WordPress Starter themes give you a great head start in creating your own WordPress theme for the public or your own venture. There are a number of beautiful starter themes that will cut down a lot of your workload.

In this post, we have collected some of the best starter WordPress themes which you can use as your base while creating your own site.

We have not included any WordPress frameworks in this list. If you want to know more about the best WordPress frameworks you can check out this article.

Starter WordPress Themes

#1 - Underscores

Underscores is a strong foundation WordPress theme created by Automattic. It provides you with a clean modern codebase to start your theme with well-commented HTML5 templates. It offers you 2 sample layouts, one with a sidebar on the right and another with a sidebar on the left.

Another great thing about Underscores is the availability of a comprehensive training module created by ThemeShaper.

underscores theme

#2 - Naked

Naked is a basic starter theme for WordPress to help developers who want to create something amazing on WordPress but lack experience.

This base theme provides you a nice foundation – if you are familiar with  HTML & CSS, this will be a great design option for you.

Naked WordPress theme

#3 - Bones

Bones provides you with a rock-solid foundation to start your own WordPress theme. Its minimalistic foundation keeps things simple and straightforward.

The best things about this theme is that it takes a mobile-first approach and helps you to create a fully responsive design –which is extremely important these days. It's also completely free!

Bones Starter Theme

#4 - Quark

Quark is not a framework but a building block for a simple beautiful, responsive WordPress theme. Quark is created with strong HTML5 & CSS3 to make it a completely modern design and high-performing design.

This design is based on the Underscores (_s) and TwentyTwelve themes. It provides you a strong foundation, responsive layout, over 300 icons, post formats & templates and more

Quark WordPress Starter Theme

#5 -_tk Starter

_tk helps you to create a fully responsive, minimal WordPress design based on their starter theme which is created by using Underscores and Twitter Bootstrap 3.0 framework.

_tk starter theme

#6 - Joints WP

JointsWP is another interesting foundation to help you create a great design on WordPress. This blank WordPress theme built with Foundation 5 gives you all of the power and flexibility you need to build complex, mobile-friendly websites without having to start from scratch.

Joints WP Starter Theme

#7 - Sage

Sage is another very strong starter WordPress theme to help you create your project. Sage is based on HTML5 Boilerplate, gulp, Bower, and Bootstrap.

sage starter theme

#8 - HTML5 Blank

This starter WordPress theme is created for performance. You can perform on a high level super quickly with this amazing foundation.

HTML5 Blank WordPress Theme

#9 - Responsive

Responsive is a foundation theme created by CyberChimps. This theme comes with a fluid grid system that adapts to all kinds of screen sizes quite amazingly. 

The theme features 9 Page Templates, 11 Widget Areas, 6 Template Layouts, 4 Menu Positions and more. This is a retina-Ready, Search Engine Friendly WordPress theme that is fully compatible with WooCommerce.

Responsive Cyberchimps

#10 - Basic

Basic is a free starter theme created by Themify to help you build your own design as per your requirement. This theme comes with basic styling which you can customize by using the Themify option panel.

It's a fully responsive design so your site will look great even on small screen devices. It's also an SEO friendly design that is coded with HTML5 and CSS3 code.

basic starter theme


It's not a good idea to create a theme from scratch when there are so amazing WordPress starter themes. These foundation themes provide you all the required features and tools to help you create a modern WordPress theme.

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Originally published Feb 16, 2016 12:26:17 AM, updated October 18 2019