Ask the Bartender: Is There a Starter for Building Block Themes?

I learn some posts from “Ask the Bartender,” and I admire it lots! Thanks. I’ve a query now. 🙂

I wish to refine my WordPress theme improvement course of, which is:

  1. To make a unique-creative design with Adobe XD or Figma.
  2. To transform it to static HTML utilizing VS Code with Bootstrap.
  3. In WordPress, create customized submit sorts with PODS.
  4. To transform the static HTML in WP templates with Timber.

Based mostly on my expertise, this course of is the most effective for me, however I wish to combine my themes higher with WP-Blocks.

So, my query is: is there some starter-theme prepared to make use of with blocks as the principle theme and later prolong it with a toddler theme with my customized theme?


This query will depend on one among two issues: Do you wish to construct traditional themes with block assist or full-blown block themes? The way you strategy tasks going ahead will rely upon the reply to that. It was unclear which route you like out of your query, so I’ll deal with each.

It additionally looks like you might be extra eager about youngster theming. For readability, I take into account “starter” themes a place to begin for constructing standalone or customized mum or dad themes. My guess is that you really want one thing nearer to a clean canvas mum or dad theme that doesn’t have an opinionated set of default kinds.

As on your instruments, I’ve virtually zero expertise with any of them. I think you possibly can keep an analogous course of by sticking to traditional themes with block assist. Nevertheless, with block themes, you’ll possible wish to change over to visually designing within the upcoming website editor and exporting the templates. It could minimize out quite a lot of the steps you normally take.

Traditional With Block Assist

I are likely to hype WordPress theming with blocks, however allow us to be life like. Most theme authors is not going to take that step ahead when WordPress 5.9 rolls round. And, there is no such thing as a purpose for everybody to dive face-first into one thing that isn’t 100% on par with what you possibly can construct going the normal route. So, traditional themes are the most secure guess for some time.

Starter themes or frameworks are a dime a dozen within the traditional theming world. My recommendation is to proceed utilizing what fits you greatest. Including block assist is usually a matter of some type changes and probably a theme.json file.

If you wish to ease your self into integrating with blocks, begin studying the global styles and settings system (i.e., theme.json). It really works with any sort of theme, so that you don’t have to transition fully over to dam theming in case you are not prepared. This additionally lets you proceed utilizing no matter setup you might be accustomed to with one extra file. It has additionally been part of WordPress since 5.8, so you need to use it now with out counting on the Gutenberg plugin or ready for five.9 to launch.

Screenshot of the homepage of the Go theme by GoDaddy. It has a large hero/intro section, followed by a wide image.
GoDaddy’s Go theme.

If you really want a place to begin or mum or dad theme within the traditional + blocks house, I like to recommend Go by GoDaddy. The block-first challenge will get routine updates, helps CoBlocks and WooCommerce, and has a big sufficient consumer base to maintain the ecosystem round it going.

Constructing Block Themes

If you wish to transfer ahead and put your self in a stable place for WordPress’s future, block theming is the way in which to go. Eventually, virtually each theme writer might want to construct on prime of it. On this context, it additionally makes it simple to reply your query. And, I’ve two choices for you.

The go-to selection for a lot of theme authors is to study and construct from the newest default WordPress theme. On this case, it’s Twenty Twenty-Two. It was speculated to be prepared by December 8, together with WordPress 5.9. Nevertheless, the official launch date is now January 25, 2022.

Homepage of Twenty Twenty-Two on the left with a large intro section and latest posts grid below. On the right, is a category archive with offset grid posts.
Twenty Twenty-Two screenshots.

Whereas it has not formally launched but, it’s a stable place to begin if you wish to launch a toddler theme within the subsequent couple of months on prime of the newest default.

The objective is for Twenty Twenty-Two to ship with alternate color palettes and fonts. Nevertheless, this function shouldn’t be prepared but. Within the meantime, these customized designs are available as child themes which you could tinker round with. They’re simply pretty much as good of a place to begin as any.

Nevertheless, it’s possible you’ll be searching for one thing a bit extra mature — as mature as something might be for one thing but to formally launch. Automattic’s Blockbase parent theme is the simple selection.

Customized dark version (child theme) of the Blockbase parent theme.
Customized Blockbase youngster theme.

Blockbase has a low-key design that makes it simple to overwrite by way of youngster themes. It was actually constructed for this objective. The Automattic Theme Workforce rolled out the Videomaker child theme for it yesterday. That makes six altogether, which can be found by way of the corporate’s WordPress.org profile. Not solely is it a superb place to begin, but it surely has loads of examples to study from.

Plus, you don’t want to soiled your arms with code if you do not need to. By putting in and activating the accompanying Create Blockbase Theme plugin, you possibly can construct youngster themes immediately from the location editor and export them.

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