What is a WordPress Theme Framework? Pros and Cons

Many WordPress beginners wonder what WordPress theme framework is and the benefits it has over the regular WP themes. So, in this article let us discuss the topics like what is WP theme framework, different types of theme frameworks, and the advantages & disadvantages of using a theme framework on a WordPress blog.

What is a WordPress Theme Framework?

In the beginning days of WordPress, developers used to create WordPress themes in the regular format and so upgrading those themes without losing the custom styling is not possible. There was also no way to prevent copy-pasting of the existing functionality in all themes. This may not seem like a big problem to the average users, but it can create nightmares for the following reasons.

  • The same code is being used on several themes of yours and you found some security loophole in your code. Will you be opening all your themes and update them?
  • What if you have 1000’s of themes being used on several blogs (downloaded)?

What is a WordPress Theme Framework
These two major problems made the developers think about introducing the concept of WordPress theme framework which includes Parent Theme and Child Theme.

All the functionality would be residing in the parent theme while the developers try to create child themes to add just the custom styling. So, if the development theme found a bug or a security exploit in the functionality code, then they’d just replace it in the parent theme, which doesn’t affect your styling at all. Hope you understood the concept.

Advantages of Using a WordPress Theme Framework

  • Quick Support: You can get your support q’s answered from the experts in the community.
  • Development made Easier: As all the functionality is already been taken care in the parent theme, all you need to concentrate is on the child theme and so it will drastically reduce the development time.
  • In-Built Functionality: Most of these theme frameworks come with in-built functionality and widgets.
  • Quality of Code: As these frameworks are developed by the industry’s top experts and are peer reviewed, the quality of the coding would be excellent.
  • Upgrading is Easier: You can upgrade your frameworks without your child theme getting affected which is a great plus.

WordPress Theme Framework Disadvantages

  • Unwanted Code: Generally, these framewoks come with thousands of lines of code that will not be of any use to you. Of-course, it will not have any direct influence on you.
  • Limited Learning: As the coding has been made easier, you’ll have no chance to learn/experiment new things w.r.t functionality. Of-course, you can contribute patch files (updated functionality to core files) to the community which if accepted, will be included in the future upgrades.
  • Price: Mostly, WordPress theme frameworks will not come for free. You’ll have to pay some fee (one time or annual) to get them.

I’ve purchased a few popular theme frameworks like Genesis and Thesis for experimenting purpose but I don’t usually use them on any of my blogs. I always love to hard code things. But, if you like to know the best WordPress theme frameworks available in the market, then here is the list for you.

Popular WordPress Theme Frameworks

Also see: Best responsive WP themes from Premium theme providers.

Have you used any WordPress theme frameworks till now? If so, which is your favorite one? Please do share with us.


  1. Nice information about Theme frameworks.You should use both Parent as well as Child theme in order to make the framework theme work.

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