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Adii on Frameworks: No Love

Adii, a well known WordPress theme developer has put up a post on his blog about WordPress Theme Frameworks, and his opinions regarding them.

He makes his own opinions perfectly clear in his post saying things like:

A framework per definition includes features & functions that are not necessarily going to be used, which means it does a helluva lot of different things from a bunch of different people. Great. But consider that when 75% of those features aren’t used by the end-user, that your code suddenly becomes bloated like hell. Instead of having to make quick / easy tweaks to the code base now; the user has to delete the code that they’re not using (i.e. to clean things up).

Unfortunately, as you can see in the comments of his post, others don’t agree with him. I am one of those people, as I believe that increasing the “code bloat” in themes, will continue to lower the barrier for entry when it comes to WordPress users and customizing their blogs.

Once you get to a certain level of programming knowledge, it can be easy to forget how difficult things are to non-coders, and as such the vision of the developer becomes clouded in that respect, and I believe Adii’s vision is clouded on this subject, as he continues to defend his position of mis-understanding with regards to the benefits of feature filled WordPress themes.

What do you think, do we still need to lower the barrier for entry when it comes to customizing WordPress blogs or is everyone able to edit theme files, CSS and more?

You can read his full post on his blog

Categories: WordPress News

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  1. Adii Rockstar says: 3/3/2009

    As Nathan Rice has pointed out on that post; it is actually helluva more difficult for the average user (with no CSS / HTML / PHP knowledge). So with regards to the end-user, I still maintain that my argument has quite a bit of truth.


  2. Nathan Rice says: 3/3/2009

    Unless you make literally EVERY single aspect of the theme editable from the backend, then Adii is right in his characterization of my statements: framework themes, themes like Flexx and WPUnlimited, and other “advanced” themes are way to hard for a user to modify, especially if the user wants to modify the theme heavily.

    Take WPUnlimited for instance … if an advanced user wanted to start hacking up the core files, moving stuff around, removing things, etc., there’s a good chance most of the features you built into the theme will be broken and/or obsolete in his final creation.

    We’re at an impass — there are 3 types of themes out there, as far as I can see:

    1. The framework
    2. The traditional theme
    3. The Point-and-Click

    Each one appeals to a different kind of person. I think, however, there is probably room for all 3, though I do believe one will eventually come out as dominant in the market.


  3. Andrew says: 3/3/2009

    What I think is interesting is the expectations of users, and of themers.

    Not too long ago, as a WordPress user who wanted to tweak their own stuff, you were expected to learn the fundamentals. Now there seems to be a consensus that you shouldn’t have to learn in order to make decisions about your site.

    Frameworks are the in-between. They offer non-developers the chance to add all the point-and-click stuff for the ‘users’ without needing to understand it yourself.

    This is how many other industries have worked for a long time, televisions have long been badged up, many cars are built on the same chasis, and I am sure we have all had cable modems badged by the ISP. They make themes into a commodity to buy, brand, and sell, and will meet a need just a certainly as a mid-range Ford.

    There will still be Bentley and there will still be Skoda.

    I also agree that frameworks make it more difficult for users who can modify things themselves. The question is, if they want to do that why are they using a framework?


  4. Ajay ) says: 3/4/2009

    I believe there should be a balance of features. A simple theme which satisfies most of the users needs, while providing the user the ability to customize as much as possible by editing the code.

    Again, options for basic color schemes and all are fine, but at one point the theme would get super-bloated and result in really slow loading website


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