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If your looking to give your WordPress theme a new design or simply looking to upgrade your code to more modern technologies such as HTML5/CSS3, you will these free WordPress HTML5 frameworks very handy. These HTML5 WordPress frameworks are stripped back bare and mostly include little or no styling which provides a perfect HTML5 framework for you to build your new WordPress site on.


Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

Roots is a starting WordPress theme based on HTML5 Boilerplate, Blueprint CSS (or and Starkers that will help you rapidly create brochure sites and blogs.

Reverie Framework

Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

Reverie Framework is a versatile HTML5 WordPress framework based on ZURB’s Foundation, a powerful tool for building prototypes on any kind of devices.


Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

Starkers is a bare-bones WordPress theme created to act as a starting point for the theme designer.


Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

Whiteboard is not like most other WordPress Frameworks that include a mess of styles, functions, and content areas that have to be cleaned out for nearly every project, Whiteboard remains a true WordPress Framework.


Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

Bones freely provides you with the option of a responsive WordPress framework or a fixed framework, Bones is a perfect starting point for creating your next HTML5 WordPress site.

BLANK WordPress Theme

Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

Blank is a WordPress theme with all the functionality of a normal WordPress theme but with none of the styling.

The idea is that when starting a new theme, it is far easier to use this as a base then a theme that is already finished and styled.

Handcrafted WP

Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

Handcrafted WP is an almost-naked starter theme that will provide you a rock solid starting point for crafting a serious website on the WordPress platform.

Brave New World HTML5 Theme

Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

The Brave New World WordPress theme is free from all the elements that are not needed and is built using HTML5, WAI-ARIA landmark roles and hCard and hAtom microformats to provide a great base to build on.

HTML5 WordPress Shell

Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

The WordPress Shell provides a great starting point for you to build HTML5 WordPress themes on.

HTML5 Reset WordPress Theme

Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

The HTML5 Reset WordPress theme is a blank theme that provides a great empty slate upon which to build your own HTML5-based WordPress themes.

h5 WordPress Theme

Blank & Bare WordPress HTML5 Frameworks

H5 is a semantically sound and fully valid HTML5 framework for which you can build your WordPress theme on.

Posted by David Martin

David Martin is a WordPress developer & entrepreneur from the UK. He owns DesignWoop, CardDsgn and WhoDesignToday. Catch up with David on Twitter.


  1. Thanks for the list. However I wanted to see the conclusion and some sort of comparison.

  2. Dear sir,
    What is the best way for me to start bulding my own theme(parent) if i’m new with php ?
    Should i use a “starter theme”? or should i use a “framework” for it? (like thematic ..)..
    What is the different anyway between framework(like thematic) to “starter theme” ?..
    Thank you so much,

  3. This is such an excellent post. I made the mistake of buying Canvas by Woothemes last year when I was looking for a blank theme I could style. I’m sure Canvas has benefits, but it’s a million times more complicated than it needs to be. So much of WordPress seems to be more complicated than it needs to be. I’ll definitely be checking out a few of these to see how they compare because I’d love a truly blank theme that I could easily whip up my own CSS for. I do that now with MovableType, but MovableType might as well be a dead platform.

  4. Very nice resource for experiencing framework access on HTML5. Thanks for helping me out to share this tutorial here.

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