15 Best Starter Themes for WordPress for Developers

What are Starter Themes for WordPress?

As the name suggests, starter themes are basically the minimal design or the basic layout (header & footer) of a blank theme or a theme without any demo data. The starters theme is not the same thing as Parent Theme. The starters theme usually comes with all the essential codes to display posts, archive pages, single posts, comments which might have some default styling or no styling at all.

Starter Themes allows WordPress developer to build their WordPress site from scratch. A starter theme is also different from a starter template with demo data. One can make a parent theme out of a Starter theme very easily by customizing it.  

Let’s get into the list – 

15 Best Starter Themes for WordPress for Developers in 2021


Astra is one of the most popular starter themes for WordPress. Astra has something for everyone that means one can use Astra in a wide variety of niches. Astra comes with 100+ (both free & paid) starter templates and ready-made websites. Astra is one of the easiest starter themes to use. A beginner can easily work and set up Astra. Astra is also my personal favorite.

2.WP Bootstrap Starter

As the name suggests this Starter theme is based on one of the most popular front-end frameworks “Bootstrap“. WP Bootstrap Starter was built by Automattic. It has a simple design & Layout nothing too fancy. It comes with Font Awesome as well. WP Bootstrap Starter is licensed under the GPL. It is Compatible with Elementor as well.

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Developed by CyberChimps, Responsive is another great starter theme. Responsive is a very lightweight, responsive, and fully customizable starter theme. It also includes 15+ ready-to-use templates which are multi-purpose templates. Responsive is Compatible with almost all popular plugins such as LearnDash, BuddyPress, WooCommerce, etc. You can also use popular page builders like Elementor, Brizy, etc with this starter theme.

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Naked is mainly for full-fledged web developers. The naked starter theme is very basic as it mainly focused on starting from scratch.

It includes basic pages such as home page, about page, info page, blog page, etc.Naked is based on HTML. This Starter Theme is best for those who want to design a WordPress theme. You should be familiar with HTML & CSS to work with this theme.


underscores also known as (“_s”) is developed or created by Automattic, is one of the most popular and widely-used starter themes for WordPress.Underscores offers a variety of HTML5 &CSS templates. Underscores has a minimalist design.

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As the name suggests the “Basic” Starter Theme comes with a very basic design & styling. This starter theme was created by Themify and to customize the theme you need to Themify panel. 

7.HTML5 Blank

This is a very simple and basic Starter Theme. As the name suggests this theme is based on HTML without unnecessary styling or Extra CSS. It is very lightweight and fast. This is suitable for those developers who don’t want any extra styling and minimal design to customize. 


Highstarter is one of the top-rated starter themes. Highstarter is quite unique as it was created without any libraries or frameworks.

It was developed by Atanas Yonkov in 2020. This starter theme has a tiny or small size of 33KB as it is very lightweight and fast. It includes all the core functions of WordPress. It is fully compatible with Gutenberg.

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 9. Tonik  

Tonik is basically for the web developers as it requires some skills to set up the Tonik starter theme. If you are not into programming and stuff then feel free to skip this.


Beans is a lightweight and fast starter theme. Despite being a powerful and flexible theme, surprisingly it is fast and SEO friendly.

Beans is based on UIkit front-end framework. 


Sage is another cool starter theme that is quite powerful & flexible. It is based on Gulp, Bootstrap, and Bower. With sage, you write stylesheets with SASS, it also lets you optimize images. Sage provides an efficient way to build a site without repeating any step. It even has some tools for JS error checking.

12.WP Rig

WP Rig is a lightweight and modern Starter Theme and Development Kit. WP Rig offers a build process that optimizes and minifies the code in order to make it more efficient and fast. WP Rig provides good documentation as well.


Nebula is an advanced combination of the starter theme & framework. It comes with the very least amount of code so that a developer can customize it according to their like. As a starter theme, Nebula is very unique.


Jointswp is one of those Foundation Framework based starter themes. Although it is a blank WordPress theme still it comes with a solid foundation. It offers a good workflow and you can use CSS or Sass for styling.


TemplateToaster follows a unique approach. It’s not a starter theme rather it is an application that can be used to generate themes of different CMS or platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc. There is a free version TemplateToaster which you try but you have to purchase the premium version in order to export your themes from the application.

Also read: Best Programming Languages To Learn In 2021

Conclusion: If you want to get started with a Starter theme for WordPress then you can start with Astra, Astra is quite easy to use and configure. In case you are not a beginner then you can go for any of the Starter Themes from the list.

Happy Designing 🙂

Image Credit: WordPress

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