An Introduction to WordPress Starter Themes
A WordPress starter theme is a blank canvas that includes a minimal design and basic structural code, which you can use as a basis for the theme you want to develop. Many don’t include layouts, while the ones that do tend to keep things simple. Starter themes also come with code you can use for displaying posts, comments, and pages.
Instead, starter themes are what you can use to create your own parent themes. They’re not meant to be used as-is. If that sounds like what you need, there are many places you can look to find them, as we covered in a previous post.
While there are plenty of free starter themes to choose from, there are also premium options with costs ranging anywhere between double and triple digits. If you can afford the investment, the advantage of a premium starter theme is that you usually get access to a wider selection of features and capabilities.
4 Features Your WordPress Starter Theme Needs to Have
As we mentioned above, there’s a wide range of starter theme options to choose from. The best one for your needs will depend somewhat on your budget, as well as the extent of the functionality you’re looking for. However, there are four features we recommend looking for in your starter theme, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish.
1.Fast Base-Level Speed to Help Improve Your Theme’s Performance
By deciding to work with a starter theme, you’re already getting a head start on the development process. However, choosing an option with a fast base-level speed can further expedite the process.
There are a variety of factors that can influence theme speed, including styling and scripts. You’ll want to start by looking for starter themes that use non-intrusive code. This makes a theme more lightweight, keeping loading times faster.
Additional indicators of a starter theme with a fast base-level speed include:
- Lazy load image components
- WebP support
- Async or deferred script loadingThe results should provide an accurate snapshot of what you can expect when you use the theme for your own project. You can also compare them against other popular starter and WordPress themes, in order to see how they stack up.
2. Drag-and-Drop Functionality to Make the Theme Development Process Quicker
If you wanted to create a WordPress theme completely from scratch, you could. However, realistically, using a starter theme helps to minimize and even eliminate a lot of the hassles that come with that approach.
In the same vein, using a starter theme with a drag-and-drop interface can further ease your experience. Drag-and-drop builders make it simpler to achieve virtually any design you want. Starter themes aid you in creating the unique theme or product you envisioned; the convenience of drag-and-drop capabilities lets you bring that idea to fruition faster.
With this type of starter theme, you can use pre-built modules and blocks to arrange and rearrange components. This lets you create new page layouts and designs without the need for additional coding. CyberChimps is an example of a free WordPress starter theme that is responsive and includes drag-and-drop functionality:
3. Style and Layout Libraries That Offer Easy Access to Design Options
When you first begin exploring starter themes, you’ll likely notice that each one is configured a bit differently. Some come fully loaded with features, while others only provide the bare minimum you’ll need to get started.
If you’re looking for a starter theme with as few bells and whistles as possible, there are plenty of options to choose from. These themes can help you minimize clutter, reduce bloat, and eliminate the need to worry about any extraneous or unnecessary code.
However, if you’re looking for a way to save as much time as possible during development, we recommend using a starter theme that comes with style and layout libraries. These features can be useful when it comes to designing your theme, because the various styles and customizations you’ll want to use are right there.
4. Premium Components to Use for Larger-Scale Projects
The components you’ll need to build your theme depend largely on the size and scale of your project. While you may not always need every solution included in a starter theme, having access to more advanced, premium components when needed can be very helpful.
While some themes only come one way, others offer multiple packages to choose from. For example, the Flynt starter theme comes in three tiers.
When you’re building a WordPress theme, it helps to have a strong foundation to work from. Starter themes offer exactly that. However, it can be difficult to decide on the right tool, given the wide range of options that are available.
In this article, we’ve discussed four key features your WordPress starter theme should have:
- Fast base-level speed.
- Drag-and-drop functionality.
- Style and layout libraries.
- Premium components.Do you have any questions about WordPress starter themes and how to choose one? Let us know in the comments section below!
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