I'm trying to create a versatile Wordpress network . In order to speed up development, I imagine I'll need to channel projects to different themes at an early stage. At the core of my network install I'd like to have three or four themes, pre-configured to handle a specific class of website.
What's more, I'd like each of these themes, though configured differently (as far as content-types, page templates, and layouts), to use the same basic functions, markup and general best practices (think html 5 boilerplate). In essence, each of these core themes should be a child theme of some parent that fits my basic technological requirements.
The problem is that when it comes time to actually create specific websites, I would like them to each be a child of an appropriate core theme.
In essence, I'm running into the problem of granchild themes as brought up in this article:
If you're not familiar with it, it argues that a lot of parent themes are wrongly considered frameworks, and that Wordpress is not built to accommodate grandchild themes.
So my question is this:
Is it better to duplicate a theme (no parent-child relationship) to create my few core themes and deal with updating them manually as needed, or should I have each core theme be a child theme of some parent and create an artificial (not wordpress native) grandchild inheritance system for the actual websites I create.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts