Top 7 Starter Themes For WordPress Development

If you are a developer and want to create custom WordPress themes, you can start easily with the help of WordPress starter themes.

These tools make it easy to create themes faster. And you don’t have to know too much coding. Knowing HTML, CSS, little JavaScript, and basic PHP will be enough for starting.

There are a handful of starter themes out there. Most of them work similarly. So, if you learn one, you can use another very easily.

If you have never used a starter theme, they all have documentation. But every developer will learn it very quickly.

What Are Starter Themes

In simple words, a starter theme is a pre-made WordPress theme that only needs styling and custom functions and templates. Hard work is already done. Add your custom CSS and style how you want.

Instead of creating a theme from scratch, you only need to add your templates for pages and add some custom functions. It already has a header, footer, etc.

It is an easier and quicker way to create custom WordPress themes. You can say that it is a WordPress framework.

Now let’s see what are the best starter themes and choose which fits your requirements.

1. Underscores

underscores starter themes

Perhaps the most popular WordPress starter theme is Underscores. Made by Automattic, the team behind WordPress itself. So, it means that this is a very high-quality product that will work with WordPress without problems.

Underscores is a very clean and well-structured theme. Has great features like a custom header option, CSS samples, etc. Very easy to use and free starter theme for your project.

2. Sage

sage theme

Sage is another popular and modern WordPress starter theme. It has many features not found in other products. I really love this theme and highly recommend it to any WordPress developer.

This theme works with Sass and different CSS frameworks like Bootstrap, Tailwind, Bulma, etc. And another great feature is that it uses Laravel’s blade template engine.

3. Understrap

understrap wordpress

One of the most popular starter themes is Understrap. Very easy to understand and great for beginner developers. Built with Underscores and Bootstrap. A very powerful tool.

Understrap works great with WooCommerce, so you can create eCommerce themes easily. Also, works with NPM and Sass. It also has high-quality already made WordPress themes.

4. Bones

bones html5

Bones is a fast, minimal, and mobile-first WordPress starter theme. Very clean theme. You can remove what you don’t need or add anything you like. Works with Sass.

It is very easy to create templates, custom post types, and custom dashboard functions if you want. Bones is free to use and great for beginners too.

5. WP Rig

wp rig

WP Rig is a modern WordPress starter theme with great features. It allows you to create fast, lightweight WordPress themes that meet modern web standard requirements.

It uses Gulp and BrowserSync for a better experience. Works great with VS Code and needs PHP 7.0+, NPM, and Composer in order to work. Very powerful and modern tool.

6. Nebula

nebula starter themes

Another cool starter theme for development is Nebula. You can easily design, develop, and analyze WordPress websites. Easy to use and powerful tool.

It includes great features and options such as custom functionality, admin options, security, optimization, and many more. Also, a very great theme for starters.

7. Tonik

tonik theme

And the last on this list is Tonik. It looks modern and is very powerful. Supports WordPress 4.7+ and PHP 7.0+. Needs Node.js and Composer to work.

Options and features Tonik offers are enhanced templating, web pack support, centralized configurations, etc. Works great with Sass and frameworks like Bulma, Foundation, Bootstrap, and Vue.

Why You Should Use A Starter Theme

The reason to use starter themes is very simple. They allow you to skip all the hassle and start designing your theme immediately. Don’t worry about structure, template hierarchy, etc.

It is already done for you. You just add your CSS, templates, and custom functions. These themes are made for WordPress and you won’t have any technical issues.

If you don’t use starter themes, then you have to start from scratch – create all the files, default functions, etc. It can be a long process. With a starter theme, it is much faster and easier to create awesome, modern WordPress themes.


So, if you want to become a WordPress developer and want to be able to create custom themes, starter themes are a great way to start. It makes work easier and faster.

Also, these themes are great resources for learning WordPress and web development in general.