WordPress Themes are catalyst for huge popularity of WordPress and its one of the most lucrative business. Theme frameworks are build to decrease the complexity of making new themes,A parent theme always has a set of libraries which can be just called from child theme,This emphasizes code reusability and more productivity.

In simple terms, Theme frameworks are like an engine of a vehicle.Keeping the same engine,any type of model can be made.These models are called Child themes and Engine is called base or parent theme.

Almost every theme company made their custom framework,In this article I am going to discuss about some popular Premium and Free WordPress theme framework which can be used to make your own theme design.

Premium Theme Frameworks

Genesis Framework


I guess this most popular of all.Created by Studiopress which latter merged with Copyblogger media.Genesis Framework comes with various power packed features like

  • Mobile responsive design
  • Built in SEO
  • Latest Design standards
  • Highly secure (Thanks to Mark Jaquith for security audit)
  • Flexible layout options

Currently Studiopress has produced more than 40 Child themes which tackles the needs of different niche. Apart from that,thousands of Genesis developers are providing custom genesis child theme design and free genesis child themes.

Genesis Framework is the most richly documented theme framework in the list,There are tons of online resources are created by Genesis developers to help you out.

Price : $60

Theme DemoBuy Genesis Framework



Thesis is famously known for its clean design,SEO benefits and also as a rival of Genesis Framework.Developed by DIYThemes on 2008, acquired more than 50,000 users.Thesis 1.x series was a big success than its successor Thesis 2.x series,It got mixed reviews from top WordPress theme designers and developers.Some of the features are

  • Support for Markup Schema
  • Lightweight and Fast
  • Child theme design with Custom Skins feature
  • Claims it performs better on search engines

Lack of Online resources, documentation and High price are the biggest cons of Thesis 2.x.Leading websites like Sitepoint trusts Thesis.

Theme Demo | Buy Thesis Framework

Price : Starts from $87



A Framework created by iThemes,The company behind most popular plugin Backupbuddy.Builder offers variety of features,most importantly it comes with powerful layout editor which helps to define each cell of your design.iThemes also created more than 80 child themes to showcase the customizability of Builder Framework.

Features of iThemes are

  • Mobile Responsive Design
  • Powerful Layout Editor
  • Rich documentation and Support
  • Over 80 child themes

Price : Starts from $80

Theme Demo | Buy Builder Framework



Headway Framework is a drag and drop WordPressTheme framework which makes it easier for user to build their custom design.Headway Grid offers unlimited of layout options.Adopted for latest web standarts like HTML5 and CSS3.Features of Headway are

  • Unlimited layout options with Headway grid
  • Advanced Design editor
  • Mobile Responsive Design
  • HTML5 and CSS3 support
  • Microformats support

You can view list of other features here.

Price : Starts with $87

Theme Demo | Buy Headway Framework

Catalyst Framework


Another WordPress theme framework just like Headway,Catalyst enables users to build their own theme with plenty of layout options and design editor.Priced slightly higher but It comes with Dynamik Child Theme and can be used in client sites also.Features

  • Responsive design
  • Inbuilt SEO options
  • Advanced layout and design editor

Price : $127 (developer version)

Buy Catalyst Framework



A WordPress theme framework by Colorlabs.Backbone is much cleaner and powerful theme framework,Their child themes stands as a evidence of how powerful and expandable the backbone theme framework is.

Features of Backbone

  • Mobiel responsive layout
  • Inbuilt SEO system
  • Built on HTML 5 & CSS 3
  • Custom shortcodes
  • Localization and translations

Buy Backbone Theme Framework

Free Theme Frameworks



A theme framework by Automattic,The comapny behind WordPress.com and several other products.The official website says

Hi. I’m a starter theme called _s, orunderscores, if you like. I’m a theme meant for hacking so don’t use me as a Parent Theme. Instead try turning me into the next, most awesome, WordPress theme out there. That’s what I’m here for.

My ultra-minimal CSS might make me look like theme tartare but that means less stuff to get in your way when you’re designing your awesome theme.

That says it all.

Download Underscores | Github

Hybrid Core

Free WordPress theme framework by ThemeHybrid.Comes with all the features that you can expect from a premium theme framework

  • Theme layout options
  • Post templates
  • Dropdown menu
  • Translation ready

Download Hybrid Theme Framework here


Its a starter theme and cannot be called as theme framework,The base theme itself can be modified without the need of Child theme.Bundles with many features

  • Mobile responsive
  • Comes with LESS/Saas. Go beyond CSS
  • Custom Post styles

Download Bones | Github


Roots is a starter theme based on most famous HTML5 boilerplate template and Twitter bootstrap.Some of the features are

  • Translation ready (WPML compatible)
  • Twitter bootstrap
  • Microformats support

Download Roots | Github

Whiteboard Framework

One of the best free WordPress framework out there,which comes with tons of features.

  • Mobile responsive
  • Uses LESS
  • HTML5 and CSS3 support
  • Multi-lingual

Download Whiteboard | Github

required+ (ZURB Foundation Framework)

Required+ is a WordPress theme framework theme based on ZURB Foundation framework.Its a completely responsive theme with features like Page templates,shortcodes,Editor style etc.

Download Required+ | Github


  1. says

    Hi Vivek,
    I use rtPanel WordPress Theme Framework by rtCamp which is free and also has one child theme. Long back Swift Themes by Satish Gandham too used to be free but now he has charges for premium features. He used to say fasted loading framework but by the time I started WordPress blog it became paid…

    I know most of the frame works especially free ones as i searched for my blog i also installed hybrid in initial days but removed it.

    But at last, though I dont use I like Genesis not because problogger or copyblogger use it but because its look is so professional.
    Vijesh recently posted…Feel like Quit Blogging here is why you should NOTMy Profile

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