WordPress Theme Team Releases Free Underscores Starter Theme

In February the folks at ThemeShaper, the home of the Automattic Theme Team, released Underscores, or _s for short. Anyone can download the _s theme at github, but in order to fork it, you previously had to make a number of search and replace substitutions.

The good news is that this is no longer the case, thanks to the new Underscores.me website. It allows you to generate your own Underscores-based theme with your custom theme name and the search and replace already complete.

What’s so cool about Underscores?

Underscores is a starter theme and is not intended to be a parent theme. That means you’re not waiting for updates to come down to improve your theme. A starter theme means that you are the innovator and the theme is yours; create whatever you want with it. It’s made to be hacked.

Underscores Features:

  • Lean, well-commented, modern, HTML5 templates.
  • A helpful 404 template.
  • Optional sample custom header implementation in inc/custom-header.php
  • Custom template tags in inc/template-tags that keep your templates clean and neat and prevent code duplication.
  • Sample theme options in /inc/theme-options/
  • Some small tweaks in /inc/tweaks.php that can improve your theming experience.
  • Keyboard navigation for image attachment templates, in js/keyboard-navigation.js.
  • A script at js/small-menu.js that makes your menu a toggled dropdown on small screens
  • 5 sample CSS layouts in /layouts: Two sidebars on the left, two sidebars on the right, a sidebar on either side of your content, and two-column layouts with sidebars on either side.
  • Smartly organized starter CSS in style.css that will help you to quickly get your design off the ground.

Wow, that’s a lot to get excited about! In case you’re under the impression that this is one of those easy-to-use themes packed full of one billion options, be advised that it’s simply a blank canvas. Underscores was created for theme developers, so don’t expect a fancy ready-to-use theme out of the box. Generate your own Underscores-based theme at Underscores.me. Go ahead and create that beautiful WordPress theme you’ve always dreamed about.