Status Report #2: Elegant Builder Plugin Looking Good As I Explore Starter Themes

I’ve been studying what next step to take in my adventure in WordPress development methodologies and best practices. I’ve decided that drag-and-drop frameworks are not a third option on my list but rather a distinctive new approach to front-end design and layout with (in the case of Ultimatum at least) some backend stuff baked in as well.

In the process of looking at d-n-d stuff, I ran across Elegant Builder from Elegant Themes. At the moment I’m wrapping up my assessment of using that plug-in with another ET theme called Minimal. I hope to complete that evaluation in the next 24 hours or so.

barebones_wpThen I want to try a really barebones theme (Minimal comes close but isn’t quite naked enough). Based on a number of reviews and comparisons (including a particularly pithy one here), I’ve narrowed the field of Starter Themes down to the following:

I clearly don’t have time to do a thorough eval on all of these (I have to get back to billable work at some point!) so I’m going to scour reviews in an effort to narrow the list to two which I can then spend a day each with actually building out the site I’ve been using as my test bed.

I’m predisposed to give Bones a try because of my son-in-law and WP buddy Jeff Soule’s recommendation. Thematic may prove too geeky for me. Roots and Foundation seem not too dissimilar: both support LESS (which I’ve decided I prefer to SASS), both use Foundation. Roots supports Twitter Bootstrap for front-end stuff while Foundation relies on HTML5 Boilerplate. Neither of those tools is WP-specific but they are interesting tools for sure.

I’m open to hearing experienced opinions.


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