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17 Best WordPress Starter Themes 2023

Hey website builders, here is our WordPress starter themes review that fits any project idea you have.

Generally, developing a theme takes a little bit of practice.


There are multiple ways they can help you when talking about starter themes.

  • First, through a skeleton template upon which you can build and design anything.
  • Second, by using a “starter framework.” The framework themes are more optimized for rapid development and often use a drag-n-drop interface. This means no coding for you.

We bring you many different starter themes you can use and reuse as much as you want.

In addition, we also included a few multipurpose themes.

Your needs = SORTED!

Best WordPress Starter Themes

1. StudioPress Genesis


The Genesis Framework from StudioPress has to be the most famous in the industry.

Largely because Genesis started shortly after WordPress itself was launched, and the advanced features of Genesis quickly attracted a significant and loyal customer base.

Genesis themes are very secure, optimized for search engines, and highly flexible in design management.

Celebrities, famous bloggers, and even WordPress developers use Genesis for their web projects.

The Genesis theme is an affordable solution for bloggers and businesses. (Use it safely for years to come.)

In addition to high mobility, the Genesis theme provides multiple ways to customize and manage your site’s options.

For example, if you build a business website, you may want to optimize the design of your blog pages or even archives.

With Genesis, this process is so simple, you will forget how it is done on other themes.

More info / Download Demo

2. Avada


Suppose you are wondering about the main difference between multipurpose and start themes. In that case, themes like Avada are “complete” themes, but still, manage to provide the necessary tools for customizing a design to its full capacity.

Furthermore, a theme like Avada includes 100+ unique demo websites available for instant activation, mixing, and matching. You can take an element from an Agency website demo and put it on your Yoga website.

Because of features like element management, the Avada theme is an excellent choice for those wishing to start with WordPress.

Avada uses a theme-wide responsive layout. The creators optimized everything including custom elements for mobile viewing.

To experience design mobility, you will use Fusion Builder. A visual page builder for effortless design management.

The admin section of Avada is packed with custom settings panels for virtually any part of your website. Whether it’s Sliders, Pages, Headers or Posts, you can make them feel like you have built them.

Everything is customizable!

More info / Download Demo

3. Exponent

exponent wordpress starter theme

Exponent is a WordPress starter theme that specifies on business intentions. There are 33 remarkable and easy to use demos at your disposal.

You can create corporate, startup, agency, mobile app, marketing and nearly any other business website.

You can also style the default appearance of Exponent further without doing too much work. Plus, choose between dark and light looks.

Moreover, Exponent contains over 60 pre-built sections, lightning-fast loading speed, easy navigability and complete typography control.

Of course, you perform all the customization tweaks with the convenient method of visual coding (read dragging and dropping).

If you want to start a new business website, do yourself a favor and make it happen with Exponent.

More info / Download Demo

4. Saasland

saasland wordpress starter theme

Saasland is another WordPress starter theme focusing primarily on startups and tech companies. If you need to create a modern and enticing website, avoid building one from scratch.

You have more than enough stuff to start on the internet like a pro with 38+ demos and 250+ elements.

And once you introduce the power of Elementor page builder, you unlock yourself unlimited possibilities.

There’s more.

Saasland is responsive and flexible, so your page operates seamlessly on all devices. There is a total of 100 ready-to-use pages and 10 headers that you can mix and match.

With new updates, you can expect more demos and features to come your way.

The creative and interest-triggering design of Saasland will help you capture everyone’s attention effortlessly.

More info / Download Demo

5. X The Theme

X Theme

X The Theme has frequently been mentioned amongst our other roundup posts and collections. We first saw X The Theme mentioned in our most popular WordPress themes post (which is amazing, btw!), and later followed up by showcasing the best websites built with the X The Theme.

So, what makes X so good?

The X The Theme is here to help you achieve a design that you have imagined.

Many WordPress themes use WPBakery page builder as their page building solution, but X uses its own homegrown product: Cornerstone.

You can edit the design of your website without leaving the page you are on! All the great functionality of a powerful IDE integrated directly into your browser screen!

You can edit stylesheets and watch changes that happen in real-time. Furthermore, you can use features like key bindings, to further streamline your development efficiency.

As a premium product, the X is frequently updated and well maintained.

More info / Download Demo

6. Enfold


The Enfold theme is a clean, flexible, responsive theme suitable for businesses and eCommerce shops. It’s applicable for portfolios, magazines and agency websites, too!

Enfold is based on Avia Framework core, which is translation-ready. The number of customers for Enfold speaks for itself, as more than 230,000 people have purchased a license.

