Introducing WPly: An HTML5, CSS3, Responsive WordPress Theme Framework

I dropped my framework for building modern, responsive sites a little over a week ago and I’m now happy to introduce the its big brother, WPly.

Download WPly (ZIP, 149kb)

WPly is a Bare Bones WordPress Theme You Can Use to Build Your Own Responsive WordPress Themes

I’ve already used it to build a forthcoming client site and where doing so would normally take me about a day to develop the framework, two days to integrate with WordPress and another day or two for testing, I was able to complete the site in three days tops…much of which was adapting WPly as I saw where the original version fell a bit short in some places. I will continue to improve upon it as I follow through with my commitment to make all my new clients’ sites responsive.


In addition to the swell features built into Ply–lightweight, valid HTML5, CSS3 and simplified breakpoints–WPly comes with some key talking points as well.

  1. Theme Check Approved. The Theme Checker is a plugin (and set of guidelines) provided by WordPress which all themes on the official site are required to meet. I made sure that the theme met all conditions, so you won’t have to.
  2. Simple Comments. Default themes that come with WordPress have code intensive markup that really seems unnecessary for displaying comments. Simple, HTML5-based comments markup that’s easy to style and doesn’t come with a minuscule avatar out of the box.
  3. No Trackbacks or Pings. In theory, trackbacks and pings are a cool feature. In practice, they’re harbingers for SPAM blogs and annoying / confusing to readers. This theme eliminates them altogether.
  4. Simple Social Media Integration Twitter, Google+ and Facebook buttons make short work of integrating these common requirements into your site.
  5. Open Graph Tags Basic OG tags are built into the header.php file and pull dynamically from your content.
  6. Great, minimal theme templates. A helpful 404 page, a custom (“Google-style”) search results page, custom comments callbacks, etc.

What it doesn’t support

While I am releasing this framework to the community at large, it should be noted that I primarily created this to ease my own development, and since my sites don’t use every single piece of functionality available via WP, I haven’t included a few things. These include:

  1. Comments on Pages. You can always add that functionality in by simply including the call to <?php comments_template( '', true ); ?> in the pages.php template.
  2. Post Formats I have yet to come across a client site which required me to implement the somewhat new, Tumblr-esque post formats like Chat, Audio, etc., and have therefore omitted them, at least from the initial release of this theme.

Download WPly WordPress Framework

Download WPly (ZIP, 149kb)

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