Shortly after finding WordPress I was exposed to theme frameworks. Like every other blogging noob, I read all I could from Problogger in one sitting.
I couldn’t help but notice the post footer advertisement for the Genesis Framework… so I checked it out.
I did all the research I could. Based on information I don’t remember, I decided that I needed to use a framework. It was between Genesis and Thesis. I chose Thesis.
I’ve used both frameworks over the last 4 years and I’ve even built my own. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to try WordPress without a framework.
Let’s rewind for a minute.
Over the last few years, I’ve seen plenty of folks speak down on theme frameworks. I can’t say I always understood it. I mean… frameworks are awesome.
The more I dig into WordPress, though, the more I question the true need for frameworks and who exactly they benefit the most.
Who would that be? The individual end-user? Maybe the freelancer?
Yup. I’m going to go with the freelancer. Rapid deployment of websites is like a .50 cal. machine gun for freelance web developers using WordPress. Who in that position wouldn’t want a code library ready to handle all of the heavy lifting for them?
What about a regular guy like me, though? Did I really need to use Thesis or Genesis when I was first starting out just building my personal blog?
Sure, using these frameworks taught me a lot about code… but that’s mainly because I ditched their admin options and dove into things like actions (hooks) and filters — both of which are WordPress features… not framework features.
At the moment (and probably for all eternity) I’m using the Twenty Twelve default WordPress theme on this site. I love it… no doubt.
Customizing its structure makes me wonder if I wasted more time with frameworks than I had to, though.
The ultimate goal is to build unique websites. Before the Thesis 2 era, I really don’t see how most frameworks made that any easier. In fact, I think they were a little intrusive stepping off into areas previously handled by plugins.
Sure, there was added leverage in having the right features. Obviously, I see value in that.
But I also feel like having too much of a starting point puts you in a position to tweak what exists rather than create something new. Once you get really good at
twerking tweaking, you never want to stop.
Well, now that I’ve taken a break from using frameworks on every single WordPress website I build, I understand what guys like Konstantin were saying.
Do we really need to learn a special system that includes a lot of its own features available nowhere else instead of learning the system its built on?
My logic doesn’t always apply… but does it apply here?
I’m not done using frameworks and I’m for damn sure not done building mine. But if you have a framework state of mind and you’ve never laid 10 fingers on anything else, do yourself a favor and build a WordPress site/theme from scratch.
If you don’t know how, take my course. It’s pretty easy.
Do it just to make sure you’re not holding yourself back. You could very well be holding yourself back… trust me.