One of the great things about self-hosted WordPress sites is that you can rather easily change the look of your entire site. No need to pay for a re-design of your site, just choose the Theme you want, install it right through the Appearance section in your WP Admin section. In many cases you are up and running with no change… unless you’ve made enhancements to your theme, or your old theme had a built-in function your new theme doesn’t. And if you change themes, child themes won’t help, because your changes and customizations are contained in the child theme files which would no longer be in use on your new theme.
So how do you get the benefits of child themes and the stability of not changing themes? Instead of a theme, use a framework.
WordPress frameworks (not to be confused with the WP Framework) allow you to customize the look of your blog, and some even have drag-n-drop type tools to help. I’ll be evaluating Thematic Framework, Genesis framework and the Thesis Framework and comparing them. In later stages I’ll actually install one or more of them and do comparisons. I’m kind of doubtful about doing that with Thesis because $87 is a little much for an evaluation/demo.
Maybe I should look for some more Frameworks. WordPress has a list of some Frameworks for my consideration.