20 WordPress Starter Themes For Developers

For those of you who want to make a WordPress Themes, but do not know where to start, starter WordPress Themes are a practical way to get started. What you need to make the starter theme work is to tweak it and style it into the great theme it has the potential to be.

Many of these starter themes come with a bunch of features to help you in your cause; for instance, a number of them come with Sass, Foundation, and Grunt. If you are an advanced user, some of these clean and minimalistic themes may be what you are looking for. Here are more than a dozen useful Starter Themes that can help you develop a better theme.


Wp-Flex is a blank responsive theme for WordPress. The code is written based on the WordPress Codex and theme review guidelines.


Sage is a starter theme developed by Roots, with an advanced workflow to write styles in LESS/SASS, check JavaScript error, synchronized browser testing and other tasks which are automatically run by Gulp. It uses Theme wrapper, Root’s way to keep you using clean code in building a theme.


Underscores is built by most developers of Automattic. Underscores come with simplicity and best practices for theming, minimal functions, and styles — a great starting point for developing your own theme.


Bones adopts the mobile-first approach and is responsive. SASS files are included to kickstart the styling on your theme project. It comes with preloaded Custom Post Types and Custom Dashboard Functions for you to customize the admin area on the dashboard.


JointsWP is a blank theme made with Foundation 5, giving you basic styling to develop a WordPress theme further. Integrated with Foundation, JointsWP is responsive and includes JavaScript features such as off-canvas navigation. For styling, JointsWP has included a SASS file to make it easier to expand the styles.

WordPress Starter Theme

WordPress Starter Theme lets you build custom themes with SASS, AutoPrefixr, and HTML5 Boilerplate and includes modern web technologies such as Grunt for running tasks, and Browser Syncs for auto-reloading the project across browsers.

Blank WordPress Bower Grunt

Blank WordPress Bower Grunt is armed with Grunt and Bower and is ready to use with SASS Compass for styling the design. This theme also includes the format-{POST TYPE} files that separate into each format types, such as format-gallery.php, format-quote.php and so on.


_tk is integrated seamlessly with Bootstrap to give you a good-looking minimal starter theme. It also comes with wp-bootstrap-navwalker, a custom WordPress nav walker class that fully works with Bootstrap. The _tk code is based on Underscores.


Compass is a boilerplate for your custom WordPress theme with advanced features, built using modern tools like Grunt, Sass and Bourbon.

Big Blank Theme

Big Blank Theme provides you with a blank responsive starter theme with minimal styling and semantic HTML5. Its basic stylings include common elements such as headings, image alignments, comments, and forms.

WordPress Bootstrap

WordPress Bootstrap comes with features such as Multi-Lingual in 7 different languages, page templates (e.g., homepage, a standard page with sidebar, full-width page, etc.), a theme options panel, shortcodes, and sidebars.


Root-based Cutlass is a WordPress starter theme which gives you the advantages of Blade, a template engine that allow you write code more quicker. Cutlass includes Bootstrap 3 and Font Awesome by default and Gulp.


Cornerstone integrates the Zurb Foundation Responsive Framework on providing WordPress starter theme. It’s lightweight, responsive and SEO friendly.


Armed by Bootstrap 3, DevDmBootstrap3 comes with clean codes, and you can make child themes that run on top of this theme. This Cleanblog theme is a great example.


Fully integrated with Bootstrap 3, BST comes with features such as WordPress menu position with Bootstrap navbar, Bootstrap pagination for blog index and category pages, and also a Visual editor stylesheet, which allows you to get the same visual style on the text-editor and on the frontend interface.


FoundationPress uses Foundation 5 for base styling and lets you turn this starter theme into an advanced responsive theme. FoundationPress contains the essentials needed to help you start building WordPress themes on any design. It includes SASS files to make styling easier, and Grunt.


Quark is made based on Underscores and TwentyTwelve. You will find the built-in Options Framework theme, which makes it easier to add custom options on your theme.


Html5blank is a minimalist theme with the simple styling, suitable for development. Html5blank has plenty of awesome productivity and core features to make development easier.


Spig comes with the Twig template engine, allowing you to write less code and develop quickly. Sprig includes Bootstrap and Foundation, Gulp and Bower, and useful functions from Underscores and Roots to make your development easier.

WP Nebula

WP Nebula is shipped with built-in custom functionality like shortcodes, styles, and functions. The codes are easy to understand as well as to customize, plus comments on the codes ease faster development.