Drag-and-drop page builders exist to reduce the difficulty of developing semi-bespoke WordPress themes, but they tend to be resource hogs, to say the least. The best option for users with a little web development knowledge who want to get started in the WordPress world is a tool likeTimber or a starter theme. One of the most popular starter themes isUnderscores, which is developed by Automattic. As Automattic puts it, Underscores gives developers a thousand-hour head start.
Underscores significantly reduces the complexity of creating a WordPress theme, but with its minimal CSS and barebones approach, developing a theme on Underscores isn’t a walk in the park. The team at Automattic wanted to make things even easier. Components is their attempt to provide a set of starter themes with a more opinionated approach to theme development.
Components is, as the name suggests, a set of reusable patterns that conform to the most popular site-types that WordPress is used to build. Essentially, Components builds on top of the Underscores theme to provide a series of more advanced starter themes with prebuilt foundations for the sites developers are most likely to build.
The line-up includes starter themes for:
- Magazine sites
- Classic blogs with a sidebar
- Modern blogs with a single column and slide-out menu
- Portfolio sites
- Business sites
The business theme is a great start for small business owners who don’t want a cookie-cutter free or premium theme, but who aren’t in a position to have a developer create a bespoke theme from the ground up. It includes a custom header, testimonials, and content areas.
Each of Component’s packages includes layout patterns that don’t impose a specific design aesthetic, well-organized SCSS, and mobile-first layouts with mobile-friendly components.
It’s worth stressing that the packages are starter themes; they’re not ready for production environments, nor are they suitable for someone with no web development experience (unless you want to learn). If you want a fully pre-built theme, the WordPress Theme Repository is your best bet. But if you want an easy way to create a custom WordPress theme for your blog or website, Components is a great place to start.