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Cutlass Wordpress Starter Theme

Create themes with the power of Laravel's Blade

Cutlass is a Wordpress Starter Theme with the power of Laravel's Blade templating engine included, allowing you to develop Wordpress sites more quickly then you ever have before. It includes HTML5 syntax, Bootstrap and Font Awesome by default.

Like Twig better? Try Sprig!

Designed by Zach Adams, Cutlass is built off of Roots Wordpress Starter Theme and the Blade Wordpress Plugin

Special Thanks to Mikael Mattsson and the Team at Roots for making the Blade Wordpress Plugin and the Roots Starter Theme respectively


  • Laravel's Blade templating engine for even quicker Wordpress theme development
  • Gulp for SASS compiling, file concatination, image minifying, javascript uglifying, and livereload
  • Bower for front-end package management
  • Bootstrap Ready
  • HTML5 Ready
  • Tons of useful functions and theme activation thanks to Roots


  • PHP 5.5 or higher
  • Apache or nginx
  • Wordpress 3.0.0 or higher


  1. Clone this repo - git clone or download the zip file and install it like a normal Wordpress theme.
  2. Go to the theme directory and run sudo npm install or npm install
  3. Run bower install to install dependencies
  4. Run gulp dev to compile the initial css and js or just gulp to compile initial css and js and then run watch task

Theme Development

Directory Structure

+-- dist/ - Distribution/Production files, Gulp takes care of this folder
+-- inc/ - Various helpful functions and Blade code. All included in function.php
+-- lang/ - Language code
+-- src/ - Development Files
|   +-- fonts/ - Font Files
|   +-- img/ - Pre-optimized images (images optimized by gulp)
|   +-- js/ - Javascript files
|   +-- sass/ - Default SASS directory
|	|	+-- base/ - Basic CSS styles for HTML, Typography, Colors, etc.
|	|	+-- components/ - Wordpress Specific code, tables, buttons, etc.
|	|	+-- helpers/ - SASS helpers, variables, mixins, paths
|	|	+-- layout/ - Header, Footer, Navigation, Site, etc.
|	|	+-- pages/ - Page specific code (home, contact, etc.)
|   +-- vendor/ - Where your vendor code goes (Bower install's here)
+-- templates/ - Blade templating
|   +-- content/ - Main content for the templates
|   +-- includes/ - Various includes (Header, Footer, etc.)
|   +-- layouts/ - Fundamental layouts of the templates

Install Gulp and Bower

Install Gulp with npm install -g gulp and Bower with npm install -g bower

Gulp Tasks

  • gulp dev - Compiles SASS (without minification), concatinates CSS included with Bower (read in Bower section), copies main.js
  • gulp build - Compiles SASS (with minifcation), concatinates and minifies CSS included with Bower (read in Bower section), copies main.js
  • gulp watch - Watches src/ and dist/ folders for changes (as well as all PHP and Blade files) and triggers livereload when it detects one
  • gulp image - Minifies images in src/img/ to dist/img/
  • gulp image-clear - Clears all images out of dist/img/ and re-minifies all of them
  • gulp - Runs gulp dev then gulp watch


Read more about bower here. Bower installs to the src/vendor directory.

How your dependencies are added to vendor.css/vendor.js

Gulp has a plugin called main-bower-files that can read the main files in each bower install, determining which one you're looking for from that. Most of it should happen automatically as you install Bower packages, however there may be times where you don't want packages included in the vendor.css or vendor.js or you wish to alter the files that are included by default. Here's how to do that.

  1. Open your bower.json
  2. Add the "overrides" section like so:
  "overrides": {
    	"main": "**/*.js",
      	ignore": true
  1. Put in the name of the Bower Package
  2. main is the name of the Javascript files that are passed to Gulp to be minified, you can edit which one Bower chooses by default
  3. ignore, if set to true, will set the package to be ignored by Gulp when it looks

Bootstrap Navigation

This theme comes with the Bootstrap Nav Walker developed by twittem. Reference the Github page on how to make changes.

What's Blade?

To quote Laravel's website:

Blade is a simple, yet powerful templating engine provided with Laravel. Unlike controller layouts, Blade is driven by template inheritance and sections. All Blade templates should use the .blade.php extension.

Luckily Mikael Mattsson of the Blade Wordpress Plugin made some custom Wordpress Blade sections we can use so instead of writing:

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
	<a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title() ?></a><br>
<?php endwhile; else: ?>
<?php endif; ?>

We can use:

	<a href="{{the_permalink()}}">{{the_title()}}</a><br>

See more in the wiki!

How is Blade used in this theme?

When the theme is loaded it attaches itself to the template loader and runs the template specified through the nifty Blade Engine included. You'll notice all the the regular theme development files you'd expect are in their default locations (single.php, page.php, etc.), however if we look at page.php, they look pretty weird:

@layout( 'templates.layouts.normal' )




The Layout tag is telling Blade to look in the templates/layouts/ for a file called normal.blade.php. All forward slashes can be replaced by a period for better readability.

If we look in the normal.blade.php file we find that there's another Layout tag telling Blade to load base.blade.php.

The Base Layout is the basic structure of your HTML. It includes the Head file, sets the Body tag, includes the Header, wraps the content in a div, includes the footer, and ends the HTML document. The Base Layout is used everytime you call a template.

You'll see in the middle of the base.blade.php there's a tag called @yield('content') which is telling this layout to allow other Blade files to put content there. If we go back to normal.blade.php you can see the tag @section('content'). What this is telling Blade is that we want to put the 'content' in normal.blade.php into the @yield('content') section in base.blade.php.

You can also see another yield inside of normal.blade.php. Why do this? Excellent question. Normal.blade.php is meant to be exactly that. A normal layout. It's how you'd style a typical page in Wordpress. Full-width.blade.php is meant to be a full-width template. Duh. If we look inside it there's no 'container' div which normally sets the width and centers the content. Sidebar.blade.php is a page with a sidebar. See, there's nothing too difficult about it!

Back to the yield inside of normal.blade.php. If we go back to page.php you can see the 'page-content' section links to templates/content/ and a file called front-page.blade.php. The Content folder is where you'll put all your main content such as Default Pages, Single Posts, Front Page, and Index.

That just leaves the Includes folder. In here you'll find the various includes the template needs to function such as the Header and the Footer.

That's just about it! Let me know if you have any questions and I'll be sure to answer them!


See the Wiki for current known issues


Cutlass is a Wordpress Starter Theme that incorporates the power of Laravel's Blade to make theme development even quicker and easier then before -






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