It’s become more and more clear to me, that many are in doubt about which WordPress theme framework to choose. There are so many, and they all differ vastly from each other.
There’s the drag & drop PageLines DMS, there’s the maverick Thesis 2.1, Headway 3 with its innovative Visual Editor, then there’s trusty Genesis now at version 2.0, which can be used stand-alone, with child themes, or even with “special forces” add-ons like Dynamik Website Builder or Genesis Extender. And that’s just the frameworks that I’ll cover here. There are many many more.
Picking the right theme framework can be frustrating… and most of them aren’t exactly free!
That’s why we didn’t just create an infographic (a flowchart – leading you to the best framework) but also a free 31-page PDF guide – to help you find the right framework! Be sure to download it, further down this very page;-)
The cost of investing in a WordPress theme framework
- Most good WordPress theme frameworks will cost you money.
- Each framework has a learning curve. Time invested in learning a new framework has to be taken into account: time is money.
- Some frameworks also carry a maintenance cost. You’ll have to renew, typically on a yearly basis as 50% off.
When it comes to investing in a WordPress theme framework, the price tag is often an important decision factor for most people.
Yet in my opinion, price shouldn’t be such a big reason when you’re deciding which framework you should invest in! Basically, the price is a small fraction of the time it will hopefully save you, and the money it’ll potentially earn you, by letting you skip the services of a professional web designer – or – if yourself is a professional web designer, it’ll help you develop and design client sites faster and much more efficiently. Your return on investment is high, as long as you pick the right framework! Hence this very blog post, infographic and guide;)
Still, price is a factor of course, though a minor one. So the infographic includes pricing as well.
Note about PageLines DMS pricing:
PageLines DMS is available in a free, open source version. But it’s feature-limited. The full “DMS Pro” version costs a subscription, billed monthly or yearly. For PageLines DMS, we used the cheapest option available, a full year paid in full, to save money. That’s how we’ve arrived at $96 per year, for PageLines DMS.
The theme framework infographic
I couldn’t include each and every one of the many available WordPress theme frameworks out there. So I’ve had to focus the infographic (and PDF guide) on the biggest and (at least to me) most interesting WordPress theme frameworks.
The infographic is a flowchart, guiding you to the best WordPress theme framework. Start at the top, and see where it guides you!
Click to view or download the larger PDF-version!
And be sure to get the free 31-page guide, down below the infographic!
You are welcome to embed the infographic on your own site,
as long as you link it to this blog post!
Thanks to the TinyPNG.org panda for shrinking the above PNG from a massive 488.3 KB to a measly 148.7 KB. Really impressive!
I (Oliver) came up with the idea and concept for the infographic, collected the data, and made sketches. Digital designer Heidi Topholt (Twitter @heiditopholt) then took my sketches and turned them into a pretty nice infographic.
To give you an idea of each frameworks popularity, we also decided to include a few metrics:
Even though I find Klout rather lame, we’ve included it, in the infographic. Better than nothing I guess;-)
Social Authority as measured by FollowerWonk / Moz
A social influence scoring metric, superior to Klout, but quite similar.
Domain Authority as measured by Moz
The Domain Authority was found via the free (but quite valuable) Open Site Explorer tool by Moz.
Download the theme framework guide (it’s free)
Shortly after getting started on the infographic, I realized I had to also write a guide, to go along with the infographic, to make it truly useful.
So here it is: a 31-page guide (in PDF format) that goes into more detail:
- PageLines DMS review
- Headway Themes review
- Genesis review
- Dynamik Website Builder review
- Genesis Extender review
- Thesis review
- What’s remarkable about each framework
- When you should choose what and why
Please comment and share!
Heidi and I have spent way more than a weeks worth of work, on creating the infographic and designing the PDF guide. We’ll be really really thankful and happy if you’ll please help us, by sharing this blog post with your network, so as many as possible, can benefit from it. Just use the sharing buttons below. Thank you so much – it means a lot to us!
PS: And be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Oliver (and Heidi)