Theme vs. framework

I am beginner level with WP. I want to move my current site to WP. I did some reading on using themes vs. frameworks however still not sure if which one I should pick to start. I also did some reading on using child themes and my understanding they can be used with both themes and frameworks. Can you guys take a look at above link and advise if I should go with a theme or framework.

Thank you

P.S. I was browsing through WP repository of free themes and came across this theme which kind of looks similar to my layout. However I guess another question is what is more beneficial for learning - start from themes or frameworks…?

There are three main ways (at least) to create a website. Which one you chose, depends on what your goals are and what it should cost (time spent)

  1. CMS. Very low threshold. Up and running in no time. You do not “code”. Or learn.
  2. Frameworks. Higher threshold. You have to learn a lot, but you can control a lot.
  3. Pure code. Very high threshold. You can control everything, but you learn a LOT.

Is your main goal is to create a website, I will go for #1 with theme. It is about hours.
If your main goal is to learn coding, I vote for #3. It is about months.

IMHO, Frameworks may speeding up the time to create a website, but you actually learn the framework. Not that much “coding”. And the framework creates limitations.



Thanks for the quick response @sibertius. Based on your explanations I am more interested in #3 as it allows learning to code PHP. Can you take a look at my website (link provided) and the theme I picked (link provided) if they can be used for #3 option. If so I want to start with child theme and see how it goes…

The WP Themes belongs to #1. Themes are applied UPON Wordpress. You only learn how to master Wordpress.

Pure code #3 is more like “templates”. Like: or

The main parts in #3 are HTML, CSS and Javascript:
Neither Javascript nor PHP is actually needed for basic webpages. And you can replace PHP with other languages.

I am interested in learning PHP. what’s best option then out of three you mentioned ?

#3 is the best, but not the easiest. Search on Google for php courses.

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That’s all very well, but there are a lot of dodgy and out-of-date so-called tutorials on the web. Given the way Google gives greater weight to older sites, the older tutorials often come up first in a Google search, so be sure to check when the tutorial was written or last updated and :running_man: if they’re too old.


I decided to go parent → child route with that Hamilton theme. Will see how it goes. Thanks guys for your advice here.

Your initial post does not indicate whether you are asking as a developer and user or just a user. Linking to a sample theme implies you do not want to develop themes but later you indicate you do want to use and learn PHP.

I am not sure I understand what you mean by framework. See Theme Frameworks « WordPress Codex. I am not familiar with WordPress themes but that article indicates that they are for developing themes. If that is what you are asking about then all the previous replies seem off-topic. Probably the answer to your question is that you want to use both; use a framework to create a theme.


the reason I created this post was to ask you guys take a look at the link to my current site and if possible suggest what would be the best way to move it to WordPress considering the site is very basic. I did some research and figured the best way to start for a beginner like me would be to create a child theme and start from there…however I was just hoping you guys can take a look at my site and suggest the best option for me as beginner…

I am not sure what would be the best answer since I am a beginner who plans thru introducing myself to WP eventually learn PHP and become a developer @SamuelCalifornia

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