HomePostsJan 18, 2016

A(nother) WordPress Starter Template

I’ll start with a confession: this is my fourth WordPress starter theme. But, thankfully, the first I’ve ever “released” in any real way. There are a few questions I can hear you asking:

All good questions but I’ll only answer the second one.

I create a lot of WordPress sites … numbering in the hundreds at this point. When I was getting started, it was all new to me so the idea of reusable components didn’t really make a lot of sense. Then, like so many others, I got the “DRY” bug where everything I’ve ever written needed to be stored in a way that was accessible to me later. Then, when I realized that it was easier and better much of the time to just write it from scratch, I shunned the idea of any kind of starter boilerplate. Then I found a happy medium.

Hence, Allons-y.


“Allons-y” is French for “Let’s go.” It’s something I find myself mumbling when I get caught up in all the normal start-up stuff creating a new site. There just is a lot of boilerplate in a custom theme that usually needs to be there and tracking down that one resource online again and again is, frankly, boring.

Also, there are a number of things that just make a WordPress site a little in a custom build. Things like:

These are things that aren’t often specced out as required features but, in my opinion, lead to a better site experience.

Finally, there are patterns that you repeat over and over that are just nice to have an example around for:

Having an example that I wrote with included documentation makes life just a little bit easier.

I’ve used this theme now on 2 separate sites, including this one, and working on a third. And it’s working, I’m saving a lot of time and writing great code on top of a solid foundation. I’m also seeing a lot of different places where this can improve and become a much better resource for me.

I’ve included a lot of documentation both in the code, in the form of “when and how to use this” in the comments and a ton of setup steps in the README to help anyone who wants to try this out. If you’re just getting started with WP development, I humbly offer this as a great way to learn some of the design patterns in putting together a WordPress theme. While a lot of the style is relative, much of the code in here is just good WP best practices. I’m not trying to reinvent the WordPress theming process because that’s ridiculous, I’m trying to standardize and explain how things operate in a WordPress theme while providing a few bells and whistles.

Enjoy! Pull requests, suggestions, questions, and comments are all very welcome on GitHub.

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