I can’t say enough good things about this tutorial, which explains how to create a WordPress theme from scratch. It is THE THEMESHAPER WORDPRESS THEME TUTORIAL: 2ND EDITION. This was found after Googling “base wordpress theme.”
A couple things liked and learned:
Microformat – The entire HTML Structure post was useful, and one subject learned was that of microformat. Wikipedia describes it “A microformat (sometimes abbreviated μF) is a web-based approach to semantic markup which seeks to re-use existing HTML/XHTML tags to convey metadata and other attributes in web pages and other contexts that support (X)HTML such as RSS.” The ThemeShaper explanation is easier to understand. In the context it was used here, it was referencing using the “hfeed” class on the page div of a WordPress page. The hfeed class is part of a specific Microformat schema called hAtom. Because it is part of that schema, it can be used by search engine bots and other services to identify what the content is.
Don’t forget about a source for test data – Theme_Unit_Test