Introducing the WordPress Theme Boilerplate

I have always done development work, with very little design. However, this year I’ve found myself getting into stylesheet languages such as Sass/Compass, and using tools such as Grunt. I’ve also been building custom WordPress themes for websites, utilizing these tools to make easier coding.

When I first started creating a custom WordPress theme (not a child theme, a full-fledged ‘parent’ theme), I decided to seek out starter themes and frameworks. I discovered Bones and Underscores, but each had weaknesses that I did not like. Underscores is well coded and structured, but was a little too basic for my purposes. Bones has more complete styling and support for Sass and Less, but the templates are poorly coded for my standards. I also did not really like Bone’s mobile-first method; while that works best when coding in Less, I prefer to use nested media queries in Sass. So, I decided to roll my own.

Theme Boilerplate GitHub

Theme Boilerplate is built with Hybrid Core, and initially used templates from Justin Tadlock’s Hybrid Base starter theme. However, I’ve tweaked things significantly, and added support for some of my favorite design tools. Stylesheets are written in Sass and use Compass for compilation. Grunt is used as a build system for running tasks such as compiling the Sass code, linting JavaScript with JSHint, and minifiying all scripts into a single file.

You can download Theme Boilerplate from its GitHub repository. More information about usage and how the theme is composed is available on its wiki. Although it is mostly written to satisfy my own needs in a starter theme, anyone could find it useful for building their own theme boilerplate, or as an example of how the mentioned tools can be used.

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