Blogging took a completely new direction in 2013, now I predict it is going to take an even bigger leap this year. 2014 is not going to be a dull year as the competition becomes more tougher. As a blogger one needs to be more innovative and productive this year in order to gain a good readership. No matter how Google changes its algorithms, you’ve got to keep blogging in order to reach your goal. If you want to stay in the race then one of the most important element to keep in your mind is the look of your blog.
Look of your blog usually comes from variety of themes which are available. But if you have an eye for a custom design then you need to go little bit extra in choosing a theme framework instead of a regular WordPress theme. A theme framework for your WordPress blog gives you an extra advantage of creating your own theme provided you have some knowledge to play with CSS and little bit of PHP. Of course you need not run after learning those as they can be learnt just by using Google.
Before choosing a framework all you need to keep in your mind is to see if the framework has few demo child themes and whether they support multi screens in simple check if the themes running under the framework are responsive. If you are into blogging for a while you might have known about two famous WordPress frameworks by names Genesis and Thesis. Though there are many frameworks these two frameworks have ruled the WordPress blogs. But these are paid frameworks, and they have number of child themes to choose. But for a newbie if they are still not making any money from there blogs its better if they initially use a framework which is available free of cost. So I have thought to give a list of few freely available WordPress Frameworks.
1. rtPanel: This is the framework what I use for my blog. I customized a child theme of this framework which I thought would look best for my blog. One thing I like about this framework is the team constantly updates this framework and also has a good team working behind who will design a customized child theme as per your requirements but they charge you some money. Else it won’t be that hard to play with this framework. Recently there is a new update for this framework which just made design more professional than before.
2. PressWork: Finding it difficult to code then this theme is for you. This framework allows you to drag and drop elements into there proper places as per your requirements. You can also play a bit with Google fonts and the child themes are built with HTML5 and CSS3 which is a perfect fit for newbie bloggers.
3. Hybrid Core: Are you looking for a framework which can just let you design a good magazine style theme then Hybrid is a good choice. I like one of its child them by name Shell a theme which lets you to build a good theme out of it. If you ever run into any trouble, their forum is always waiting to listen and help you out.
4. White Board: This framework is well talked of its most needed features like SEO, speed, usability, mobile support, and multi-lingual support. Apart from these features it is said to be one of the most simplest framework one can ever work with.
5. Roots: Team running this framework are good in updating newer versions of this theme. Last year itself they rolled out 7 new versions of this framework which just gives you an idea that these guys won’t let you down.
6. Skeleton: Interested to design your own theme and looking for a simple framework then Skeleton is a go. As the name suggests so is the framework, you can start your theme designing from this framework. It’s features include shortcodes for CSS3 buttons, column shortcodes with media queries, and more.
7. Bones: Bones framework is not for those who want to develop child themes but it is intended to be a project template. This framework comes in two variants, classic and responsive. The classic version is built on 960 Grid and on the other end the responsive version can be a starting point for designing a theme for multiple screens with a stylesheet setup for media queries and a mobile friendly approach.
8. Wonderflux: Wonderflux is a professional, free WordPress theme framework. It allows you to rapidly develop highly sophisticated, custom WordPress themes with just modifying a single stylesheet. This framework produces 100% valid W3C XHTML/CSS mark-up – with a choice of document types, XHTML 4 strict, transitional etc and even HTML5 to suit your theme.
9. Reverie: Reverie Framework is an extremely versatile HTML5 WordPress framework based on ZURB’s Foundation, a powerful tool for building prototypes on any kind of devices. Reverie can be used as is for a basic theme, but it also serves as a great starting point for your own custom themes. It also works with bbPress 2.0 and BuddyPress 1.5.
10. UpThemes: UpThemes Framework is a powerful, lightweight theme options framework for producing some of the highest quality themes. This framework uses the built-in WordPress media uploader for enhanced security and less code overhead.
11. Simon WP Framework: The Simon WP Framework can serve as a starting point for creating our own custom themes by updating the theme directly, or one can use the child themes for more customizations. It includes a widget-ready sidebar and footer, theme options, icons, breadcrumbs, and more.
12. Carrington: Carrington is a CMS theme platform that has been popular for several years. With Carrrington you can quickly create unique templates for different post types and categories. The Carrington framework is available in a variety of options, including a blog format, a text-only format, and a mobile theme.
13. Ashford: The Ashford CMS Framework is FREE. It is a “brilliant”, “high-quality” parent theme for a personal or small web site. If you are looking for more features then you need to go for pro version of the theme which costs $49 else you can simply play with the free framework.
14. Gantry: Gantry is built on the 960 Grid System, 36 possible layout combinations, font sizing, and more. This theme is a comprehensive set of building blocks which enables the rapid development and realization of a design into a flexible and powerful web platform theme.
If you are new to CSS then you need to search for the codes in Google to learn how they work and I bet you won’t feel it that tough to learn. So are you into designing your own custom theme for your WordPress blog? Do you know any more free WordPress frameworks? If you know then comment box underneath is inviting you to share your views and opinions.