Setup WordPress sites fast with Starter Templates

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Estimated reading time: 3 min

I want to talk about Starter templates, that is, full sites that you can download into your WordPress installation and start working on immediately. A lot of themes bring on their own site templates for you to use but in this demo we will be using the Starter Templates plugin by the folks that created the Astra theme.

The starter template plugin

The plugin is completely free to use and you can upgrade to a Pro version. There are templates for 4 page builders: Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver builder and Brizy. You can find it on the WordPress.org site or search for it when you click Plugins, Add New.

Starter Templates Plugin

Install and activate the plugin

In order to install the templates you need to install and activate the plugin first.

Install and Activate the plugin

Once you do this you will see a link to “See Library”. Click on that link to get started.

Click on “See Library” to start

Choose a page builder and import

The developers at Astra (Brainstorm Force) have made sure you can use these templates with some of the most popular page builders in the market. Chose one of them so you can then view the templates that are available for that page builder. We’ll be using Gutenberg (block editor) in this demo if you want to follow along.

If you have already imported a Starter site and want another the system will ask you if you want to delete the data from the first import. It won’t override any pages you have added to the site.
Choose your page builder

On the next screen you’ll see all your choices, but it’s not to late to go back and choose a different page builder if you prefer.

Choose another page builder

You can check each design and import either one of the pages you see or the entire site.

The plugin will ask some info for their own research and then ask you if you want to install the Astra Theme (it needs it for the templates to work). It will also ask you if you want any other plugins that the template needs to be installed.

Follow the instructions

You will be asked to add your name and email but this step can be skipped. I imagine they get you into their mailing list if you submit that information.

You can skip this step

Now you’ll have to wait for the import to finish. Sometimes it’s very quick, other times it can take about a minute or two.

Wait for the import to finish

Once the import is finished you are given a link to preview your site.

Click to view your site

Check your site

You should check your site and the pages that have been imported to see if everything works correctly. Also open one of the pages to see how it looks in the block editor (Gutenberg).

Click on the different areas of the page to see what type of blocks were used to get the different looks in the page. Here we can see that this beautiful hero area is created with the Cover block.

Check the blocks to see how they made the page

Reusable blocks

If you like a certain area and want to add it in another page you can make a reusable block by clicking on the three dots to the right of the module, then choosing “Add to reusable blocks”.

Reusable blocks are a bit tricky because if you edit the block it will change its content in all the places you have put them in. So your best bet is to create the block, break the connection with the master block THEN change it according to your design. That way you can change the contents for only that instance.

Add more content with Patterns

One thing I really liked is that the Starter Templates come with some patterns that you can add to your design. They have 3-4 options in different styles that you can use to improve your site.

Import patterns from the library

The results are really fabulous!

Pattern that has been imported into the site

Resources

Starter Templates – https://startertemplates.com/

Starter Templates Plugin – https://wordpress.org/plugins/astra-sites/

Conclusion

I think Starter Templates really help you get ideas for your site. If you are like me (I don’t have a design background) you sometimes need a little bit of inspiration and it helps to see what the current trends in web design are.

So what are you waiting for? Go get some starter templates for your site!

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