Why Choose a Framework Based WordPress Theme?

Why Choose a Framework Based WordPress Theme

Why choose a framework based WordPress theme? There are many reasons. If you are a web designer that works for a company, or if you own a business, or if you want to get your feet wet in the world of web design as a student, then you need to know the benefits of using a professional framework based theme for your WordPress site.

In this article we’re going to talk about WordPress frameworks, understanding how frameworks are used, and how frameworks are built using modern web standards. Let’s start with the basics.

What is a framework?

A framework is a standard for the way a website is formatted. For example, the main body of a website could have different layouts, with a sidebar on the left hand side displaying different forms of content or a small bio section of a site, then the main column could have the article on it. That would be considered a sidebar-content layout. If the content is on the left, with links on the right, then that would be considered a content-sidebar layout. If there’s bars on both sides, that would be considered a sidebar-content-sidebar, or 3 column layout.

No matter which layout you choose, a framework can help you to create a standard look and feel for your site so that the graphics or the ‘skins’ of your site can be altered without changing the layout. Studiopress has developed the Genesis framework for their theme base, for example. The Genesis framework is an excellent example of a quality framework that you could implement for a WordPress site.

Frameworks are like blueprints

Blueprint

To further illustrate the point, think of a framework like the blueprint of a building. Let’s consider the example of the blueprint of a 10 story apartment building. A building design could call for 10 floors, with 10 apartments per floor. The blueprint could call for 10 windows per side of the building, with 400 windows total from top to bottom. This is similar to the way that a framework operates.

A framework calls for a layout of columns on a given website, just like a blueprint calls for a layout of floors. The apartment building could have a wooden board and batten exterior, or a brick exterior, or siding. The window frames could be white, or blue, or brown. The doors could be white or blue or green. The color of the exterior, and the color of each individual apartment has no bearing on the structural layout of the blueprint. The same concept is true for a website framework.

It doesn’t matter if your website background is white, or black, or blue, the framework creates a standard for the way a website layout is set up.

Frameworks are implemented in professional theme designs

There are several major players in the web design world, including companies such as StudioPress, Organic Themes, Elegant Themes, and freelance sites like ThemeForest.

Professional design companies choose to develop themes around a framework because it delivers a consistent experience for their audience, the blog owners, which in turn delivers a consistent experience to the audiences of those blog owners.

If you can train your users to look in a certain place for information on your page, and prevent them from having to think, then you will see a much higher conversion rate for joining the mailing list, or clicking through to your affiliate site, or whatever your trying to get them to do.

Frameworks conform to modern web standards

Because frameworks are always designed to conform to a standard, design companies will work hard to confirm these frameworks to modern and strict web standards.

Browsers

In the past, different companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, and many others all had a different standard of displaying web pages, based on the way their browsers worked. (Actually this was mostly with Microsoft and IE.) This made things difficult for web designers, because you had to create an Internet Explorer version of a page, and a version for firefox, and for Safari on a mac.

A framework that’s confirming to XHTML standards is an effective way to take out the confusion of web design and apply a new skin from a theme that conforms to the framework, without destroying the whole look of the site.

How to choose?

No matter what frame or themework you choose, be sure to test your designs out on different machines, and be sure to get feedback through a form on your website. Entice your users to fill out a survey for a chance to win a new phone, or an iPad, or cash or something appealing to them, and deliver a consistent rich web experience to your audience with the survey results.

Published by

Christopher Wensink

Chris Wensink is an IT Professional, Videographer and Entrepreneur. He has been working in Information Technology for the last 10 years. He has a Bachelor's Degree from DeVry University as well as several IT certifications. He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Northwest Wisconsin.

5 thoughts on “Why Choose a Framework Based WordPress Theme?”

  1. Nice article. A couple frameworks I have been using are Builder and Headway. The Headway Framework is awesome! They have made some great changes lately and it’s so easy to use. Again, nice post

    Bill K

  2. Hey Bill,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I haven’t used Builder or Headway myself. I’ve worked with the Options Framework, and I’ve seen some sites using genesis framework lay out in a very clean format.

  3. Hi Chris,
    Thank you for your informative post. Can you further explain why WordPress is so popular? I am in the process of redesigning my site and many web designers have recommended using a WordPress template. Will it effect my SEO efforts if I dont choose wordpress?
    Thank you

  4. Hey Denise,

    No Problem. WordPress is popular because of a few reasons:

    1. It’s Free
    2. It’s very easy to use (about as simple as sending an email from gmail or yahoo mail)
    3. It’s constantly being updated to stay modern and useful
    4. It has extensions, plugins and widgets to allow you to do just about anything you want to your website.

    Because of the popularity of wordpress, many web designers have begun to design themes as templates that people can start from, so that it’s easier to get up and running quickly. I’ve personally become a fan of the Genesis Framework, and using themes from a company called studiopress (http://studiopress.com), because they look very professional, they come with video tutorials on how to set things up, and they are bundled with excellent tech support in the forums area. I’m currently using the Associates theme for my home page: http://avchdprosolutions.com

    Choosing not to use wordpress will not hurt your SEO efforts as long as your using another program or Content Management System that produces clean XHTML compliant code, a clean meta tag structure, and pages that are easily crawlable by the search engines.

    Some people swear by hand coding everything themselves, while others prefer wordpress, or drupal, or joomla, or Dreamweaver or something. There are a lot of choices. If SEO is your main concern then learning the key factors that get your site ranked well in the search engines should be your first step. I’ve learned a LOT from the courses taught by James Martell, you can find his content at http://affiliatemarketersbootcamp.com

    I hope that helps.

    Chris

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