Almost 60% of internet users prefer websites with aesthetic and functional layouts [1]. So, if you want your website to gain traction, it’s indeed worth investing in its interface and design. One way to enhance and customize your WordPress website is by using a WordPress framework. What is a WordPress framework exactly? 🤔

It’s essentially a code library that serves as a building block for theme development. It includes basic site functionalities and design elements necessary to improve or create a new website theme. Read on to learn more about WordPress frameworks and some of the best frameworks available.

What is a WordPress framework?

There are a few more details and concepts you need to know to fully understand what WordPress frameworks are.

WordPress frameworks give you foundational resources such as pre-made widgets and drag-and-drop features needed to build a website theme. Hence, there’s no need for you to code or build your desired layout from scratch. These frameworks likewise usually have adequate security safeguards and community support.

Parent and child themes

A theme developed through a WordPress framework is categorized as either a parent or a child theme. A parent theme is a complete WordPress theme that contains all necessary template files and assets.

A child theme is a copy of a parent theme that contains all the latter’s characteristics and features. However, a child theme keeps framework customizations on separate files. This means that you won’t lose the customizations you make even when the parent theme gets updated or encounters a glitch.

Difference between a WordPress theme framework and WordPress theme

“WordPress theme framework” and “WordPress theme” are often used interchangeably. However, they’re not the same.

The simplest way to describe the fundamental difference between them would be to say that all theme frameworks are WordPress themes, but not all WordPress themes are theme frameworks.

WordPress theme frameworks come with a wide range of helper tools and libraries that make it easier to develop a custom website on top of the framework. The code libraries they provide are designed to facilitate extensive site customizations.

In contrast, WordPress themes usually provide finished site layouts and can be used as-is. While some of these themes have customization settings, the tweaks you can make are superficial at best.

Here are five of the most popular ⭐ and highly-rated WordPress frameworks available today:

Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

If you’re a website developer who wants an all-around framework, Genesis is a solid choice. It’s been on the market for years now, and has tons of design options and features available. There are also multiple child themes out there – both from the official site and third-party ones. This theme framework also has one of the largest communities when it comes to tools of its kind.

Gantry Framework

Gantry Framework

Gantry Framework is perfect if you lack technical website customization skills. It has a user-friendly interface and useful features such as a visual editor, a responsive layout manager, and a mega menu. It’s likewise open-source and free, so it’s easily accessible even for those who lack the budget for a WordPress framework subscription.


Divi Framework

Divi is an all-in-one WordPress site design solution that can help you build and personalize your website from scratch. On top of over 40 design elements and 800 layouts, it also offers reusable custom sections and a huge volume of web design elements. Should you have queries or concerns, Divi also provides 24/7 customer support.

iThemes Builder

ithemes Builder

If you want a framework that is well-optimized for mobile devices, consider iThemes Builder. It gives you access to a wide selection of child themes, plugins, and tools. Moreover, this framework offers several content blocks that enhance the overall user experience.


Boasting over seven million downloads, Redux is an extremely popular WordPress framework. This isn’t surprising since it offers more than a thousand Gutenberg templates and unlimited widget layouts. Moreover, this framework allows you to make reusable templates and starter blocks either from scratch or an existing layout.

Conclusion 🤓

WordPress frameworks are excellent website theme development and customization tools. Now that you understand what is a WordPress framework, choose the one that best fits your needs and make your WordPress website stand out.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Or start the conversation in our Facebook group for WordPress professionals. Find answers, share tips, and get help from other WordPress experts. Join now (it’s free)!