WordPress Theme Frameworks & Blank WordPress Themes

When building WordPress themes there is a lot of repetitive code that needs to be added to every project before you can get on with the task of creating the unique theme. It helps to have a set of files and css styles to use as a base, you can either create this yourself or you can use one of the many theme frameworks that other people have kindly created.

These can range from the powerfull, feature-laden frameworks like Carrington or Thematic down to simple blank themes that you can customize to your liking. In this post I will be examining what options are open to modern WordPress theme creators.

Theme Frameworks

Thematic WordPress Framework

Thematic is a free, open-source, highly extensible, search-engine optimized WordPress Theme Framework featuring 13 widget-ready areas, grid-based layout samples, styling for popular plugins, and a whole community behind it.

Carrington Theme CMS Platform

Carrington is a CMS theme platform for WordPress that makes it easy to create unique looks for different categories, post types and comments just by creating custom templates.

The Buffet Framework

The Buffet Framework is a theme framework designed not only for the theme developers who will be using the theme actions and filters to create the child themes, but also for the end users who would be able to add and remove what they want.

Hybrid Theme Framework

Hybrid is a user-friendly, search-engine optimized theme framework, featuring 15 custom page templates and 8 widget-ready areas, allowing you to create any type of site you want.

Whiteboard Free Theme Framework

The Whiteboard framework for WordPress is built to speed up the process of designing and coding a WordPress theme. Whiteboard does so by eliminating the time spent on WordPress’ back-end PHP that is common to all WordPress powered Web sites.

Ashford CMS Theme Framework

Ashford is a FREE WordPress theme framework built to be a simple to use and modify. That’s why over 13,000 people have tried Ashford and hundreds of online professionals use Ashford Pro to power their personal, book, portfolio, business, church or nonprofit site.

Blank WordPress Themes

The WordPress Starter Theme Project

I’ve spent a few weeks toying with this “starter kit” to make it help my development workflow as much as possible. Now I’m releasing this kit to the public, untouched, for you to download. This is what I use when I begin creating a WordPress theme after the HTML-ing is done.

BLANK WordPress Theme

I have a “blank” WordPress theme for myself, because I make a lot of WordPress themes. Starting from Kubrick, or any other pre-made theme, would be absurd. There is to much stuff there that would to be stripped out or fought against to be useful. So, I have my own. It’s been in a folder called BLANK-theme on my computer for a while, so I’m going to call it BLANK. And now I’m making it available for you.

Simon WordPress Framework & Blank Theme

A WordPress Framework and Blank Theme. It’s purpose is to rapidly build and deploy WordPress driven web initiatives. It’s a base for you to design from. It’s new and I am sure buggy, but I will support it and make updates quarterly at the very least. Feel free to build on it and use it as you please.

Starkers – Completely Naked Theme for WordPress

Starkers is a bare-bones WordPress theme created to act as a starting point for the theme designer.
Free of all style, presentational elements, and non-semantic markup, Starkers is the perfect ‘blank slate’ for your projects, as it’s a stripped-back version of the ‘Twenty Ten’ theme that ships with WordPress.

Free blank WordPress theme

This ‘Blank’ theme is a bare-bones WordPress theme perfect for the starting point of any theme development.
This theme is free of almost all style, presentational elements, and non-semantic markup.



Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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14 thoughts on “WordPress Theme Frameworks & Blank WordPress Themes”

  1. Hey Oliver, great list of WordPress Frameworks.

    We just released the WordPress Framework Xtreme One with the complete flexibility to create your layout with just some clicks and drag and drop, no coding required.

    It saves you tremendous time in coding and you can focus on your design and functionality.

    It also includes many features like 12 unique widgets, including 6 different sliders easy to implement. Able to add teaser and footer with dynamical created widget areas in 28 layout variations and up to 5 columns. More details and a complete list of the features can be found on


    It would be great if you could add Xtreme One to your post.

    I hope you and your readers going to enjoy Xtreme One!

  2. Such a great collection which are looks awesome. I really love it & inspired of the design works made with. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful listing. Keep sharing good things like this always, Congrats.


    Also worth check out this site for some more inspiration on best wordpress themes available on the net & also where free wordpress themes.

  3. Thank you for listing Ashford. As the creator, I would highly recommend the new v2.0 release that is available for download.

  4. So informative things are provided here,I really happy to read this post,I was just imagine about it and you provided me the correct information I really bookmark it,for further reading,So thanks for sharing the information.
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