Support » Themes and Templates » best themes for building from scratch

  • I’m curious what others are using to build sites from scratch. Sandbox was my favorite, recently I’ve used WP Framework.
    I prefer to use something basic and easily comprehensible on the PHP side, with body classes, so you can do a lot of stuff with css, and the templates are easy to find. I found the new version of WP Framework has a convoluted, nested structure, which is a problem if you want to adapt stuff to your own needs.
    What are you using and why?

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Hi,
    I had used WP Framework quite some time ago, and I liked it. I haven’t used Sandbox.

    I use Thematic as a base these days, and make child themes under that. I love the way it works. You get a huge number of useful widget areas, and an excellent blank slate upon which to hang your design. It’s extremely powerful. You have the Superfish menu built-in for dropdowns if you need them. As far as seriously getting under the hood, I haven’t needed to, so I can’t comment on how easy it is to hack.

    I had also tried out Hybrid, whose forum policy seemed somewhat restrictive. It’s a good theme, though. Carrington is very powerful with a staggering number of features, but it’s almost too big for my taste. I like to shop for frameworks now and then. 🙂

    For something already built-out if you don’t want to design from scratch, I just installed Suffusion on by blog, and that’s really great, very flexible and nice.

    I hope that helps.

    Sandbox is ultra bare bones and minimalistic, I am looking for something similar, without building my own theme from scratch, so I actually don’t mean REALLY from scratch. Maybe child themes are the way to go.
    I’ll take a look at your suggestions, thanks much.

    Interesting. Yes, no big framework is bare bones at all, even though they usually look blank when you install it. We clearly have different needs.

    What went south for you with Sandbox?

    I wonder if this thing is any good:
    … or something like it.

    No matter which you choose, I think you’ll enjoy child themes once you figure it out. Then you can update the theme without torching all your custom CSS and anything else you may have tweaked. Many a poor schmuck beginner tweaking Twenty Ten has learned this the hard way, because it’s updated with any WP upgrade.

    Using Thematic my child theme for one site consists of less than 100 lines total, and now I can upgrade Thematic pretty much without any concern. I just did a child theme for Constructor that was maybe 20 lines of code.

    I’m following your advice, building my site as a child theme in thematic. I’m curious to try, mostly to do things ‘the right way’ and not mess with the core files, see if this works for me. Not sure it will, because i’m using wordpress to build my (illustration) portfolio, and i tend to just edit the core php, hard-coding links to scripts and such things. Though I think I can learn to do things in a more wordpressy and less hack-your-way type of way. Will see how far i get with that approach.
    So far it seems nice and does what i want. Thanks for the tip.

    will you take my word?
    Suffusion theme is the best.
    [sig moderated as per the Forum Rules. Stop spamming your site.]

    hey flamenco,
    i’ve got a question if you don’t mind. How do you go about changing the elements on a page, without touching the OG theme files. I’ve been able to make some simple changes, such as changing the header by adding bits of code to functions.php, but if I want to have a whole custom submenu in a sidebar, what is the easiest way to go about it?

    Is there an overview of all the hooks you have to include stuff in different parts of (any particular) page? I’d like to include, for example, a tag cloud in any page that is generated by the archive template.

    Hope you can give me a pointer. cheers.

    I don’t have a quick answer, unfortunately. I can do this much, much more easily with MODx, my other system.

    It depends on what sort of menu you want there. I would start here:

    In cases where I’ve been asked to do submenus, I’ve used code similar to what they have there.

    There are menu plugins that purport to work in a sidebar, but they are notoriously sensitive to WP upgrades, different themes, etc.

    good luck!

    BlankSlate is THE most minimalist theme in the entire WordPress theme repo for designing/building sites completely from scratch.


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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