Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Starkers: HTML5 & the future

Posted on 25 January 2010 15 comments

Article illustration for Starkers: HTML5 & the future

At the end of last year, Nathan Staines contacted me to say that he’d begun work on an HTML5 version of my Starkers WordPress theme. I’ve been considering an HTML5 implementation of Starkers for some time now but I’ve never got round to it due to other commitments, so it’s great to see that someone else has taken it on.

As of today, Nathan’s version is available to download and is called ‘Starkers HTML5’.

Cheers to Nathan for putting in the work. I hope this proves useful for those of you who want to author your themes with the markup language of tomorrow. Because of the increased popularity of HTML5 and its relatively widespread adoption by the forward-thinking browsers, I may even phase out the non-HTML5 version. Maybe.

Kushal Pisavadia has also created an HTML5 interpretation of Starkers, which can be found on GitHub.

EDIT: I almost forgot: Karl Dawson got in there ages ago with the first real HTML5 variant of Starkers in the shape of A Brave New World.

By the way, because WordPress 3.0 is on the horizon and will ship with a new Default theme, I’m currently holding off on any Starkers updates. When 3.0 is released, I’ll re-write Starkers from scratch using the new Default theme as a base (unless the new Default theme’s code is clean enough to negate the need for Starkers’ continued existence, that is).

Watch this space.

UPDATE: Having discovered the existence of another theme framework called ‘Genesis’, we’ve renamed the project to simply ‘Starkers HTML5’. Sorry for any confusion that may have caused.


  1. Jeremy Swinnen

    Jeremy Swinnen

    25 January 2010 @ 04:06PM #

    Lovely! Going to play with this.

  2. Ollie Wells

    Ollie Wells

    25 January 2010 @ 04:08PM #


    Using Starkers as the basis for all my WP projects at the moment, and will be super cool to be able to offer an H’5 version!


  3. webneedz


    25 January 2010 @ 04:16PM #

    Thanks for posting the link to Genesis
    I always used Starkers for a fresh WP install,
    now I will be using Genesis until your updated version for WP3.

  4. webbografico


    25 January 2010 @ 06:03PM #

    great!! I will surely test it as a starting point in my WP themes. Thanks for sharing it

  5. Kel


    25 January 2010 @ 06:59PM #

    That’s great! I only wonder about the “Genesis” name as there’s another pretty well known company that does WP themes that just recently began offering a Genesis Theme Framework. I like Ollie’s remark though, “Genius”. It’s almost better the see a Genius Starker :) Anyway, good to see Starkers is moving ahead with HTML5.

  6. Nathan Staines

    Nathan Staines

    25 January 2010 @ 07:08PM #

    First of all, thanks for the wonderful write up Elliot. There’s already been a massive response to the new theme. Great to see there’s such a huge interest in using HTML5 ;)

    @Kel In light of the Genesis Theme Framework we’ve decided to rename the theme to just simply ‘Starkers HTML5’ hopefully this will remove any confusion.

    Thanks for all the positive feedback, really appreciate it.

  7. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    25 January 2010 @ 07:44PM #

    Thanks for the comments, guys. We’ve now renamed the theme to ‘Starkers HTML5’ to avoid any confusion with the other Genesis.

  8. Graeme


    25 January 2010 @ 07:48PM #

    Excellent news!

    Having used Starkers for the basis to Wordpress projects for a while now, and beginning to use HTML 5 (and CSS3) a lot more now it’s good to know that Starkers has received an update.

    Was about to begin updating my own site to HTML 5 and this is a welcome boost.

  9. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    26 January 2010 @ 02:01AM #

    @ Karl: My sincere apologies: I’d totally forgotten about your theme! I’ve updated the post now with a link to yours. Sorry about that!

  10. Mattijs Bliek

    Mattijs Bliek

    26 January 2010 @ 03:06AM #

    Cool to see so many people supporting html5! Hopefully IE9 will follow so we can all ditch those javascript browser hacks. Now, on to picking an html5 video standard…*

  11. Karl


    27 January 2010 @ 03:23AM #

    Ha! Not at all Elliot!

    “Mr. Ambassador, you are spoiling us with this update.”
    =Ferrero Rocher

  12. Tyler Lange

    Tyler Lange

    28 January 2010 @ 12:28AM #


    I will also be using this for all my next WP builds.

    Thanks so much!

    Tyler Lange

  13. Thomas


    09 March 2010 @ 10:00PM #

    Thanks, you can never be too future proof. When you work on the next implementation of Starkers, will you be writing a HTML5 version too, or are you holding off on it for now?
    Also, thanks for releasing Starkers, it’s an amazing timesaver (could do with stripping the Mac OS X metadata though, shave off a few kilobytes :)

© 2005 – 2014 Elliot Jay Stocks. All rights reserved. Powered by Harmony and tracked by Gaug.es. To keep updated with new content, you might like to subscribe to my RSS feed.