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The best WordPress starter theme with a modern front-end development workflow. Based on HTML5 Boilerplate, gulp, Bower, and Bootstrap.
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Sage 8.4.1
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assets Missed in 269346d
lang Sage 8.3.0
lib Add support for theme customizer
templates Removing redundancy with WAI-ARIA in HTML
.bowerrc Adds a bowerrc
.editorconfig Add EditorConfig
.gitignore Update .gitignore
.jscsrc Update jscs validateJSDoc to jsDoc rule
.jshintrc remove trailing option
.travis.yml cache bower and node directories
404.php Simplify 404 page Sage 8.4.1 Reference contributing guidelines guidelines repo Formatting, adding/updating links Add composer.json and update installation instructions
base.php Drop support for older browsers
bower.json Update to Bootstrap 3.3.6
composer.json Add composer.json and update installation instructions
functions.php Add support for theme customizer
gulpfile.js Drop support for older browsers
index.php Ref #1033 - better support for CPT templates
package.json Sage 8.4.1
page.php Update page.php
ruleset.xml Verify that operators have valid spacing surrounding them [ci skip]
screenshot.png Update screenshot resolution to 880x660, change to blank image
search.php Add search templates
single.php Ref #1033 - better support for CPT templates
style.css Sage 8.4.1
template-custom.php :mag:


Build Status devDependency Status

Sage is a WordPress starter theme based on HTML5 Boilerplate, gulp, Bower, and Bootstrap Sass, that will help you make better themes.


Prerequisite How to check How to install
PHP >= 5.4.x php -v
Node.js 0.12.x node -v
gulp >= 3.8.10 gulp -v npm install -g gulp
Bower >= 1.3.12 bower -v npm install -g bower

For more installation notes, refer to the Install gulp and Bower section in this document.


  • gulp build script that compiles both Sass and Less, checks for JavaScript errors, optimizes images, and concatenates and minifies files
  • BrowserSync for keeping multiple browsers and devices synchronized while testing, along with injecting updated CSS and JS into your browser while you're developing
  • Bower for front-end package management
  • asset-builder for the JSON file based asset pipeline
  • Bootstrap
  • Theme wrapper
  • ARIA roles and microformats
  • Posts use the hNews microformat
  • Multilingual ready and over 30 available community translations

Install the Soil plugin to enable additional features:

  • Cleaner output of wp_head and enqueued assets
  • Cleaner HTML output of navigation menus
  • Root relative URLs
  • Nice search (/search/query/)
  • Google CDN jQuery snippet from HTML5 Boilerplate
  • Google Analytics snippet from HTML5 Boilerplate

See a complete working example in the repo.

Theme installation

Bottom line is you want to get the files in this repo into your local development environment. There are many ways to do this, two of which we will cover here.

via Command-line

If you're already using Composer to manage WordPress, then you might consider using composer's create-project command to download Sage.

The example below assumes you're using Bedrock. If you're not, simply change the target path accordingly.

composer create-project roots/sage web/app/themes/your-theme-name-here

Then activate the theme via wp-cli.

wp theme activate your-theme-name-here

via WordPress Admin Panel

  1. Download the latest release of Sage.
  2. In your WordPress admin panel, navigate to Appearance->Themes
  3. Click Add New
  4. Click Upload Theme
  5. Upload the zip file that you downloaded.

Theme setup

Edit lib/setup.php to enable or disable theme features, setup navigation menus, post thumbnail sizes, post formats, and sidebars.

Theme development

Sage uses gulp as its build system and Bower to manage front-end packages.

Install gulp and Bower

Building the theme requires node.js. We recommend you update to the latest version of npm: npm install -g npm@latest.

From the command line:

  1. Install gulp and Bower globally with npm install -g gulp bower
  2. Navigate to the theme directory, then run npm install
  3. Run bower install

You now have all the necessary dependencies to run the build process.

Available gulp commands

  • gulp — Compile and optimize the files in your assets directory
  • gulp watch — Compile assets when file changes are made
  • gulp --production — Compile assets for production (no source maps).

Using BrowserSync

To use BrowserSync during gulp watch you need to update devUrl at the bottom of assets/manifest.json to reflect your local development hostname.

For example, if your local development URL is you would update the file to read:

  "config": {
    "devUrl": ""

If your local development URL looks like http://localhost:8888/project-name/ you would update the file to read:

  "config": {
    "devUrl": "http://localhost:8888/project-name/"


Sage documentation is available at


Contributions are welcome from everyone. We have contributing guidelines to help you get started.


Keep track of development and community news.

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