.. Your Daily Design Dosis

10+ Free Blank WordPress Themes to build your new Site


When you’re like me and you love to design and develop customized WordPress Themes for your clients, you’ll find out that it’s easier to work with a Blank WordPress Theme. Good thing about Blank WordPress Themes is they have all the functionality of a typical WordPress theme but almost none of the styling, giving you the possibility to customize your own layout.

The more you’ll be developing and designing custom WordPress Themes, the bigger the urge will be to have a blank theme to work with. The idea is that when starting a new theme, it is far easier to use a blank theme (free of all presentational elements and non-semantic markup) as a base then a theme that is already finished and styled.

Working this way saves you loads of development time when setting up a new customized WordPress Theme. Later on in the process you can always choose to make the Theme responsive, style the layout, add more code snippets, include plugins and/or widgets, etc., etc. As you probably know by now, the possibilities are huge .. and that’s exactly why I love WordPress!

In the meanwhile I have made my own kind of blank HTML5 theme with some build-in features (like Custom Post Types and simple Taxanomies), some favorite hacks for the function.php file and a short prefab CSS style containing some of the main styles (header, content, footer, etc.).

But Free Blank WordPress Themes are not a good choice when you just started coding PhP, HTML and CSS, you can better stick to premium WordPress Themes with loads of possibilities to tune your layout using the included Theme options.

From our WordPress Series we proudly present you the 10+ Best and Free and Blank WordPress Themes! Let’s rock ..

Blank WordPress Theme

BLANK is a WP starter theme designed by Chris Coyier. It is a WordPress theme with all the functionality of a typical WordPress theme but almost none of the styling.

Blank WordPress Theme

Demo | Source

Simon WordPress Framework & Blank Theme

This WordPress Theme is made to assist in rapidly creating and deploying WordPress driven websites. This framework has a 1200px wide basic two-column layout, with quite a lot of features includding a child theme as well.

Simon WP Framework


H5 WordPress Theme

The H5 Theme Template is a bare-bones WordPress theme built entirely with HTML5 and styled with CSS 2.1. As you may know,HTML5 provides greater flexibility and interoperability than previous markup languages, and enables us to build well-structured themes that are more flexible, interactive, and semantically precise.

H5 WordPress Theme


Roots WordPress Theme

Roots is a starting WordPress theme based on HTML5 Boilerplate & Bootstrap from Twitter (included by default, with topbar navigation and the responsive grid ready to go). Blog posts are based on the hNews microformat as recommended by Readability’s Article Publishing Guidelines.

Roots WordPress Theme


Toolbox – An HTML5 WordPress Starter Theme

You want to start hacking away at a WordPress Theme and get your site online. You don’t want to start with a Parent Theme, or a Theme Framework. .. Toolbox is a blank, semantic, HTML5, canvas for CSS artists and an ultra-minimal set of super-clean templates for your own WordPress theme development.

Toolbox – An HTML5 WordPress Starter Theme


Whiteboard – A Lightweight WordPress Framework

Whiteboard includes only the core WordPress structure and does not get fancy with unnecessary functions. While Whiteboard does include Less Framework and a minimal theme, these can be easily removed with the exclusion of a line of HTML each.

Whiteboard – A Lightweight WordPress Framework

Demo | Source


The bare essentials of a WordPress theme, no visual CSS styles added. Perfect for those who would like to build their own theme from scratch or for clients if you’re a developer or designer. This theme is clean, valid code, semi minified, no programmer comments, SEO-friendly and 100% open source. One custom menu and one widgetized sidebar to get you started.

BlankSlate WordPress Theme


Blank WordPress Themes Without A Demo


Bones isn’t meant to be used as a Framework, it’s meant to be used as a per-project template. Make sites that are original & and one of a kind! Bones was created to make Developer’s lives easier. It’s meant to be hacked and edited until it fits the mold you’re looking for. Tweak it and create your own base styles.

Bones comes in two flavours, a responsive WordPress framework or a fixed framework. Bones is a perfect starting point for creating your next HTML5 WordPress site.


Starkers HTML5

Just like Elliot Jay Stocks’ original aversion of  ‘Starkers‘ this theme is based on the current WordPress default – ‘TwentyTen’. Starkers HTML5 comes packed with Modernizr, a small and simple JavaScript library that helps you take advantage of emerging web technologies (CSS3, HTML5) while still maintaining a fine level of control over older browsers that may not yet support these new technologies.


Brave New World HTML5 Theme

The theme is free of layout and styling beyond a modified version of Eric Meyer’s reset CSS and a baseline typography. Just like Elliot Jay Stock’s Starkers theme this is a base theme free from cruft yet incorporates HTML5, WAI-ARIA landmark roles and hCard and hAtom microformats. Completely rebuilt for WordPress 3.0 using the new default theme “Twenty Ten”


WordPress Naked

WordPress Naked is a simple WordPress theme to assist developers that need to quickly implement a blog using WordPress but don’t really have the time to spend looking under the hood in any detail or reading documentation when it comes to applying a custom theme (e.g. their clients’ design).

