A WordPress Theme Framework based on Bones and Genesis
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.



The Basis Theme Framework is a combination of two separate themes, Bones and Genesis. That's where the name "Basis" comes from - Bones+Genesis. I also think the meaning of the word "basis" perfectly described what the Basis Theme Framework attempts to accomplish.

According to the dictionary on my Mac, the word basis is defined as:

basis - noun ( pl. -ses |-sēz|) the underlying support or foundation for an idea, argument, or process : trust is the only basis for a good working relationship. *the system or principles according to which an activity or process is carried on : she needed coaching on a regular basis | flea markets operate on a cash-only basis. *the justification for or reasoning behind something : on the basis of these statistics, important decisions are made. ORIGIN late 16th cent. (denoting a base or pedestal): via Latin from Greek, ‘stepping’.


According to the Bones website:

Bones was created to make Developer's lives easier. It's meant to be hacked and edited until it fits the mold you're looking for. Luckily everything is well documented and all the files are detailed so you'll never be staring at the page thinking "What does this code do?"

Bones is designed as a starting point to then be customized to create a final theme. This can make future updates to the core Bones codebase hard to implement and integrate into an existing site. Eddie Machado has built the template around the amazing work of Paul Irish and Divya Manian, along with the rest of the contributors to the HTML5Boilerplate Project. HTML5Boilerplate is a base starting point designed to get an HTML5 compliant site up with a minimal amount of effort. It includes a specially designed CSS reset as well as custom JavaScripts that are used to bring HTML5 compliance to a maximum number of browsers.

Special thanks from the original Bones library/log.txt file:

  • Paul Irish & the HTML5 Boilerplate
  • Yoast for some WP functions & optimization ideas
  • Andrew Rogers for code optimization
  • David Dellanave for speed & code optimization
  • and several other developers. :)


According to the Genesis website:

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

The Genesis framework is based on the parent/child theme design. This makes it extremely easy to customize the theme using a separate "child folder" that overrides the parent and still updates with the click of a button. However, the Genesis Framework can be cumbersome and clumsy to customize because of the need to override all the built in hooks, actions and filters to alter its behavior. While these hooks have been designed to deliver the advanced functionality of Genesis they tend to hide the framework from the developer requiring them to work backwards to implement their desired functionality.


Both Bones and Genesis provide incredibly powerful plugin functionality built right in. A lot of attention has been paid to including features that the user and designer can benefit from. Basis attempts to mitigate many of the "downsides" to each framework by combining the best of each, the parent/child relationship from Genesis with the ease of customization from Bones. The Basis codebase is HEAVILY borrowed from Bones. As of 2/14/11 it is basically a fork of the Bones GitHub project. Basis shares NO CODE WHATSOEVER with Genesis. It simply borrows their approach to theme design by focusing on keeping core Basis functionality in the parent theme and user/developer specific customizations in child themes.

The Basis Theme Framework has been designed as a modular system. You will find all of the usual files in the root directory of the parent theme, however, once you did deeper into the library directory you begin to notice that all of the extra functionality provided by Basis has been subdivided into directories that are named to help describe what they do. All of these files can be included or excluded through the functions.php file. That one file allows the theme designer complete control over what is and is not included in the final site design.

Grid Based Layout

Basis offers a grid based layout that supports either a fixed width 12 column layout or a fluid width 12 column layout. The classes are all located in the style.css file and are based on the excellent work of Nathan Smith and Stephen Bau. The names of the classes have been changed to be a little more descriptive but the sizes for both the fixed classes and fluid classes remain the same. The Basis Child Theme incorporates the fluid based layout by default. These classes are completely optional and are included only as an option for rapid prototyping with Basis and for designers to have access to a grid layout if their design calls for it.

© 2011 Dominic Giglio, All Rights Reserved. Released under the GPLv3 License. See the LICENSE file for further information.