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WordPress frameworks and parent themes

I want to get my feet wet with wordpress premium theme development. I see lots marketplaces where developers sell wordpress themes (Such as themeforest.net). My guestion is, do developers use some kind of a wordpress framework that they bought and build all their themes on it, or do they develop their own framework? I assume that not all frameworks that are sold, such as Genesis or Thesis, will allow you to use their framework to build themes to be sold, but I would like to know if there are frameworks which do give you the freedom to sell themes using their framework as the basis?

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We already have extensive community wiki question on frameworks and their licensing details, so I think it makes sense to close this as duplicate. –  Rarst Aug 29 '11 at 20:12
    
While related, I see this question as more about 'if there are frameworks which do give you the freedom to sell themes using their framework as the basis?' People are less likely to look to the community wiki on frameworks for the answer to that question. On point of fact, I don't believe it's covered - except by implication, based on the 'license' listing property. –  marfarma Aug 29 '11 at 20:39
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marked as duplicate by Rarst Aug 29 '11 at 20:12

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2 Answers

I would assume that the vast majority of theme developers that sell their work on market places use their own custom frame work. I most certainly do.

By using my own frame work, I'm able to know absolutely every little corner of it. And every time I build a new theme, whether for a marketplace or for a client, I always spend a little bit of time improving my framework, so it is always getting better.

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While I believe that @Pippin is absolutely correct regarding how most premium theme developers work, you should know that you can grab any open source starter theme or framework, and - as long as you respect the various component licenses - use it as a base upon which to develop a premium theme.

This can be seen in the comment stream in the handcrafted-wp theme where ZackLive asks

Nice theme, I'm wondering if I can create premium themes based on Handcrafted for selling, thanks

and author Randy Jensen responds:

All the code in the theme is GPL so as long as you respect the license, yes.

So, what does that mean in the context of a premium theme? Well, perhaps more of your theme's css and javascript will be subject to an open source license than might otherwise have been the case. However, people who buy premium themes are not likely to care. And, since your theme's php code should be released under a GPL license ( acknowledged per Envato policy , for example *), it's not like your selling proposition changes very much.

Your images, your custom css and your custom javascript are not required to be licensed open source. Your customers will purchase based on design, functionality fit versus their requirements, access to support and price.

Notes

*Envato's Official Statement on WordPress Theme Licensing

GPL Compliant since 2009

As the operator of the largest marketplaces for WordPress themes and plugins, Envato is proud to have been GPL compliant since 2009. All themes and plugins sold on Envato Marketplaces have GPL licensed code.

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