The aim with Naked is that a developer with an XHTML template that they’ve already developed can very quickly apply it to this no-frills theme with the minimum of fuss and research.


HTML5 Reset WordPress Theme

The HTML5 Reset WordPress theme is a blank theme based on the HTML5 Reset templates. It’s a great empty slate upon which to build your own HTML5-based WordPress themes. In addition to all the standard WordPress elements and classes, necessary code is added to ensure the single post template conforms with the hNews microformat.



An easy to use, powerful, and flexible framework for building prototypes and production code on any kind of device. Foundation is a rock-solid, responsive framework for rapidly prototyping and iterating into production code. It includes a 12-column, future-friendly grid and tons of great tools and elements that’ll get you up and running in no time.



Author: Jan Rajtoral

Jan Rajtoral AKA Gonzo the Great is the Founder of and Designer at gonzodesign, providing design services across the full spectrum of Brand Identity, Graphic Design, Print and Advertising Design & Website Design.


on this article: “10+ Free Blank WordPress Themes to build your new Site”
  1. i have an idea for a website that is more looking like the old “bumptop” idea.
    I have drawn a picture of what I want to look like, but don’t want to send an attachment to you unless you give me an email and you give me your permission.

    but, would look like a person desk, a shelf on the “back wall” windows, with animated gifs (probably) with birds flying around “outside”. it’s an interactive website, just like any other, except the items in the “room” are the various links to things, the phone , gives the phone number, the books certain other pages, etc. Do you get the idea, or would you need me to send you the picture of my idea. and which of your themes would be best for my idea?

    • Hi Roger,

      .. whatever your idea is, a blank WordPress theme makes it easier to design a customized theme for yourself or a client because you can work from scratch. In other words, you can style the crap outta your theme (basic functionality is built-in in most/all of these blank themes), including your idea.

      You’ll probably have to make a custom page/(single-)post for your idea, so that’s coding and styling that specific template .. if you need it as a homepage, make a new custom page and call it home.php. There you can style your layout (CSS/HTML), content and media (e.g. animated gifs etc) and in your dashboard you can select home.php as a ‘static’ page for your homepage [Settings] -> [Reading])

      Which blank theme to choose depends on your other plans for the site, some blank themes have already a little bit of styling included. If a layout of a blank theme could do the job, select that one to work with (makes it a bit easier). Some showcased themes are actually frameworks, frameworks for WordPress are build to speed up the development of WordPress themes. So without knowing your intentions, ideas and/or functionality it’s pretty hard to give a realistic advice, .. sorry :(

      If you can code yourself, you’ll need to examine what blank theme fits best your needs and wishes. Otherwise go and find a good web designer who has the know-how to build this .php page template. I would love to help you, but the coming months it’s very busy here with deadlines everywhere, so I can’t help you on short notice.

      Anyhowz, on the contact page of this blog you’ll find a contact form to connect with me .. but, as mentioned, at the moment I’m a very busy man and I’ll be that for the coming few months (you’re NOT hearing me complain, BTW ;-P)

      Good luck Roger! Cheers & Ciao ..

  2. Thanks for the free themes, I have wanted to build up a blank WordPress and add everything into it by myself, I know it will take me a long time to build my new site but it might be worth it (ill give it a shot!) :)

    • Hi Push,

      You’re welcome, glad you liked them! If you build WP themes more often, like me, you’ll make that blank theme of your own ;-P Trust me! My own blank theme has all your favorite built-in hacks, snippets and more .. much more ;-P

      Good luck with building your new site, let me know when it’s ready, okay? Cheers & Ciao, enjoy your day!

  3. Wacky question that I am throwing out there. I know WordPress from the backend very well. I want to work on building my own custom theme, but I need a bare bones framework that doesn’t take a lot of advanced knowledge. I tried roots, but the options were too overwhelming. Is there a more intermediate blank canvas I can work with? What would you suggest?

    • Hi Susan,

      .. not a wacky question at all! It really depends on what the task should be ..? But, nevertheless, if it’s for a ‘simple’ theme I’ld advice Blank, H5 (responsive Blank) and Toolbox. These themes are stripped well and all the options or features (hacks/snippets or plugins and widgets) you want can be added by the designer or developer if needed .. in this case that could be you ;-P

      I hope this could tackle your ‘problem’? If you need something more specific (needs and demands), please email me via the contactpage and hopefully I can give you a smart advice for your specific needs, you just never know ;-P

      Anyhowz, loads of success and keep me posted please? Enjoy your evening, cheers & ciao Susan!

      • I am starting to work on the theme. I have a concept and I am going with Toolbox. Would it be okay to drop you a line if I get stuck? There some jquery stuff that is hard to wrap my mind around.

        • Hi Susan,

          sorry for my late reply, but I just found your comment in Askimet (ehr?). You can ask me when you’ll get stuck, no prob, sent me an email via the contact form on the contact page. Must ‘warn’ you tho, I’m more a HTML/CSS-man than a jQuery expert, but sometimes I manage to get some jQuery stuff working how I want it to ;-P

          Good luck with your Theme, and I’ll hear it when you’ll be needing some help, okay? Enjoy your weekend and thanks for your comment, Cheers & Ciao!