Why Build WordPress Themes with Underscores Starter Theme

Building anything – a theme or a plugin – in WordPress is a quite challenging task. We can easily create wrong solutions but using a boilerplate or a framework could reduce the stress.

I mostly design themes so as for the most WP designers I needed a good starting point. I searched and tried a lot of, but the most were too opinionated, stuffed with a lot of unnecessary features or far from the WordPress way. I know that WP is not modern, it is far from a clean solution like Laravel. The massive amount of legacy code is good and evil too, but I don’t want to use something which tries to force a solution to it “because” it is better. As always my main focus was the support and to solve one thing at one time.

As you guessed I don’t use theme frameworks or parent themes. These are valid tools in some cases but to build simple, clean and fast theme mostly not; this is the point where I found _s which is a hackable starter theme from Automattic. Nothing more and nothing less.

I use _s for everything that I build and this article is about my experience with Underscores starter template.

Easy to Start with and Simple to Customize

The Underscores is a starter theme, you download it from here and do whatever you want. It gives you almost anything which is needed for a good base theme.

I usually use it with npm and WPGulp so I reorganize the Sass styles.

We Get The Most Needed Templates

If you style all of the available templates in the downloaded theme, you will get a pretty good result at the end.

There Aren’t Any Dependency

There is no included Bootstrap or Foundation. You can make whatever you want with your theme which is a good point because every template is unique.

Custom Template Tags

There are a few handy template tags which came handy when you create your views. You can quickly show any metadata or create new functions based on the existing ones.

Make it Your Own

In Underscores, it is easy to feel at home. After you understand everything, you can undoubtedly modify it as you like and use it as a base point in the future projects.