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'Transform yourself and your team into custom WordPress experts — in less than a business day'

You’re a busy WordPress developer, launching new sites week after week. You know you should devote time to leveling-up your skills and building your systems ... but with all the projects you’re juggling, you just barely have time to stay afloat.

Setting aside the time for training? It's a pipe dream. Instead, you're figuring it out on the fly...

  • Maybe you’ll learn some tricks from docs here and there...

  • Or discover some useful YouTube tutorials...

  • Or grab a code snippet from a lucky Stack Overflow thread...




And maybe you’ll get stuck ... and stay up all night scrambling to squash bugs before you miss your deadline.

At first, figuring it out as you go can be exciting. After all, you’re a lifelong learner and always looking for cool new tools to try. That nagging voice in your head keeps reminding you that someday you should build a repeatable system ... but your day-to-day workload always gets in the way.

And so, the grind continues. Sometimes everything works out and you’re proud to ship a new site. Sometimes you’re up all night and losing money on a project gone horribly awry.

That’s the life of a coder, right?

Wrong.

There’s a better, faster, smarter way to learn everything you need to know about building custom WordPress themes.

  • Instead of struggling through docs and forum threads, you could have the entire, step-by-step system at your fingertips from Day One.

  • Instead of taking a guess at the best approach to a challenge, you could get straightforward advice from devs with decades of experience solving the same problem.

  • And instead of devoting months and months to training – and losing income by putting off paid work while you’re learning – you could learn everything you need to know in just a single business day.



If you had all that, you’d discover that finding the right training – more than any other single action you can take today – is the key to building a prosperous, profitable business and career as a WordPress developer. 

If you rely on fly-by-night Google searches for answers, you’ll eventually learn stuff, but it’ll be disjointed rather than systematic. In fact, your workflow right now probably includes an amalgamation of tips you learned here and there – an IDE from a friend, a plugin from a forum thread, a handy function from a co-worker. That kind of search-as-you-go mentality may be fine when you’re just starting out, but it will quickly distract you from your paid work, making your projects far less efficient and costing you time and money you can’t afford to lose.

And when you’re lucky enough to expand into a multi-developer team, it’s nearly impossible to translate all the processes that are in your head into a simple, clearly defined system for scaling your business up.

That’s where I was five years ago – a full-stack WordPress developer with a growing team of bright new hires who were building cool sites in a way that was basically total chaos. We were shipping great work, but there was no clear, consistent system that allowed everyone to get on the same page.

Rob HowardI’m Rob Howard, the CEO of Understrap and Howard Development & Consulting, the Denver-based web development firm that owns and manages the Understrap open-source project. Today, I’m excited to share an inside look at how I’ve trained my team to become Understrap pros – and built a system that allows us to rapidly onboard new developers and ensure everyone is building high-quality, handcrafted sites that rock our clients’ worlds and bring in plenty of profit for the company.

When I first started out, some people told me that you can’t systematize the creation of a handcrafted site – “it’s more of an art than a science,” they’d say. I didn’t buy it. I knew that with the right focus on education, we could grow in a way that ensured every developer would become an expert in record time, even if they didn’t have Understrap experience on their resumé.

And so, my team and I embarked on a mission to build the world’s best training for creating custom WordPress themes. Understrap was a natural choice as a simple, flexible and lightweight theme framework that combines Bootstrap and Underscores, two of our favorite resources. When we started our education project, we didn’t know that we’d soon have the chance to acquire the Understrap project in its entirety – and in May 2021, we jumped at that opportunity. We’re now the owners and managers of Understrap, and our full-time professional development team is dedicated to roadmapping and improving the Understrap software for years to come.

We’ve spent years developing our internal training tools, and we’re excited to share them with you for the first time today. Like you, this was something we knew we should create for ourselves, but it was always at the bottom of a crowded to-do list, constantly displaced by urgent client requests and the need to keep cash flowing every month.

Finally, we took the leap and invested tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into solving The Training Problem for our team once and for all. Today, we’re thrilled to share the results with you – our official starter guide to building handcrafted WordPress sites with Understrap...

Introducing Instant Understrap, the WordPress developer's guide to faster, smarter, more profitable custom theme projects

We’re excited to share our new course, Instant Understrap, to help you rapidly up your game and train yourself (and your team) on a simple, powerful, consistent approach to WordPress theme development.

You’ve already discovered that Understrap is a lightweight, easy-to-use framework that combines the best of Underscores and Bootstrap into a streamlined, flexible package.

