Why You Should Use a Starter Theme for WordPress Custom Themes

If you might’ve been developing WordPress themes all the way back to around the year 2013, you might’ve started getting used to creating your themes from scratch. Probably because of its availability and extensibility.

But since then we’ve had so many developers realise that hey, it would be way easier if we could contribute to each other’s projects.

What better way than to contribute to some code that is set up at the very beginning of a project?

That way, we can help each other out in giving each other a scalable number of hours headstart!

The Underscores starter theme from Automattic — the company behind WordPress — mentions 1,000 hours of a headstart. But the Sage starter theme mentions 10x more hours headstart! What about Yeoman.io, where you can choose setups of individuals themselves and be given more selection in the installation whether to sub-install certain components in the primary installation phase?

Keep Up to Date With Latest Best Practices

Upon fetching the latest copy of a starter theme, you are taking a latest copy of a starter theme that has been debated by other WordPress developers across the channel.

The nitty-and-gritty discussions they’ve had, of which you might be completely unaware of, but no longer has to take place.

You can relax with this knowledge that people somewhere, earlier in the day have been discussing folder organisation and what to label their namespaces.

They will have included a conclusive commentary on why the decision was reached.

This is why GitHub is so useful, as explained by HowToGeek.

Gets the Ball Rolling Much Faster Than Scratch

Because people have decided what folders and files are what, and the reasons behind these, you will have saved countless hours having internal discussions of these yourself.

I highly encourage you to watch the discussions that take place with your starter theme of choice because you will be able to chime in and contribute to the actual theme of which you use.

Keep the Developer Community Intact

And since the advent of GitHub, developers all around the world have never been so closely knit before.

We used to be on IRC chats alone.

Now we’re on Gitter, Reddit, GitHub, Slack channels, own community boards, and around the forums and comments section of developer blogs, not to mention meetup.com groups as well.

Top companies have gone open-source to capture the contributive factor of which developers have become as active as scientists regularly partaking in discussions which concern whether to use tabs or spaces and the like.

With this have there been linters, and standards placed to make this all the more organised!


Of course, there’s more than has been contributed to web development because of starter themes.

But to let this boil down this is the reason why you should use starter themes — as a headstart.

Developers like you have gone through peer-discussions to decide whether or not something will fit in the cog.

Developers like you will have figured out the best implementation possible, as well as having checked for compatibility and testing within this positive feedback loop.

Might you have any reason to theme from scratch?

Thank you for reading this article!

If you liked this you might also like to know if it’s enough to be learning HTML, CSS, JS as a web developer?

Have a nice day!