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WordPress: Do you start with an established theme, or use a totally blank canvass?

  • # February 28, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Just starting with WordPress, and I´m struggling to see why anyone would start with a completely clean theme. Do most people on here start with some kind of theme and adjust it according to your own designs?

    Are the huge number of themes available stunting our own design skills?

    # February 28, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Go for this one :)

    # February 28, 2012 at 6:02 am

    But say you want to build an E commerce site, and there are lots of E commerce themes out there….why use a theme like the ´starkers´ theme, when you can download an existing e commerce theme and simply adjust it how you want?

    # February 28, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Personally, I start with an established theme, but then throw away the default CSS and start that from scratch. I’m not even sure if that’s the “right” approach (would also love to hear from experts), but it kinda works for me.

    # February 28, 2012 at 6:41 am


    That seems to be the easiest way to me. To look for a theme that has the functionality you want, and then adjust it with PSD design you want. Feels like cheating, but why re-invent the wheel?

    # February 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    When I first got started, I did that exact thing. But over time and as my experience grew, I realized that there were things in the base themes that I wanted that weren’t there, or things that I didn’t need that were. Now I have my own personal and customized “base framework” that I work from each time.

    And as my needs/desires change and grow, I keep adding to it. Most notably, I feel I am ready to finally convert it entirely to HTML5 (along with the script that will enable it in old versions of IE). It’s just a learning process. I’m sure in the long run, you will eventually go in this direction, too. In the meantime, just keep learning! :)

    # February 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    For learning purposes, starting with an existing theme might help you to see how things are done.

    From a personal point of view, I start scratch on nearly every theme.

    # February 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I always start from scratch.The best example of how to use a blank theme is to watch Chris on

    # February 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    (message deleted, question has been answered!)

    # February 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I just wanted to throw this into the mix…I used this as my starting point for my personal framework (although I even ended up stripping most of what this theme had away, too:

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