You might know this already – WordPress themes usually are customizable. They come with customization options that you can use to set up a unique website for yourselves even with an existing, popular theme. However, if you want to create your own theme without involving codes, you have WordPress Starter themes at your service. In this article, we will be discussing 20 WordPress starter themes that you can try out to build a new website.
What are WordPress Starter Themes?
WordPress Starter Themes are blank themes with minimal design and layout. These themes are available with the most commonly used templates you would find on WordPress. A starter theme will have code to display single posts, archive pages, comments, etc but will only have minimal or sometimes no styling. This helps developers to add their own styles, letting them build a completely new theme, without having to code!
Starter Theme Vs Parent Theme Vs Theme Framework
Starter Themes are different from parent themes or theme frameworks. Parent themes are designed to be installed on live websites with a fully styled WordPress Theme. Theme Framework on the other hand helps in child theme development by providing a lot of filters and hooks.
WordPress starter themes as mentioned earlier, do not come with any form of styling, and you can’t use them the way they are. They don’t come with filters, custom hooks, or template tags. The only connection between them and the parent theme is that they can be used to make the latter.
Now let’s see the best WordPress starter themes that would help you build a theme on your own.
- What are WordPress Starter Themes?
- Starter Theme Vs Parent Theme Vs Theme Framework
- 1. Underscores
- 2. Air-Light
- 3. WP Bootstrap Starter
- 4. Astra
- 5. Responsive
- 6. Tonik
- 7. Sage
- 8. Quark
- 9. Beans
- 10. Ultimatum
- 11. Understrap
- 12. _tk Starter
- 13. JointsWP
- 14. WP Rig
- 15. HTML5 Blank
- 16. Catch Starter
- 17. Bones
- 18. Nebula
- 19. Basic
- 20. BlankSlate
- Wrapping Up
_s or Underscores is one of the most popular WordPress Starter themes that has been maintained by Automattic. This one is a minimalist starter theme and has been written in HTML5 and CSS. This theme comes with two sidebars on the left, two sidebars on the right, a sidebar on either side of the body, a one-column layout with a sidebar on the left and one with a sidebar on the right.
Its ultra-minimal CSS makes it have less stuff get in your way when you’re designing your own awesome theme.
- The right amount of lean, well-commented, modern, HTML5 templates
- 404 template
- 2 sample CSS layouts
- Licensed under GPLv2
Air-light or Air as you can call it, this starter theme is a perfect starting point for your next project. The theme has disabled many widgets, post formats, Jetpack support, (Threaded) comments, Underscores Template tags and sidebar from it as they are never really needed and add extra weight to your theme. This one is lightweight and is open-source as well!
- Fast and small
- Custom post type support
- Full support for ACF and Gutenberg
- Modern CSS with PostCSS and SCSS without any bloat
- Modern PHP without templating languages
- SEO friendly
Astra is a popular WordPress theme with over 180+ starter themes to start a website quickly. Each starter theme by Astra is made for different business niches, so it is easier for you to find a starter theme that would suit your requirements. Astra is suitable for both beginners and developers, so if you fall into either one of the categories, you can try out the WordPress starter themes by Astra and experiment.
- User-friendly interface
- Professionally designed starter templates
- Easy to use
Responsive is yet another popular starter theme that you can use for your project. It comes with 15+ ready to use templates and is suitable for blogs, podcasts, WooCommerce and more. It has an easy drag and drop interface that makes it easy to workaround. With responsive layout designs and SEO optimization, this is clearly one of the best WordPress starter themes available!
- Fully customizable
- Fast & Responsive
- Built on Gutenberg & Elementor
This WordPress starter theme is available both on its website as well as GitHub. It requires a little bit of setup to get started, like having Composer and Node installed, but once everything is set, it works like a breeze.
- Preconfigured directory structure
- Ajax support
- Service container
- Component support
- Theme actions and filters
- Shortcode support
- Autoloading tools
- Command-line tools
A flexible and powerful WordPress starter theme, Sage uses a combination of Bootstrap, SASS, Foundation, Bulma, Tachyons, Tailwind and Laravel’s Blade for templating. This one is actively maintained and has a strong following among developers. Upon installation, you can use a different framework or no framework at all, and it works absolutely fine and can build amazing websites.
- Write stylesheets with SASS
- Enables to Optimize images
- Enable synchronized browser testing
Based on the themes Underscores (_s) and TwentyTwelve, Quark is a flexible, easy to customise WordPress starter theme. A clean and tidy code makes editing easy and the theme’s base is a responsive, 12 column grid. Quark uses Normalize and Modernizr for better functionality.
