40+ Blank WordPress Starter Themes & Frameworks to Help You Kick-start Your Entrepreneurial Journey

Your entrepreneurial journey starts with an idea that you work towards in order to achieve your goals. You are lucky that Premium WordPress themes today are served on a plate, hot from the developer’s collection to your screen, to get your WordPress projects started within no time. So, you have successfully by-passed the phase where you stare into an empty project folder, waiting for a hint to drop. Now, all you need to do is download a WordPress framework (also called a blank theme), and make it your own. This is your Starter Theme!

What Are Starter Themes?

A starter theme is basically a blank framework that can do some of the heavy lifting for you and reduce your work in the initial phase. These include foundational codes that allow you to take flight. More accurately, it is a skeleton that includes some basic style options, CSS Reset, a grid system amongst a few other options to implement basic functionality. Here are a few other reasons why you would want a starter theme to initiate your project:

  • It gives you a head start on coding the vital foundations for your theme.
  • You will also have an idea of the best practices that you would want to carry out as you progress.
  • It offers you the flexibility to code a customized theme, allowing you to have a unique and quality base.

Just keep in mind that no starter theme will have everything that you need, and therefore you will have to look carefully for the options that you need before you start your work. For example, since the base is someone else’s work, you will still have to play by the developer’s rules and there will be snippets that may not allow you get the results that you need. You will also have to spend some time understanding what your starter theme offers in order to utilize its full potential and gain maximum benefit from it.

Here is a comprehensive list of the top WordPress starter themes that can provide you with a solid foundation for your business.

GeneratePress

This is one of the popular starter themes that you will enjoy working on due to its extreme flexibility. It offers a well-developed base for new developers as well as professionals to cut right to the chase instead of getting busy in the pre-development phase. GeneratePress is highly responsive, fully optimized for superior performance, secure and stable, integrated with Schema.org microdata and customizable. It offers amazing add-ons and built-in icons to help your project stand out from the crowd. All in all, starting with GeneratePress is a privilege for many.

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WP Astra

WP Astra is famous for its lightweight framework, speed, and high responsiveness. Nobody wants a website that gets stuck often and does not offer the level of customization a developer would need. WP Astra has heard the problems for years, and therefore the starter theme has everything you will need to develop a magnificent website. In addition to being performance focused, WP Astra offers an optimized code, powerful design options, multiple site layouts, and a range of typography, color, and background options. All you need is a creative idea to get started.

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OceanWP

OceanWP is yet another WordPress starter theme that is popular amongst the professional community of developers. Although it promises the same responsiveness and extendibility, the feature that makes OceanWP a popular choice is its adaptability to just any idea that you have. It offers Woo Commerce compatibility, Visual Composer, Brizy, Elementor and SiteOrigin amongst other features. Do not believe us? Check out the demo and start now!

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Page Builder Framework

Looking for a powerful and lightweight starter theme to boost your business? Page Builder Framework is one of the most widely used page builder themes that offers extensive functionality and gives you full control of your website. It offers all the options a modern website should have, i.e., easy customization, lightning fast operation, and mobile responsiveness. With a schema.org ready framework, following the latest web standards, it is SEO friendly and 100% GDPR compliant.

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Divi

Divi is not just any other starter theme that you can view in a list and scroll by. It is the ultimate WordPress starter theme and Visual page builder that offers you lightning speed development and an intuitive front-end editing option like you have never seen before. With easy customization options, Divi also offers draggable widths, customizable user interface, 20+ layout templates, instant customization of content and a lot more. Reviews will not do… You will have to try it for yourself!

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Enfold

Enfold is a responsive, flexible and clean theme that works best for e-commerce shops and businesses. Based on the Avia framework, the theme is translation ready, with a custom template (page) builder, retina-ready design, WooCommerce integration, bbPress, Events Calendar, Gravity Forms and a lot more. Do not worry if you get stuck in between because Enfold has an active community with over 400,000 posts, so you will find a solution to every problem that you may face.

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 StudioPress Genesis

You will find the Genesis Framework to be one of the oldest in the industry, not to mention one of the most popular ones as well. The Genesis Framework was launched shortly after WordPress, and so the features offered by Genesis became a hit instantly. Some of the features that the Genesis Framework enjoys include high security, SEO-readiness and extreme flexibility in design management. In addition to supporting a WP Engine, StudioPress Genesis is Gutenberg ready, which itself is of great advantage to developers.

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X Theme

X Theme is a popular starter theme that can help you build a beautiful and innovative website for your business with ease. While most themes use Visual Composer for page building, X Theme uses its in-house application, “Cornerstone”. Cornerstone is a front-end page building tool to help you design a website without leaving the page you are currently working on. With powerful IDE integration, you can not only edit stylesheets but also see the changes happening live. Other exciting features include key bindings for development efficiency, inline editing, role management, customizable workspace, V2 elements, etc.

