Explain the differences between a platform, a framework, a theme, a child theme, and a skin.

All websites must be based on a platform, which can be compared to the foundation of a house. Many websites are built with HTML, but over 75 million sites depend on the WordPress platform and that number is growing exponentially. Our themes are built on the foundation of the WordPress platform because it is reliable, updated frequently, and offers the user a superior experience.

There are two other parts of a WordPress theme besides the foundation. There is the framework, which is the basic inner part of the theme’s “house” and provides its functionality. The outside of the theme’s “house” determines the way the website looks and performs.

Most WordPress themes combine both the framework and the outside of the theme’s house, and they are set on the WordPress foundation much as a modular house is. As such they are not easy to update or modify, which is why so many themes are quickly out of date. It is a common experience for the theme developer not to be available for support or updates when the theme is broken.

WordPress recommends splitting the framework from the outside of a theme’s house. Frameworks such as Thesis or Genesis provide the theme’s functionality. The outside of a theme house is called a child theme, or as Thesis calls it, a skin. Frameworks can be updated regularly to add features and to take care of changes in WordPress. The same can be said of child themes and skins, though they seldom break – it’s the framework that is responsible for all the internal operations.

Our themes are built on the WordPress foundation and the Thesis framework. Both are rock-solid and are actively being developed. We rigorously test our themes in all modern browsers to make sure you have no problems with them.

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