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Top Open-Source WordPress Theme Frameworks

One of the key challenges facing web developers today is the process of selecting the right WordPress theme. Sometimes a good looking theme can still generate poorly coded HTML that can affect your website’s search rankings. This often results in developers searching for alternative methods e.g. writing, from scratch, the entire code or simply shaping the ready-made one. 

Instead of reinventing the wheel, why not rely on the WordPress frameworks. With frameworks, you can spend the time on…something else. Something more fun like web design. 

By the end of this article, you will have an accurate picture of WordPress frameworks and be able to choose the right one for your website.

What is a WordPress Theme Framework?

A WordPress theme is considered to be a tool for changing the layout and the design of your website or blog. It will customize the website’s appearance including web page layout, typographical errors, color, and other design elements.

A theme is a zipped file including a set of page templates written in hypertext preprocessor (PHP) programming language assembled with cascading style sheets (CSS).

When you first create a WordPress site, a default them is installed you can change the theme based on your needs and interests. 

Why is a WordPress theme important?

When developing a website, contents and appearance play an important role. Using a WordPress theme comes with advantages such as :

  • Increased attractiveness 

appearance, as said before, plays a vital role in developing a website. Even a beginner with basic knowledge can tell whether you’ve valued the audience by choosing the right theme or just do it based on the common process.

  • Extended functionality
    you can benefit from installing plugins as per the preferences. By using the plugins one can simply improve the functionality of a website and gain a fully furnished website.
  • Keeps the website updated by using the accurate theme, the website will remain update, and the chances of being attacked by malware decreases. It also provides a better service to the visitors by staying updated and following the trends on the internet.
  • Maintain high quality: employing well-organized and optimized SEO codes, in addition to the right theme, maintain the high quality of a website.

As mentioned above, the benefits of a WordPress theme should not be underestimated when launching a website. By visiting the official website, one can easily learn how to manage their website.

How to install the WordPress theme:

There three main ways to install the WordPress theme frameworks:

  1. Choose one from the WordPress theme directory
  2. Upload a custom WordPress
  3.  Add a new theme using file transfer protocol (FTP)

The following is our selection of the most popular frameworks, their features, and how they relate to WordPress. 

The following section consists of two parts:

  • Open source theme
  • Premium theme

Open source theme

Cherry Framework by TemplateMonster

Cherry Framework
Cherry Framework

Cherry Framework is built by TemplateMonster. From the developer’s point of view, it is a simple to launch theme. Cherry framework is furnished by elements such as testimonials, FAQs, an additional set of widgets allowing users to manage the widget areas with no effort. It also includes cheery shortcodes which are bites of code allowing users to implement code inside the page content, post content, or widget area without coding directly. Cherry framework so far is famous for its productive base of shortcodes making the user’s experience enjoyable and straightforward. 

With the latest version, 5.0, you can showcase any type of your portfolio. TemplateMonster’s developers used their best efforts to provide users with a complete instruction manual for each module of the framework. It also contains tools and functionality that are used within the WordPress website. 

To help users keep up with the transformation of technology and improve the efficiency of their work, the tool is updated frequently. The list below represents the main plugin and framework updates of Cherry. 

Theme functionality features include:

  • Simplified Plugin Installation.
  • Enhanced Compatibility.
  • Independent module components. Pre-built modules allow you to start in your plugin quickly. 
  • Shortcode Template Editor plugin. The plugin allows you to design your markup and customize display parameters without code.  
  • Static Area Builder tool. The tool allows you to arrange site options using drag-and-drop features. 
  • CSS Minifier tool. It optimizes the size of your CSS files without changing their functionality. 
  • Backup Option. With Cherry Data Management plugin, you can keep your data safe and easily fall back to the default setting. 
  • Plugins are built into every Cherry theme to enhance the inherent CMS features. Some plugins are designed to import/export features, add sidebars, mega menu, and post types for services, team, and portfolio. 
  • Responsive theme & WPML features make it easy to build multilingual WordPress sites and run them on both desktops and portable devices. 

The Hybrid Core Framework by ThemeHybrid

Hybrid Core is an open-source WordPress framework that simplifies the theme-building process of modern PHP code. Similarly to Cherry Framework, it integrates the core code features and design elements. Hybrid Core does not fit into the “parent theme” framework category but rather acts as a Code Library which assists the progress of the development of a Theme.  

