joomla template framework

Best Joomla Template Framework

Imagine a webpage as a white canvas without having anything on it as of now. Like dexterous artist, Joomla developer has to use his/her talent to fill-up the empty canvas with masterly crafted strokes of creativity. Like how the brush & platter helps the master artist to give a shape to the thoughts, ‘Joomla template’ helps the developer to design the webpage that holds the content.

What is Joomla template in technical language mean?

A template is a control that manages the overall layout and its looks of a website. It works on both front end (user side) and back-end (admin side) and organizes the modules and extensions installed by the web admin. Thus a Joomla template is predefined design which integrates other tools of Joomla.

Joomla Template Framework:

Joomla template framework enables the developers to create templates as per their choice or as per clients’ preferences. Template framework is like clean slate on which developer can draw the pictures of choice by using the available parameters like dimensions, margins, colors etc.

There are many varieties of frameworks that have been developed by developers who work exclusively with Joomla technology. There is no doubt that the competition has fueled the innovation. But it is not that easy for a seasoned website developer to settle with one particular template framework as each framework address a particular technical glitch that has been ignored by another template framework like generic modules, browser compatibility or HTML 5 issues etc.

Criteria To Choose Joomla Template Framework:

Following are some of the critical aspects that must be kept in mind by the website developer while choosing template framework.

  • Layout flexibility – Easy to adjust width that accommodates the module positions nicely and aptly without causing distortion of disposition of modules in the front end.
  • Easy usage – Highly flexible user interface which is based on flawless coding. Structured coding alone can make the web developer’s life to be at ease while using the framework.
  • Stability – Can anyone ignore this aspect? Bug-free coding offers stability to any software.
  • Feature packed – In this fast faced world rich in every sense only shall prevail. Hence the framework should be able to accommodate many features like social media integration etc.
  • Mobile friendly – Without this feature, any contemporary website cannot reach maximum audience. Hence the template framework should support mobile feature as well.
  • Upgrades – As and when the original developer of template framework releases new version, it should be available to the web developer or the end user to upgrade the old version with ease.

A best template framework is the one which satisfies all the above parameters.

Top Rated Joomla Template Frameworks:

Here is a list of top Joomla Frameworks along with it’s most important features, advantages & disadvantages. Review and choose the one which best suits with your needs.

1. JA T3 Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.5 & above | Type: Free

Positive Points:

  • Light & fast
  • Load modules as menu items
  • Multiple Layout system
  • Mega menu
  • Free GPL download

Negative Points:

  • Customization needs code editing
  • HTML Overrides not available
  • 960 grid not available

Special Notes:

  • Mobile ready
  • Flexibility in setting width

2. Gantry Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.5 & 2.5 | Type: Free & Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Plenty of module positions & layout combinations
  • 960 grid layout
  • Optimized code base
  • Easy to use

Negative Points:

  • Social media integration missing
  • Width not flexible

Special Notes:

  • Mobile ready
  • HTML overrides

3. Warp Framework:

Joomla Version: 2.5 & 3.0 | Type: Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Unlimited module variations
  • Light codebase
  • Sleek presentation layers
  • Hassle free theme transfer between Joomla & WordPress

Negative Points:

  • No support for Google fonts
  • 960 grind not available

Special Notes:

  • Supports iPhone only

4. Gavern Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.6 & above | Type: Free & Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Supports responsive web designs
  • Flexible & powerful coding
  • Fast loading
  • Social integration
  • Cross browser support

Negative Points:

  • Limited templates

5. Zen Grid Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.5 & 2.5 | Type: Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Feature rich
  • Easy layout making
  • Compressed scripting

Negative Points:

  • No support for mobile version

6. Helix Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.5, 1.6 & 2.5 | Type: Free & Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Large number of module positions
  • Google fonts
  • Easy customization
  • Cross browser support

Negative Points:

  • No support for mobile version

7. Construct Framework:

Joomla Version: 2.5 & 3.0 | Type: Free & Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Easy to use
  • Loads fast
  • Less of special features

Negative Points:

  • Very simple functionality

Special Notes:

  • Mobile support available

8. Morph Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.5 | Type: Free & Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Cross browser support
  • Easy customization of themelets
  • Good control through Configurator

Negative Points:

  • Bit complicated to use
  • Slow loading

9. JV Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 & 2.5 | Type: Free & Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Drag & drop facility
  • Fast loading
  • 960 grid
  • Built in SEO support

Negative Points:

  • Mobile support is limited

Special Notes:

  • Mobile support

10. Wright Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.5, 1.7 & 2.5 | Type: Free & commercial

Positive Points:

  • Fast loading
  • Minimalist coding
  • CSS/HTML customization without altering template

Negative Points:

  • No mobile support

11. YJ Simple Grid Framework:

Joomla Version: 1.5, 1.7, 2.5 & 3.x | Type: Free & Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Flexible layouts
  • Cross browser support
  • Mega menu option

Special Notes:

  • Mobile support

12. S5 Vertex Framework:

Joomla Version: 2.5 and above | Type: Free & Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Responsive layout
  • Plenty of core template positions
  • Social media integration possible

Negative Points:

  • Few inconsistencies reported regarding admin panel

Special Notes:

  • Mobile support

13. JYAML Framework:

Joomla Version: 3.0+ | Type: Commercial

Positive Points:

  • Flexible layout
  • Responsive layout
  • HTML5 enabled

Special Notes:

  • Mobile support

All of the above frameworks are the best in their own ways. They have many advantages and few disadvantages. Hence it is highly difficult to adjudge one best framework. Also, every year many new template frameworks are being developed by the new entrants. Thus, the Joomla framework field is not only crowded and heavily competitive. Users and developers can analyze the merits that best suit their needs.

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Article Published by Souvik Banerjee

Web Developer & SEO Specialist with 10+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development, specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".

Leave a Comment

3 thoughts on “Best Joomla Template Framework

  1. The Comparison of features is ideal. Yours is the first extensive chart I have seen. This makes my choice of frameworks much easier. Thank you.

    Your English is tricky. missing articles, eg. ‘a’ and ‘the’ in “[The/A] Template framework is like [a] clean slate” make some items sound like registered companies. (You are from India?)