5 Epic Free WordPress Base Themes

This post takes a look at 5 epic free WordPress base themes for developers and those who want the basics of a theme but are happy to code and develop.

In this post we’re going to take a look at 5 epic WordPress Base Themes, what is a base theme? Ultimately that will depend on how much is packaged with the theme however generally a base theme is designed to complete all of the initial basics of setting up a theme ready for a developer to build more functionality, styling, page designs, and customisations on top of.

This includes things such as setting up files and folders, initialising the coding structure e.g. creating a start point for SAAS and SCSS or configuring the site to use standard CSS. It may also include things such as basic theme customisation features, multi lingual support, additional plugin support / optimisations for common plugins like WooCommerce.

This can save a tonne of time and effort from a development perspective especially if it’s a really good starter theme as it can add lots of small features that improve the overall experience.

It’s worth noting what features each of these themes includes as some are more comprehensive than others and it will fundamentally depend on what you’re using the theme to build as to which one is the most appropriate.

1. https://wpastra.com/

As one of the most heavily used themes out there in the world of WordPress WP Astra is an exceptional place to start. It’s free, very well optimised and there’s an enormous amount of documentation and information available for those looking to get started with a solid theme.

Some of the standout features here include how well it’s optimised for WooCommerce out of the box, the great base speeds that this theme can achieve and the well structured coding approach.

2. https://underscores.me/

As one of the most heavily used developer starting points Underscores is a great option. Brought to you by the same people who develop WooCommerce, Jetpack, Akismet and many of the other plugins and tools you’ll have experienced within the WordPress sphere these people really know what they’re doing when it comes to building a starter theme.

The code is clean, simple and easy to understand, the additional features such as an included 404 template, jQuery scripts for great mobile navigation and some awesome template files make this a fantastic pick.
3. https://wordpress.org/themes/understrap/

As a combination of the Underscores Theme and Bootstrap 4 this theme combines a tonne of great CSS classes as from Bootstrap, the efficient coding structure of underscores and additional features such as font awesome integration and a built-in widget slider. This combination of features is ideal for those looking for a very strong starting point with Bootstrap 4 integration.

4. https://wprig.io/ 

For those who are a little more experienced in the world of coding or WordPress wp rig is an exceptional starting point. It’s primarily based around NPM, Composer and Gulp 4 and provides a nice clean local development experience. For a modern coding standards approach with the ability to integrate some epic tools this is a solid choice.

5. http://gantry.org/

Gantry is a great option if you’ve worked with Joomla or Grav, it can also be used as a base theme for both of these so it should make the development experience a little easier. It’s open source, features Mega Menu support and has extensive documentation alongside an active community to name just a few of the great points on this theme. Although this isn’t a completely basic development starter theme, the multi platform usage can make it a great tool to get to grips with as it makes it easier when working with multiple content management systems

Further Reading:

5 Great Multipurpose WordPress Themes


Overall we’ve aimed to cover a broad range of different styles of base theme here from those with more functionality to those more heavily aimed at developers and those that are useful for specific knowledge such as Bootstrap 4 or using NPM and package installers. If you found this helpful we’d really appreciate a share or comment thanks! 

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