Underscores.me — The Best Way To Get Started With The _s Theme

Back in February we introduced you to _s, or Underscores, the WordPress starter theme we use at Automattic to build the majority of our themes (and even when we’re not building themes from it we’re referring to it). It’s come a long way since then with a steady stream of refinements. But one thing about it has always been … less than refined. To fork _s you’d have to do a, well, OK, kind of annoying search and replace routine that could easily trip people up if they did it wrong. Thanks to the efforts of Hugo Baeta and Konstantin Kovshenin that isn’t the case anymore. And they’ve done away with that problem with incredible style. Themers, check out Underscores.me:

You can now download your own version of _s with your own custom theme name — the search and replace is all done for you. All you have to do is theme. Plus, you can see all the beautiful people who have contributed to your favorite WordPress starter theme. Look at them all! Community theme development, FTW.

So, what are you waiting for? Get over to Underscores.me and start developing that awesome theme. We can’t wait to see it.

31 thoughts on “Underscores.me — The Best Way To Get Started With The _s Theme”

      1. I fooled around a little bit with curl to try and send a request with POST data, but was stymied and gave up. I don’t think it would be too difficult for somebody with a little more know-how to accomplish though.

      2. Here’s a curl snippet that should do it.

        curl -d "underscoresme_generate=1&underscoresme_name=Evan%20Solomon&underscoresme_slug=evansolomon&underscoresme_author=Evan%20Solomon&underscoresme_author_uri=http%3A%2F%2Fevansolomon.me&underscoresme_description=Just%20another%20_s%20theme.&underscoresme_generate_submit=Generate" http://underscores.me/ > _me.zip
      1. I’ve never written a SublimeText plugin, but I do use it as my main editor so the idea is interesting to me. I read some of this tutorial on writing ST2 plugins this weekend, which seems very thorough.

        I’m not sure how soon I’ll get to it, but in the meantime if anyone else wants to take a shot and submit a pull request I’d be happy to merge it into my _sh repo on Github.

  1. This is some really fantastic work, guys! I’ve seen a lot of people have trouble with the find/replace on _s, doing steps out of sequence and messing it up, etc. This makes _s even more accessible 🙂


  2. I was absolutely dreading changing all the name spaces again, so thanks for saving me the time 🙂

    P.S. The site itself looks spiffy too.

  3. Hey Ian

    Taking some inspiration from underscores.me and the command line suggestion I’ve forked the project into my own repo (https://github.com/buggy/_s), performed a minor restructure and wrote a build.php script to allow people to build their own theme via the command line. It’s as easy as

    % php build.php new_theme

    If this is a direction that you’re interested in going then email me. I need to do some more testing and would like to add a couple of extra options for separate theme name/prefix, author name, etc but it could be finished tomorrow.

    I’ve also got some thoughts about adding support for theme.options file that would allow people to specify theme options using something as simple as
    {section label=”Section 1″}
    {text name=”field1″ label=”Field #1″}


  4. Quick question about category.php file.
    Does _s theme have one or does it use that file or is it handled differently?


    1. It has an archive.php template that handles that view — we found that category.php wasn’t necessary or useful for most of the themes we looked at. If you really need one it’s pretty simple to make one using archive.php as an example.

  5. It would be really cool for those of us trying to come up to speed on WordPress to have a redux of The Ultimate WordPress Theme Tutorial using underscores. I found The Ultimate WordPress Theme Tutorial very helpful. However, it would be more useful to have that tutorial walk thru the benefits of underscores since that appears to be the best starting point from which to build themes.

    For my own efforts, underscores which a bit much to figure out all at once. I used toolbox to begin migrating Smittie’s Ramblings from MovableType to WordPress (current progress can be seen here).

    Thanks the great tools.

  6. I’ve dug around for a few days on this and underscores seems to fully bridge the gap between _how my clients believe wordpress is the only cms in existence_ and _me wanting to bother explaining how and why it sucks_. Can someone, please, just make a wordpress framework/plugin/theme that’s geared toward a) giving clients a way to manage news, images, blog posts (yeah right), and twitter/fb/app.net/instagram stuff? Stop respecting wordpress and start respecting the medium. WordPress is over. We need to move on from the blog mentality for good. I think _s is a great start…please people…fork the sh*t out of this and discuss…

Comments are closed.