Frameworks for Joomla templates have become very popular. This is because so many websites use templates. So, what are template frameworks for Joomla and why do you need to know about them? Well, it’s simple, any template company that plans on making high-powered effective templates need a platform to base them on.
What Is A Template Framework
Picture: Warp Framework on YOOtheme website
Frameworks are platforms that consolidate all of the functionality for templates into one standard platform. The purpose of the framework is to simplify the creation of templates that use it by unifying all of the tools and features. Most template frameworks are made by companies who make lots of templates for Joomla (or other CMS’s). When they have a framework, they can spend more time on the design and production of templates and rest assured that it will always follow their standard framework.
Pros & Con’s
- Add’s many new tools
- More control over templates
- Less code knowledge required
- You don’t lose preferences when you change templates
- Solid code base that updates regularly
- More security
- Improves performance
- Adds a learning curve to using templates
- Any core changes to the framework can be lost on upgrade
- Adds more files and complexity to your site
There are a lot of good things that frameworks do, but their not for everyone. In general, sites that will require a lot of customization in it’s design will want more control than a framework can offer. That being said, 90% of websites can find a framework that works for them. It will be the larger, enterprise website that will prefer more customization.
Common Framework Features
One of the main benefits to using a framework is it separates staying up to date with website design trends and the actual design itself. This means making sure the framework is up to date rarely impacts the design of the template using that framework (unless you want it to). This means you can implement features as soon as they come available.
There are several common features that are implemented into frameworks that are pretty much the same across the board. Here are some of the most popular:
- HTML5 & CSS3 – The latest design code used in websites. Gives you a lot more control when designing or changing elements on the frontend
- Responsive design – Adapts dynamically to the size of the browser viewing the site
- Bootstrap – Twitter’s own standard buttons, table designs, text formats and more that they give away for free in a bundle
- Grid systems – Use of fluid design elements. Essentially using percentages and relative measurements to define space in web design
- Dynamic layouts – This refers to the control panel that each framework comes with that gives you control over how many modules are displayed and where
- Extra plugins – Most frameworks come with menu and module plugins that give you more control over how they are displayed without having to touch code
- Optimized for speed – Frameworks are built very meticulously. Some updates remove and consolidate code so that loading time is quicker. They also compress and remove unnecessary spacing from files
- Cross Browser Compatible – They have special code built in to make sure your website works on old versions of Internet Explorer or Safari as well as new versions of Firefox or Chrome
- Module Positions – Frameworks come with a lot of module positions. Of course, you don’t have to use them all, but you can pretty much customize every page to look differently if you want to.
Where To Get Frameworks
Most Popular Joomla Template Frameworks:
- Gantry (pictured above) by RocketTheme- http://www.gantry-framework.org
- T3 Framework by JoomlArt – http://t3-framework.org/
- Warp Framework by YOOTheme –http://www.yootheme.com/themes/warp-framework
- Gavern Framework by Gavick – http://www.gavick.com/magazine/gavern-framework.html
- Zen Grid Framework by Joomlabamboo –http://www.joomlabamboo.com/joomla-templates/zen-grid-framework
Hosting A Joomla Framework
Chances are that you already have a web host if you’re looking at templates. But if you don’t, you need to make sure you have the minimal system requirements to run Joomla and the framework you choose. If you’re unsure, you can always use this list of best Joomla hosting companies to make sure you get the best one. Here are the system requirements for Joomla and most frameworks.
- PHP – 5.2.4+ (5.3+ recommended)
- MySQL – 5+ (5+ recommended)
- Apache with mod_mysql, mod_xml, and mod_zlib – 2+ (2.2+ recommended)
You can always double check by calling the hosting company to see what they say. The rule of thumb is, if they can host Joomla, then they can run a template framework without any issue.