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Bridge

This starter theme is carefully developed based on inputs from customers, extensive research as well as the experience of the developers. The result is a fine theme that packs advanced features in abundance. With over 200 unique layouts (demo) for business websites, blogs and an e-commerce stores, plenty of customization options, an easy-to-navigate interface, Ajax and Parallax support, as well as Visual Composer integration, you will just need a strong idea to finish the project. It even updates automatically once a new version is released, so you can strike off one more thing from your to-do list.

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BeTheme

BeTheme qualifies as the runner up to some of the most premium starter packs out there. You will hardly notice the difference, except for the default demos and customization options from the developers. The core of this theme is made up of four discrete grid layouts in sizes of 1240px and 960px, full-width as well as boxed. Therefore, you can pick the size and the theme that you deem to be the most appropriate for your project. BeTheme also offers shortcodes that provide dynamic functionality and versatility. With several other advanced features and options, BeTheme will be the perfect choice for your startup!

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Sea Salt Press

Sea Salt Press showcases popular features of various high-end starter themes. Its menu and logo positioning is built into the WordPress Customizer. The user interface is built to the modern standards, showing high responsiveness, but also offering complete freedom to get creative. The hidden sidebar element offers a unique layout that is simple yet modern.

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Underscores

Underscores is known to be one of the most popular and innovative WordPress starter themes to date. The popularity comes from the fact that this theme gives you a ‘1000-hours head start’ in your WordPress project. Modern HTML5 templates, a sample custom header in inc/custom-header.php, a helpful 404 template, and two sample CSS layouts are some of the features that make it an absolute winner.

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JointsWP

There is no second opinion to JointsWP offering a strong foundation for your business. With Foundation 6, this theme offers developers the power and flexibility to build an amazing, mobile-friendly and feature-rich website. In addition to that, there are no unnecessary shortcodes just a modern workflow, thanks to the Gulp setup. You can pick your own style, from either CSS or Sass. Sass offers nesting, mixins and more, so you can easily compile Sass files, watch files, minify JS files for changes. Still not comfortable? You still have the full CSS version available. So, what are you waiting for?

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Start

Start is regarded as a simplified and minimalistic starter theme that makes the task of creating WordPress websites look like a piece of cake. This multipurpose theme is well-suited to e-commerce agencies and businesses. If you often think creatively and out of the box, this user-friendly blank theme offers a highly organized customizer to help you build a feature-rich and functional website.


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HTML5 Blank

HTML5 Blank is one of the most simple and promising, well-documented WordPress themes that will help you build an outstanding website for your new venture. This HTML5 based blank template offers unconditional support throughout the developmental phase. Moreover, it has an extremely neat layout that makes reading the codes easy. All in all, It is a clean starter theme pre-loaded with advanced features that will allow you to build a powerful website for your business.

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Avada

Looking to create a unique and innovative site for your business? Avada offers a powerful framework for your site that allows you to stand out from your competitors. With over 300,000 existing customers, Avada is a complete theme that offers plenty for customization. In addition to over 100 unique demo websites available for activation, it offers a comprehensive and responsive layout, custom elements for mobile viewing, 6 premium plugins, Fusion Builder for design mobility and a lot more.

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Having trouble setting up your own website? Divi and Elementor can help you kickstart your entrepreneurial journey by developing a unique and powerful website for your business!

Unyson

With over 70,000 active installations, Unyson offers one of the fastest and simplified starter frameworks to help you build your website with ease. It is a strong preference for individual designers, as it offers a spectrum of customization options and multiple extensions. You can even disable it completely if you no longer want it as a back-end solution. With FREE, ZIP, ZERO and NADA, along with extensive guidelines and other support tools, you will have no problem in making it your own, or using it as a support tool in the back.

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Sage

This theme offers a modern development workflow, so you can rectify your errors as you go. This way you are able to work more efficiently. The advanced front-end operations allow developers to check JavaScript errors, enable synchronization browser testing, and optimize images. Moreover, with several plugins like Bcrypt Password, Stage Switcher, Roots Share Buttons and Wrapper Override, you will have a lot to work with.

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Generic

Generic is also a highly responsive WordPress theme that is j-Query ready and optimized for search engines. It comes built-in with a CSS grid that assists clients to build from scratch and submit their own themes. With the latest updates, this WordPress starter theme provides a highly workable framework that abides by the WordPress guidelines and offers supreme functionality.

