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Introducing Forge

By Drew Strojny on October 7, 2011

Forge makes it easy to develop WordPress themes.

I am excited to introduce Forge, a free command-line toolkit for bootstrapping and developing WordPress themes in a tidy environment using front-end languages like Sass and CoffeeScript. As part of Forge, we’re also releasing Struts, a simple theme options framework for WordPress.

How does it work?

Forge creates a neatly organized source folder with clean and simple scaffolding (base template files, SCSS files, and theme options). The source folder is automatically compiled to your local WordPress install(s) as you save changes and work on your theme. When you are ready to distribute your theme Forge will build it to a folder of your choice or bundle the theme up into an easy to install zip package.

Why use Forge?

Developing themes with Forge is more fun! Forge accelerates development by giving you access to higher-level languages like Sass and CoffeeScript. These languages are much quicker and cleaner to code, but still compile to normal CSS and JavaScript. Forge also makes it easy to quickly bootstrap into and work from a clean and modular development environment, while still compiling “by the book” WordPress theme code.

Just the beginning

Forge is still very rough around the edges, and we’ve just started using it for our own theme development. If you have any feedback we’d love to hear it. If you run into any bugs or would like to see any new features please open an issue over on Github.

We plan on adding more goodies like automatic CSS / JavaScript minification and built in support for LiveReload soon.


  1. Gilles

    Hello Drew,

    Great work, thanks.

    I hesitated between LESS and SCSS to optimize my WordPress CSS development but with this tool, no more hesitation ;-)

    Can i use Compass framework with Forge ?

  2. Gilles

    Hello Drew,

    I’ve got another question …
    You are not lucky, you fell on a shit disturber ;-)

    I ran Forge and everything are ok
    Forge is very handy for WP theme development, really !

    I discovered Stitch and to use it i need to edit the config.rb file from compass to include stitch with this code: “require ‘stitch’

    If i use Forge, there is a way to edit the config.rb Compass file to include Stitch?

    Thanks you for your patience.

  3. Andy Adams

    Hey Gilles,

    Right now, there isn’t a way to do what you’re talking about – but we’re hoping to add it in before long. We need to take a good look at Compass configuration, because some of the Compass variables don’t apply to Forge – but it’s on our list to do soon:

    Thanks for the kind feedback!

  4. Gilles

    Thank you Drew and Andy for your answers.

    Good news, i stay tune about Forge evolution and look forward to this new feature.
    In the meantime i will give a try to Forge for my next WP theme project.

    Thank you again for sharing your tools.
    See you

  5. Basti


    i think I found a way to include some other plugins / frameworks. Sorry if I don’t use the correct terms, i’ve discovered all this compass, ruby and forge stuff some hours ago and i’m really not familiar with it.

    I wanted to include “susy” – a compass plugin and found no way to do that via some command line parameter or similar.
    My solution was editing /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/forge-0.2.0/lib/forge/builder.rb to this:

    rrequire ‘sprockets’
    require ‘sprockets-sass’
    require ‘sass’
    require ‘susy’ <—- added this line to use also the compass-susy-plugin
    require 'less'
    require 'zip/zip'
    require 'compass'
    require 'forge/engines'

    hope that helps someone…

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