The Hybrid Core Framework
The Hybrid Core Framework

The framework has high UX and SEO optimization techniques, which make improving web performance easier for both devs and clients. The following is a small list of modular framework’s key features. 

Hybrid Core features include:

  • Breadcrumbs Script. The framework’s developers put emphasis on the Breadcrumb Trail script, the type of WordPress plugin developed for handling any type of set-up provided that the site supports 
  • Cleaner Gallery. It provides authentic XHTML solutions to devs and gives total control over the WordPress gallery.  
  • Media Grabber. A custom-built media grabber enables media extraction e.g. video and audio files, images, etc directly from your posts. This was specifically created as a complement function to WordPress’ post format. 
  • Post Templates use a custom-specific approach to enable template alignment with the type of post. 
  • Numbered Pagination is a helper used to show the total number of blog and archive pages, and paginated links. 
  • Translation-Friendliness is a hybrid method that automatically translates your site and thus increases its online visibility.
  • Layouts API (application programming interface): the API is a system for handling layout options. It is possible to register any number of layouts. Per post/term is the possible option, too which can be employed by these authors.

Gantry by RocketTheme

Gantry was created by blending the core functionalities of Grav and Joomla themes. It hs developed by Rockettheme As a result, RocketTheme devs have gained a unique powerful framework with WordPress-based designs. Boosted by Bootstrap, Gantry 5 comprises design-oriented programming features to facilitate the development of layouts. Gantry requires the installation of the timber plugin. Let’s take a look at some recent updates of the latest version, i.e. Gantry 5. 

Gantry 5 Key Features include:

  • Layout Manager features drag-n-drop capabilities to quickly set up custom layouts. 
  • Particle System resembles the functionality of WordPress modules, allowing for seamless content configuration on the back end. 
  • Visual Menu Editor helps users to arrange the menu options.
  • Mega Menu is an extension of the menu which provides additional navigation components of the standard menu. 
  • Administrative Interface is intended to set up and configure a theme e.g. deal with error pages and website backend at terminal velocity.
  • Twig Templating System is a template engine designed to replace or convert existing functions inside HTML.

Including the above-listed characteristics, it should be noted that the WordPress theme framework contains a responsive layout system, intuitive YAML-driven configuration, off-canvas panel, and cross-platform support. 

Runway by Parallelus

Runway is an open-source WordPress Framework built to facilitate the creation of WordPress themes. By virtue of its functionality, you can use your themes independently. Runaway has become popular for its unique white label solutions developed to represent your theme as your independent work built without relying on third-party solutions. Read further to find out more about framework features and their functionalities. 

Runway Key Features include:

Child Theme Generator is intended to modify and design themes, add or edit innate functionality. When it comes to customization, the Child Theme Generator update allows you to edit other power theme sites, enter the name of the parent theme, an appropriate slug of your child theme, descriptions, admin panels, etc.

Theme Options Builder allows you to create admin pages directly in the theme options panel and generate UI builders to save theme options being moved as the draggable features. 

Modular Structure. You can add functions by clicking the “Add” button.  

Wonderflux by Jonny Allbut

We proceed with another open-source framework called Wonderflux. It is originally based on blueprint CSS. Check out the following features it offers. 

WordPress Framework Features:

  • Responsive CSS Layout System is responsible for themes’ responsiveness to all hand-held devices. 
  •  Flexible Layout Options can help you modify the view size of a layout, resize positions in blocks, or even remove it completely. 
  •  A Set of 100+ Code Hooks allow you to integrate hook functions in your child’s theme. 
  • Simple Admin Options implements your preferred configuration on the site. 
  • Compatibility with WordPress Plugins gives access to additional potentials of admin interface with enhanced APIs. 
  • Valid Markup checks markup validity and complies with commonly accepted web standards.

Unyson by ThemeFuse

Unyson is one of the most referenced frameworks online, which is widely used by devs and end-users. It has many customizations tools that ease the process of designing your website. The most significant features include Backup & Demo Content, Built-In Option Types,  and Live Preview A Control. The latest enables users to view the script changes before submission e.g. display a custom piece of HTML in the admin panel. 

