WordPress is one of the most used and the easiest Content Management Systems. It can be easily tailored to create any type of Website like Corporate, ecommerce, Business Directory, Support Portal, Social Media etc. However, the niche-specific themes and plugins are required for this customization work. In this write up, we’ll highlight some theme frameworks that can be used to create almost any type of Website for your requirements. Let us have a look on them.

Thematic

Thematic is a free, highly-extensible and SEO-friendly theme framework. Its support and documentation is also free. Thematic features

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  1.     13 widget-positioning areas,
  2.     grid-layout samples,
  3.     options to style all popular WordPress plugins,
  4.     sample child theme to allow frequent development,
  5.     options for multi-author blog Websites, and
  6.     modularized CSS with basic typography and pre-installed resets.

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Thematic

You are free to edit the footer for removing theme credit lines.

Buffet Framework

The Buffet is a feature-rich framework for both end-users and WordPress developers. It is powered with jQuery and localization support. This Theme is available for free with its free Reference Document. You are free to select any grid system between Blueprint CSS and 960gs.

Buffet Framework

Preview of The Buffet Framework

Even more, the Buffet supports these three Microformats – XOXO, hCard and hAtom. Creating a WordPress Application on Microformats, then think about Buffet.

Carrington Blog

One can easily create new and quite unique themes based on Carrington Theme Framework. It is a free framework available with free support and documentation. The main development feature of Carrington is its support for extension. One developer can group common set of actions, then filter the functions into one class and register this class as an extension. Afterwards, a user of its child theme is free to enable or disable the created extension through Options panel.

Carrington Blog

Preview of Carrington Blog Theme Framework

One can access the Carrington Developers Platform and Resources  . Carrington Theme features:

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  1.     Support for Child theme
  2.     1, 2, or 3 columns
  3.     Easy customization
  4.     Slideshow Gallery

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Hybrid

Justin Tadlock, the famous WordPress Developer, have coded this theme. Proving its name, this theme has hybrid features like

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  1.     15 custom pages template
  2.     multiple widget-ready areas
  3.     options to construct every type of theme using it
  4.     support for multiple languages like Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew etc.

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Hybrid

Preview of Hybrid WordPress Theme Framework

This Theme is available for free, but its support is paid. Following plugins are also available to use with Hybrid Theme,

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  1.     Tabs Plugin
  2.     Hook Widgets Plugin
  3.     Hook Plugin
  4.     Page Templates Pack
  5.     Language Pack

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Genesis

StudioPress has developed this paid & premium Theme Framework for free WordPress. This theme has inbuilt support for search engine optimization and also has a separate marketplace where you can buy child themes for it.

Genesis

Preview of Genesis Framework (Courtesy: StudioPress Demo)

You are allowed to select separate layouts for each page and post while publishing it through WordPress Admin Dashboard. Please note that it is meant more for developers instead of designers as one has to learn various filters and coding hooks to start the modification. You will get unlimited support, installation on unlimited Websites and unlimited updates after purchasing Genesis from StudioPress.

Thesis

Thesis is one of the most powerful and popular Theme framework for WordPress. It has many easy-to-use controls and efficient HTML/CSS/PHP frameworks to fine tune the pages and posts of your Websites.

Thesis

Preview of kirantarun.com, a Website built on Thesis framework (Source: Thesis Showcase)

You can buy Personal license of Thesis theme at $87 with lifetime free upgrades and developer’s license at $184. DiyThemes.com offers 30 days money back guarantee as well.

WP Framework

This is a blank WordPress Theme framework developed by DevPress and listed on Google Code. It is free for use and modification. You can view its documentation at DevPress WP-Framework Codex.

WP Framework

Preview of WP Framework Theme from DevPress

It is a highly extensible, modular and flexible framework. One can easily use it to develop any kind of WordPress theme.

Canvas

WooThemes have developed this paid & premium Theme Framework. It comes with

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  1.     more than 100 options,
  2.     support for Google Fonts,
  3.     Magazine and Business page layouts,
  4.     Portfolio section,
  5.     customized Widgets,
  6.     support for Child themes, and
  7.     options to change layout width.

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Canvas

Preview of Canvas Theme (Courtesy: WooThemes Demo)

You can buy Standard Edition of Canvas Theme for $70 with two free bonus themes, whereas Developer Edition comes for $150 with 3 free bonus themes and PSD source file.

Whiteboard

Whiteboard is a free and open-source Theme Framework for WordPress. It features cross-browser compatibility, SEO-friendly options, HTML 5 code and CSS 3 animations. This theme is compatible with WordPress 3.0 and previous versions.

Whiteboard

One can access its documentation at. You can use this framework to give a pixel-perfect design to your WordPress Website.

Elemental

ProThemeDesign have developed this Elemental Theme Framework for WordPress.

Elemental

Preview of Elemental Theme Framework (Courtesy: ProThemeDesign Demo)

It features,

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  1.     Customized Admin bar
  2.     Option to resize the image thumbnails
  3.     12 custom pages templates for blogrolls, image galleries, sitemaps, and contact forms
  4.     Breadcrumb Navigation
  5.     Update Reminder Widget in Dashboard
  6.     Multi-level drop-down menus
  7.     Four widgetized areas

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You can buy Basic license of Elemental for $59.99 and Developer license for $149.99.

Conclusion

Above collection contains both free and premium Theme frameworks. You can have a look upon them and check their features. We’re leaving upon you to select a suitable theme framework for your next project. We invite our readers to provide their valuable suggestions and feedback about the mentioned frameworks.

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Editor noteContributor  Ajeet Yadav is an expert in WordPress and has been following it since its launch. He is an authority on services related to converting to WordPress from PSD and regularly comments on these services. In addition he is also a expert in all things related to search engine optimization.