Getting My Start
I started my foray into WordPress by watching a YouTube tutorial and building a theme using Bootstrap version 2.0. Then I tried out the Standard Theme by 8Bit and John Saddington. I tried to use it as a framework and extend it but I didn’t have a good enough understanding of how WordPress works.
The next time I took a stab at WordPress I started to modify the sample child theme for the Genesis Framework with mild success. After I really started getting into designing websites I realized there were a couple of flaws in my workflow and approach for what I needed to deliver for my clients.
How I Got Here
I realized that I needed to switch to a mobile first workflow. I had been following Carrie Dils for sometime and she was doing Genesis Office Hours (now OfficeHours.FM). She started promoting her own child theme Utility Pro. Utility Pro has been my starting point for the past year for every WordPress website I’ve designed.
A starter theme needs to have sensible defaults and Utility Pro has that! Accessibility is super important, and UP gives a great start towards making your website accessible. UP is built mobile first and the developer version comes with all the partials and sass files with Grunt tasks already built out. There are a lot of other features which you can check out for yourself. Also the support has been really great! Carrie and her team have really taken care of me when I had questions.
I had a challenge though, I found myself getting hired for non WordPress gigs and we would use Zurb’s Foundation. Then I would get gigs in WordPress where I found myself hand coding components for multiple projects. The components I was building were already a part of Foundation.
My starter theme is so critical to the end product and how long it takes me to get there. I decided to take everything I’ve learned and put it into a Foundation Starter Theme for the Genesis Framework. The starter theme is for Developers. It’s not meant to be sold on its own. Its meant to help you go from prototype to fully functional website very quickly.
The gulpfile I’ve built for it can help you get very small file sizes to help with speed. Foundation is built with consideration for accessibility and I’m working hard to improve on it with WordPress specific modifications. Mobile first is also super important, but no worries Foundation is built mobile first.
I’m building this as a free project, so no support but contributions are welcome! If you love Genesis and Foundation jump in. Naming suggestions are also welcome Foundation Genesis is kind of a boring name.
This is something that scratches my own itch and works for my workflow. There are some other awesome options out there if this doesn’t fit your workflow. Each persons workflow will be different, so find or build something that suits you and makes you better.
- I can’t recommend Utility Pro enough. Seriously go get it. It will change the way you work. If you need support, this is what you need. Developers it’s totally worth it!
- Calvin Koepke also built a starter theme that is super light. If you want a bare bones starting point for Genesis, go get Starter.
- My friend Sal has also built a Genesis starter theme for the other major front end framework(Bootstrap). I’ve learned a lot from this theme. So if Bootstrap is more your thing go check his theme Bootstrap Genesis out.
- A new entry that also comes with support is Jesse Petersen’s Mobile First Starter Theme
I’m also planning on doing some tutorials on how to build completed websites from a starter theme. I wanted you to be able to download the theme so you can follow along on the tutorials.
The theme is now called Bolt Pro