Theme frameworks still the way to go?

Haven’t built a wordpress site in a while now. I was just wondering if using a theme framework is still the preferred method of creating a WP site.

I have used Thematic on a few sites. Is this still one of the better free frameworks?

Anyone here tend to build a Wordpress site from the ground up?

I build all my themes from the ground up. I’ve never used a framework.

I built my first couple themes from the ground up, but lately I’ve been using Thematic. I’ve the framework to be tremendously helpful for quickly developing a site, as the base is extremely easy to work with. The community behind the theme is also quite helpful. I ran into a couple issues and got thorough and expert help very quickly on their forum

I haven’t used any other frameworks, but that’s only because Thematic has met my needs thus far.

Is there some kind of methodology or design pattern you use when creating a theme from scratch? Any particular tutorials / books you recommend for doing this?

Yes, I have a basic blank HTML template for each of the standard pages (index, about, contact, blog, 404, single page, etc.) which I use as a starting point. I use snippets (many text editors/IDEs have developers that create snippets with which you can quickly insert basic WP functions and extend them to your own liking). I don’t use all the theme files that come as a default with WP.

Next, I create a custom functions.php file where I put all my custom functions in order for them to not get overridden by the next WP upgrade. I use it mainly to disable default functions, add new functions, create custom fields, custom widgets, trim rubbish HTML output from standard functions like wp_pages, wp_nav_menu, categories, and the like.

Good resources are WPBeginner and [URL=“”]PerishablePress.

As for books, I recommend Digging into WordPress and How to be a Rockstar WordPress Designer (yes, quite a horrible name, but the book is good).

I’ve fallen for the Genesis framework by Studiopress. Now it is responsive out of the box and seems to perform better than many other frameworks out there.

Thanks kohoutek :slight_smile:

Digging into Wordpress looks like an excellent book going by the sample. Dare say it looks better than Wordpress Anthology :x

ericsaf, thanks for suggesting Genesis. What do you like about it other than it being responsive?

I like it a lot better than the Anthology as well. :eye:

Another book you might be interested in is [I]Smashing WordPress - Beyond the Blog, 2nd Edition[/I]. Some nice advanced theming tipps in there too.

It is coded very well and it shows up in performance. Many frameworks, themes and plugins make many unnecessary database calls slowing down the site.

The built-in SEO functions are pretty powerful which negate the need of another plugin.

The support community is very active as well.