on (after you’ve moved on), they will have more trouble finding someone who knows Twig than they would finding someone who ‘knows WordPress’.

To me that’s taking away one of the advantages of WordPress - that there are many people with the skills to help you and lots of resources on the web telling you how to do things.

It’s the same with any framework to an extent, but most of the other ones are much more closely aligned with the WordPress way of doing things than Timber is.


(Kenneth Guintz) #9

an interesting news about roots http://wptavern.com/roots-starter-theme-for-wordpress-will-become-framework-agnostic-in-2015


(Ahsan Parwez) #10

Hi guys,

We at Cloudways decided how about we compile the biggest list of WordPress theme frameworks.

So we finally did it, the list has over 50 WordPress theme frameworks. Feel free to add more in the comments section :slight_smile:

Hope you guys find out new interesting frameworks to work with in 2015!


(Anu Gupta) #11

You might have trouble getting a bad WP developer to understand what’s going on with a site build using Timber, but any competent WP/PHP developer will pick it up very quickly, and then start thanking you because there’s some nice separation between the controller/models and the views. Also, it’s much easier and safer to let designers change Twig templates than the standard monolithic WordPress templates.


(waqas) #12

You want a framework that puts you in control of your design, is 100% open source, and is completely $free to download?

and then you put the docs behind a paywall?

that may be ok on some technicality, but not a very nice way to do it imho.


(Justin Tadlock) #13

You’re more than welcome to go for a framework that also puts the code behind a paywall.

Any developer who’s good at their trade will be able to figure out Hybrid Core by looking at the 100s of lines of inline documentation that’s free. The documentation on my site that’s behind a paywall wouldn’t exist without my members asking and paying for it.

I suppose I could work for free though and forgo some basic luxuries in life. I could go live by the creek down the road in my tent. I’d need to be able to bathe, so a water source is important. I could forage for wild berries, steal eggs from birds, and hunt with a homemade bow and arrow. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to afford Internet service or electricity. It might make it hard to be involved with WordPress, but I guess I could carve my code and docs into stone. Then, see if random passersby would upload my work online.


(waqas) #14

please dont mind me. i didnt want to sound mean.

what i meant was, it isnt a widely accepted or usual practice to put the official docs of an open source project behind a paywall.
just imagine if wordpress did the same, we had to pay to read the codex and wordpress told us to "Just look at the 100s of lines of code and inline comments to figure it out"
would we like that? wordpress deserves to make money too, and more than all of us. imagine if it gave the same rationale.
generally accepted practice is to keep your code + docs open and charge for support. like wordpress and lots of other open source projects do.


(Leland Fiegel) #15

We’re getting a bit off-topic here, but…

What about StudioPress, iThemes, WooThemes, or pretty much any other commercial WordPress theme company?

The only difference is, they put almost everything behind a paywall, not just documentation and support services.

It doesn’t make any sense to give Justin flack for figuring out how to be successful while still making the themes available for free to everyone. It should be applauded.

I’ve heard the “what if WordPress charged for code” argument in response to commercial shops opening up before, but I consider it to be fallacious and not worth hashing out again.

Basically, it’s apples and oranges.

The makers of WordPress make plenty of money in other ways besides directly charging for code in the open source project.


(Justin Tadlock) #16

I could list you loads and loads of open source projects that do the same, each one of them within the WordPress ecosystem. Most of them also have their code behind a paywall.

Apples and oranges. I don’t think this is a line of discussion worth continuing.


(waqas) #17

thats not the point. i am talking about open source projects mostly. if you want to go into freemium model, like say woothemes, they sell licences for individual plugins and themes, they do not advertise themselves as open source in that category - woocommerce is open source so its code and docs are both open, but licenses of lots of woocommerce plugins are sold and woothemes does not advertise those plugins etc as strictly open source.

i am not even trying to give him flak. while i agree that he must make money as is his right, he can sell his code, or parts of his code, or documentation or whatever, this is not my call. what i am saying is his business model is unusual from most open source projects, that is what i am trying to point out here.

if it works for you then awesome.

I don’t think this is a line of discussion worth continuing.

i agree


(Akhtar) #18

I personally use for theme admin options Redux with my own modified Underscores starter theme.

I have also compiled the list of most popular theme frameworks at GoodWPthemes.

The listed frameworks/starter themes based on recommended from other my friends developers and designers on various social media profile, you can check it live.


(Kobe Ben Itamar) #19

A little delayed, but better late than never :slight_smile:

Please check out the new home for all top WordPress frameworks that was launched today - IncludeWP.