As a blogger, one of the most important things is how you style your blog. Today I will be talking about styling your self-hosted WordPress blog (I recommend HostGator or Dreamhost). There are so many options out there for themes, some paid and some free. I’ve tried so many themes on my various blogs and come to find that using a WordPress Framework is something that makes styling my blog a little easier for me. I know some people do not prefer it, but I’ve found that it works for me.
What is a framework? A stand-alone base/starter Theme that is intended either to be forked into another Theme, or else to be used as a Parent Theme template. Source
After searching for a framework that worked for me, I settled on StudioPress Themes, specifically Genesis Framework, for the simple fact that it is pretty easy to use, has a ton of child themes available, and is pretty reasonably priced. Purchasing the framework (for $59.95) and any of the child themes also gives you access to all future updates as well, which is pretty neat since it’s gone through some major changes lately. Also, once you purchase something, you get a returning customer discount applied to all your future purchases!
If you are extremely new to blogging and/or do not feel comfortable with coding, this is a great option for you as well. Once you install the framework, you can choose a child theme to use and upload that to your theme section and activate it, there isn’t much to edit besides widgets. You can go a little further and add customized headers, change colors, etc. All themes do have installation instructions as well.
On all of my blogs Her-Network, Polka Dot Heart, Oh Excite, & Entertainment all use the Genesis Framework and one of its child themes. You can see how different they look even though they are using the same framework. Just because you are using a framework doesn’t mean your blog has to look like similar to other blogs. My main blog Polka Dot Heart is totally customized to my liking.
There are other frameworks out there as well like Thesis and Headway. The nice thing about Genesis Framework that differs from those two is that you can use Genesis on an unlimited amount of sites and not have to pay extra.
Do you use a framework? If so, which one? If not, do you think you will use one in the future?
* Some of these links are affiliate links. Even though I would love for you to click them, I really hope that you use this information to decide if a WordPress Framework is ultimately best for you.