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Parent Themes vs Frameworks vs Starter Themes

3058906a17e76374e742fe4828a789c9?s=47 digisavvy
December 14, 2013

Parent Themes vs Frameworks vs Starter Themes

Choosing the right tool for the job



December 14, 2013


  1. WordCamp Las Vegas 2013! WordCamp Las Vegas 2013! Slides Available

    At: http://goo.gl/nBXl2C
  2. A Love Story... 'SBNFXPSLT7T1BSFOU$IJME5IFNFT7T4UBSUFS5IFNFT Choosing the Right Tool for the

  3. Who Am I? If you don’t like my talk I

    go by… Sir Not Appearing at this
  4. Who Am I Really? just the facts... Pants { }

    Shirt {x} Shoes {x}
  5. I’m Alex Vasquez •Gum Chewer, Mouth Breather, Stick in the

    Mud •Working with WordPress since 2009 •I tweet @alexjvasquez • Pasadena Meetup and WordCamp LA Co-Conspirator •People say I have nice hair {He’s lying right now *editor’s note}
  6. The Agenda. ‣Talking about Approach... ‣Reviewing our tools ‣Pros and

    Cons ‣Conclusions ‣Fist bumps for all!
  7. Things to Consider... •Effort. How much time and how much

    of a headache will this project be? •Support — Do you need support? Guaranteed support is great as the community may not always be there when you need answers. •What’s the project budget? •Turnaround Time — One month? Two months? More? Less!!?
  8. Choosing the Right Tool For the Job frameworks parent/child themes

    ahem, starter themes
  9. Reviewing the Tools in Your Toolbox Frameworks are for theme

    developers. They offer a set of features for developers to use in creating their own themes. The functions/features provided aid theme development. You can use a framework to build a parent theme (in some cases), but the framework is not a parent theme itself. ! FRAMEWORKS Framework Examples WooThemes Canvas Headway iThemes Builder Hybrid Framework
  10. Reviewing the Tools in your toolbox PARENT THEMES Nearly all

    WordPress themes ‘could’ be parent themes. Parent themes ‘should’ house the core design elements, functionality, and the templates required for running the theme in WordPress. All customization is done through the Child Theme only. ! What are they? Parent/Child Themes Genesis Framework Thematic
  11. Reviewing the Tools in your toolbox STARTER THEMES What are

    they? Starter Themes generally provide a minimal, yet well-built foundation consisting of solid semantic markup, css and js libraries. While not a complete “blank slate,” a starter theme makes it easy to get started and allowing you to build only what you want into your projects. ! Starter Theme Examples Roots Blank Canvas
 Underscores Bones
 Toolbox Some Like it Neat
  12. What Should You Do?

  13. {Should you use a Framework?}

  14. {Should you use a Framework?} For non-developers, SURE!! Frameworks tend

    to be “budget-friendly” Frameworks often have many pre-made designs that you can activate-and-go!
 Requires little programming knowledge to develop something totes rad!!
  15. {Should you use a Framework?} If you’re a Developer... then

 *Disclaimer* (It depends on the project, yo) Frameworks, in theory, provide the most efficient way to develop a project
 from the ground up...
  16. {Should you use a Framework?} CONS What if your client

    doesn’t need all that fluff and just needs to “tweak a thing or two?” Frameworks can be “opinionated” and ultimately restrictive... Can suffer from “feature bloat” Can have a steep learning curve A number of frameworks are not free i.e. Headway, Pagelines, Ultimatum etc.
  17. “You know, I brought you into this world and I

    can take you out.” -Bill Cosby
  18. {Will a Parent/Child Theme Do?} For End-Users/Clients, this provides a

    compelling option... In theory provides future updatability without affecting existing child theme(s) Many child themes to choose from, reducing time needed for custom design Contain many options for customization
  19. {Will a Parent/Child Theme Do?} For Developers, the many hooks/filters

    provided can yield infinite layout possibilities True separation of core function from custom design/functionality Easier to maintain Less time to develop...
  20. {Will a Parent/Child Theme Do?} CONS Similar to Frameworks, the

    Parent Theme can suffer from “feature bloat” While highly customizable it, many Parent Themes are ultimately limiting and restrictive i.e. Genesis Framework Also, like Frameworks, can have a steep learning curve But what if need something that is hyper-extra-sooper-dooper-customized? Starter theme?
  21. "Starting from scratch is seductive but disease ridden…” -Pithy Advice

    for Programmers
  22. {F*ck it! We’re Goin’ With a Starter Theme!} Non-Devs. This

    is how you’re going to really level-up at building WordPress Themes! 
 Scary, but SCARY AWESOME! •You will spend many hours in front of a monitor... Crying becomes normal; social skills suffer •The Codex, not the Sun (and or your family), is the center of your universe •Your Social Skills will erode and will have weird people smell… •You will cuss more than I do and people will think you’re an *sshole Quick Predictions
  23. {F*ck it! We’re Goin’ With a Starter Theme!} This is

    why you eat your Wheaties. Starter themes are the next closest thing to showing up to work without any damn clothes on. •Provides basic markup as more of a suggestion than something you actually need to use •Can fit ANY type of project requirement •For the ultimate control freak who sneers at Frameworks and complains of “bloat” or “fluff” •Easier to build up once, as opposed to tearing down and building up again
  24. Conclusions? How can we build a “smarter starter theme?” What

    about a “dumber and less-opinionated” framework? Shake up your workflow, learn something different.
  25. Got Questions?