After poking around at both Hybrid and Thematic, wordpress frameworks, I went with Thematic. The reason? Better documentation. I followed Hybrid’s instructions on installing a child theme and and got a broken theme. I was more successful with Skelton, but felt overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to do in css land to get to a reasonable looking theme. So in the end I installed Thematic which has some basic layout css files prepackaged to get you started with your child theme. Of course my decision to go with Thematic may reflect some learning challenges on my part, but in the end, Thematic got me quicker to where I needed to be.
Note this project is for a separate blog, not this one. The cobbler’s children makes do with last year’s shoes.
A bit more on frameworks and why you should care. Using a WP framework gives you some separation between functionality and presentation, always a worthy goal. And it allows you to subclass (well kind or) distinct functional components while preserving the ability to upgrade the originals. What I mean by this, is that you can copy a php file (say header.php) from the parent theme to your child theme directory and alter the copy. WordPress, in it’s later versions, knows to look first for the php files in the child theme. The idea here is that when wordpress and the parent theme is upgraded, there is some insulation … I’ll let you know how that goes when I get there.
I mentioned that I went with Thematic because of the better documentation. It took a little digging, but this tutorial series of blog posts are really helpful to get you started. I particularly appreciated the pointer to a sample xml file you can import into your theme to help QA it and review all the little styles you might want to customize. That in itself was a nice find.
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.