Our Joomla Frameworks - What Joomla Templates Can We Build
Summary: We explain what a Joomla Framework is and showcase our expertise in selected Joomla Frameworks. These frameworks are some of the most popular in the Joomla community and all have extensive support and features for any website
NOTE: ALTHOUGH THIS IS PRIMARILY ABOUT JOOMLA FRAMEWORKS, GANTRY IS WORDPRESS READY AND IS OUR PREFERRED FRAMEWORK. SCROLL BELOW TO FIND OUT MORE
What is a Joomla Framework?
A Joomla Framework (Joom Frameworks) is a modification to the Joomla Content Management System (CMS) that changes how Joomla handles web page building. It is essentially like buying a certain blank canvas, with each framework representing a different canvas. Joom Frameworks dictate how to build the page and arranged and greatly influence the web design experience. There are many Joom Frameworks on the market, but we only use the most popular and best ones. Joomla Templates differ because of the framework they use.
Basically, Astroid is the latest framework for Joomla in the market right now. Designed and developed by Joomdev, Astroid is a free, fast and a very flexible framework which make the
development of Joomla based websites and templates easier and robust.
The free nature of this framework doesn’t limits its potential. There is lots of possibilities with this framework. Multiple options in backend of this framework like unlimited color, video background, wide/boxed layout, parallax effect etc. are there so that you can play with them and make the best out of it, and again all of it depends on your creativity level. If you think of it, with Astroid you can build it too.
The powerful backend offers you the full flexibility to control each and every aspect of the website or template. There are many unique things to explore like preloader animation, back to the top button, SEO settings, powerful layout builder which again, provide you the ability to fully customize the site as per your need and requirements.
The best thing about this framework is the quality of support the guys behind this framework are providing. Good support is as important as the product and the great support team of the Astroid Framework never fails to surprise us with their quick and reliable support.
For More Details Visit: http://www.astroidframework.com/
Gantry Framework - Our Preferred Joomla Templates
At the time of writing, the current version of Gantry is Gantry 5. Gantry 5 greatly modifies Twitter Bootstrap and is a very powerful framework with many customisations, including colour options. Older versions of Gantry, 3.x and below, use the 960 Grid System. RocketTheme, the creators of Gantry, have top notch, beautiful designs and extensive documentation. RocketTheme has also developed and provided many free Joomla Extensions to complement and expand their template's capabilities.
In addition to RocketTheme's offering, we also have been able to find and adopt a Hikashop (Joomla eCommerce Component) Template Provider, bringing Gantry to eCommerce websites.
We use Gantry on this website, and so are most of the websites we deliver. We are most familiar with Gantry as opposed to other Joom Frameworks and RocketTheme's template selection is wide and always of high standards.
In sum, these are the defining points of Gantry:
- Powerful customisation - customise almost anything
- Excellent Documentation - the best we have found
- Extreme flexibility for Developers
There are no free Joomla Templates provided by RocketTheme. Templates cost on average $50USD before sale discount. This is value for money. There is a Club Membership option for access to all templates, but is not necessary.
It is worth to note that Gantry/RocketTheme were runner up in the 2017 CMS Critic's Awards, losing to YOOtheme/Warp.
The structure of the Gantry 5 in the backend is as follows:
As you can see, the Gantry 5 Framework comprises of various sections, such as Navigation, Slideshow, etc. If you drag a particle, in this case, the "Social" particle, you can adjust the proportions by percentage. No other framework we have seen can do this, as Bootstrap Frameworks are more rigid and less flexible in this regard.
You can also add rows to each section as below:
Gantry is extremely powerful, we have not seen any other framework with such flexibility. Even the colour schemes have more options than any other Joom Framework, which we will not display here. The Gantry Framework is the best for Developers seeking control over the template.
The Helix Framework by Joomshaper is a Bootstrap based framework. Currently, the most up to date version is Helix 3. Like Astroid, Joomshaper has provided some free Joomla Templates.
Helix 3 is an easy to use and intuitive Joom Framework. Joomshaper has also made a drag and drop page builder, called SP Page Builder, with the most up to date version being SP Page Builder 3. We have a Developer License for SP Page Builder and it is very comprehensive and easy to use. We generally use SP Page Builder to build Landing Pages quickly.
Although this framework is very easy to manage, there is no way to buy individual templates. In order to use any paid/pro Helix 3 template, you need to do one of the following:
- Pay $59USD a quarter or $236USD a year for one website
- Pay $99USD for half a year or $198USD a year for three websites
- Pay $299USD a year for unlimited websites
Helix websites aren't cheap, unless you get them from a web designer/developer like us.
The Helix Backend, although not as flexible as Gantry, is very flexible. See below:
As you can see, there are many row options, based on a 12 column row. You can arrange the row columns in a wide variety of ways, such as:
- 12: Full Screen width
- 6+6: 1:1 split
- 2+10: 1:5 split
And many more options.
In order to add a row, see below:
Simply click "Add Row" and a new row will appear for your customisation. One thing to note is that unlike Gantry, there are no dedicated sections for Helix. Instead, each row is a "section", which will carry the name and position you decide. Very flexible.
The T3 Framework is another Bootstrap Framework by JoomlArt. It is slightly harder to use than Helix but is nevertheless a powerful Joom Framework.
We used T3 to build the Kozin Real Estate website. The best and most popular real estate templates are based on T3. T3 has useful features like Font Awesome, which is also present in Gantry and Helix. Font Awesome is an icon library which has vectors for many icons. This allows for easy resizing of icons.
However, T3 is not as flexible as Helix or Gantry. Nevertheless, they have many templates at our disposal and there are many attractive designs to choose from.
Like Helix, you cannot buy individual templates. Instead, you have to go for a subscription as below:
- Pay $69USD a quarter or $276USD a year for one website
- Pay $89USD for a year for unlimited websites
- Pay $299USD a year for unlimited websites
You should also note that JoomlArt has a Page Builder bundled with their templates or purchased individually. However, we have never used it so we cannot comment on its features or effectiveness.
There are some free Joomla Templates in this section of the T3 Framework website
The T3 backend is not as convenient as Gantry or Helix, but still has adequate flexibility. The concept is to divide the template to "Module Positions" and "Responsive Layout". Again, because this is Bootstrap, the page width spread across 12 parts. You can have up to six items in a row, see below:
In the Responsive Layout mode, you can drag back and forth each module position's proportion, still based on the 12 part Bootstrap model:
Although the T3 Framework is not as flexible as Helix or Gantry, you should note that when comparing T3 and Helix, T3 does have an advantage Helix does not. Please note that in the above image, there are two "sidebars" with the "message" and "component" on top of each other. the sidebars, message, and component are all in one section. You are not able to do this in Helix, because each row represents a section. Over here, like in Gantry, there are distinct sections.
There are many Joom Frameworks in the market. All of them have slight to major differences in their approach and style. We could not cover all differences of even these three templates as it would be an excessively lengthy article, but we hope this will help you consider which framework you would prefer when deciding on building your website with us. Please make contact with us on the Contact Us tab to arrange for consultation.