The Progressive WordPress Theme Rig
Starter Theme + Build Process

WP Rig: A Progressive WordPress Theme Boilerplate

WP Rig is a modern WordPress starter theme and build process bundled into one convenient package. It helps you create beautiful, lightning-fast WordPress themes with exciting user experiences that meet the latest web standards.

You write modern PHP, CSS, and JavaScript, WP Rig lints, optimizes, and minifies your code to make the theme–and the site it runs on–as performant as possible.


We created WP Rig to help you do what you do best: build feature-rich and visually stunning WordPress themes for every person who uses the web. Out of the box you get a fully styled starter theme built for performance and maintainability.

More Than a Starter Theme

WP Rig is a modern build process and starter theme bundled into one convenient package.

The starter theme gives you a starting point for your designs and layouts; minimal templates with optional drag-and-drop files from the WordPress Template Hierarchy; code and file structure optimized for modern performance standards; and well documented helper functions to make theme development and customization easy.

The build process provides a no-configuration starting point for modern progressive WordPress theme development. The process works with the bundled starter theme or any other theme you want to use. Start the process by invoking the npm run build command and work in the /dev/ folder. The WP Rig Gulp process manages and optimizes every file, boots up BrowserSync for immediate in-browser previews, parses your modern JavaScript (ES2015) and CSS through Babel, PostCSS, and postcss-preset-env (formerly cssnext), and keeps tabs on your code quality via WordPress Coding Standards and ESLint.

All of this, coupled with tight VS Code integration, takes the guesswork out of developing modern, progressive WordPress themes.

Start Using WP Rig

WP Rig uses NPM, Composer, and Gulp 4. You need to have all three installed in your local development environment before getting started. WP Rig was built to integrate with VS Code but can be used with any code editor. To get started with WP Rig, follow the steps below:


WP Rig requires the following dependencies. Full installation instructions are provided at their respective websites.

  1. 1. Get WP Rig

    Clone or download a fresh copy of WP Rig from GitHub and place it in the /wp-content/themes/ folder of your local development environment.

    DO NOT give the WP Rig theme directory the same name as your eventual production theme. Suggested directory names are wprig or wprig-themeslug. For instance if your theme will eventually be named “Excalibur” your development directory could be named wprig-excalibur. The excalibur directory will be automatically created during the production process and should not exist beforehand.

  2. 2. WP Rig configuration

    View ./config/config.default.json for the default settings.

    Place custom theme settings in ./config/config.json to override default settings. You do not have to include all settings from config.default.json. Just the settings you want to override.

    Place local-only theme settings in ./config/config.local.json, e.g. potentially sensitive info like the path to your BrowserSync certificate. Again, only include the settings you want to override.

  3. 3. npm run rig-init

    In command line, run npm run rig-init to install necessary node and Composer dependencies.

  4. 4. npm run dev

    In command line, run npm run dev to process source files, build the development theme, and watch files for subsequent changes. npm run build can be used to process the source files and build the development theme without watching files afterwards.

  5. 5. Activate Theme

    In WordPress admin, activate the WP Rig development theme.

Learn to Use WP Rig for Free With LinkedIn Learning

To help you get the most out of WP Rig and to show its support for the WordPress community, LinkedIn Learning has released the free course WordPress: Building Progressive Themes with WP Rig. You can watch the entire course here on and on LinkedIn Learning.

WordPress: Building Progressive Themes with WP Rig is currently available in English. Courses in German, French, and Spanish will be released shortly.