Has anyone used a theme from underscores - https://underscores.me/?

I am redesigning a website that has a theme made by underscore. When I go to this company’s site it says what they produce is a starter theme, something used to make a theme. What’s the next step for me to help my client?

How do I know if code was added to make it into a proper theme? I am not able to speak to the web designer who built this website.

I’m not entirely sure I understand the question, but I do know that Underscores is a starter theme. It’s intended to be a blank canvas for developers to take and create their themes off of. So there are many themes that are built off of the underscores theme which in and of itself is not intended to be used as a theme.

Basically I am helping troubleshoot for a client on a preexisting website and I noticed that the theme has a custom name (the name of their business) and the author of the theme is underscore.me. The link take me to the website that enables you to download the starter theme. If it is a starter theme it would be bad for my client. Right? How would I know if it is and What would I do about that?

This is the theme that is used. It’s not a child theme, but it seems to me that the starter theme is used itself, not with a child theme - correct? or should that be the parent and a child theme should be added to?

Yes, like you’re saying, starter themes are intended to be used as a starting point – they’re not like frameworks, which you add a child theme to. It sounds more like the theme author forgot to remove the Underscores author! Or they felt it was appropriate to leave it there. But although that’s either a choice or a slipup, there isn’t a problem with Underscores being used as their theme and modified for their purposes.

Thank you Penina for all your input. So I should work with it directly and not add a child theme (whether it was added to or not by the previous web designer)?

Hmm, that’s an interesting question. The theme won’t update, so you don’t have to worry about losing your changes. But in this kind of situation with working with someone else’s code, I’d make a child theme anyway, so it was easier to differentiate between my work and the other dev’s. That is a personal choice, though.

One more thing - I’m not clear if you answered this:

The starter theme’s website says not to use this as a parent theme but rather to add to the starter theme itself. I have no idea what the previous web designer did. She edited templates. That I know and see. Can I assume she did what she was supposed to and continue with this (either to work with it or to add child theme and to work with that like you suggested)?

It sounds like she used it like it’s supposed to be used – she edited templates, and you said there’s no child theme already in place.