Sage Starter

The best starter theme with a modern front-end development workflow. Based on Sage, HTML5 Boilerplate, gulp, Bower, and Bootstrap.
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Sage Starter

devDependency Status

Sage Starter is a starter theme based on Roots Sage theme version 8.6, which references HTML5 Boilerplate, Gulp, and Bower that will help you make better websites.


Prerequisite How to check How to install
Node.js >= 6.9.x node -v
gulp-cli >= 2.0.0 gulp -v npm install -g gulp-cli
Bower >= 1.3.12 bower -v npm install -g bower
PHP >= 7.x.x php -v

PHP is optional, but use the latest PHP version that's available.

For more installation notes, refer to the Install gulp and Bower section in this document.


  • gulp build script that compiles both Sass and Less, checks for JavaScript errors, optimizes images, and concatenates and minifies files
  • BrowserSync for keeping multiple browsers and devices synchronized while testing, along with injecting updated CSS and JS into your browser while you're developing
  • Bower for front-end package management
  • asset-builder for the JSON file based asset pipeline
  • ARIA roles and microformats


Clone the git repo - git clone and then rename the directory to the name of your theme or website.

Theme development

Sage Starter uses gulp as its build system and Bower to manage front-end packages.

Bower is outdated and not recommended since the mid-2010s, but will remain in this starter project for the time being.

Install gulp and Bower

Building this project requires node.js. For best results, update to the latest version of npm: npm i -g [email protected]. I personally recommend using NVM.

From the command line:

  1. Install gulp-cli and Bower globally with npm i -g gulp bower
  2. Navigate to the theme directory, then run npm i
  3. Run bower install

You now have all the necessary dependencies to run the build process.

Available gulp commands

  • gulp — Compile and optimize the files in your assets directory
  • gulp watch — Compile assets when file changes are made
  • gulp --production — Compile assets for production (no source maps).

Using BrowserSync

To use BrowserSync during gulp watch you need to update devUrl at the bottom of assets/manifest.json to reflect your local development hostname.

For example, if your local development URL is http://project-name.test you would update the file to read:

  "config": {
    "devUrl": "http://project-name.test"

If your local development URL looks like http://localhost:8888/project-name/ you would update the file to read:

  "config": {
    "devUrl": "http://localhost:8888/project-name/"

SVG support

Sage Starter has built-in SVG support! The preferred method for using SVG as implemented is an SVG sprite.


Make sure each SVG has an ID.

<svg xmlns="">
    <symbol id="twitter" viewBox="0 0 64 64">
        <path etc.../>

Save any SVG files you want to use into /assets/images/sprite and the build process will combine all of those images into /assets/images/sprite/sprite.svg.

To use in markup, apply the ID to an SVG's Use element.

<svg role="img" title="Twitter">
    <use xlink:href="map.svg#twitter"/>

Check out SVG For Everybody for IE and <=Edge 12 support of SVG sprites.


Sage theme's original documentation is available at These instructions aren't consistent with Sage Starter but provide historical context for installation and running Gulp.


Contributions are welcome and encouraged from everyone!

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