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Kai-ser says

Hey all,

from time to time one of those popular WP frameworks like ‘Genesis’ or ‘Thesis’ grabs my attention, I look at their websites, google for some reviews, those reviews lead to other frameworks and so…in the end I close my browser and keep ignoring the existence of wp frameworks.

Today is such a day, but this time i thought I ask some people who may have some experience with frameworks for wordpress.

From a (Wordpress) developer point of view, is there any benifit from using a framework?

I’ve got the feeling that these frameworks are quiet good for certain projects, which fit into the framework structure but what if there are special requirements, custom post types, custom page-templates, custom meta boxes, custom whatever …? What if I don’t need certain functions and want to get rid of them..

Until now, I start every project from scratch, well, I have my collection of files and functions I often need, and I don’t feel like there is anything i couldn’t do with wordpress.

But maybe I’m missing something, and using a framework would add somethinng to my little developer universe.

I hope you guys know what I’m trying to say / ask. My english sucks when it comes to more “complex” stuff, so bare with me.

Cheers. Kai

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fillerspace says

Are you asking as a WordPress author why you should create a framework for themes you create? Or as an end user creating a site and choosing between a standard theme and one based on a framework?

As an author, you would benefit from creating a coherent framework out of that collection of files and functions. When you’ve got dozens of sites with different codebases, debugging, upgrading, and the like will be torture. Getting them all on a single framework, possibly using child themes, will simplify things. When you start a new theme, you don’t have to start from scratch. It also makes it easier for buyers to buy more of your themes since they are familiar with the framework.

For a user buying a regular theme vs Thesis, there is the convenience that thesis provides by bundling everything together, but you can get a lot of the same features from various plugins. I think what makes Thesis so appealing is that you can just load one thing instead of downloading dozens of plugins, and the options panel is very robust.

I’ve often wondered if some of the top authors here have considered selling direct like Thesis instead of on themeforest keeping 70-100% of $87 or $164 sounds tempting compared to 70% of $35. Especially since many authors are already running outside support forums and answering support emails. An author with a solid framework could churn out child themes for it and make a killing.

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mpforce says

There are hundreds of opinions on this one, such as the standard dilemma – would you code in plain language (PHP), use a framework or start with a CMS ?

I have found Genesis to be powerful and robust and I like the tons of hooks they have added (which makes it unnecessary to edit core stuff which is important). However it’s basic at some point and you might not need some of the features at another. Another important detail is the mandatory consistence of layouts – you either have simple designs (such as Sandbox) or you have common layouts with similar structure which is way limited.

However, if you don’t want to go all the way and writing all framework code behind, then why not?

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Kai-ser says

Thanks for your reply.

I’m asking as a developer who creates templates for certain projects. I’m not an author on Themeforest, maybe someday, but not now.

Most of the time I work for agencies on custom client work. Those projects differ from each other in regards of content types, custom meta stuff and so on…i want to give the customer only what he really needs

I’ve once used a framework, Xtreme One, everything was fine until my customer ( the agency in this case) requested some changes to the template, which were not intended by the framework. It wasn’t supposed to work this way. That’s okay, i’m able to extend it to the requirements but it felt somehow..well, you know..hacking a working system, dirty so to speak.

In the end i felt like it would have been better if i did this project from scratch, because with all changes i made to the framework to fit the needs of the project, i guess it took much more time and the final product wasn’t as solid an clean as I wanted it to be.

I’ve never touched a framework since these days, but still keep wondering if it would be more “professional” or “efficient” to use a framework, especially one of those “mature” frameworks.

While writing thisI realize this sounds much more like a “developer crisis”.

But in the moment I won’t find the time to buy genesis or thesis and try it for myself, that’s why I ask you guys.

If a professional theme developer from themeforest says: “If you’re skilled enough to create your own ‘framework’” or “there is nothing a commercial framework could add to your skillset” well, than I keep going and ignore this stuff for some months again but maybe you say somethig like: “Using a commercial framework will give your business a boost in regards of time and efficiency, more happy customers, more money more everything”...well, maybe I will give it a try.

Damn really sounds like a crisis..

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mpforce says

I would confirm again – it’s up to the project and requirements. In my initial talk with a client I give him/her opportunities: long-term development (large fixed price) but short changes afterwards vs. cheap and quick project with the chance of changes costing few times the price of the project itself :)

That’s what the business is – decisions, decisions, decisions ;)

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Kai-ser says

Thanks mpforce,

that’s what I’ve expected (subconsciously ) :)

Knowing the options and choosing the right tool for the job. So I could ask for the best “tools” but this would lead to an endless discussion I guess.

I’m still interested in the opinions of others but it already helped to have a opinion on this.

Thanks.

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fillerspace says

The way frameworks evolve is that you find yourself writing the same code or including the same snippets over and over. A lot of work from theme to theme is the same, whether it is a hair salon or restaurant, or portfolio. In the case of the hair salon, you might tailor the admin to allow products and services, the portfolio site would have services and portfolio items, while the restaurant would have menus. The way I built my framework, this change could be handled by swapping out a single XML file that holds all options. I use this XML to generate the admin pages, and some other cool stuff. It can also be used to selectively hide certain options or even pages of optons if they aren’t needed or you don’t want them editable. If you can build this flexibility into the framework, you won’t have to redo everything for each new site.

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