I found this "blank" theme, but I was wondering if there are any other themes that provide a template for custom theme development.

I'm looking for something that, out of the box, provides a very simple theme with validating HTML (XHTML1.1, HTML 4.1 Strict, or HTML5) and CSS (CSS2 or CSS3). Then, I want to build on this theme to make a custom WordPress theme for my personal site/blog.

I've never developed a WordPress theme, but armed with the documentation and a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS and a bit of PHP experience, I should be able to make something that's my own.

  • 1
    I suggest you commit to the Wordpress propsal and help get it off the ground. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 2:23
  • Done. I can definitly see both this place being useful once I get my site off the ground and the WordPress proposal being good for WordPress-specific problems. Thanks for that link. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 9:38

2 Answers 2


This should be just what you're looking for: http://nathanstaines.com/archive/starkers-html5-v3

  • I'm going to have to try it before I accept, but that looks pretty slick. An immediate up vote simply because it's HTML5 and WordPress 3. I'll be reading about it in depth and trying it this weekend, that's for sure. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 2:13
  • I found it a few months back, when it was mentioned on Smashing Magazine's Twitter stream. Hope it helps.
    – intlect
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 2:18
  • +1 - Thanks for pointing this out! Looks like there's a few active forks of starkers
    – Tim Post
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 8:14
  • Thanks! Never even thought to look for this, but this should really help instead of hacking the default theme! Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 13:35
  • +1 Ooh, I've used starkers before as a base for a theme, but didn't know it had been updated. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 19:31

Going through the link that intlect provided along with the comment by Tim Post that there are other forks of Starkers, I found references to Thematic. It appears to have some styling, but it also appears to provide valid XHTML and CSS (not validated by me since I haven't installed it yet, though). There are also existing themes built using it as a framework so you can see what other people have managed to do from this starting point.

It also appears that WordPress supports the notion of child themes. This allows any existing theme to be used as a framework, however it might not be appropriate for every theme out there.

  • I would recommend against Thematic. Tons of crappy CSS choices that I had to undo when I went to customize it.
    – Matt M.
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 1:41

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