Dougie Hunt

Underscores: Free WordPress Starter Theme

WordPress Article


⭐ Updated 28 January 2024

💥 Published 28 January 2024

Underscores: Free WordPress Starter Theme

I wanted to let you in on a little secret to making your own WordPress theme.

If you have ever started to create your own WordPress theme from scratch then you will have quickly realised that it is a right pain. Building up a strong file structure is more than a pain.

Or, if you have ever tried to hack away at a theme you have purchased and tried to create a child theme, you will quickly get the feeling that nobody codes like you. The worse feeling is when you can’t find the code snippet you want to change.

I’ve been there and it wastes a lot of time.

Enter Underscores.

It’s called Underscores (or _s) and it’s a free WordPress theme starter.

Basically, a bunch of really talented WordPress experts have done all the hard work for you. A combined 1000-hour headstart. Best of all, it’s free!

Go check out


What does Underscores include?

It includes the real basics, no frills, which means it is lightweight and lean. Perfect for you to create your own theme.

It has all the usual files and structure you’d expect. From my experience of using Underscore, it will take you a little while to get used to where everything is and how it’s structured.

But, it’s a really simple setup.

Creating your Underscores theme

It’s really simple to create your first Underscores theme. Just head over to Fill in a few fields and click generate. After that, you just upload to WordPress and activate the theme. From that point you can start hacking the starter theme into your own WordPress theme.


Learn more about Underscores

There are a few resources, tutorials and courses for Underscores. What resources there are are quite good and indepth. Here is a list of some I have found and some I have used.

+ A 1000-hour head start: Introducing the _s theme by ThemeShaper
+ Getting started with the _s theme by ThemeShaper
+ Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores by Morten Rand-Hendriksen on Lynda
+ WordPress Theme Development: Getting Started with Underscores (_s) by Sitepoint
+ Tweaking Underscores Video Series by
Underscores for Easy Digital Downloads by
+ WordPress Theme Creation With Underscores by Kezz Bracey on Tuts+
+ Introduction To Underscores: A WordPress Starter Theme With Konstantin Obenland by WPTavern
+ Create a WordPress theme with underscores by Web Designer Mag
+ Underscores Theme Tutorial, Make it Responsive in 3 Steps by Seven Roots
+ Intro To Underscores Part 1 Video by Level Up Tuts on YouTube
Intro To Underscores Part 2 Video by Level Up Tuts on YouTube
+ Underscores – The Only Theme That Matters by Steve Zehngut on


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