Let’s take a closer look at these and other framework extensions. 

unyson free wordpress framework

Unyson Built-In Extensions & Options :

  •  With the help of Drag-and-Drop Page Builder, you can build countless pages using content shortcodes. 
  •   Content Demo Install allows you to back up an entire site or install demo content packages.
  •  20+ Built-In Option Types will come in handy for generating boxes, tabs, and form inputs for admin pages.
  •  Sidebar Module this tool incorporates sidebars directly to your pages with dynamic. 
  •  Each page can contain different sidebars. 
  • ·        Automatic Backup is a great backup and restores solution built-in your WordPress control panel. It offers a proper backup of your database and files, blog posts, comments, and the options you set in the admin area. 
  •  Breadcrumbs Extension contributes to smooth navigation of any URL and allows to display of a user’s location on the website. 
  • Easy-to-Implement Sliders are a great way to create a competition. You can use them to customize the look and functionality of your webpage. 

Apart from those included in the list, this open-source WordPress theme framework encompasses many customization options. Some of the core features are a standard set of Layout elements, Slider extension, Styling, etc. What is more, Unyson is packed with multiple widgets for social media integration, Flickr, and blog tabs.


PressWork is a very popular framework among WordPress developers and users. This is primarily because the devs based their efforts on the ultimate HTML5 and CSS3 layouts. Let’s take a closer look at this outstanding framework and learn about its major functionalities. 

presswork free wordpress framework

PressWork Key Features Include:

  • Front-End Editor acts as a visual editor of your site and simplified with drag-n-drop functionality. 
  • BriefCase helps you to adjust the theme’s functionality so that you can squeeze the whole potential of your website. 
  • The Media Queries feature provides enhanced responsiveness to your website to enable a smooth and optimized experience based on screen size and platform
  • PSD File is a design feature that helps you create and customize dynamic web pages theme in Photoshop e.g. change its logo, graphic elements, etc.

We hope you find this guide helpful and that it helped you select the right theme for your WordPress site. Enjoy the full range of WordPress theme frameworks and their individual advantages. 

Premium themes

The list below has provided for you as a collection of the WordPress themes that money can buy. 

In the collection, themes are gathered beside demos for any kind of project. It also includes third-party builders’ themes that can turn your website into a professional platform.

These themes all feature high-quality design, exceptional collections of demos and pre-built layouts and templates, loads of customization settings and preferences. 

Divi by Elegant Themes

In the world of themes, the elegant theme team has proven itself for its fast and friendly support and services. These themes lead you to the process of creating the web design that you’ve always wished for.

One of the best elements of this premium WordPress theme is the non-segregated Divi Builder. 

The drag and drop tool, form the process of creating the layouts effortlessly.

Some of the key features are highlighted below:

Kalium by creative multipurpose theme

Having a variety of features like premium websites makes it a professional theme for users which is reflected in the library website. Among all the options you can find customized elements for photographers, agencies, lawyers, bloggers, and many other types of service providers.

Listed below, are some of the key features that Kalium has provided for its users:

  • Easy to import the demo into the WordPress dashboard
  • Editing the header area of the website by employing the integrated functionality using the drag and drop interface.
  • Tweaked to improve the load time
  •  Composes jampack with extra value with included best-selling plugins
  •  Ready to use General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  •  Layerslider plugin which supports layers of multiple content sorts.
  •   Ultimate font management library

Bottom line this theme is a perfect combination of flexibility and an elegant design 


As clients described, TheGem is a multi-purpose theme that can be used to generate almost any type of website with WordPress.

Choosing this theme will lead to having access to a very remarkable library of demos. It also includes more than 400 creative templates for the homepage and inner content. Different kinds of demos have been designed for a variety of services such as charity and non-profit, construction and real estate, health, App and ICO, landing, blogs, and magazines, etc.

The Gem offers you two kinds of sliders along with its regular price to its users. The two responsive and easy to use sliders are:

  •  Layerslider
  • Revolution slider

It also gives you 3 trendy fonts to make your website amazing :

  •  Material design 1500+
  • Elegant 500+
  •  Font awesome icons 650+

The theme has a perfect color scheme. You can also add any color of your interest.

This them is SEO friendly which offers you getting advantage of :

  • Yoast
  •  Google analytics
  • Onpage SEO

WPML feature makes this theme so popular. Any visitor can land on your website and read the translated content that this theme offers them. 


Having an impressive selection of demos is the cause of this theme’s popularity. A varied portfolio of website demos makes this theme suitable for different projects. The agency demos, studio options, corporate homepage, and the freelancer demo are available on this theme.

