We like commercial frameworks for two reasons : they allow you to devlop many themes with little coding, and they offer another level of wordpress support. This is particularly true for
Standard frameworks all come with handy amdin options such as logo, footer and sidebar widgets, or slidebar, but they are best managed if you have a good knowledge of wordpress and php
- Hybrid framework comes with extremely good support from Justin Tadlock, famous for his tutorials and knowledge of hooks and filters. hybrid is good for mass production of small business websites like grainedecaillou.com , where the malleable template (free download) comes with front page logo customization and slider configuration options
- Ashford framework comes with a lot of options that make it a good candidate for corporate web sites that want professionnal look at a good price : 49$ is worth it when you compare the amount of plugins you'd have to buy, or test and debug, to do the same job : mobile version, pre defined page template and layouts, image content animations, mega menus,
- Studio press genesis framework is perfect for large websites with a lot of posts and pages that need to be organized in a clear and standard layout. A good example is tiarvro.org , where all plugins are neatly integrated in margins (each page or post can choose 1, 2 or 3 column layout)
Drag & drop layout building frameworks are an ambitious call for WYSIWYG theme building. They come at a non negligeable price and without a doubt require extensive developer testing before they are put to production
- Platform Pro from pagelines (from 79$): customize page layout by using drag and drop for sections, then choose one of your 5 predefined layouts on a page by page basis.
- Carrington build (500$) : much more powerful framework that allows page by page content configuration via widget dra and drop. GReat work that includes the ability to create rows of multiple columns content, each cell being drag and drop enabled for sepecific contents : post images, rich text, predefined quote, callout, or databse extraction such as sub menu or anything wordpress widgets can do.