When you want to create your WordPress theme, choosing the best WordPress starter theme could provide you with a Jumpstart. The starter templates for developers will have all the groundwork done for you. Having all the necessary files in the proper order, you are already deep in the process.

If you are looking for the best WordPress starter themes, you have come to the right place. In today’s post, I am going to introduce you to the best themes for starting theme development:

WordPress Starter Themes


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Underscores is created by Automattic, the company behind WordPress itself. This well-structured HTML5 starter theme comes with lots of comments to make everything easier for you. The theme comes with a 404 template and multiple CSS layouts. The CSS designing was kept to the minimum on purpose. As a result of this, you can quickly implement any design you want without making a lot of changes. The starter theme is actively maintained in Github by a group of volunteers.

Underscores Framework


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Featuring a mobile-first approach, Bones is another popular WordPress starter theme. The detailed style sheets will make it very easy to understand the selectors and customize them. As the theme is based on SaaS, you will be working with the latest web technologies. The theme is perfectly optimized to work with older browsers. It also tries to simplify the header section and make it look attractive. The free starter theme features custom post types and useful dashboard features as well.

Bones Starter Theme

HTML5 Blank

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HTML5 Blank is a renowned WordPress starter theme. With its primary focus on the speed, the theme comes with lots of optimization and time-saving options. There are two versions of this theme available. While the stable version ensures a fully functional theme, the unstable version features all the latest and cutting-edge features. You can also test drive the theme before actually using it. As the theme is hosted on Github, you can participate in the development process too.



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Featuring an elegant design and modern workflow, Sage is a powerful starter theme for WordPress. It enables you to utilize all modern technologies like SaaS for stylesheets, and Bower for adding front-end packages. Having the latest version of Bootstrap, it comes with a responsive layout. Sage is developed on HTML5 Boilerplate and comes with micro-formats and ARIA roles too. A unique feature of the theme is its single template file. That means you don’t have to run through various template files for editing the theme.

Sage WordPress Starter Theme


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Based on the original Foundation framework, JointsWP is an excellent starter theme for WordPress. Unlike most other starter frameworks, this one was originally designed to create your theme on top of it. As it lacks any extra layout, shortcode or redundant features, you won’t have to spend hours in removing those elements. The built-in Gulp setup will come in handy for minifying, compiling and monitoring the files. You are free to choose any of the two versions – go SaaS, or remain CSS.



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Basic is an excellent starter theme from WordPress. Acting as a bare-bones starting ground, this theme allows you to create your theme on top of it. As it comes with only the basic styles, you can easily apply your customizations. The built-in light box feature will be useful in displaying the images. The fully responsive layouts work perfectly on any screen size. Other notable options include social links, widgetized footer section, grid-based layout, etc.


Naked WordPress

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The Naked WordPress theme is targeted at designers who are comfortable with HTML and CSS, but not that much confident in PHP. This nicely commented starter theme makes it very easy for anyone to understand what’s going on. You will find all the necessary layouts like the home, blog, about, info pages in the theme. In most cases, the coding is done in HTML5. Along with the responsive design, the theme also features custom sidebar, widgets and navigation menus.

Naked WordPress Template


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Foundation is a widely acclaimed WordPress starter theme used by renowned brands in many industries. The latest version of the theme makes it very easy to create the prototype of your desired theme and create it in an efficient way. The compact and minimal code of the latest version have made it lighter and simpler than ever. With all the necessary attributes and roles, it is also a fully accessible theme. And with the help of Yeti Launch, you can add additional SaaS projects with a few clicks.

Zurb Foundation

Hybrid Core

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Hybrid Core is an open-source theme framework from Theme Hybrid. The starter theme makes it very easy to get started with the process of creating your WordPress theme. Instead of forcing any design, the theme allows you to apply any markup or design you want. As it supports breadcrumbs and numbered pagination, your theme will have an excellent navigation system. Multiple post templates and several theme layouts will be useful for adding customization options. The theme could also be translated into other languages.



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Headway is a fully featured WordPress parent theme which allows you to apply your designs to your website. The intuitive drag and drop layout creator is the most dominant feature of this theme. The visual editor enables you to create any layout you want. If you don’t have the time for making customizations, you can get started with any of the ready-made templates. As it is compatible with multi-site, you can easily use this theme for all the websites of your network.



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Thesis is another widely known starter theme for WordPress. This is the perfect choice for creating your child theme or designing unique layouts for your website. With innovative features like boxes, skins, and site tools, Thesis makes it very easy to apply your customizations. Besides the detailed documentation, there is also an active community of Thesis, which could be helpful in case you face any problem in using the theme.


Gantry Framework

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Gantry is a powerful and flexible theme framework for WordPress. This excellent starter theme was developed by RocketThemes when they wanted to create a single platform to offer all the options of their Joomla and WordPress templates on a single platform.

The simple layout manager of the theme is perfect for the beginners to get started. You can also customize various style settings according to your design requirements. Being a light weight solution, Gantry is also guaranteed to help you create a faster loading theme.

Gantry Starter Theme


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Platform is a reliable WordPress starter theme for creating custom themes or professional websites within a short period. The simple interface of the theme makes it straightforward for ordinary websites to get started with their personal projects. Thanks to the powerful extensions, you can even create your products without writing any code at all. The drag and drop interface is suitable for creating unique layouts. The fully responsive theme looks great on any device or screen size.

Pagelines WordPress Starter Themes


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Unison is a modern WordPress theme framework for creating custom themes in a fast and efficient way. The theme comes with lots of options for both the front-end and back-end users. It has lots of extensions and admin options to control various aspects of your website. There is also a live test lab where you can try the theme before using it in your project. The extensive docs of the theme will come in handy for using various available features.



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How can we finish this list without mentioning Candour, our very own WordPress starter theme! This excellent theme is based on Underscores and could be used as a robust platform for creating your custom theme or website. The straightforward and minimal design make it very easy to use the theme for various purposes. Featuring the latest web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and SEO-optimized coding, Candour is uniquely capable of delivering solid performance in every aspect.

Candour WordPress Theme


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Coming from StudioPress, Genesis is one of the most famous and widely used starter theme frameworks for WordPress. This excellent framework has been used by countless individuals to create custom designed websites or unique child themes. The fully customizable theme is optimized for delivering a fast loading speed. Features like the smart design approaches and robust coding will complement your SEO efforts. As Genesis is especially popular for its robust security features, you can rest assured about the security of your theme.



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If you are looking for a reliable starter theme to create a beautiful, fully responsive WordPress theme, Quark could be an excellent choice for you. Powered by latest technologies like HTML5 and CSS3, this fully featured theme is a modified version of the original Underscores and Twenty Twelve themes. When using this theme, you don’t have to create a child theme. Rather, you can start creating your theme on top of it. The multi-lingual theme also supports Options Framework and WooCommerce.

Quark-Theme For Developers

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Choosing the right starter WordPress theme for developers is an important part of creating an excellent theme. Now that you have a list of the best starter templates, you should be able to pick one which suits your requirements.

So, which starter theme will it be? Let me know by leaving a comment below.