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  1. #1
    Regular Coder
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    What do you think about Wordpress Frameworks?

    I use CSS frameworks and I'm a huge fan of the time I save but have never tried a Wordpress framework. I've looked into them quite a bit and it seems like on top of the time you save coding the basic Wordpress theme again and again it also comes SEO Optimized. Some of the down sides I see some users talking about is how a lot of them aren't keeping up with all the new Wordpress updates or although it can be a huge time saver it also restricts some flexibility. As far as developing Wordpress themes I usually reuse most of the same code from previous themes I've built and then code around the basic structure and add extra functionality as needed.

    What do you'll think about Wordpress Frameworks? Should I invest some time getting used to some of these frameworks?

  • #2
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    I personally think all frameworks just add redundant, unnecessary code and should be avoided where possible/feasible. While JavaScript frameworks actually make writing JS easier without cluttering up anything else (except maybe itself) stuff like prefabricated CSS frameworks or “Wordpress frameworks” just add a lot of non-semantic and redundant clutter to your HTML code which makes pages slower and code harder to debug.

    Of course, if your’re frequently creating page templates or website themes, you’re usually having a few reusable components prepared for yourself (I, too, have a very basic HTML template and a basic CSS file with the most general styles predefined (kinda like a simple version of what normalize does)). But, for example, these premade CSS frameworks make you change/write your HTML so that it matches the CSS selectors (through specific markup/nesting and non-semantic class attributes) which kinda turns around the actual intention of CSS. And likewise, these “Wordpress frameworks” just include almost everything so on short sight it saves you some development time but it bloats the sites and leads to overuse of irrelevant effects (fades, animations, etc.) just because it’s easy to implement them, and – much worse – leads to less thinking and intention of understanding on your own.

    I think it’s better to have your own lightweight “framework” (like, basic templates, and/or reusable snippets) that specifically serve your needs, not require you to learn something new and complex and give up too much control in order to adapt to someone else’s style of coding.

    Edit: Oh and by the way: I also think this whole “it comes SEO optimized” thing is overrated, too (as well as all the “SEO experts” that claim they will bring your site to the top in search engines, etc.). A well written and designed site with much relevant text content is search engine friendly by itself already. There are a few server/URL settings you can modify but that can also be part of your little personal snippet library. I can’t imagine what these frameworks do differently that makes “their SEO” more special.
    Last edited by VIPStephan; 09-06-2012 at 05:02 PM.

  • #3
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    I agree with you on most points, most if not all css frameworks I've seen aren't semantic at all for example the grid system in 960.gs is .grid_1 .grid_2 etc you could add an id to the same element or just another class to make it easier to debug but by doing so your adding more to your html document which would otherwise be unnecessary. What made me a fan of CSS frameworks is how easy they are to learn and the time you save is incredible.

    For the reason I'm such a fan of CSS frameworks is why I wanted to venture into Wordpress frameworks since I work with WP every day. I've noticed that some of the places I seek employment are actually putting it in their requirements to know certain frameworks and I've seen other freelancers advertise the fact that they are experts in various WP Frameworks. It just made me curious.

    As far as the SEO Optimized stuff they are adding in their Framework features, most of them say they are compatible with All in One SEO and Platinum SEO plugins but I don't get why any wordpress theme wouldn't be compatible with those plug ins even if it was made without using a framework. I guess I'll try it for my self and see how I like it and what this whole SEO Optimized thing is all about but I agree, it was my understanding that the key to seo lies within the content of the website.

    I think this is a pretty good topic of discussion I'd love to hear more opinions and thanks VIPStephan for your input


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