Intro to WordPress Frameworks


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A quick intro to WordPress theme frameworks and starter themes. I presented this at the Milwaukee WordPress Meetup. The demos slides in this presentation can be ignored.

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Intro to WordPress Frameworks

  1. 1. WordPress Frameworks Which is the Best? Should I Even Use Them At All? Allan Fuelling | @allanfuelling Mike Zielonka | @mikezielonka Heather Acton | @heatheracton78Wednesday, January 11, 12
  2. 2. Intros Allan Mike HeatherWednesday, January 11, 12
  3. 3. What is a framework? Just another WordPress theme Let’s ask the Codex Usually a “blank” theme with some nice packaged functionality SEO, feed redirection, text areas to enter tracking code, drag/drop modifications, etc. Twentyeleven (YES!), Woo Framework, Genesis, Pagelines, Headway, etc.Wednesday, January 11, 12
  4. 4. What is a parent theme? A parent theme is the theme being used as the framework Not an “activated” theme, but must be present in the themes folder for the child theme to work Modifications to CSS, page templates, and functions should NOT be made to the parent themeWednesday, January 11, 12
  5. 5. What is a child theme? A child theme is the theme that modifies, in a future-proof way, the parent theme The child theme IS activated in the WordPress dashboard Check out the Codex on child themes. You’ll be glad you did.Wednesday, January 11, 12
  6. 6. What is a starter theme? Starter themes are extremely stripped down versions of a WordPress theme Typically no special functionality, and only minimal CSS Just contains the backbone of what a WordPress theme needs to work Toolbox is a starter theme by Automattic, BLANK by Digging Into WP guysWednesday, January 11, 12
  7. 7. WordPress Themes Out of the box themes Frameworks Starter Themes - WordPress free theme repository - Twentyeleven, Woo, Genesis, - Theme Forest -Toolbox Pagelines, Headway - No modifications to CSS or functions - Close to theming from scratch - Parent / child structureWednesday, January 11, 12
  8. 8. Why use a framework? For users, it’s a quick way to get a nice looking and highly functional website up and running quickly without knowing how to code For developers, it’s a low budget option for clients looking for a simple design that is not unique to their siteWednesday, January 11, 12
  9. 9. Why NOT use a framework? Frameworks sometimes come with more functionality than is needed Some frameworks change WordPress functions, so the process for creating page templates may be different than what you’ll find in the Codex Some frameworks have a very complex theme structure, making learning how a theme works difficult and possibly slowing down your siteWednesday, January 11, 12
  10. 10. Genesis DemoWednesday, January 11, 12
  11. 11. Genesis Features Lots of nice child themes to choose from Base Genesis framework comes with some nice features Featured images Many layouts for 1-3 columns Custom widgets for newsletter, featured posts, etc. Author boxes SEO (but don’t use theirs - use WordPress SEO by Yoast!)Wednesday, January 11, 12
  12. 12. Genesis Cons Changes WordPress core functions, so Codex instructions don’t always apply. Custom post type page templates can be a *bear*. Includes many features you’ll never use, but can unregister Very complex theme structure. Don’t start learning about theme building by looking at Genesis.Wednesday, January 11, 12
  13. 13. Overall Genesis Reco Use it when a child theme gets you most of the way to a design you or a client needs If you need to get really custom (from provided PSD, for example), just build a theme from scratch or from a starter themeWednesday, January 11, 12
  14. 14. Toolbox DemoWednesday, January 11, 12