11 Best Free WordPress Starter Themes for Developers

Are you interested in creating a WordPress theme on your own, but you are not sure where to begin or how to do it? Well, you have come to the right place, because in this article, we will show you some of the best WordPress themes for starters that can serve you as a cornerstone for making your own WordPress theme, just the way you envisioned it.

Of course, if you are skilled enough, you can create your own theme from start to finish, but why waste your time with it if you can simply use a pre-made model that allows you the same amount of artistic freedom? When you have a good start already done for you, the rest of the process becomes much easier.

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Remember, if you make just one simple mistake while putting the files in your own WordPress theme, you can lose hours of hard work just like that. There is no need to risk that since there are many useful and solid base models that can help you get started. So, here are some of the best ones we have chosen for you so you can create your own WordPress theme in no time, but please bear in mind that these 11 themes aren’t ranked in any way and that the order in which they are presented is random.


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This is one of the most commonly used and one of the most popular themes for starters in WordPress. It is a solid foundation theme that was designed by Automattic. It has a clear, contemporary code base and gives you a choice of 2 straightforward layouts. There are two of them so you can choose on which side you want to place your sidebar, left or right.

This WordPress starter theme is written in CSS and HTML5, which is a great thing if you are not that familiar with some of the more complicated programs. This is truly a great, minimalistic theme that can help you build your theme just the way you want.

This theme for starters has all that you might need in order to create a great WordPress theme for yourself. It has a simple foundation that allows you to easily achieve all that you have planned to do. This theme allows you to create a completely responsive theme, which is very significant today when there are many smartphone users. That is why this theme adopts the mobile-first attitude.

This theme is totally free, but that doesn’t mean that you will miss anything in terms of functionality, design and responsiveness.

If you are looking for a WordPress starter theme that is very easily personalized, Quark is the theme for you. Quark is designed with powerful HTML5 and CSS3 in order to make it really modern and to allow it to offer great performances.

The design for this theme is based on two other commonly used themes, Underscore and Twenty Twelve. It has a solid foundation, very responsive layout, more than 300 icons and a lot of other useful features and traits.

This theme is a very modern theme for starters and it is based on Bower, Bootstrap and Gulp. It was developed by Roots and has an innovative workflow that allows you to check JavaScript for errors, synchronize testing for different browsers and other features that are run by Gulp, automatically.

It also utilizes Theme Wrapper, which can help you in using a clean code when you are creating a theme.


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This is a blank theme that offers you basic styling so you can create a WordPress theme completely by your wishes and standards. It was developed with Foundation 5 and it is extremely responsive. It also has built-in JavaScript features, like navigation off the canvas and many others.

This theme can offer you a lot of strength and flexibility that allows you to create a complicated website that is also compatible with smartphones and tablets.


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This is a very simple WordPress theme for starters. It is created on the clean foundation provided by HTML5 and CSS3 and it has already prepared code that you can use straight away. Also, this theme has template tags which you can use when you are developing your theme in the way you have envisioned.

It is a theme that is built to perform since this WordPress starter theme allows you to create your WordPress theme as fast as possible. It is a minimalist theme that has a straightforward design, which is great for developing your theme the way you want.

If you are all about speed, then this WordPress starter theme is a perfect choice for you since it includes the Twig template mechanism that lets you develop pretty fast by writing less code. This theme also incorporates some very helpful features from Roots and Underscores in order to make your development go even faster and without any problems.

It also includes Foundation and Bootstrap, as well as Bower and Gulp.

For those that have advanced developing skills and are thus looking for a theme that allows them to use those skills, Nebula is an ideal choice. This WordPress starter theme is very similar to a framework, even though it isn’t actually a framework per se. It is a theme for starters that has many customized functions, such as Autocomplete Search, suggestions engine for 404 and result pages that require no search, among many others.

It also has many features that improve its functionality, such as styles, functions and shortcodes. A great benefit that comes with using Nebula for developing your own theme is the fact that its codes are very simple, but also give you a lot of room for customizing.


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This is another contemporary WordPress theme for starters. It stands on the well-known Foundation framework and it has a custom header, widgets, sidebar and navigation menu with already defined locations included in it.

It is a very responsive theme, that is really simple to understand and use, but what is even more important, it is extremely well developed in regards to SEO principles. That means that this theme can really help your SEO results.

This is another theme for starters that is available to you free of charge. Basic is designed by Themify and it really gives you a lot of freedom when you are designing your website. It has some pretty straightforward styling which you can personalize in the option dashboard.

It is an extremely responsive theme that will make your site be eye-catching and pleasing even on tablets and smartphones. Codes for this theme are developed with HTML5 and CSS3 programs, so you don’t really need any advanced tech skills to work with this SEO friendly theme.

11. _tk Starter Theme

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This theme is a very modern and extremely responsive starter theme for WordPress. It is developed on the basis of the Bootstrap framework and starter theme from Underscores.

This WordPress theme allows you to craft a minimalistic and responsive design that will make your theme look pleasing, but will also allow your visitors to easily navigate through your website.

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David Cross

David is the chief editor at WebHostingMedia right from the beginning. He has a great passion for building and managing websites and creating helpful content. He is also interested in programming - currently learning python.