Using a framework is one of the best ways to increase productivity and do rapid development. Like other great resources, community and tools; there are several theme frameworks for WordPress to save you a lot of time and effort.
W3Avenue has compiled a list of free WordPress Theme Frameworks to help you find best solution that will suit your development style and practices. The list of themes / frameworks range from completely striped down themes to ready to use frameworks which require almost no programming to create customized look.
Blank / Startup Themes
- Sandbox Theme
The Sandbox Theme can be easily designed just with CSS, so beginners will feel comfortable not bothering with PHP. Experienced developers and designers can accomplish almost anything with minimal work, thanks to the rich, semantic markup and profusion of classes dynamically generated by the Sandbox.
- Starkers Theme
Starkers is a bare-bones WordPress theme created to act as a starting point for the theme designer.Free of all style, presentational elements, and non-semantic markup, Starkers is the perfect ‘blank slate’ for your projects, as it’s a stripped-back version of the ‘Default’ theme that ships with WordPress.
- Brave New World
This is a base theme that incorporates HTML5, WAI-ARIA landmark roles and hCard and hAtom microformats. The theme is free of layout and styling beyond a modified version of Eric Meyer’s reset CSS and two baseline typography CSS files to choose from.
- Whiteboard Theme
Designed to speed up the process of designing and coding a WordPress theme by eliminating the time spent on WordPress’ back-end PHP that is used in every theme. Whiteboard is clean, noted, and compact (only 76KB in size – unzipped!). It includes all the standard PHP tags and PHP files needed for a WordPress theme – plus a few extras.
- Basis Theme
Basis provides a highly customizable starting point for your theme development. It comes with a pre-defined set of templates. The otherwise empty stylesheet provides a list of IDs und class-names which have already been used in the templates. The theme is widget-ready and introduces a number of custom functions in functions.php.
- More: WordPress Starter Theme, Blank WordPress Themes, WordPress Naked, Blank WP
Frameworks With Full Support For Child Themes
- Thematic Framework
A free, open-source, highly extensible, search-engine optimized WordPress Theme Framework featuring 13 widget-ready areas, grid-based layout samples, styling for popular plugins, and a whole community behind it.
- Hybrid Framework
Hybrid is a user-friendly, search-engine optimized theme framework, featuring 18 custom page templates and 9 widget-ready areas, allowing you to create any type of site you want.
- Buffet Framework
Theme framework designed not only for the theme developers who will be using the theme actions and filters to create the child themes, but also for the end users who would be able to add and remove what they want. Like most WordPress theme frameworks, the Buffet Framework utilizes WordPress actions and filters to allow theme developers to add additional content without editing the templates files using the child theme concept.
- Precious Theme Framework
Precious is a theme framework for WordPress 2.8+. Built with simplicity and web accessibility in mind. Feature include: Page Templates for Archives, Links, Search and Frontpage; Ability to override standard header.php, footer.php and sidebar.php by creating template files called header-mine.php, footer-mine.php and sidebar-mine.php, this can be done both to parent theme and child themes;Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional; Valid CSS (level 2.1); Widget enabled sidebar; Threaded comments support; Translation ready.
- Ashfors Theme Framework
Ashford is built to be as simple as possible to administer and packed with powerful features. It is a 2 column, widget-ready, gravatar enabled, WordPress Theme with features typically found on premium themes. Some unique feature include: easily create content carousel page; automagically add thumbnail images to your blog; build effortless FAQ pages; get painless Lightbox affects for images.
- OnePress Communitty
The OnePress framework is an integrated website and forum solution. It is, simply, a WordPress theme to serve as the foundation and framework for your web site and online community. Leveraging the powerful WordPress and phpBB projects, OnePress provides a set of features focused on helping you build and maintain your site from the inside out. With this set of tools, you can easily run your community and do so with professional presentation.
- More: K2, Vanilla , Archetype, Modularity Lite
Other Themes & Frameworks
- Carrington Framework
A CMS theme framework for WordPress that makes it easy to create unique looks for different categories, posts and comments just by creating custom templates.
- WP Framework
WP Framework was created to serve as the starting point in WordPress theme development. It accomplishes this by providing you with commonly used functions and features that modern WordPress themes should have. So when you start a brand new WordPress project, using WP Framework you’ll already have the basic functionality set so you don’t have to worry about mundane task like creating the loop, or recreating all the standard template files.
The original aim for the theme was to “provide rapid development for future themes” with a ton of options for the end user. Features include: extensive options page, SEO, Featured content gallery, Drop down navigation, Auto image resizing, multiple layouts, etc.
- More: Tarski, BlogStarter, Artsite Framework