Introducing Warp – An Open-Source Theme Framework for WordPress & Joomla

By on CSS, Web Design, WordPress

Each time you develop a theme you’ll have to deal with the same, repetitive tasks. E.g. you need a certain folder structure to organize your PHP, CSS and JavaScript files or you rely on features like layouts, compression and caching. Because you don’t want to start from scratch, coding all these features over and over again, you are better off using a theme framework. It provides you with a file and folder structure and offers a rich toolset for solving common tasks. That will give you the spare time to really focus on the fun parts of your theme design.

Theme frameworks are developed by using best practices to provide you with a solid foundation for your individual theme. With a framework you will usually get a basic HTML template, a base CSS and a JavaScript library. They are also packed with various features like cross-browser compatibility, search-engine friendly semantic markup, flexible grid layout, asset caching and compression and mobile theme support. There is a whole bunch of theme frameworks out there – one of them is Warp, the framework from YOOtheme that has just been released as open source. Warp is a lightweight theme framework designed for developers and focusing on simplicity and usability.

How does the Warp theme framework differ from others?

One of Warp’s key features is its cross-platform compatibility. By design it works with different CMS systems like Joomla or WordPress and can even be extended to support others. Warp has a clean separation between the individual theme and the framework. It is contained in a single folder that is located in your theme’s directory. Applying updates or patches to the framework is easily done, because all the generic framework code can be updated independently from the theme code. Warp also covers all aspects in theme development and uses the latest web technologies: Valid HTML5 markup, an up-to-date CSS framework and additional tools using the latest jQuery version. That enables you to build robust and future-proof websites.

What about the features and user friendliness?

Theme Settings - Warp Theme Framework

The Warp framework comes with a nice and unobtrusive administration user interface for the theme configuration. It integrates nicely in the Joomla and WordPress administration while supporting every framework feature on both platforms. Choose from different style settings and various layout options like the overall theme and sidebar widths, different multi column layouts and many grid options to place modules and widgets. All these settings can be applied to single pages which means every page of your website can have its own style and layout – all managed easily from the theme administration.

Theme Settings - Warp Theme Framework

Warp covers all kinds of features like a mobile theme, child theme support, mega drop down menus, built in Ajaxed search and much more. You can make use of all these features but you don’t have to. Only select those tools that you actually need. This modular concept of Warp prevents your code from being bloated with unused scripts. CSS and JavaScript files are combined, minified, cached and compressed on the fly. HTTP requests are reduced using Data URIs for images. All this makes Warp very fast.

Who’s behind Warp and is it ready to use?

Warp is actively being developed by full time developers from YOOtheme, a premium theme and extension provider for WordPress and Joomla. New features are added all the time and bugfixes are provided quickly. The Warp framework and its Master theme are free and distributed under the popular open source GPL license. This Master theme is optimized and streamlined to serve as a blueprint to build your very own custom themes.

How to get started?

Start right away by downloading the theme package for Joomla or WordPress. The easiest way to get everything up and running is to download a demo package that includes either Joomla or WordPress with prepared demo content, the Master theme and the Warp framework. Just download the package, run the installation like you would do with a plain Joomla or WordPress package and you have a working site.

To learn more about Warp’s possibilities, the official documentation is a good point to start. Since Warp has been used for many projects already, there is a huge community over at YOOtheme which helps with common questions and answers.