There Is plenty of choice for ready-made premium WordPress themes, but sometimes none seem to be quite right. When this is the case consider the use of a WordPress Starter Theme. If you have some experience using HTML and CSS then more than likely a WordPress Starter Theme is the perfect basis for you to craft your own perfect WordPress Theme.
A WordPress Starter Theme is different to a WordPress Theme Framework as starter themes are not meant to be used together with child themes but their aim is to be the starting point of the next super crafted unique WordPress Theme.
In our opinion here are some of the Best WordPress Starter Themes.
Bones is a fantastic Responsive WordPress Starter Theme. The theme CSS is developed using LESS or Sass. The theme files are well structured and commented throughout making it easy to follow and a great basis for your next project.
It comes with examples of a custom post type and taxonomies which can be easily customised for your next project. It also includes code to enable easy customisation of the WordPress Dashboard if you so wish; which is a nice touch.
The comments are written in such a way to make things easy, for example the theme comes with one sidebar area and in the comments above this it provides a short instruction on how to create more sidebars; not bad!
All in all we would recommend Bones, however to get the most out of it we believe you will need to get your head around either LESS or Sass .
Underscores or _S is another great starting point for would be WordPress developers. The theme is structured extremely well and has the feel of the Twenty Twelve Theme that ships with WordPress Core.
Underscores is a Responsive Theme with a well structured style sheet just waiting for customisation. The theme comes with layout CSS for five different layouts:
- Content | Sidebar
- Content | Sidebar | Sidebar
- Sidebar | Content
- Sidebar | Content | Sidebar
- Sidebar | Sidebar | Content
These add a simple level of customisation to the admin area of a WordPress website great for administrators when it is up and running.
A nice touch to Underscores Starter Theme is the ability to easily add your own prefixes to the WordPress theme functions. If you visit their website you can download the theme with your custom theme function prefixes adding a layer of professionalism to your crafted WordPress Theme once complete.
Roots is based on Twitter’s Bootstrap Theme Framework and Html5 Boilerplate. Roots is the biggest of the WordPress Starter Themes mentioned in this article, but this isn’t necessarily a negative as it comes with additional features.
On first installation of the Roots theme you will be diverted to an activation page which enables some small customisations of the theme from in the WordPress back-end.
Roots also comes with the benefits of Twitter Bootstraps Scaffolding and Components.
In our opinion Roots is the closest you will get to a WordPress Theme Framework without it actually being a theme framework. Because of this the theme is not as straight forward as the other WordPress Starter Themes and has more of a learning curve than the alternatives but once these are overcome you can be developing a sophisticated WordPress theme in no time at all.
The other end of the Spectrum to Roots is Starkers. Starkers is described beautifully by its name; a naked WordPress theme which has been stripped to the bone with only key Html markup remaining. Starkers’ website states that there will be “no need for you to take anything away” and we agree.
Starkers materialistic approach adds a level of simplicity in the theme structure enabling true customisation, however in doing so you will need greater skill in crafting a beautiful WordPress Theme.
So if you are in the process of creating a new WordPress website and no premium themes seem to fit the bill consider one of the Best WordPress Starter Themes and have a go at crafting your own.