- Over 300 icons powered by FontAwesome
- Browser consistency
- Built-in Theme Options
- WordPress flexibility
- Post Formats and templates
Beans is a lightweight, highly responsive starter theme for any website. Beans was designed to serve both beginners as well as developers who want to build a website with a basic outline. The theme utilizes the best of the latest technologies such as LESS, CSS3, HTML5 and jQuery. One of the most innovative WordPress starter themes, Beans is incredibly powerful and unbelievably fast!
- Responsive Content
- Adaptive images
- SEO friendly
- Built with the ultimate front-end library
- Plugins friendly
Ultimatum is a starter theme that uses a drag and drop layout builder in the development of websites. This one is a great example of an efficient WordPress starter theme. It is perfect for beginners, designers and developers. In fact, more than 130,000 websites were built with Ultimatum!
- Premium extensions
- Developer-friendly codebase
- Simple-to-update core
Also read: Best Free WordPress Themes
- Modern styling capabilities
- Font Awesome integration
- Supports WooCommerce
- Supports Contact 7
- Supports Jetpack
11. _tk Starter
_tk starter is yet another WordPress starter theme that is a combination of Underscores and Bootstrap framework. This mobile-first, truly responsive and ultra-minimal starter theme would make your website development easier and efficient.
- Combined with Twitter Bootstrap 3.0
- 100% clean integration
- Loads quickly
- Compatible with Jetpack, WooCommerce, and Contact Form 7
Built with the latest version of Foundation framework, JointsWP is a WordPress starter theme that gives you all the flexibility and power to build a complex, mobile-friendly website. It has breadcrumbs, navigation menus, sliders and a ‘recent posts’ sidebar included and works like a breeze!
- Foundation Navigation Options
- Custom grid templates for archives
- Translate-ready files
- Bower (or Gulp)
13. WP Rig
This one is a WordPress starter theme combined with a build process that enables you to create beautiful, user-friendly and lightning-fast websites. WP Rig lints, optimizes and minifies your code to improve your website’s performance.
- Minimal templates with optional drag-and-drop files
- Code and file structure optimized for modern performance standards
- Well documented helper functions
14. HTML5 Blank
This WordPress starter theme can build websites at lightning speed! This one is best for performance and development, as it is packed with time-saving features and optimisations. HTML5 Blank is based on HTML5 and CSS3 templates and has ready to use code and template tags that can make your web development easier.
- Hosted on GitHub
- Preloaded with productivity and core features
15. Catch Starter
With minimal design and a strong code base, Catch Starter is one of the most popular WordPress starter themes available. This one is extremely easy to customize, so you can focus more on your content than web development. This theme is simple, responsive and clean with minimal design and can be used to make amazing websites!
- Simpler to Use
- Featured content, slider, portfolio, services and testimonials
Bones is a mobile-first and responsive starter theme that can be used to build beautiful websites. It gives you a great starting point with excellent speed and performance. It uses unique SASS to speed up the project.
- Free theme
- Custom Post Types & Custom Dashboard Functions Preloaded
- Build with SASS
- Responsible fallbacks
- A strong foundation for any project
Nebula is more like a framework than a starter theme. It comes with many custom functionalities and is easy to customize and use. It provides almost everything that is necessary to build a nice, presentable website including filters, custom functions and more.
- Custom functionality
- Admin features and options
- Analytics and data
- Security and optimization
- Utilities and reference tools
You can be your own designer with this WordPress starter theme. Offered by Themify, this theme contains the basic layout styling so you can customize it with your own preferences using the Themify option panel. It works well on both desktop and mobile platforms.
- Responsive layout
- Lightbox gallery (no plugins required)
- Scroll to the top button
- Optional RSS and search form
- Social media icons
- Footer text
- Footer menu
- Choose up to 4 footer widget columns
- 5 theme skins
- Coded with HTML5 & CSS3
- Child theme support
Also read: Fastest WordPress Themes
You can build responsive and beautiful websites with this WordPress starter theme. It is clean, simple, minimal and unstyled with easy to use functions. It has no third-party script or formatting and is as ‘blank’ as it can get! It is so lightweight and fast, you can build an exceptional website with it as a foundation.
- No programmer comments
- Standardized and as white label as possible
WordPress Starter themes are the barebones to building an excellent website. You can build one with ordinary themes of course, but starter themes give you an opportunity to learn and build something unique on your own. Hope these themes help you build your project without the involvement of codes or another framework.
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