I created a WordPress theme to help designers prototype web projects quickly using ZURB’s awesome Foundation front-end framework.
I’m a huge Foundation fan and use its grid for just about every project. It’s light, extensible and prevents me from having to re-write my own grid layout time and again. Foundation also comes with a crap-load of other components. I rarely use these in my production sites, but they are super handy for developing prototypes for client like a live wireframe in the browser.
I’m also a WordPress fanboy. It’s my go-to CMS because there’s rarely a project too big or too small where it wouldn’t work perfectly. If I have any role in integrating a back-end content management system into a web project, then I typically turn to WordPress.
So, I decided to unite the two in holy matrimony. Actually, I’m not sure if either one is technically male or female, so I’m sorry if I inadvertently made a political statement, a la Leslie Knope.
What Foundation WP is Good For
Yes, there are other Foundation-based WordPress themes out there. In fact, you might even want to check out FoundationPress instead of FoundationWP.
What’s the difference? Very little, except that others might end up being updated more often. The reason I made FoundationWP was to specifically give me a clean template to develop prototypes. I can’t count the number of times I’ve installed Foundation into a WordPress theme, so this prevents me from having to re-create the wheel with every new project. Think of it as a generic boilerplate for WordPress theming.
At the same time, I wanted something that utilizes my preferred way of organizing files and assets. This is pretty close to how I organize every WordPress theme I make, except for the default Foundation files, which needed to remain as-is for future updates to the framework. Other than that, I can clone Foundation WP and start coding right out of the box. The repository even includes a full WordPress installation.
So, would I use Foundation WP to develop full websites? No, I would not and have a pretty lengthy explanation of my views on frameworks for production sites. However, this is perfect alternative to creating static wireframes for your projects and nailing down your layouts and functionality. Presto!
Go Forth and Create!
My hope is that Foundation WP makes the development process for designers smoother. I find that clients are often visual and want to experience something before they commit to a decision. Static wireframes can be great, but lack the pizzazz of being able to click and preview like a live prototype, especially with responsive web designs.
That’s exactly what Foundation was created to do. And now we can pair it up with WordPress to create even faster site prototypes.