Lately, I’ve been looking for an HTML5 framework or parent theme to customize to redo the layout of my website. Platform by Pagelines is leaps and bounds beyond anything else out there. It has loads of theme settings – several different classes of background, border, shadow, and text colors and fonts – even allowing for the use of Typekit font replacement.
The biggest selling point is something I think is best described as meta-widget areas – sets of widget areas and other template parts that can be dragged into place for various parts of the site. This is just what’s available in the free version. In the paid version, you also get Secondary Nav, PageLines Features, PageLines Banners, Full Width Sidebar, Soapboxes, PageLines Carousel.
I would say my favorite feature, though is the Layout Dimensions editor. This literally lets you drag the bars around to adjust the size of your site as well as setting the column layout instantly.
There was still more customization that I wanted to do after I had configured everything in the framework settings, but the ease and flexibility of the settings saved me loads of time in getting the basic layout so I could get to adding the extra polish on the site. Make no mistake, you might think a theme/framework with as much flexibility as the Platform Framework offers might seem like it would be complicated for the average user, but it’s incredibly intuitive. It’s actually designed to be usable by someone who is not a developer. There’s still room for customization beyond the interface, of course. Anything you’d want to display in the header can be entered into the Custom Code section. While I did add some styling into the css of the child theme I created, I did need to add some other styling to override the built-in styling for stuff like media queries. Notice how if you resize your screen to something more narrow than 800px, the sidebar, post thumbnail, and excerpts disappear, and the main content area shrinks and the content centers.