Designmodo’s Startup Design Framework vs WordPress!

Designmodo Startup Design Framework Deal - 15% discount!

You may have noticed a kind of mini wave of excitement amongst designers lately thanks to a new Startup Design Framework by Designmodo, which just so happens to excel at something WordPress seems to pretty much suck at (and hence we thought we’d pick it up as a topic for this blog post): it lets you quickly and easily create absolutely-stunning light-weight highly-customizable one-page websites*! What’s more, whereas a lot of websites created with WordPress tend to be on the slow and cumbersome side (often requiring a fair amount of caching and server side resources to load quickly), websites created with the new Startup Design Framework are not only comparably tiny, lightning-fast and extremely simple to host, but also require practically no maintenance!

What is this ‘oh-so-awesome’ Startup Design Framework exactly then?

Well, in short, it’s a series of beautifully-styled HTML user-interface blocks (over 100 of them in fact) that have each been designed to merge together (i.e. mixed and matched) into countless different combinations – thereby enabling web designers (or anybody who feels comfortable editing HTML and CSS) to create beautifully simple websites using what could essentially be thought of as a series of HTML LEGO bricks. Admittedly this isn’t a particularly new idea, what makes the Startup Design Framework unique however, is the level of both detail and UI choice it contains (not to mention that it’s also completely responsive and retina ready). Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

Designmodo Startup Design Framework Image

Wait wait. . . that seems pretty awesome, isn’t WinningWP supposed to be pro-everything-WordPress???

Well, comparing WordPress (a system capable of creating and managing vast amounts of content) with something as simple as a set of HTML user-interface blocks that fit together to make single webpages seems a bit like comparing an industrial-sized factory to a single highly specialized craftsman, i.e., one seems more like an antithesis of the other. WordPress sets out to let people publish their own content online with minimum fuss whereas the Designmodo framework is little more than a relatively simple tool built to help developers/users create beautiful static websites quickly and easily – one page at a time. What’s more, love WordPress we might, but when it comes to creating highly-customizable simple one-page designs/websites, WordPress flops (after all, this isn’t what it was originally created for). Sure, you could argue that there’s an ever-increasing number of relatively-innovative looking one-page WordPress themes appearing on the market (hopefully a trend that will continue), like Freelancer by Themefuse, Flat by Themify and Parallax Pro by StudioPress, but trying to use any of these themes as a starter theme to create a custom website as diverse (in terms of both functionality and design) as something you could cook up using the framework in a matter of minutes could well drive you round the bend – not to mention the fact that the WordPress version would be bigger, clunkier, require more resources to run and need to be regularly updated/maintained!

The big caveat. . .

…of course, is that the Designmodo framework can, by its very nature (being constructed of little more than HTML pages, a dollop of CSS, a dash of Javascript and a sprinkling of media files – i.e. not a CMS), only be used to create single webpages at a time; if only there was a way to turn the whole thing into some kind of WordPress plugin…

*you can of course use it to create as many pages as you like and then combine each page into a multi-page website, but you’d have to create each page separately is the point.

If you haven’t already, go check it out!

(update – 16th March – since writing this post Designmodo have kindly provided us with a special discount coupon code entitling WinningWP readers to 15% off all Designmodo products (including the aforementioned Startup Design Framework) – view coupon).

By Brin Wilson

Founder of WinningWP - passionate about all things WordPress! Find me on Twitter.
Comments (policy)
  1. pingram3541 says:

    What’s more exciting to me is that there are some fantastic frameworks that this can totally be used with…you get the best of both words.
    My workflow for building unique and responsive child themes over the few years is a mix of, (entire grid is widgetized and multi-loop capable) and advanced custom fields plugin (unless you want to write your own functions which is fine too). I am not a spammer, just a freelancer always looking for ways to improve my workflow so I can spend more time being creative.
    I can take all of this static html and css from SD and very easily create a WordPress theme. As a matter of fact, I might even take this on myself, making each SD module a unique widget that I can drag/drop to build my clients structure, then make minor tweaks to the php logic when needed but the design part could be really fast with this approach.
    Of course, a lightning fast VPS host is always a good idea too…hmm, another reason to take advantage of AWS too.

  2. Patrick Villella says:

    I originally thought your article on this framework was a good overview and review, until I discovered two things that you failed to mention: The framework costs $249. Also, you are an affiliate. A bit funny that the ‘industrial-sized factory’ is free while the ‘craftsman’ costs more than many premium WordPress themes. I get it. WordPress is open source while Designmodo is a company creating a nice solution. $249 isn’t a fortune for a good base to start from. I just think it should have been mentioned in your article.

  3. Ejaz says:

    Comparing Startup framework with WordPress is like comparing apple with oranges.

    WordPress is a CMS whereas Startup frame is the collection of modules.

    • Brin Wilson says:

      I haven’t had a play with Divi, but judging from the demo video it does seems like there might be a few similarities…

  4. chris says:

    As a lover of WordPress I’d have to agree for a simple one page site it is a lot of messing tweaking compared to something specific for.that purpose

    • Ty Cahill says:

      I agree that WordPress can take quite a while to set up for a small, basic website. I’ve used MODX in the past and really liked how quick and easy it was, but their newer versions seem to have added complexity.

      Wish WordPress would strip out all the blogging stuff and make that a plugin…and give us some of the tools that MODX has for putting together quick and simple sites.

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