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FoundationPress

This open-source starter theme, built on Foundation 6, uses Grunt and Sass to build a strong foundation for your website. It is one of the “most advanced mobile-first frameworks in the world”, as billed by a community of developers. It is usually used for custom themes development for specific groups and businesses. Although you will not have a bunch of sample theme designs to view your project in, FoundationPress acts as a handy toolbox with all the essentials for customization. It is semantic, customizable, highly responsive, but most of all professional. You can also view the Kitchen Sink tab for more amazing options.

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Beans

Beans is famous for its active community of web developers that are passionate about web designing. This theme works well for bootstrapping WordPress websites like startups, blogs and a variety of other business projects. Theme development is not as easy as it sounds, but Beans makes it look easy. With a highly responsive design, adaptive images option, a front-end library, and SEO-friendly functionality, you will not have to look further. It is also continually updated and is plugin friendly amongst other things. You can even preview showcase websites for ideas.

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Gantry

Gantry is a more modern, next-generation theme framework that helps develop CMS themes in record time. Whilst providing flexibility and ease to the end-users, Gantry has so much more to offer. In addition to being lightweight and fast, it is open source, with MegaMenu Support, Ajax Admin, a Layout Manager, sophisticated built-in fields and a lot more. It also has plenty of customization options to keep you engaged, allowing you to build a modern website that is an instant hit!

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Thesis

Thesis is also a very popular WordPress starter theme that offers simplicity but is loaded with options. It is highly efficient, thanks to the HTMP + CSS + PHP framework that makes the operations smooth. The easy-to-use controls help fine tune each page, and the boxes, skins and site tools make it even easier to get your website up and running within minimal time without extensive coding.

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Responsive

This starter theme offers a flexible foundation with a fluid grid system that seamlessly adapts your WordPress website to any device. The theme includes nine page templates, six template layouts, 11 widget areas, four menu positions and much more. It is a powerful yet simple theme with full CMS controls.

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Backbone

The most important thing about a starter theme is that it should have an ultra clean design and modern functionality. However, the customization options should be unlimited so that when a developer dives in the pool, he or she does not come out disappointed. Backbone offers an extraordinary level of flexibility and control so that you can build any type of website with complete features in half the time you may spend on any other theme.

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UnderStrap

The UnderStrap starter theme combines the features of Underscores (first in the list) with the Bootstrap 4 framework. The end result is what you had never expected – a brilliant starter theme with modern styling features that make up for a rewarding experience. Combining the JavaScript files and dynamic PHP from Underscores and static files from Bootstrap, it offers you the web performance that you had only wished for. Additionally, it offers an Options Panel, Font Awesome 4.6+, free MIT license with over 600 icons, Jetpack and translation-readiness, along with several other exciting features.

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XTRA

XTRA can be your go-to starter WordPress Theme for any type of website project that you have planned for 2019. The user interface is quick and easy-to-use, allowing you to build an outstanding website effortlessly. In addition to being optimized for extraordinary performance and being SEO ready, it offers 50+ Visual Composer-based elements, 500+ theme settings, Ajax Support, 850+ Google Fonts, 12 Custom Widgets and a lot more. The best part is that no coding is required, thanks to the plethora of options that come with the package.

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TemplateToaster

TemplateToaster can be credited as an actual software, as opposed to a starter theme for designing a spectacular WordPress layout according to your specifications. It not only offers cross-browser support, but a highly responsive web design and a drag and drop interface for easy website development. Stock images, slideshows and image resizing are integrated into the same UI, so adding photos to your website instantly becomes a piece of cake.

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Brook

Yet another theme that offers the starter kit from Automattic. Similar to Underscores, Brook offers a variety of interesting plugins that make developers think out of the box and let their creativity run wild. Brook offers a more simplified layout from Underscores to give users more room to customize their project. Updated to the latest version, the package includes PHP, CSS and JS files to get your website up and running within minimal time. Moreover, WooCommerce and cross-browser compatibility amongst other things offer more freedom to build a unique, responsive and fast-loading website.

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Ultimatum

Since the invention of more sophisticated starter themes, you might not have to code at all. Ultimatum offers a plethora of options to get you right down to business. Plugins like visual composer have made it easier to drag and drop style themes to a starter template and work from there onwards to make it your own. Ultimatum excels in offering easy website development based on its flawless drag-and-drop layout builder, developer-friendly code base, premium extensions, and a simplified updating procedure. It also offers plenty of elements to help you get to your goals faster.

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Tonik

Tonik is more of an expert starter pack for professionals. It not just aims but offers an opportunity for the developers to go beyond the basic templates by including several helper functions. With extensive yet simple documentation on GitHub, the unique features offered by Tonik include PHP Namespaces utilization, centralized theme configuration, simple theme service containers, and a child theme-friendly autoloader, along with an optional Command Line Interface (CLI). In short, Tonik offers you an organized way of working towards your project and a lot more to learn in the process.