The next step is ensuring that you have a fast and straightforward path to becoming an Understrap expert – and that as your team grows, everyone who touches your sites has the opportunity to become an instant expert too.

Instant Understrap is the exact training system we use for our team of 15 developers, designers and project managers at Howard Development & Consulting, and it has dramatically improved our processes and our profitability. 

Because we’ve trained everyone on our team using the methods we share in Instant Understrap, we can guarantee on-time, on-budget delivery for all of our WordPress projects (yes, we literally give clients a guarantee) – rather than just passing it off to a dev and hoping for the best. When a new person joins our team, it’s not a slog or a crisis to find time to train them – they just hop into the course and watch the same 5+ hours of in-depth video training that we’re now sharing with you.

Instead of weeks of laborious and frustrating training, your new hires can be up and running in a business day – with the same exact local dev environment and the same exact structural understanding of Understrap and WordPress customization. 

Instant Understrap is the secret to fast, efficient training and standardization – without sacrificing the custom, handcrafted dev work that your clients count on you to provide. You'll become a stronger developer yourself and get the simple, scalable system you need to share that expertise with everybody on your team.

Instant Understrap includes...

  • Lifetime access to all course material, so you can learn at your own pace and revisit it anytime.

  • 5+ hours of in-depth video lessons, with step-by-step guides you can follow to get up and running quickly and build fast, profitable Understrap sites. Full closed-captioning on every video.

  • Written companion cheat-sheets, code samples and transcripts to accompany every lesson, so you can quickly reference what you've learned.

  • A special live Q&A for all Instant Understrap students – join the Understrap professional dev team on Zoom and ask us anything. The one-time event is Wed., Aug. 4, at 9 a.m. Pacific – if you can't make it, submit your questions in advance and we'll share the recording.

  • Have a team of 5 or more? Grab the special Team License and grant access to up to 10 people on the same e-mail domain for one low price.

Here's what you'll learn...

Expand each chapter to see the full curriculum

  • 1

    Tools of the Trade

    • Welcome! Start Here

    • Our Exact Local Dev Environment

    • Downloading, Installing and Setting up your Understrap Parent and Child Themes

    • Our Favorite IDE + Integrating your Code Editor with your Git Repo

    • Our Exact Visual Studio Code Extensions List

    • Cheat Sheet: Tools of the Trade

  • 2

    The Command Line

    • UPDATE: Replacing Gulp in Understrap 1.0+

    • Rapid local development with Node.js, NPM and Gulp.js

    • Installing and setting up Gulp and NPM

    • Automating your dev environment with Gulp 'watch'

    • Cheat Sheet

  • 3

    WP Admin Customization

    • Built-In Design Options with the Theme Customizer

    • Understrap's Built-In Widgets and Menus

    • Built-In Page Templates for Every Layout

    • Cheat Sheet

  • 4

    Front-End Development with Bootstrap

    • Building Blocks of Bootstrap: Sass, Variables and Rapidly Changing Fonts

    • Extraordinarily Simple CSS: Bootstrap's Grid, Responsive Breakpoints, Sass Nesting and More

    • Bootstrap Components, Meet WordPress Widgets: Applying Bootstrap styles to WordPress output without writing PHP

    • UPDATE: New Widget Styling in WordPress 5.8+

    • Cheat Sheet

  • 5

    Building Your Back-End with Underscores

    • The Building Blocks of Underscores: Template Structure and Child Themes

    • Customizing your Header, Footer and Navigation

    • Building Clean, Simple Custom Post Types and Templates

    • Creating Powerful Custom Page Templates

    • Cheat Sheet

  • 6

    Integrating JavaScript, Bootstrap and Underscores

    • Writing Custom JavaScript: Modal Pop-up Case Study

    • Integrating Third-Party JavaScript Libraries: ScrollMagic Case Study

    • Cheat Sheet

  • 7

    Resources + Next Steps

    • Thanks + Next Steps...

    • Download the Completed Child Theme

    • Bonus: Student Q&A Webinar Recording

Meet Your Instructors

We're the team behind Understrap and Howard Development & Consulting, the web dev firm that owns, manages and maintains the Understrap open-source project.

CEO

Rob Howard

Rob is the CEO of Understrap and Howard Development & Consulting. Based in Denver, he brings 20+ years of full-stack development experience and an eye for design, publishing and communication to the Understrap Academy team.

Rob is a graduate of Syracuse University. He's been featured in Wired, Entrepreneur, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek and TechCrunch, among many other major publications. His clients have included MIT, The World Bank, Marriott and The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Technology Director

Brian Coords

Brian is the Technology Director at Understrap and Howard Development & Consulting. Located in Southern California, Brian is a former college instructor and full-stack developer who brings his unique academic perspective to Understrap Academy.