A theme can achieve success of this level only if it happens to be exceptionally good!

The developers have translated Enfold into more than 20 languages already even though translation files are provided. Rather than editing the main Enfold theme, you can edit child themes.

Hitting a design bottleneck isn’t make you wait for days to get it fixed.

We recommend Enfold for all WordPress users who wish to build their own design eventually.

More info / Download Demo

7. Bridge


Everything within the Bridge theme is based on research, customer input, and pure development experience.

The result is a fine product, and a fine theme for nearly every category. Do you need a theme that you can use for more than one website type? That’s Bridge!

Moreover, the developers packed this theme with 580+ unique demo layouts, for blogs, for business websites, even for online stores. And each demo is extendable with customization per your own requirements.

You decide what you want to do, and then use the settings panel, or the page builder, to achieve your result.

Bridge updates automatically whenever a new version is available, so you don’t need to monitor your email for any new updates.

Most of all, the ability to customize your site makes Bridge so special. Without customization, this theme wouldn’t be nearly as successful.

And because of its flexible settings panels and dashboards, we recommend it as a solid starter theme for all-level WordPress users.

More info / Download Demo

8. BeTheme


At 235,000+ customers and climbing, the BeTheme framework is just as good of a pick as any other similar theme.

You can use BeTheme to launch a website for a restaurant, a copywriting agency, or even a recipes blog! The number of premade websites is so big that we can’t list them all here.

The layout for each demo and the theme’s core is based on four individual grid layouts.

You can extend a layout of BeTheme with elements and features of any of its demo websites. You can pick a few demo designs and select only the features you like.

Then, once you have selected those features, you can create a unique combination of a design.

It’s small (yet big) features like universal elements make BeTheme a perfect fit for a starting theme.

Shortcodes is another area in which BeTheme shows versatility and functionality. You can add shortcodes to any post, page, or site section.

More info / Download Demo

9. Essentials

essentials wordpress theme

Essentials is a full-blown WordPress starter theme that suits multiple businesses and projects. You get a collection of over 30 demos and 660+ ready-to-use templates.

In addition to that, Essentials also operates flawlessly both with Elementor and WPBakery page builders. Using Essentials will be a little breeze, if you will.

Other cool features of Essentials are customizable width, animations, pop-ups, mega menu, header and footer builder and sticky header, to name a few.

In short, you need nothing other than Essentials and all its perks. Kick-start your project now and craft a powerful outcome.

More info / Download Demo

10. Underscores


Underscores has to be one of the most complete starter themes out there. It certainly helps that it is from the WordPress team itself.

Furthermore, 100s of developers contributed their ideas to create the ultimate starter bundle. As a theme, it is intended to learn how to build your theme exclusively.

Countless WordPress enthusiasts used Underscores to build free and premium themes. You’re next.

The best part about “_s” is that majority of the codebase is super optimized with comments on nearly every function and call. As a result, you can quickly learn the very core concepts of WordPress theme development.

The lack of CSS in this theme means you get extra freedom to write your own stylesheets.

You can either download Underscores directly from GitHub or use the official website to generate a theme with your own specific name and description.

It is available with a SASS configuration as well.

More info / Download

11. Sage


Sage is a solid WordPress starter theme with modern features for front-end development.

The integration of Gulp (Bower) allows you to utilize the best that JavaScript offers. Furthermore, you can use BrowserSync to develop your themes for other devices with incredible precision.

The emphasis that Roots is putting on Sage is all about a fast and smooth workflow. This transitions into features like SASS stylesheets, automated JavaScript error checking, and even image optimization.

You can use a compiler like Bower to install 3rd-party packages directly into your theme’s core. The default HTML5 template of Sage is markup-optimized and ready for search engine visitors.

Sage uses Blade (from Laravel) for its templating engine. Quicker and more efficient development process.

You can pick and choose your own front-end framework to use as well. The two primary options are Bootstrap and Foundation.

But, if you want a true “from scratch” experience, you can pick a blank framework and style everything yourself.

More info / Download Demo

12. Beans


Beans is a WordPress starter framework, which boasts an active community of passionate developers.

The powerful features of this starter theme are perfect for bootstrapping WordPress sites for blogs, startups, and all-around business projects.

The best part of Beans is that it caters to beginners as much as it does to professionals. Theme development can be a scary thing, but frameworks like Beans lift some of the weight from your shoulders.

Furthermore, you can always seek answers to your questions in the official documentation.

On the Beans website, you can preview multiple Beans-built websites to gain some inspiration.

There is a section called Code Snippets, a collection of snippets to customize your theme. Once you learn how to add one function, everything runs smoothly.