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Zoom Framework

Zoom Framework is not a theme but a complete framework that works in the backend of your WordPress project, allowing you to do what you do best. Compatible with a number of themes, it not only allows you to import content, but also offers countless features that are not limited to the Live Customizer, Theme Options Panel, Automatic Framework Updates, and Click-Demo Installation. The highly responsive user interface makes it a popular choice in the developers’ community.

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Themify Builder

Themify is a highly simplified and vibrant starter theme, offering a Themify Builder, a page builder plugin, front-end and back-end edit mode, and a number of pre-defined layouts. Without having to view or type a code, you can effortlessly see a live preview of your website. Moreover, you can also use over 60 animation effects to spice up the outlook and vow the onlookers. In short, with multi-site support and extendable add-ons amongst other things, there is nothing stopping you from getting your website live.

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Air

While Underscore offers developers the basics, Air helps you add some bling to your project. It offers a beautiful full-screen navigation system, sticky navigation, and a slider. It also helps you disable sidebars/widgets and post formats. Since everyone is not a fan of these, you will have one less thing to worry about. Though you can always re-enable them whenever you feel the need to do so. In addition to being highly customizable, it offers a helper plugin, Woo Commerce support, and several other interesting features.


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Catch Themes

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this theme, as it is loaded with advanced options. It offers a secure and standard code base to build your dream website. Moreover, it comes with a highly responsive layout that will work flawlessly on any device. You are bound to enjoy the amazing features that come with the package. These include a featured slider, testimonial section, portfolio section, Webmaster tools, custom widgets and fonts, etc.

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Nebula

Looking for a powerful tool to design an impactful website for your business? Nebula is an outstanding starter theme that focuses on enhancing the web developmental phase. It offers an uncomplicated code syntax that makes it perfect for beginners. Moreover, it comes with a clean and minimal design that allows you to bring your content into the spotlight.

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Quark

Quark is one of the most beautiful and responsive WordPress themes that allow you to develop unique and creative websites. Built on CSS3 and HTML5, it is the basic building block that offers a simple framework, making editing a breeze. It offers a 12-column grid to create a responsive base for your site.

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Cornerstone

This powerful theme offers a completely blank slate for you to unleash your creativity. Coming with the popular Foundation framework, this modern starter theme is well reputed amongst developers. In addition to that, it is perfect for beginners due to its user-friendly interface.

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Bones

Whether you own a portfolio or a blog, Bones is the perfect starter theme that can help you take your venture to the next level. With a user-friendly interface and a clean and minimal design, this theme is perfect for you to launch your brand and share your story with the world.

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Starting your web development journey is an exciting endeavor. However, the excitement can soon wear off once you get tangled up into the net of coding and designing. These blank WordPress starter themes can offer you the boost you need to get past the initial hurdles, allowing you to bring your dream project to life.

Team WPLift

Team WPLift

A team of WordPress experts that love to test out new WordPress related software, WordPress plugins and WordPress themes.

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14 thoughts on “40+ Blank WordPress Starter Themes & Frameworks to Help You Kick-start Your Entrepreneurial Journey”

  1. Roots is my prefered starter for every project. With the gruntfile and package.json, its awesome site structure using bootstrap and less there’s nothing else I require in a development theme.

    • Hi, i’m new how web developer with wordpress, I use genesis framework but I need to know other framework and I’m interested with roots but I can’t use it because I don’t understand how edit or how build website with it. Please, I need a tutorial that explain how build a website with this framework.

      • you can read into it here: http://roots.io/docs/
        If you never built a theme from scratch I wouldn’t suggest roots as it may be a bit complexe with its template structure.
        Get used to WordPress themes by playing around with the default themes (twentyfourteen) or UNDERSCORES. This way you know how the basics work and can get into more advanced techniques soon.

  2. This is a great list, but I am surprised not to see Suffusion here. Curious whether you don’t recommend using it, or whether it was an oversight in an already very long and thorough review list. Either way, this is a very helpful post!

  3. Thanks for the mention! (JointsWP)

    Its insane to look back on some of these themes and see how far they have come. I remember when Roots was still new – now it’s on the verge of being a fully fledged framework.

  4. Genesis and thesis is most experienced frameworks. We always recommend and utilize these valuable framework from blogging journey. Thank a lot for this informative sharing with us.

  5. Always good to see lists like this, saves a lot of time, currently looking for framework to start working with and this will save some time for me! Thanks! Like the site, will join newsletter list!

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