Brian is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University Pomona and California State University Fullerton. His work has included projects for Harvard University, The World Bank, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Software Developer

Nyasha Green

Nyasha is a Software Developer at Understrap and Howard Development & Consulting. Based in South Carolina, she brings the unique perspective of an experienced coder and new entrant into the world of Understrap, and she's crafted the course to be the perfect fit for beginners, intermediate developers and growing teams.

Nyasha is a graduate of University of South Carolina. Her work has included projects for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Colorado State University, and Harvard University.
Harvard
The World Bank
Colorado State University
Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
MIT

After 20+ years in business, we're sharing everything we know about building custom, handcrafted WordPress sites

Our clients speak for themselves...

'The total package'

– Montana S.

"Simply put, Howard Development & Consulting has exceeded our expectations at every turn. They cared about our project and truly felt like an extension of our team. They were excellent at translating our animation ideas into reality, met every deadline, and on top of it were fun to work with. They are the total package."

'Love working with this team!'

– Brittany H.

"Love working with this team! They are very responsive and do great work."

'Professionals through and through'

– Mali C.

"Rob Howard and his team are professionals through and through. They ask the right questions, are incredibly responsive and make great suggestions so that they are always part of the solution. When we send development work their way, we don't have to worry. The work is always done well and on time."

'Dream team of developers'

– Laura B.

"I have worked with many developers throughout the 10+ years of building WordPress sites and have always had a rotating door of developers. Working with Rob Howard and his Dream Team of developers was so easy, reasonably priced, and very organized. They delivered the project on time and without any confusion about what needed to be done. I can't wait to be able to work with them on many more projects to come."

'Attention to detail'

– Shardul K.

"You make the process so much easier for us. We don’t have to have a lot of back and forth. You understand our attention to detail and requirements on the visual side of things as much as you understand the technical side of things."

Is Instant Understrap right for me?

This course will help you speed up your development process, make your projects more profitable, and become an Understrap expert in record time. Instant Understrap is great for...

  • Beginning Understrap Developers – you've built with WordPress before, but are just starting out with Understrap.

  • Intermediate Understrap Developers – you've built a handful of Understrap sites and want to up your game.

  • Teams of Developers – you want to standardize your team's process and training, help your new hires learn quickly, and make your projects faster and more profitable.

  • Instant Understrap may not be right for you if you're an extremely advanced Understrap dev without a team. You may learn a few useful tidbits, but much of it will be review. (Stay tuned for our more advanced material coming soon.)

  • If you're brand new to WordPress, this course is not right for you. You'll need basic knowledge of how WordPress themes and plugins work, plus at least an entry-level knowledge of front-end development, to get the most value from the course.

Here's everything that's included with Instant Understrap...

  • Lifetime access to all course material, so you can learn at your own pace and revisit it anytime.

  • 5+ hours of in-depth video lessons, with step-by-step guides you can follow to get up and running quickly and build fast, profitable Understrap sites. Full closed-captioning on every video.

  • Written companion cheat-sheets, code samples and transcripts to accompany every lesson, so you can quickly reference what you've learned.

  • A special live Q&A for all Instant Understrap students – join the Understrap professional dev team on Zoom and ask us anything. The one-time event is Wed., Aug. 4, at 9 a.m. Pacific – if you can't make it, submit your questions in advance and we'll share the recording.

  • Have a team of 5 or more? Grab the special Team License and grant access to up to 10 people on the same e-mail domain for one low price.

Our unbeatable 60-day money-back guarantee

Try Instant Understrap for a full 60 days, risk free.

Your investment is protected by our unconditional 60-day 100% money-back guarantee. Try the full course for 60 days, and if you aren’t blown away by the course for any reason, we insist that you get your 100% of money back.

Just e-mail us within 60 days and we’ll provide a full refund. That means you can start building your Understrap skills today, 100% risk-free.

Join Instant Understrap Today

Your enrollment includes lifetime access to all course material and our 60-day money-back guarantee.

The Solo License is good for one person. If you have five or more developers on your team, the Team License is the best deal – it covers up to 10 developers with the same company e-mail domain.

'A teacher who makes complex challenges feel simple'

– Margo A.

“Rob has this really clarifying way of explaining things – unlike other courses I’ve taken and instructors I’ve seen. He’s a great teacher, and he executes. He’s action-oriented, but the way he shows you what actually matters is so, so helpful.”

'Their knowledge and expertise are unmatched'

– Eric K.

