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Gulp WP Toolkit

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Re-usable Gulp Toolkit for WordPress Themes.

This is a Gulp package which holds all of the tasks, configuration and lint files I use when building WordPress themes. Rather than holding all of these tasks in one giant Gulpfile.js within each theme I build, this is a standalone package and can be pulled in independently.

A more lightweight version of this toolkit is also available for use in WordPress plugins, called Gulp WP Plugin Toolkit.


Using the package is simple - within your custom theme create a package.json which has gulp and gulp-wp-toolkit as dependencies.

Make sure to update the other parts of your package.json too, as these will be pulled in to form the theme stylesheet header

Add a package.json to your theme like so:

  "name": "craigsimpson",
  "homepage": "",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "author": "Craig Simpson <>",
  "description": "Custom WordPress theme, based on the Genesis Framework.",
  "repository": "",
  "license": "GPL-2.0",
  "main": "Gulpfile.js",
  "devDependencies": {
    "gulp": "^3.9.1",
    "gulp-wp-toolkit": "^2"

Then create a simple Gulpfile.js in your theme root, like this:

'use strict';

var gulp = require('gulp'),
    pkg = require('./package.json'),
    toolkit = require('gulp-wp-toolkit');

    theme: {
        name: "WordPress Theme Name",
        homepage: pkg.homepage,
        description: pkg.description,
        version: pkg.version,
        license: pkg.license,
    js: {
        'theme' : [
         'something-conditional' : [

toolkit.extendTasks(gulp, { /* Task Overrides */ });

Once your Gulpfile.js is in place, install all the dependencies using yarn install. If you're not already using Yarn, please see the installation instructions.

See the files in the example directory for more advanced configuration.

There are also a number of posts on my blog relating to setting up Gulp WP Toolkit, including:


Once installed, the following tasks will be available to run via gulp <taskname>.


  • gulp build runs the following tasks:
    • gulp build:css compiles SCSS into CSS.
    • gulp build:js concatenates JavaScript files defined in config.js and outputs into the theme /js/ directory.
    • gulp build:images optimizes all of the images stored in /develop/images/ to /images/. If present, your screenshot.png (or other file extension) will be automatically output in the theme root.
    • gulp build:i18n runs the following tasks:
      • gulp build:i18npotgen generates a translations file at /develop/languages/textdomain.pot, where textdomain is the theme package name within package.json.
      • gulp build:potomo converts and .po files within /develop/languages/ into .mo files within /languages/.
  • gulp build:styleguide (experimental) uses the SCSS files to generate a live style guide at /develop/styleguide/ using Cortana (some setup required).
  • gulp build:rtl (experimental) generates an RTL stylesheet in the theme root.


Clean tasks are included so you can quickly remove any compiled assets, for example using gulp clean:js will delete the concatenated .js and .min.js we have built in js/. Tasks available are:

  • gulp clean runs the following tasks:
    • gulp clean:css will delete .css and files from the theme root.
    • gulp clean:js will delete .js and .min.js files from the /js/ output directory.
    • gulp clean:images will delete all image files from the /images/ output directory.
    • gulp clean:i18n will delete the generated .pot file within /develop/languages/, and the generated .mo files within /languages/


  • gulp lint runs the following tasks:
    • gulp lint:php runs the following tasks:
      • gulp lint:phpcs check the code with PHP_CodeSniffer against the WordPress Coding Standards.
      • gulp lint:phpmd check the code with PHP Mess Detector.
    • gulp lint:style runs the following tasks:
      • gulp lint:scss uses stylelint to check SCSS files against the WordPress Coding Standards.
      • gulp lint:css uses stylelint to check CSS files against the WordPress Coding Standards.
      • gulp lint:colors checks colour usage within SCSS files using gulp-colorguard.
    • gulp lint:js runs the following tasks:
      • gulp lint:json checks that any JSON files (for ACF, etc) are valid.
      • gulp lint:jsvalidate runs JSValidate on project JS files..
      • gulp lint:eslint runs ESLint on project JS files.


The default gulp watch task is available and watches the theme (PHP, SCSS, JS, images) for any file changes. On change, the associated build task will be run.


Running gulp serve will launch a new BrowserSync session, proxying the localhost URL which is defined in your theme's config under server -> url key. If the key is not defined, then BrowserSync won't start.

Our gulp watch task will also run, and your browser will live reload when any changes are detected.

BrowserSync can also run independently of gulp watch by running gulp browser-sync.


The default task (gulp) will run gulp build and gulp serve.


Easily bump the version number of your package.json and composer.json files (defined in config) which will in turn bump the version of your theme. Uses Semver.

  • gulp bump updates the patch version. 1.0.0 to 1.0.1
  • gulp bump --patch updates the patch version. 1.0.0 to 1.0.1
  • gulp bump --minor updates the minor version. 1.0.0 to 1.1.0
  • gulp bump --major updates the major version. 1.0.0 to 2.0.0

Default Theme Structure

The default configuration has all of the source files in a develop directory, in their respective scss, js, images, and languages subdirectories. For new themes, it is recommended to follow this structure, but these paths can be overridden in the config if you prefer or need to work with a different structure.

A typical theme structure may look like:

├── develop/
│   ├── images/ (original images)
│   ├── js/ (JavaScript module files)
│   ├── languages/
│       ├── theme-name.pot (generated by Gulp WP Toolkit)
│       └── en_GB.po
│   └── scss/
│       ├── base/ (structure your SCSS how you want)
│       ├── variables/ (structure your SCSS how you want)
│       └── style.scss (reference your SCSS structure here)
├── images/ (generated by Gulp WP Toolkit)
├── js/ (generated by Gulp WP Toolkit)
├── languages/ (generated by Gulp WP Toolkit)
├── node_modules/ (generated by npm / yarn)
├── src/ (PHP classes)
├── templates/ (WP template files)
├── tests/
│   ├── Integration/
│   └── Unit/
├── vendor/ (generated by Composer)
└── views/ 

Sass Bulk Import

Use of gulp-sass-bulk-import means that whole folders of Sass partials can be easily included with @import 'foldername/*';. Using this method, files are loaded in alphabetical order.

If files are required to be loaded in a specific order, you can declare these immediately before the wildcard import with the normal Sass syntax @import 'folder/file'.


This toolkit no longer supports Bower. Better is to add your Bower dependencies into your themes' package.json, and then reference the correct file (from inside your node_modules/) in your style.scss, or the the js config as needed.


Updating Config

All of the existing configuration can be easily overwritten by passing your new config object into the toolkit.extendConfig() function. An example from a recent project shows how easy it is to update the array of JS files to be concatenated, and change the localhost URL to point to your project, for instance.

Adding Tasks

Additional tasks can be added by passing an object to the toolkit.extendTasks() function, where the key is the name of the task. Example.

Custom Lint Files

You can override any of the lint files contained within this repository by adding a file of the same name in your theme directory. For example, if your theme directory contains a .eslintrc file or phpcs.xml.dist, then it will be automatically used instead of the file included within gulp-wp-toolkit.

Contributing to Gulp WP Toolkit