I am working on a theme for a client. I am VERY excited about using Statamic for the first time, but am struggling with knowing where to start.

For background, I am a designer with a high-level of expertise in HTML and CSS, but weak programming skills. Plenty of time writing questionable PHP for Wordpress. :-( Statimic seems to be the CMS I’ve been looking for for years.

Most of the content can be handled through static pages, but I’ve outlined the areas I’m concerned about below. The specific questions I’m looking to answer:

  • Is it better to hack an existing theme like Redwood? Or is there a better place to start from scratch?
  • Where is a good place to start? Is there a good way to start from scratch? (In Wordpress days we would hack existing themes, but there has to be a better way here!)
  • Are there any particular problem areas with the specs below?

THANK YOU! I've heard amazing thing about this community and am grateful for your help in advance!



  • Global footer
  • Mailchimp signup in footer (been awhile since I worked with Mailchimp.)
  • Fast load times, so image optimization is essential (I know this is built-in, just want to make sure I implement it right-- is it server-side, or is it something I need to manage?)
  • Would like to see more tracking info than google analytics gives, but also don't want to sacrifice site speed.
  • Blog
  • No commenting
  • Syndication to Medium (I’ve never done this but I think it can be handled entirely through medium)
  • Excerpts, which will be custom text that the feed pages grab instead of just showing the first 300 words or whatever
  • Categories. Maybe tags if they are easy to implement.
  • Pagination (not auto-loading)


The shop is by far the area I am far most worried about. I’ll outline the ideal scenario below, but I can consider that purchasing could take place offsite somewhere like Etsy, and that I could implement a real store at a later date.

  • Custom ordering on the feed page (not auto-sorted)
  • Categories would be nice
  • Single or multi-stock
  • SOLD icon, but have all items be persistent
  • Image galleries on the single item page would be ideal
  • I have no idea whether I want to use Paypal or Stripe, and haven’t really weighed the pros/cons of either

Password protected area

I have some pages and images that I would want password protected. Ideally this would be done through multiple users, but it could also be one password that is manually changed.

Answered by Erin Dalzell! Go to answer.