David Yeiser is a designer and developer making design systems for companies big and small.🍔

A WordPress Theme for Learners

It was more than 15 years ago that I got my crash course in modern web development. I had decided to move my personal blog from Blogger to an elaborately planned system of static HTML files on my own domain and server. But before I began building it I thought perhaps there’s a better way to do this, something automated… which led me to WordPress, a nascent blogging platform that offered exactly what I wanted. And so began my future.

WordPress was easy to fiddle with back then, my first theme ran off a single index.php file and there was no asset compiling. It was a 1:1 relationship between the input and the output. Change a CSS rule, refresh the page and see what happened.

I can’t imagine trying to learn WordPress for the first time today (or web development as a whole for that matter). It’s not that the themes we have now are bad, they’re just either built to be used by professionals, or packed full of dynamic, user-friendly features that make for an agonizing codebase. Overall it’s good and to be expected, but it makes the barrier to entry quite high.

To lower that barrier, I’ve made a very, very simple WordPress theme for those who want to learn design and development called Basik.¹ The setup and logic for the theme can be grasped just by looking at the file structure and reading the code; and the CSS is written as straight-forward as possible and can be edited directly in style.css. No compiling necessary — edit and refresh.

You can get it on GitHub or download the zip file directly.

Happy learning!

Screenshot of a sample blog post with content showing the Basik WordPress theme design.
Mobile view of a sample blog post using the Basik theme.


  1. Basic is spelled with a “k” because the regular spelling was already taken — as was some of the other theme names I wanted to use. I loathe misspelled words as brands, trademarks or labels, but this one could be worse… I guess.