9 Starter WordPress Themes

These days everyone and their mother seems to have a blog. A popular choice to run a blog is WordPress, it powers this blog and a few others that I run.

A good way to make your blog stand out from the crowd is with a custom theme. Developing themes for WordPress is pretty simple, if you know HTML/CSS and PHP, but nobody wants to start from scratch each time they develop a theme, these Starter Themes provide a simple canvas on which you can create your custom themes.


Released by Elliot Jay Stocks and recently upgraded for WordPress 2.6.2, Starkers provides a very basic starting point, no formatting what so ever.
Download Link

Starter from WPCandy

Unlike the other themes here, Starter is not intended to be used out of the box, rather provide a basic template to start developing your theme.
Download Link


It is designed to speed up the process of designing and coding a WordPress theme by eliminating the time spent on WordPress’ back-end PHP that is used in every theme.

Whiteboard is clean, noted, and compact (only 104 KB in size). It includes all the standard PHP tags and PHP files needed for a WordPress theme – plus a few extras.

Download Link

WordPress Naked

The aim with Naked is that a developer with an XHTML template that they’ve already developed can very quickly apply it to this no-frills theme with the minimum of fuss and research.

Download Link

The Sandbox is a powerful tool available for WordPress theme designers and developers. The Sandbox can be easily designed just with CSS, so beginners will feel comfortable not bothering with PHP.

Download Link

Refueled : Blank WordPress Themes
Available in a number of configuration, 2 and 3 columns, with left and right sidebars.


Templates without design. HTML only if it is absolutly necessary for you. But full of comments to explain the functions.

Download Link


an incredibly powerful, flexible theme that runs on our favorite blogging software. It’s free; it’s awesome; and it was built with your success in mind.

Download Link

Blank Theme (Premium: single license $79.95)

This theme is ideal for those who want to highly customize the Essence layout, or simply want a clean, sharp look.

Buy Link

About Mubashar Iqbal

Mubashar Iqbal is the creator of Most Inspired, a web designer and developer, who has been building websites for over 13 years. You can read his blog at Mubashar Iqbal
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26 Responses to 9 Starter WordPress Themes

  1. Pingback: 9 Starter Wordpress Themes | bloground.ro - Blogging resources, WordPress themes and plugins for your development

  2. Time Tracker says:

    Nice collection here. This is exactly what we did when starting up our site – took a relatively simple base, and then modded the heck out of it. 3 years later…it’s still an evolving work in progress. Thanks for these. 🙂

  3. Kel says:

    Good list. Might not have included the PlainTxt.org themes too. And they also listed a best in minimalist wordpress themes a few years back – http://www.plaintxt.org/2006/06/the-best-minimalist-wordpress-themes/

  4. Pretty interesting selection, gonna check ’em out 🙂

  5. dilivion says:

    This post is useless without pics.

  6. @dilivion: These themes are not supposed to be the final look of your site, they are “BLANK CANVASES” for your custom theme, what they look like is irrelevant.

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  11. Ian says:

    I’ve written a sandbox theme for which I’ve done some on-page SEO too. It’s at http://ianpurton.com/seo-wordpress-sandbox-theme/ and uses the Yahoo grids CSS framework to help with development.

  12. Pingback: 9 diseños simples para wordpress — Tablosign

  13. Richard says:

    I agree with dilivion. Themes are a visual representation of one’s style. How are the themes laid out? 1/2/3/?-columns? Sidebar? What colors does each theme employ? The saying is too true:”A picture is worth a thousand words.”

  14. @Richard: I think you’re missing the point, these aren’t final themes, they are blank.

    They are mean’t to represent your style, they are for you to build the final look of your site, their look is irrelevant.

  15. WPJunkie says:

    Very nice list! This great for beginners. I started learning by tweaking and still enjoy tweaking themes to fit my tastes.

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  24. scarroll says:

    A clean slate in 6 variations (no, 1, 2 sidebars). Includes fixes for common IE6 (yes… 1/3 of traffic) CSS compliant issues.


  25. Syscl says:

    any update for WordPress 3.0?