A powerful, developer boilerplate for WordPress theme builders who use the Genesis Framework.
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Genesis Starter Theme

A starter framework for Genesis child themes which includes starter SCSS files and a Gulp task file which automates:

  1. JS compression
  2. SCSS compiling and compression
  3. File watching
  4. Generation of a POT file for translation
  5. Automatic zipping of the theme without including the development files.

About Starter

Starter is a project by Calvin Koepke, a frontend designer currently working at Rainmaker Digital. The goal of the project is to create a starter theme for Genesis Framework developers that doesn't over-bloat their starting base, while including commonly used templates, codes, and styles, and which includes common Gulp development tasks.

Useful Links:


This starter theme is free to use as you wish. GPL licensing allows for you to hack it however you wish, no credit needed. If you like what I build, you can find me on Twitter: @cjkoepke.

Reasons to Use Starter

  • It comes accessible out of the gate.
  • It's mobile-first.
  • It comes pre-packaged with default settings and templates that are common in Genesis child theme development.
  • It removes the unnecessary (and discouraged) blog template from the parent Genesis theme.
  • It has almost zero styling, reducing visual influence on your projects.
  • It comes with a ready-to-use, ultra-easy responsive menu script (updating soon to be even better).

What the Gulp Automation Does

  • The Gulp task file will watch dev files under /assets/ in the SCSS/JS directories and rebuild files on the fly.
  • Note: To separate dev from production files, the task manager will output minified files to a /build/ folder at the theme root.
  • File naming will stay the same with .min.ext appended to the file name.


NOTE: Use of the Gulp task file requires you to have Node and NPM and SASS installed on your computer.

  1. Clone the repo to your desktop, somewhere other than in your theme root (you don't want updates to override your theme edits!)
  2. Copy the files in the cloned ./starter-theme/ directory to your theme root.
  3. In terminal, navigate to the theme root directory:
$ cd ~/path/to/parent-theme-folder/
  1. Run the following NPM command to install task dependencies. This will also automatically initiate first compiling, JS compression and /build/ folder creation, and file watching.
$ npm install --save-dev --legacy-bundling
  1. You're good to go!

Optional Commands

There are three specific Gulp commands for you to use in the Terminal:

Watch files

To start the file watcher for changes made to files in /assets/scss and /assets/js, all you need to do is run the command:

$ gulp watch

Build POT File for Translation

To build a POT file for your theme (so translators can include different languages), you need to generate a POT file. This is usually pretty tedious, but Gulp makes it easy and as simple as running this command:

$ gulp translate-theme

That's it! Gulp will translate all the PHP files in your theme, and output a POT file in a newly created /translation/ directory in your theme root. NOTE: You'll have to include the translation file in your theme's functions.php file for use.

Package Theme for Production

You can package your theme for production in a ZIP file by running the following command. Depending on the size of your theme, it may take a while — be patient! The command will automatically ignore dev-kit files (gulpfile.js, package.json, and node_modules). It will keep the SCSS folder in /assets/ since end-users will find this useful.

NOTE: It might be a good idea to update the compression method for SCSS to compressed just prior to packaging, and manually add the commented header at the top after output (this creates smaller file, but will remove the style.css header and thus break the theme).

$ gulp package-theme


= 1.1.0 =

  • Added better responsive menu + menu styles
  • Added sourcemapping
  • Added error logging to SCSS compiler

= 1.0.0 =

  • Initial Release