Parent Theme Framework – Getting Started


Parent Theme Framework

I guess all developers want to be a part of creating something unique. I know we do and have talked  on and off about creating our own Parent Theme Framework, but never got started.

After much discussion on July 10th 2012 project Parent Theme Framework commenced. We had allocated 8 to 12 weeks of time to the project and made a start (ha ha!).

Starting Point

Like all things we started with nothing more than an idea and 4 core guiding concepts:

1. That a complete novice should be able download and install our Parent Theme Framework and create a beautiful, unique and fully mobile responsive website without ever having to look at a single line of code.

2. We wanted to build a Framework that allowed users to be able to do everything by point and click that we as advanced CSS and .php and JavaScript programmers can do with code.

3. The Parent Theme Framework had to be 100% responsive. It is a core belief with the ever rising popularity of mobile devices no new site should be built that does not break down to it’s own version in a phone or a tablet.

4. That we must be able to push out upgrades and bug fixes for the Parent Theme (and Childs) by auto updates just like we do our plugins.


With those 4 guiding concepts established the next step became clear. We needed to build a rock solid code foundation and settle on a guiding design style. Because we do this stuff everyday that was actually surprisingly easy.

The Code foundation:
Our initial intention was to build a framework from scratch but when we looked at it we realized we could save a lot of time if we could find a suitable open source framework to build on. We looked at a lot, evaluating everything on its ability to allow us to achieve our 4 guiding concepts. In the end we could not go past the WooFramework. It just ticked all the boxes – powerful, lightweight, flexible with rock solid code. In the end the choice was easy, we would build the Parent Theme Framework on the WooFramework.

Guiding Design Concept:
The Pinterest site. As a designer I just fell head over heals in love with the user interface the very first time I saw it. The ‘cards’ style layout is perfect for responsive web design and creating a multitude of design layouts. The clever use of style, transitions and images is just inspirational.

 Stage 1.

Roll forward to the end of September when the 12 weeks allocated time was up. The Parent Theme Framework had taken shape but was obviously a long way from being finished. It was time to review and evaluate the project. Making a long story short we liked what we were seeing and decided that if we threw another 12 weeks at it we could complete it. The goal was set – push on full steam and have it ready for release by new year (ha ha again!).

Without drawing breathe we plunge into stage 2. Read Stage 2 – The Children here .