Thankyou for your help on this topic. I sincerely appreciate it.
I've been running a wp single install on genesis framework with child theme. SEO, speed, clean code, easy customization for non-developers, large range of child themes, low cost, fantastic support and community plus large market penetration which means high levels of easy integration with whizbang widgets; these are the benefits I've enjoyed.
I've upgraded my site to a wpmu install and have been running the same genesis framework, child theme and plugin array I was using before with good success.
Now I've purchased wpmudev.org membership and will be employing all its features for a hybrid web hosting website design business. My wpmu site will be hosting around 2000 sites by the end of the year so I need some scalability. I am providing a high level of customization ability and choices to every user which means there are more variables at play. (and we all know how friendly different technologies are when playing together :wink:
On the topic of frameworks and themes, which is sizeable and important portion of this endeavour, I need advice regarding how to go about the implementation of;
(a) configuring/reconfiguring my core site setup
(b) providing themes and/or frameworks to clients
(c) the technical benefits and consequences of allowing more/less choices
Question: Is your new UPFRONT theme a framework? or a parent theme?
We've been running UPFRONT through the gauntlet for the last couple of days and it's quite frankly mind-blowing for customization but currently there's very limited starter themes. A large amount of our users will not have the skills or inclination to develop their site at that level which is why we need good, fast, simple, easy, bug-free, "plug-n-play" themes that also cater for unique requirements.
We intend to maximise the use of the wpmudev plugins and legacy themes as they're 100% multisite compatible plus we want to keep as much of the overall tech properly built and tested specifically for wpmu. The users will also be extensively using the plugins so we're going to be dealing with everything from pro marketers, job and classified boards, membership sites, ecommerce sites, to bloggers, affiliate marketers, social and community builders right down to users who'll need to watch the training videos on 'whats the difference between a post and a page'.
Question: Are the wpmudev.org plugins built to work perfectly with the genesis framework and studiopress child themes etc? And do the wpmudev Legacy Themes work well with plugins from here there and everywhere?
--- I've researched a lot about this and found many reports of problems and compatibility errors but they were 2011/12/13 timeframe posts. From what I could find very recently everything was very positive, even right down to your own wpmudev blog recommending genesis as a top framework to use.
BUT this post was made before UPFRONT was released...
So Question: Where would UPFRONT fall in the ultimate guide to choosing a wordpress theme framework?
I've got a lot of things I'm trying to figure out and need to choose a direction so if you can provide me some good advice please that would significantly help me out.
So for (a) is there any point redeving my core site and its design by migrating it up to UPFRONT or shall I just leave it on the genesis framework and continue to use child themes and work with its good level of customization (but not incredible level of custom control UPFRONT can provide?)
For (b) I feel that UPFRONT will be too complex for a good portion of my users so can you advise regarding the extent of child themes wpmudev.org intends to release moving forward?
Regarding the wpmudev Legacy Themes I haven't for the life of me been able to download the Farms 133 Pack. There are broken links and the only working link delivered a zip file that was empty. Are these only installable using the wpmudev dashboard plugin or something?
And again for (b) In your opinion do you think it would be wise to deliver a range of different frameworks and themes that cater to different clients (considering the fact this increases costs, technical issues and support requests and higher requirements of broadened expertise for us)... or do you think buckling down with just one [ UPFRONT ] and drilling only into that would be sufficient and possibly even more beneficial?
Question: Does UPFRONT allow for building of themes and designs that can be templated and cloned and distributed and still be further easily customized by general users > in effect, instead of having a (possibly very expensive) repository of child themes that suit a massive range of users, does UPFRONT have the depth of functionality for us to essentially do this more so in house faster, cheaper, better etc?
Question: Is UPFRONT matured enough to be using for absolutely everything? Because obviously we all know Genesis is matured and quite prolific.
And for (c) can you advise on the key technical benefits that we could receive by simply only using UPFRONT and wpmudev.org plugins etc versus the benefits of using a variety of frameworks/Genesis, and child/premium themes and plugins etc?
I apologise for the length of this support request but you did say "the more detail the better" :wink: Really I just threw every question I had about UPFRONT in here because I'm wondering which strategic direction to blaze a trail down.
I would really appreciate some decent guidance from you guys as I recognize you're the leaders in the wpmu arena and your technical knowledge and therefor intuitive foresight is going to be far superior to mine on this particular topic.
Plus I'm interested to see the quality of support you guys deliver.
Thankyou for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
P.S. I'm relying on you