"I've been working with Howard Development and Consulting on and off for 15 years now. Their knowledge and expertise are unmatched in the industry. The professionalism and quality of work have always been top-notch."

'Beyond perfect'

– Mauro B.

"My experience working with Howard Development & Consulting was beyond perfect, great listeners, very responsive and professional, their work is fantastic and went way beyond my expectations!"

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long do I have access to the course?

    You have lifetime access to all course material, so you can take it at your own pace and check back anytime. You'll receive all course lessons immediately upon purchasing.

  • What if I'm not happy with the course?

    We're always available for questions and clarifications via e-mail and in the course-area comments. If you are unsatisfied with the course, we offer a 60-day 100% money-back guarantee.

  • How much time should I commit to the course?

    The full set of course videos is about 5 hours in total. You can take them all in a day or work through them at your own pace – it's your call. You have lifetime access to revisit all the videos and other course materials whenever you need to.

  • What if I get busy and fall behind?

    The course is entirely self-paced – you can speed through it and then implement what you’ve learned, or you can watch each lesson and digest it slowly. Either way, you have lifetime access, and you can revisit the course material at any time.

  • Is this the official Understrap starter guide?

    Yes, this is the only official Understrap starter guide. The course is created and delivered by the professional Understrap development team at Howard Development & Consulting. The Understrap theme is and will always be open-source and free, and we acquired ownership and management of the open-source Understrap project in May 2021.

  • Is the Understrap theme itself still free?

    Yes! Understrap is and always will be open-source and free. Our professional dev team is now actively updating and maintaining the theme, so you'll see lots of cool improvements in the coming months, including Gutenberg support.

  • Can I share the course with my team?

    If you're buying the course for more than one person, please purchase a Solo License for each individual, or grab a Team License, which is the best deal if you have 5 or more people taking the course. The Team License allows for up to 10 users on the same company e-mail domain.

'We left hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table...'

Rob HowardWhen my team and I were creating the Instant Understrap course, I came to a harsh realization – if we had done this five years ago, we would have saved a huge amount of trouble and made vastly more money.

By delaying – and leaving our training system on the bottom of our to-do list for years – we left hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table. When I look back on projects that didn’t go well, I can’t help but think that we would have succeeded on them if we’d had this system. And when I think about team members who struggled to learn the ropes of custom WordPress dev, I am sure they would have done better if they could have started with a simple, powerful system like Instant Understrap.

Even when you consider the tens of thousands of dollars I invested in creating this course, it has rapidly paid for itself – many times over – by giving me and my team a clear, quick system for building handcrafted WordPress sites. 

In fact, if we sat down with you and your team and developed this exact system as a one-on-one project, we’d have to charge upwards of $24,000 for our time.

Instead, Instant Understrap can be yours for a tiny fraction of what it cost us to create it.

You’ll get our complete Understrap custom theme development training system – the same one we use to generate more than $1 million a year in web development revenue working for clients like Harvard and The World Bank.

You’ll get lifetime access, so you can watch all 5+ hours of high-resolution video in a business day, or revisit them any time in the future for a refresher.

You’ll get cheat sheets and full, written transcripts (plus video closed captions) with every lesson.

You’ll get invited to our live Zoom Q&A on August 4, so you can ask me and our professional dev team anything.

You’ll have the option to share it all with your team under the Team License, so you can rapidly systematize your business. That means you’ll be able to give your team more autonomy and focus more on other areas of your business – just like I did.

And it’s all covered by our unbeatable 60-day 100% money-back guarantee.

You owe it to yourself, your team and your clients to finally take training off the bottom of your to-do list. Instead of struggling to build your own system and delaying for another month or another year, our complete, powerful custom theme development system can be yours for about the cost of a night out.

Will you invest in a proven system to up your skills and scale your business – or will you let it sit on your to-do list for another year?

– Rob Howard
CEO of Understrap and Howard Development & Consulting

Join Instant Understrap today

You get lifetime access, 100% risk-free, protected by our unbeatable 60-day money-back guarantee

'A team I can trust'

– Anne Marie F.

"I just knew right away that Rob was going to be somebody to lead a team that I could trust."

'Fast, friendly, incredibly professional'

– Sean L.

"I have worked with a lot of developers over the years, and Rob Howard is the only one I return to, project after project. Rob and his team are fast, friendly, incredibly professional, and above all else they actually answer you in a timely manner."
Wired
Newsweek
TechCrunch
Entertainment Weekly
Quartz
U.S. News & World Report
Mashable
Hacker Noon
Entrepreneur