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Our Joomla Frameworks

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

Joomla Framework

What is a Joomla Framework?

A Joomla Framework 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. Joomla Frameworks dictate how a page is built and arranged and greatly influence the web design experience. There are many Joomla Frameworks on the market, but we only use the most popular and best ones.

 

Gantry Framework

Gantry

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.

This website is built on Gantry, and so are most of the websites we deliver. We are most familiar with Gantry as opposed to other Joomla 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

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.

 

Gantry Backend

The structure of the Gantry 5 in the backend is as follows:

Gantry Particle

As you can see, the Gantry 5 Framework is divided to 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 Row

Gantry is extremely powerful, we have not seen any other framework with such flexibility. Even the colour schemes have more options than any other Joomla Framework, which we will not display here. The Gantry Framework is the best for Developers seeking control over the template.

 

Helix

Helix

The Helix Framework by Joomshaper is a Bootstrap based framework. Currently, the most up to date version is Helix 3.

Helix 3 is an easy to use and intuitive Joomla 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.

Nevertheless, SP Page Builder makes Helix 3 a formidable force, with over 40 components at your disposal to build your page. Helix 3 also seems to handle CSS and JavaScript compression well, though we had to disable certain compression plugins in order to build the page. Despite this, all our pages rendered fine. 

 

Helix Backend

The Helix Backend, although not as flexible as Gantry, is very flexible. See below:

Helix Column

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:

Helix Row

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.

 

 T3

T3

The T3 Framework is another Bootstrap Framework by JoomlArt. It is slightly harder to use than Helix but is nevertheless a powerful Joomla 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.

 

T3 Backend

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 is divided into 12 parts. You can have up to six items in a row, see below:

T3 Parts

In the Responsive Layout mode, you can drag back and forth each module position's proportion, still based on the 12 part Bootstrap model:

T3 Responsive Layout

 

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.

 

Conclusion

There are many Joomla 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.

 

 

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