Enjoy the following guest post focused on how and where to track down free frameworks to use when building your own WordPress theme, courtesy of SEO Nick Robson.
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily that of Return On Now.
In today’s business environment, more and more people are starting to run their websites and online businesses themselves. This applies across the board – everything from social media to marketing, from web design to SEO. Many are even starting to create their own WordPress themes.
When designing themes, WordPress frameworks are an invaluable tool to both the theme designer and the more casual user. They provide the ability to modify an existing framework (hence the name) and build from it, creating something that is unique and exactly what you want it to be.
Inexperienced users can find drag-and-drop frameworks that require no coding at all, while advanced users can find frameworks that have just the kind of functionality they need. This is very helpful when creating their own usable themes either for themselves or clients.
But how is one to find the right framework? There are many options out there, and this can seem like an overwhelming task. The following steps will take you through finding an excellent free framework for your WordPress site.
Search Engine Results
The logical place to start your quest for a framework is to do an online search via Google or another search engine. A simple search for ‘WordPress Frameworks’ will return an array of results, some focused on one or more specific options, while others provide a location to research a variety of frameworks.
In some cases, these can be very helpful, but one needs to exercise caution when searching for anything to download directly from Google. As with most open searches, there is the potential to come across malware masquerading as something that you want. While some hold the opinion that you should never search for free themes, it can be done safely if you exercise caution.
Make sure that you are working from a source that you trust when clicking links to download new frameworks. Don’t hesitate to run a search for the website and find out if there are positive or negative reviews about it.
As with anything you are going to download and execute on your computer, you should also run it through your malware and virus scanners before you use it. If you’re savvy enough, you may also want to comb through it to confirm that there is no unnecessary garbage cleverly tucked into the theme.
One of the other things that you may find when using a search engine are the vast array of lists containing the best frameworks of the year or in general. Many of those are conveniently labeled so you can run a search for ‘best free WordPress frameworks’ and come up with several.
These sites often conveniently display some of the most popular frameworks and list what they like about them. You will find countless peers who have done the work for you and compiled lists where they review the best (and sometimes worst) features of several different frameworks to consider.
As with general searches, you need to be careful about choosing your source. Look for valid sites with good reputations, because many of the reviews may be designed specifically to link to blogs with embedded links or malware. As you surmise, you can never be too careful when searching for free web assets online.
By far, the best option is to go straight to the source. When you’re using WordPress’s website, you don’t have to worry about the potential for malware or frameworks that can’t actually do what they promise they can.
Everything you need to know will be right there on the information page, which is incredibly convenient. It’s easy enough to find the WordPress Themes and run a simple search for ‘frameworks’. This should serve up several pages worth of options.
Find the frameworks that most meet your needs, and then run a quick search to get user reviews from several sources. This will help you confirm that you’re choosing something which will work for you and your website.
The Next Step With Frameworks
Once you’ve found a framework that you like, you will need to install it. Always use WordPress.org and not WordPress.com if you want to take advantage of frameworks.
It is also important to have a good hosting plan when running frameworks, so you can provide the best performance and user experience to your site visitors. Compare different hosts if you don’t have one already (or if your current host doesn’t offer WordPress), and find the one that best suits your needs.
Once the framework is installed, you can get started at designing your theme exactly the way you want it to appear and operate. Whether that is dragging your elements around or building your theme from the skeleton of the framework into something big and beautiful, it’s your call.
Where have you been able to find the best frameworks? Which are your favorites?
About the Author
Nick Robson has for years been a student of SEO. Now at long last he feels he has established a solid expertise in it. He likes to help others solve internet marketing problems, and aims to keep writing on topics related to SEO, so he can share everything he has learned with all who are interested in the subject matter.