Wire frames or bare bones themes make your WordPress design and development life easier. They keep you from having to reinvent the wheel every time you start a new WordPress project. Here are ten picks for wire frames (or bare bones themes) that you might want to consider for your future WordPress design and development projects.
- Genesis Sandbox
- Foundation for WordPress
- Roots WordPress Starter Theme
- Underscores Theme Generator
- Simon WP Framework
- Hybrid Theme
- Whiteboard Framework
- WP Framework
This wireframe is based on the very popular StudioPress theme, Genesis, which already has many child themes to choose from. But this lets you roll your own Genesis child theme effortlessly, letting you concentrate on the creative aspect of things, with less time under the hood. While the Genesis framework itself is not free, this child theme/framework is.
This looks like a really nice framework; it already has LESS and SASS integrated. All the work’s done!
Bones makes it clear it is NOT a wire frame, because sometimes that is overkill for the project. Instead, it is a bare bones or “naked” WordPress theme that lets you include (or not) theme features as you see fit. It also ships with LESS/SASS and uses HTML 5.
Roots is another bare bones theme, and it comes with a recommended list of plugins. In addition, its blog posts are based on the hNews microformat, and it is multilingual-ready.
Simon WP Framework is developed by Simon Web Design. It’s another naked, clean framework perfect for theme development.
Thematic is a bare bones starter theme that takes the sweat out of creating a WordPress theme. It is SEO-ready, highly extensible, boasting 13 widget-ready areas, drop-down menus, grid-based layout samples, plugin integration, shortcodes for your footer, and much more. Best thing? Like all the wire frames and frame works and bare bones themes featured today, it’s free!
This is a great theme developed by WordPress guru Justin Tadlock, so you know it’s solidly coded. Theme features include breadcrumb trails, post styles, featured images, theme options and threaded comments. Unfortunately, this theme does not currently support custom backgrounds or custom headers, and is not inherently responsive.
Whiteboard Framework has been around a few years — since 2008. And unlike other bare bones themes or wire frames, Whiteboard is based on the WordPress core. And while it includes LESS, you can disable that with one uncommented HTML line. Whiteboard is geared toward designers and developers who are comfortable working with HTML5 and CSS. (NOTE: This theme is not to be confused with the “Whiteboard” WordPress theme being offered at ThemeForest.)
While this framework hasn’t been updated in two years, I believe it is still a viable resources. After all, it’s developer is none other than Ptah Dunbar, a core contributor to WordPress and BBPress and one of the faces behind DevPress. How can you go wrong?
Joni Mueller has been designing web sites for hire since 2003, when she first blew up her web host’s server by insisting on running Greymatter. Since then, Joni has designed for Blogger and Movable Type, TextPattern, WordPress and CMS Made Simple. She lives with her cat and shoe collection in a bucolic old section of Houston called Idylwood. For some strange reason, Joni likes to refer to herself in the third person. When she’s not working on web design, she’s ordering lawyers around. And blogging about it. Or both.