Composite Theme

Download composite for free at saberwp/composite: Composite WordPress theme. ( Composite requires the ACF Pro (Advanced Custom Fields) plugin to be installed and active.

About the Composite Theme

Composite is a mixture of old and new, defined in the Gutenberg era of WP as a "classic theme" or "hybrid theme". We continue to use tried and true technologies in this theme including PHP page templates and WP menus. At the same time we're exploring the integration of modern JS and CSS including React and Tailwind.

Why the Dependency on ACF Pro?

If it were up to us there would be a field system baked into WordPress. There is a meta field system that is in WordPress core, and ACF Pro along with other field plugins utilize this system to store key/pair data. Unfortunately the WP core only provides the storage, and not the UI. If we put our development time into building the fields for settings and configuration, as well as supporting customization, then we would overwhelmed by this work and largely unable to build the more innovative features we want to provide through Composite. While it is somewhat annoying to have a dependency, we also know that ACF is used as a de facto standard solution for fields by millions of WordPress users.

Using ACF's powerful field system and Gutenberg block building tools has enabled us to minimize the time spent on reinventing the wheel.

Child Themes

Child themes are well supported by Composite. Because Composite uses traditional theme templates by default, it can be extended using a child theme. In your child theme, you will usually want to begin by overriding some of the default templates. You can do this by copying the template from Composite, using the same name and placing it into your child theme.

Block Development Process

  • Figma design process. The result of this step should be a fully specified design that is sufficiently detailed to guide development.


Composite WordPress theme is available from a public GitHub. The theme is free, and will always be free. You can install it by downloading the latest install package. Just look for "packages" on the GitHub repository.

Once you have downloaded a package zip from GitHub, you can either manually unzip it into the /wp-content/themes/* folder, or you can upload the theme from the WP Admin > Appearance > Themes page.

Once installed successfully, click "Activate" to run the activation process for the Composite theme.

After successfully installing and activating Composite theme, visit the front-end of your site to make sure everything is loaded as expected.

We recommending that you avoid doing theme changes on any production website. Instead please test Composite theme on a local development site, or a staging server where your changes will not be seen publicly.

License & Freedom

Composite is a GPL3 licensed WordPress theme. In addition, because GPL3 means license freedom, but not necessarily free of financial cost, let's clarify that Composite is distributed without cost. It is distributed and updated via the Composite GitHub repository where release packages are made, and where developers can pull or fork the code as they wish.

We have made a firm commitment that Composite base theme will always be free. If at some point in the future we want to monetize Composite, we will do so by alternative methods other than licensing the base theme. These method may include creating and selling child themes that work with Composite. It may also include the sale of optional starter kits, or plugins that work with Composite to add functionality for a specific type of site, or a specific industry.


Composite Theme does require ACF Pro. However the theme does not provide (currently) an install check to determine if ACF Pro is in fact installed. As a result it is possible that immediately after activation the theme may cause your site to crash due to the missing ACF Pro requirement. This may also happen in the event that your site deactivates ACF Pro even on a temporary basis.

The recovery process if Composite Theme has errors due to the missing ACF Pro dependency is to activate any other theme temporarily. Only activate Composite Theme after the dependency is met.

Composite Settings

Composite Theme adds a theme settings control panel to your WordPress admin. This is found in the main menu near the bottom of the menu and is titled "Composite".


Q2, April - June 2023

Composite is already a stable and fully functional theme. The goal in this quarter will be to refine the template defaults provided and add 2-3 plugin integration supports. A plugin integration support is a feature of the theme that is built specifically to provide rendering for a given plugin. This type of handling is common with plugins such as WooCommerce because we're able to declare plugin support and provide specific templates based on the WC default template structure. It is less common, and much more challenging to provide for content where it's unpredictable what fields and data will be available at the plugin level.

Integration plugins that Composite Theme will support in order of priority are as follows:

  1. WooCommerce
  2. Saber LMS
  3. Saber Dashboard
  4. MemberPress