Naked Starter Themes For WordPress Developers 2016

As yet another year comes to a close, it is time to start preparing the top this and top that list. Great marketing strategy or not, I personally believe that such lists help kickstart a new practice or promote new products to readers. And so, for this year I have decided to make a top five list for naked WordPress starter themes.

What Are Naked Themes?

In its simplest term, a naked wordpress starter theme is a minimalistic theme that has just the barebone requirements. One cannot use it as is without applying their own layers of css, design and elements through the pages and posts. Fact is, such themes are not completely built and usable right out of the box. They are for developers who wish to make something entirely unique but do not want to spend hours coding the basic WordPress framework from scratch.

Such themes often come with the necessary code to display single posts, comments, archive pages, display posts but without any styling or just the bare minimum of styling. What this allows you to do is quickly add styling to your liking.

Naked Themes Are Not Parent Themes or Theme Frameworks

According to Jacky from, “Confusion can arise from the various names given to WordPress themes and the purpose they serve but know this – Naked themes, frameworks and parent themes are all different.”

For starters, parent themes come completely styled and are installed for use on live sites. Frameworks offer loads of filters and hooks to customize using a child theme. However, starter themes have no styling at all and unlike frameworks, only contain the basic WordPress hooks and filters.

Basically, you use a starter theme to prepare your parent theme or framework.

Okay, enough said, lets get to the 2016 list of top Naked Starter Themes for WordPress.


Among the most popular of all starter themes, Underscore is often updated to meet latest requirements and standards. It is also the brainchild of Automattic, which is the company that hosts A clean code theme, it saves you thousands of hours of coding so you can quickly start building your parent theme.

Get the Underscores Naked Theme Here


Again from Automattic, Components actually ships with 6 starter themes, each catered for a different kind of website such as business, portfolio, magazine, blog modern, base and blog theme. This further slashes the work hours by a cool 500 hours!


Another industry favorite, Bone is a mobile-first WordPress theme that relies on Sass and works great with custom post types.


A modern starter naked theme that works using Bower, Bootstrap and Gulp. A neat advantage inherent to Sage is the use of theme wrappers so you need not code for every template again.


Uses Foundation 6 framework, FoundationPress is a modern starter theme. Semantic clean codes, plenty of customization options make it easy to use.

My Personal Favorite

Personally, I do not prefer having add-on features in a starter theme and so while I gravitate towards Underscores or Components, when I need absolutely the bare minimum because it is a concept theme, I prefer going for BlankSlate. This naked starter theme is as naked as it comes. Just the bare minimum, you need to style the layout and other things from start.

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