1. Chip Bennett

    Having post_content shortcodes in Themes = bad. They are as bad as – if not worse than – adding site analytics in Themes.

    I look forward to the day when we stop including shortcodes in Theme feature lists.

    Otherwise: very cool list. It’s nice to see frameworks such as these facilitating the creation of cool WordPress Themes!


    • Vino

      Yes and no. Embedded shortcodes in a Theme is “generally” a bad idea – this rule of thumb pertains to shortcodes that can exist as independent functions, e.g. a twitter box or something that can naturally exist independently of the theme. The reason you want this is because once you swap over the theme to another your embedded bits will break. Very logical.

      But building a theme on a framework poses an exception to this rule in that;

      A) the shortcode widget is dependent on the framework, e.g. a foundation button – remove the theme and its framework and the button does not work, and if the shortcode was isolated (as the rule of thumb for shortcodes dictates) and you would have 1) duplicated frameworks (if both the theme and the shorcode widget used the same framework), or 2) two separate frameworks (assuming you used a different framework when you swapped out the theme; e.g. a bootstrap theme, with a foundation button),

      B) by building a website based on a freamwork implies that you both commit to its UI and want to leverage all of its features. For example – what’s the use of adopting a Foundation based theme if you can’t use nested columns, or Magellan, or Orbit? Changing your theme also implies that you no longer need things like nested columns, or “warning buttons” etc., that are framework specific.

      C) The framework widgets served by shortcodes will only exist within that framework (read as theme); separating it serves no purpose as 1) isolation breaks the widget (in that it’s dependant on the framework/theme), and, 2) for those whom profess lightweight abstraction (just the theme, no widgets for a lighter install), removing the core goodies of the html/php code does not necessarily remove it from the supporting CSS and JS files. — besides if you wanted a lightweight theme then build one that not dependant on a heavyweight framework.


      Rules of thumb are called that because they’re not always applicable, they’re just the rules that in most cases are best – one should use common sense in deciding if the rule applies or not. This leads to opinions that differ from one person to another. What erks me is that some internet proponents pass on their opinions as the only correct way. So – here is my opinion – this is the way I do it and I offer it as one of many recommendation others may have – it’s up to you (dear reader) to validate each one to see if it fits your needs: Shortcodes in a framework based theme are necessary to leverage all the feature sets of the framework – separating serves no purpose.


  2. Sarah Gooding

    @Chip Bennett – Agreed. That’s why I like Required+ approach of offering the shortcodes as optional separate plugins.


  3. Tiyo Kamtiyono

    Woah, that was a great collection Sarah, Spine and SmartAdapt could be a great themes to try since I love Hybrid and I want to see how a theme managed by theme review is :)


  4. Brad Jones

    Great post Sarah but you missed what I believe is the best one by far: http://wpforge.themeawesome.com/


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  6. Sarah Gooding

    @Brad Jones – Thanks Brad – that looks like another good one!


  7. Thomas

    Def a good post and the themes you mentioned are some of my favorites. They are all built very well by some very well versed WP pros.

    @Brad – hey thanks for mentioning WP-Forge. Although it may not have a lot of bells and whistles like some of the other themes, I designed it to be simple to modify for developers. I especially tried to make it easy for those individuals who are not developers and who want to try and create something on their own and learn something in the process not only about WordPress but about Foundation as well. Thanks again, I appreciate it.


  8. Jon Brown

    Sarah! You just ruined my day… was literally starting my first foundation based project today and thought there was just one starting point… now I have to go look at all these and see if they make a better starting point than rolling my own.

    Also worth mentioning… BaseStation seems to have stopped development March 2013 and never made it out of alpha.


  9. David

    Been using Required+ for a few months now and loving it. Thanks for the list!


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  11. Piet

    Nice list Sarah!

    The other day I found another one in the .org theme repository which is quite nice too: Xin Magazine; I’m currently using an adapted version of it on my own site (already linked via my name).


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  13. Jeremy Englert

    Very good list!

    WP-Forge by ThemeAwesome is also another great Foundation-based theme.

    I also developed JointsWP, which is the first WordPress theme to implement Foundation 5.

    You can see a demo of it here:


    • Hash Varsani

      I found your theme last night Jeremy. Not had a chance to test it yet but from what I can see…great work.

      Now I have Joints and Forge to get my teeth into. Thank you guys


  14. Thomas

    Hey Jeremy,

    I checked out your theme earlier this morning. Great work amigo. Thanks for the kudos regarding WP-Forge. You beat me to it…lol but no worries. WP-Forge v5.0.2 went into beta testing today and I am looking for anyone interested in putting her through the paces. If so drop me a line on my site.


  15. Jeremy Englert

    I’ll keep an eye out for it!

    Reverie also updated to Foundation 5 – for those of you looking for something “less blank”, it’s a great choice. But if you’re trying to create something custom, there appears to be a lot of styles/code to overwrite. However, it’s a truly awesome theme.


  16. Thomas

    Yes, Zhen Huang has done a great job with Reverie. I learned a lot from that theme. I especially like what he has done with the new version. It doesn’t look “Foundationish” like the previous one. All in all a great theme….just not as good as mine….lol j/k ;)


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  18. olefredrik

    I’ve made a simple and clean Foundation 5 starter-theme for WordPress. This theme is for designers/developers in need of a fresh boilerplate. If you just want Foundation + WordPress and not all the extras, FoundationPress might be worth a try. You can download the source from Github: https://github.com/olefredrik/foundationpress

    Feel free to contribute to the theme!


  19. Pavan

    This is one great list. I did not know there are this many cool themes built up on foundation. Lots of functionality I can refer for my next theme.


  20. Openies

    We always love Foundation! and it is the best collection ever done for the wordpress!


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  22. Vikas

    I Like the Foundation Framework, the only problem (and a big one) is that it doesn’t support IE 8 and below. :(
    If you open any of these themes in IE 8, the grid system breaks down. There is a workaround – loading foundation framework 3 for IE 8 and below but it hasn’t got one of the most attractive feature – offcanvas menu.
    IE8 also doesn’t support rem.


  23. Andrew

    Thanks for the summary! I was just about to start with Reverie and now may make a decision for Required +..

    Anyone have direct experience to which is better for a front end developer who’d like things to be accessible and customizable in the way of adding further theme options, custom templates etc.. ?
    Thanks a bunch!


  24. Andrew

    Looking into it further, it seems like Required+ is only using Foundation 3.0 while Reverie is using the latest and greatest Foundation 5.0. Haven’t done my research yet but it seems like there could be significant updates in Foundation from 3.- 5 and I’m leaning to continue with Reverie. Maybe I’ll grab the shortcodes from Required+ though :-)


  25. jasonking

    Have used Reverie for my last four websites and been pleased with the results, and how little css was required to customise it. Easy to edit the templates, for example to build a custom home page using Foundation’s grid. For example I built http://www.cmg-change.com using Reverie.


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