A build system for automating the WordPress development workflow.
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Zero2WP v0.0.10

A build system for automating the WordPress development workflow.


Zero2WP is a robust build system for WordPress theme, plugin, and site developers. Zero2WP uses Nodejs, Gulp, BrowserSync, and PhP's integrated web server to track changes and instantly auto-reload your browsers as you work.


Unlike most other build scripts, Zero2WP lets you work on multiple projects simultaneously from a single workbench. For each project, you can:

  • Install the latest version of WordPress
  • Clone a recent version of '_s'
  • Optionally integrate Bootstrap3 w/Less
  • CSS: compile Sass/Less, lint errors, autoprefix, write sourcemaps, minify, and correct line-endings
  • JS: lint errors, order, concatenate, uglify, and correct line-endings
  • Compress PNG, JPEG, GIF & SVG images
  • Instantly update browsers on changes in project files
  • ... more in the works (a11y, i18n/l10n, RTL, custom templates, etc.)

Note that Zero2WP uses a stable fork of '_s' that was last updated on Feb 4, 2018.

1. Install Zero2WP

1.1 Before You Start

Before installing Zero2WP, make sure the following software is installed globally on your computer and is up to date:

  • Git
  • Nodejs
  • Npm

You'll also need to have PHP and MySQL installed, either globally or as part of a server package such as XAMPP on Windows.

1.2 Clone the Repo

Open a terminal windoiw, go the folder from which you plan to serve your project files (i.e. 'public', or 'htdocs'), and clone the Zero2WP repo from GitHub with the following command:

git clone https://github.com/arnoldNuvisto/Zero2WP
  • This will install Zero2WP into its own folder on your local machine.

1.3 Update the Config File

While still in the terminal window, open the new 'Zero2WP folder, then open the '/config' sub-folder. Now edit 'app-config.json' to update the configuration details for your installation of Zero2WP, then save the file.

  • FYI, the server variables in this file are passed to Browsersync - check out the Browsersync docs for more about these and other options.
  • Also, you can ignore project-config.json for now - more on this file later.

1.4 Install the Dependencies

Next, go back to Zero2WP's root folder in the terminal window, and run the following command to install Zero2WP's dependencies:

npm install
  • This will take a few minutes, so go grab a coffee.

1.5 Update the Nodejs Modules

Once npm has finished installing Zero2WP, you'll want to update any Nodejs that may be outdated.

First, make sure that you are in Zero2WP's root directory, then run this command to check if any updates are needed:

npm outdated
  • This will list any Nodejs modules that need an update.

If npm found modules that need to be updated, run the following command:

npm update
  • This will update all the otdated Nodejs modules listed earlier.

Run the following command again to confirm the modules were updated:

npm outdated

That's it - ZeroWP is now installed and ready to use!

2. Start a Project

Now that Zero2WP is ready to use, the next step is to start a new project.

2.1 Set the Project Details

In the terminal window, from Zero2WP's root directory, navigate to the '/config' directory and open 'project-config.json' for editing. Now add the project details using the following example as a guideline. Close and save the file.

	"testRun2"		: {
		"URI" 			: false,
		"license" 		: "GNU General Public License v2 or later",
		"licenseURI" 	: "http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html",
		"description" 	: "Test project with _s & Bootstrap",
		"version"		: "0.0.1",
		"useBootstrap"	: true
  • FYI, you can add as many projects to this file as you wish.

Still in the terminal window, go back to Zero2WP's root folder and open 'gulpfile.js' for editing. Locate the 'Project Variables' section, update the 'projectName' with the title for your project as shown below, then save the file.

/* -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Project Variables
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */

var projectName			= "testRun"; // REQD // Upper & lowercase letters & numbers only

  • This var, taken together with the details in 'project-config.json', will tell Zero2WP everything it needs to know about your project so it can correctly name directories and files, customize the default theme, and more.

2.2 Install WordPress

Next, install a fresh copy of Wordpress into the project's dev directory. Still working in the terminal window, and still in Zero2WP's root folder, run the following command:

gulp install-wordpress
  • This will create a new folder for your project in 'Zero2WP/dev/', and then install a fresh copy of Wordpress.

2.3 Install Underscores

With Wordpress now in place, install a fresh copy of the Underscores template source files into the project theme directory. Working from the Zero2WP root directory, run the following command:

gulp install-template
  • This will clone the latest version of Underscores from GitHub and install it into a new folder for your theme in 'Zero2WP/themes/'
  • This will also update the style.css and style.scss with a new project banner
  • Optionally, this will also install and initialize Bootstrap 3.3.7 with Less

2.4 Run the Build

Next, push the project's theme files into the project's dev directory. Run this command:

gulp build
  • This will compile and copy the project's theme files into the themes directory of the project's Wordpress installation.

3. Launch the Project

Now that everything is place, we're ready to launch the new project. Run this command:

  • This command initiates a series of tasks to automatically launch a PHP server and then open the project's install of Wordpress in your browser.
  • This same task will also automatically update the project's dev folder as well as the browser window whenever a change in the source files is detected.


  • The first time you run 'gulp', you'll need to provide Wordpress with database connection details and set a project username and password. Once this has been completed, Wordpress will launch into the admin section. From there, simply activate the newly installed theme and you're good to go.

4. Package a Project

When you're finished with a project, you can use Zero2WP to create a production-ready distribution package.

NOTE: This part of Zero2WP has not been written yet - coming soon.