Other feathers listed below:

  •   More than 150 shortcodes
  •  Created using HTML5
  • CSS3
  • Translation-ready theme
  • Supports Mega Menu for navigation
  •  Includes code canyon such as slider revolution and WP bakery page builder (which allows you to create amazing website content with simple drag and drop)
  • 29 extraordinary designs
  • Consists of common WordPress plug-ins like WPML, W3 total cache, and Yoast SEO
  • It is available for a one-off fee of $59.

Long story short, this theme is SEO-friendly and designed for creatives who want to showcase their product, service, and business stunningly. 


The main focus of this Unique theme is on creating business websites throughout WordPress.Since Exponent comes with a strong page builder combined with its core, you can edit all of the pre-built content to make sure that it suits your business. 

In case of not being satisfied with the template for your content among the website Demos, you can use the page builder to create your customized designs. 

Key features are highlighted below:

  • Initiative fully visual header, footer, and page builder
  •  Full-fledged online store powered by Woocommerce 
  •  Color managements 
  •  Tools for GDPR
  •  Easy setup process
  •  Cut, copy, and paste 
  • CSS animation 

This theme has been created after analyzing the needs of different industries. The design maintains a balance between the intention and demonstration. You can easily set the theme up by importing a Demo and then mix and match pages to reach the suitable.

This theme helps you to showcase your work in a stylish grid.


This theme is considered to be the number one selling multipurpose WordPress theme. With over 4000 satisfied clients, it’s fair to say that this theme is the most trustworthy among others. Surprisingly, it doesn’t need any plugins and you can build almost any page that you’ve ever also includes over 150 pre-built features to suit any application. 

There won’t be any wasted time, since there is a powerful live search feature.

  •  Over 70 website Demo
  •  Smart loader
  •  SEO friendly
  • Ready to be translated by Weglot into more than 100 languages
  • Unlimited colors 
  • Huge variety of sliders
  • HTML5 and CSS3 ready
  • Consists of PSD files
  •  Woocommerce integration
  •  iCarousel

This theme is designed to ensure that you have full control over your WordPress website. With lifetime Updates, there will be no worry about staying in touch with all the modern and newly launched features.


From photographers to business shop owners, this theme is considered to be a creative and popular option for designing your WordPress website. With more than 2800 users, Oshine fulfills all your expectations from a professional WordPress theme.

Besides all the pre-built Website Demos, there are also plenty of individual templates that are accessible, no matter what Demo you have chosen.

What makes Oshine so desirable is listed below:

  • High-quality Design
  • One-click Demo installer
  •  Magnificent customer support
  • Complete control over fonts and colors
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Live text editor
  •  Password protected galleries
  •  Over 800 font icons
  • CSS3 Animations
  • Mega Menu

Besides all that mentioned above, Oshine has a balance between beauty and functionality. It has also some useful tools to help with the site performance. 

Massive Dynamic

This theme is on its way to becoming one of the most famous WordPress themes. It allows  you to design your website with its builder tool which can create business homepages, creative agencies, and personal promotional sites

The e-commerce Demos are provided in this theme to create online shops which are fully supported.

This theme comes with the most advanced live website builder on WordPress.

The main features are:

  • Over 1300 icon fonts
  • CSS3 Animations
  •  Ajax search
  •  Pixflow slider
  • Basic child theme included
  • Advanced footer option such as: on/off options, design options, column number,
  •  8 iconic custom widgets
  •  5 different blog post formats
  • SEO optimized

It should be remembered that most of the images in the Demo are stock.

After all, deciding which theme to use depends on your interests and also the budget.

Keep in mind that a perfect theme exists!!! Consider all the elements that a good theme has such as usability, functionality, flexibility, safety, and being responsive.


Why using WordPress?

 Free to use
·Easily installed
Adaptation ability 
Supports all kinds of media types
Huge community
Easy to manage

What are the WordPress features?

Paste URL to create a link
Image editing
Split a single post into multiple pages
Previewing the themes without activating them
Keyboard shortcuts

Is it worth buying a WordPress theme?

If you want extra quality, the answer is yes.

Can I make money selling WordPress themes?

If you have the ability to create high function, gorgeous themes, the chances of making money out of selling the themes, aren’t zero.

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