Beans is structured to be native responsive with images that adapt to screen size. A modern website must have the capacity to output content that is Google friendly.

Beans also uses only the latest Schema standards to ensure full content indexability.

More info / Download Demo

13. UnderStrap


Hmm, an interesting name for this starter theme. And just as we touched on starter themes incorporating front-end frameworks, too!

The UnderStrap is a project by Holger Koenemann that combines Underscores (the 1st theme on this list) and the latest Bootstrap framework.

The end result is a brilliant starting theme with modern styling capabilities. Bootstrap refreshes the look and feel of modern websites, and it’s a highly rewarding experience to create from scratch using UnderStrap.

The basic structure of UnderStrap is a combination of Underscore’s dynamic PHP and JavaScript files, and the static files from Bootstrap. All CSS calls are combined into a single file and minified for best web performance.

Font Awesome integration adds 100s of amazing font icons you can style with CSS. Furthermore, UnderStrap is compatible with Jetpack, WooCommerce, and Contact Form 7.

In short, it’s just as easy to work with as it is with Underscores, the main difference is the style.

More info / Download Demo

14. Gantry


Gantry is yet another starter framework that prioritizes layout building versus code writing. It is the birthchild of RocketTheme, who found a simplified way of maintaining custom functions for multiple CMS platforms.

As a result, Gantry is accessible for WordPress, Joomla, and Grav developers. This framework prioritizes the use of a Layout Manager.

This manager is the building tool for your future WordPress theme designs.

In addition to flexible framework features, you can transform the Gantry tool into a separate content management system based off of your existing one.

You can manage everything, similarly to how you would do if you were to write your own code. You always start off by using a skeleton theme upon which you can build your new layouts.


More info / Download Demo

15. DIYthemes


The Thesis theme is around for years and continues to play a significant role in the starter theme’s market.

Coding is a valuable skill to learn that may take years to master. But a theme like Thesis can provide a more creative way for dealing with design problems.

As of recently, Thesis has transitioned its core to use an extension of Skins. The Thesis Skins are pre-designed layouts that you can modify for personal website needs.

The newest version of Thesis Theme uses a visual template editor. (Gives you complete control!)

The second notable feature of Thesis is called Boxes. It is a method for adding sidebar content to your site, without having to sacrifice performance.

You might have relied on as many as 20 WordPress plugins for custom features in the past. But, all those extra plugins come at a cost.

Whereas Thesis is using the Box system to provide already premade extensions and widgets for your site.

Whether it’s a subscription form, social media links, or the most trending posts on your site — adding these widgets with Thesis is native and simple.

More info / Download Demo

16. TemplateToaster


TemplateToaster is unique because it’s an actual software for designing a WordPress layout.

You don’t see too many of those around. But if working on your desktop is your thing, then TemplateToaster can alleviate some of your productivity problems.

The best features of TemplateToaster are responsive web design, cross-browser support, and a drag and drop website building interface.

TemplateToaster does include many useful capabilities.

For example, slideshows, stock images, and image resizing are all integrated into the same user interface. So, as a result, you can instantly add visual photos to your site.

Make improvements and adjustments per your needs and build a killer theme.

More info / Download Demo

17. Ohio

ohio wordpress theme

For all the creatives and agencies, Ohio is one hell of a WordPress theme that makes magic. Make Ohio the one if you are looking for the right tool to kick-start your online presence.

With many amenities and exceptional customization capabilities, Ohio makes sure you easily get the most out of it.

Like any other modern theme, Ohio only features the latest technologies and is optimized for first-class performance. If you are ready to start online like a champ, consider Ohio.

You can easily make your dream website that will stand out from the masses.

More info / Download Demo
Was this article helpful?

Alex is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in design, development, and small business. His work has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, TheNextWeb, and others. You can find his personal writing at The Divine Indigo.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Thank you!!! I’ll try something out of this!

  2. xtianmark says:

    Please also try WP Bootstrap Starter. Thank you 🙂

  3. Nice article! I’d remove Headway from this list though; the company has abandoned it’s customers, they no longer support the theme.

    1. Mark,

      Thank you for letting me know it! We’ll remove it shortly.

  4. You should also check out the WP Emerge starter theme –

    Disclosure: I am the developer.

  5. Some of these themes doesn’t feel like starter themes, some of them aren’t even close.

  6. Starkers is another good starter skeleton theme for WordPress. There are 5 versions of it.

  7. Roni Laukkarinen says:

    You forgot developer-friendly, bloat-free, accessible and lightweight Air-light from the list 🙂 Try it out:

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