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[Resolved] replacement for Toolset Starter Theme????

This support ticket is created 5 years, 10 months ago. There's a good chance that you are reading advice that it now obsolete.

This is the technical support forum for Toolset - a suite of plugins for developing WordPress sites without writing PHP.

Everyone can read this forum, but only Toolset clients can post in it. Toolset support works 6 days per week, 19 hours per day.

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 7 voices.

Last updated by Evan Seplow 4 years, 2 months ago.

Assisted by: Luo Yang.


I'm shocked and saddened that you have deprecated that theme. I've asked numerous times over the years if you would do so and the answer was always that you wouldn't stop it. I have a ton of sites all created on this theme. If it starts breaking then that will be tons of work on client sites to have to fix. Not cool.

I've NEVER been interested in using fancy themes. One of the main reasons I liked Toolset was being given the ability to create MY OWN header, footer, etc areas. I DON'T want to be locked into some other themes complications and limitations. Layouts let me do whatever I wanted!

I don't wish to spend hours (days) looking through the themes you recommend:

... Just to get back the clean, simple non-functionality of the 'Starter' theme. Can you please recommend the most vanilla theme I (and others) can use as a replacement?

PS: I know and understand I can continue using starter for the time being. But you recommend not using it on new sites.


The Toolset Starter theme is deprecated as you report.
The reason are several, mainly, the low need, the (future) issues with eventual tools like Gutenberg, and the fact that Toolset Layouts, apart from never been properly integrated in the Theme, now as well works with any theme, hence, the Starter Theme as such was not required anymore.

I understand that some users, you are one of, used this Theme extensively to build Sites.
What I suggest in this case is:
- either keep the theme, but be aware that future BUG-fixing would not be done by us.
- or, start to move to a more maintainable Theme, if you like slim, and even less crowded with "fancy" than the Starter Theme

I can provide you an example Theme, that I made for this case.
Your are 100% free to use it as you like, modify, etc.
Just, this is not a Toolset Product, hence, you cannot expect Support for the Theme itself from us.
But, after you see the code in the theme you will realistically recognize that there is not much that can break in it.

The Theme is the most possible minimal version of a WordPress Theme that integrates Toolset (inclusive Layouts).
It is fully commented in the code to explain the "what, why and how".

All ex-Toolset Starter Users that needed another option either switched to the common themes we recommend:
Or, they use the Theme I introduce above:

As said, this would be something that you can use to create a fully "in house" theme of yours, which you probably will have to support less than the currently used Toolset Starter Theme, since it's just as slim as possible.

I as well experiment with Bootstrap 4 here:
hidden link
That is however not touched since the last Bootstrap 4 alpha, so, it's just a starter point if you are interested.

Please let me know if you can follow up in your projects with something like the Theme I share above?
Or, if you prefer to create your own theme based on the Starter Theme, and use that in future?

I am personally interested in your choice as ex-Developer in charge of The Starter Theme (well, towards the end of it's life ? ), as the author of the Theme I share above, and as user of Toolset myself.


Hello Beda,

I always appreciate your considered and fully thought out responses. Thank you.

• I understand when a company decides it can't put resources into something anymore. But this is yet another item not handled well by the Toolset team. If your going to stop something: LET US KNOW. You can certainly send a warning out to users, you have the system for that. You KNOW who's using this theme, for example. I shouldn't have to find out this way, while I've being going along for months building new sites with something you guys are depreciating with no notice. Adding to that insult is how many times I've asked and been told it would not go away.

• I also think that if you had good tutorials on using the starter theme people would have JUMPED to using it over any other themes - due to the flexibility of full control. But I believe it's always been a 'hidden' feature on your site, buried on other pages and not easily spotted.

• Moving on from that:
Your minimax theme is appreciated and I'll look into it.

BUT: I'd also rather have an option that is maintained. Can you please tell me, out of the themes listed here:

Will ANY of them let me to create my own headers, footers, etc and not just the body with toolset? Which one(s) would be CLOSEST to toolset starter theme?



For the question:

Will ANY of them let me to create my own headers, footers, etc and not just the body with toolset? Which one(s) would be CLOSEST to toolset starter theme?

It needs custom codes, and you can design all contents (headers, footers, etc) under Layouts plugin control, see our document:

if you want to use Layouts to design your whole site, including header, sidebars, and footer, you need to integrate your theme with the plugin.


Hi Beda, I'd be interested in your thin 'minimax?' theme?


I edited the comment where I link to the theme, you should now see the link


@ scottB

I agree entirely (see my own thread on this topic here The removal of the Toolset Starter theme with absolutely NO warning has cost me dearly and is so unprofessional. Given the quality of support we've experienced so far, it's also been a big surprise and I do worry that this lack of consideration for users is to become the norm.

For what it's worth, if you're looking for something as simple as possible but with support, try the Astra theme. Some of the 'pro' features can be achieved simply by tweaking/adding your own CSS so I'd recommend giving the free version a try first. 🙂


Thanks Beda... I tried the Genesis Framework and free theme and it was just horrible and a waste of money. Like many others I just want a simple bootstrap theme that is Toolset/WooCommerce ready that I can completely customise myself through CSS. So... I ditched Genesis, installed your theme and I'm good to go. I do think there's a case for a bare-bones theme like Toolset Starter. Surely it's not much to maintain - you're doing it already?! Thanks again.


I responded on JulieP's other post, but to iterate here as well:

I completely agree with JulieP here.

No notification is a HUGE blunder and causes your users time, energy and grief.

Plus, I still have a lack of knowing what a good replacement will/can be. Julie: What is that 'Different Theme' you now like? Can you please share info?


don't know if you'll get this because the ticket is now closed (and strangely I did respond a few days ago but my input appears not to have been saved). I've been using Astra theme.


I too have been using only the Starter Theme (mainly because evey other theme I used in the past ended up not being supported). I have only just found out that the Starter theme has been similarly terminated.

I just hope the theme keeps on working as it will take someone a long time to move all my clients. The most recent is being set up right now!!



Hey guys. FWIW, I've been very happy for years with "Underscores" as a supported and minimalist theme: hidden link


Hi Beda and Luo!

I am using Minimax (latest download) and found a bug I think. I raised a separate support request with Luo until I realised it might be the theme causing the issue. Beda - I have sent you an 'issue' via GitHub.






Adding a note here, as others might have issues if using MinimaX-1 Theme with the meanwhile whole new world of Blocks

MinimaX-1 was made for and with Layouts in mind, it's hence not suggested to be used without.
It can be used without Layouts but then, with Views in classic mode, not Toolset Blocks.

Please also stay tuned on GitHub:
- soon I'll add an automatic updates notifier included in the themes and plugins
- a new theme version without Layouts but Blocks in mind will be available
- eh, if I would have more time...

This ticket is now closed. If you're a Toolset client and need related help, please open a new support ticket.