Wordpress is the largest and fastest growing method of creating websites. We don’t see any changes in the tide of new wordpress websites being made. In fact, we expect that wordpress will continue to be a dominant player in the web design community. But sometimes you want to build something different than what you are seeing everywhere. Getting caught up in the theme hunting side of web design can be a real hassle for a lot of developers. Sometimes, the hunt will even stifle that creative vision of the website you wanted to build when you heard about your next project. There is a solution, a blank theme will let that creativity flow out in droves, allowing you to build exactly as you want to without sacrificing design, speed, or effectiveness. Better yet, an empty wordpress theme retains the usefulness of a content management system.
But, empty wordpress themes are not common amongst the wider WordPress community, so it can be hard to find the one that suits your purposes best. We want to make sure you are picking the theme that will work best for what you want to accomplish. A basic wordpress theme is great for the moment that you want to develop using your own code, or build something unique with a page builder. Here are the top ten blank wordpress themes:
10. The Gantry theme
The Gantry Theme theme comes with all the building blocks needed to create an amazing website. The building blocks in gantry are great for people that may not be as comfortable building their website from scratch, but still want to start without someone holding their hand the entire way. The theme is amazingly modular and could be used for any project you might come across, being adaptable is one of its greatest strengths. The Gantry Theme brings us off to a strong start at our number ten.
09. Naked WordPress
This theme could easily be number one on a slightly different list, but it comes in at number nine on ours. Naked WordPress is one of the best empty themes for a new developer trying to figure out how to build out their custom website. It features great in-line commentary and helps guide you through the development process like no other theme on this list. It features none of the mess that you find with many more extensive WordPress themes, but the extensive commentary makes it feel like it was built by a team of real professionals. It is an amazing addition and if you wanted to try any of these for fun, this would be our recommendation.
08. Bootstrap Four
A classic among blank WordPress themes. Bootstrap Four is a great option because of how simple and clean it is. Bootstrap four is a theme built into the bootstrap four framework as the name implies. The theme itself is very clean and is a great starting point for someone looking to create something unique and interesting. Using the theme feels very smooth and intuitive. It is a great starting point for someone with a decent amount of experience that isn’t quite ready to call themselves an expert. We highly recommend Bootstrap Four.
WP-Flex is the theme on this list that can be best described as a no nonsense theme. They are exceptionally adherent to the formula of successful WordPress themes and offer up a lot of information on their website that will give even the most novice of html developers a treasure trove of information. They offer up a great informational resource for developers and their theme is perfect if you want to build something compliant to additional guidelines like WCAG or anything similar. This is the theme best fit for something in the healthcare sector or for a governmental agency. Give it a try!
06. Blank Slate
Blank slate is the theme for any of you minimalists out there. If you were looking for an ascetic aesthetic this is the theme for you. It is a great starting point if you are looking to build out your own child theme from scratch but wanted to cover some of the basics within a good CMS framework. Blank slate features industry leading usability and almost feels like more robust themes at some points, without any of the downsides that a lot of those themes have built-in. We highly recommend blank slate if you are looking to create anything from well… a blank slate.
05. Cyber Chimps
Cyber Chimp is noteworthy Bootstrap theme for developers familiar with the Bootstrap framework. It is also a good theme for anyone who wants an amazing, built-in drag and drop builder. You could build out your website in Cyber Chimps using your tablet if you’re away from home. It is one of the easiest to use of our blank WordPress themes and receives major points from us because of that. An excellent, responsive option for the “on the go” digital nomad. It is an easy theme to play around in if you want to test the waters, which is why it comes in at rank five in our list.
Responsive is an amazing theme for exactly the reasons you would think, it offers exceptional responsiveness and is a fantastic way to make sure you are building your website with mobile devices in mind. Since we all know that Google has a policy of mobile first indexing, this is a way to build your site to be ready to receive traffic from mobile users. Responsive also features all the tools you need to make sure that your website is ready to go live as soon as you’ve finished your design!
Bones is our go-between theme for creating a simple mobile responsive website. Bones is a fully functional theme so it requires less groundwork in that you don’t need to create a child theme. The best part about Bones is that despite being a blank theme it is very responsive and will work on every device under the sun. We haven’t properly tested it on the smart fridge, but we feel confident that it will excel even there. So if you need a theme that can work quick but still be responsive, this is our recommendation.
A theme created by the same people as WordPress, Underscores is a wonderful simple theme for you to play around with. It features a few layout templates and is occasionally dated in how responsive it is, but otherwise it serves as the benchmark to basic WordPress theme makers everywhere. Underscores is the classic and we don’t see it being made obsolete anytime soon.
01. HTML5 Blank WordPress Theme
The other classic blank WordPress theme, when most people look for an empty theme they will head to HTML5 Blank WordPress. It is one of the simplest, tried and true for anyone that needs to build something almost entirely from scratch. It features lightning fast speeds and a blank slate, what more do you need?
A basic WordPress theme can be the best friend of a developer looking for all the benefits of WordPress with none of the frequent downsides. We often see amazing things done by individuals who prefer a blank slate to begin their work from. So if you are looking for a great place to start, any of these themes will fill that need for something basic that can be molded into your vision. If you are nervous about starting your development journey, take the first step and play around in one of these themes. If you are a veteran developer who wants something new and interesting, you can find a theme in our list that will take you to the next level!