Best WordPress Blank Themes to Startup Your Development

If you are just getting started with developing WordPress themes, your best course of action is to begin by building on bare-bones frameworks or “blank themes” as some like to call them. The best thing about it is that both amateurs and professionals build on these frameworks, and as such your skills and experience with these themes will be very relevant for future work. While I will tell you a bit about these best WordPress blank themes to startup your development, I highly encourage you that you read more about each of them and then stick with the one you like the most. I understand that I might be a bit overwhelming, but honestly all of the themes and frameworks listed here are a good choice.

 

Underscores Starter Theme

Underscores

This open-source theme is a pretty good place to start as it was created by the makers of WordPress as well as a handful of kind contributors who forked the project on GitHub. It doesn’t come with much, but there are certain extras that are very useful:

  • A well-formatted CSS file with blank properties that will help you to quickly edit the stylesheets
  • A helpful 404 error page template
  • Optional CSS layouts that you can learn from and expend on
  • The Navigation.js library that will help you make awesome responsive menus

Download: http://underscores.me/

Roots Starter Theme

roots

Another awesome (and free!) framework it Roots and it valued greatly by a lot developers who have a handful of experience under their belt. This theme allows you to easily develop new themes/projects based on the HTML5 Boilerplate, Bootstrap or even Grunt! New features that make development and publishing easier are added very frequently so you should definitely give it a shot, especially as there are a lot of tutorials available online.

Download: http://roots.io/starter-theme/

Bones – A Mobile First Theme

bones

This theme prides itself on being very simple, minimalistic and complete open to developers. It is not a framework nor a library, but a very simple, bare-bones theme (and thus its name). It is based around the latest technology and is fully up-to-date on the latest web standards and guidelines. The creators of theme have envisioned it as a mobile-first so this is a great place to start if you are planning on developing a responsive theme for WordPress.

Download: http://themble.com/bones/

The Genesis Framework

genesis

The Genesis Framework is not a blank theme, but more of a commercial product. Nonetheless it deserves your attention as it has grown over the years and thus many of the top themes nowadays are using this framework. It is great for developers who already have some experience and who are creating a serious commercial product with the end-user in mind. You will have to pay for the framework itself, but if you buy any of their themes you can get free access and license to the framework itself which is a much better deal.

Download: http://my.studiopress.com/themes/

BlankSlate – A Truly Blank Theme

blankslate

If you are just looking for something a lot more open and less “fancy” so that you can play around and learn more about WordPress theme development, then BlankSlate is a perfectly fine choice. However, we do not recommend this is a serious theme if you plan on publishing the theme that you create on top of it. The theme is very open to new developers and very easy to tinker with.

Download: http://wordpress.org/themes/blankslate

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Author: Karlo

Karlo is a 24 year old guy who loves everything related to WordPress. He is by profession electrical engineer but currently he is working as web design & web development freelancer.

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