Are you interested in knowing what the next default WordPress theme is all about? Slated to appear with the next core release (which should happen around November 12), the WordPress Twenty Twenty theme has a lot to offer website owners.
In fact, it comes packed with specialized features designed to help you make the most of Gutenberg. And this seems like perfect timing seeing as Gutenberg is about to celebrate its first birthday very soon.
Today we’re going to take a look at some of things you can expect to see in the new WordPress Twenty Twenty theme, so that when it releases, you’ll already know whether it’s worth your time to use or not.
Why Do WordPress Default Themes Change Every Year?
Before we jump into what Twenty Twenty offers WordPress users, let’s take a look at why default themes change each year. After all, there’s a saying that if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
So why then change a theme that’s working and gives site visitors what they need?
Well, that’s easy. Times change and so do the needs of website owners. And with that comes the need for an evolving theme that caters to the newest technology, changing editors (can you say Gutenberg?), and so much more.
Because of this, it was decided that each year a new default WordPress theme would be released with new and improved features.
But more than that, the default theme would be as simple as possible, while still maintaining important web principles.
For example, the default WordPress theme should:
- Not be considered evergreen (hence the name Twenty _____, which denotes an expiration date)
- Aim to work seamlessly with new plugins that hit the market with zero compatibility issues
- Be simple enough for even the most novice of WordPress users
- Come fully translatable so users all around the world can create websites in their preferred languages
- Work with child themes and be easily customized
- Suit all website types, including blogs, online businesses, membership sites, eCommerce shops, and more
- Be designed to look different than the previous Twenty _____ theme
- Represent the best coding standards
That said, the default WordPress theme is not trying to be the end-all WordPress theme.
Instead, Twenty Twenty and all of the previous default themes are simply trying to be solid themes that people can rely on to get the job done, without all the extras.
An In-depth Look at WordPress Twenty Twenty
One of the most interesting things about WordPress Twenty Twenty is that it’s not built from the ground up, like so many of its predecessors. In fact, the next default WordPress theme to release is actually built upon the recently released, free WordPress theme Chaplin.
Its creator, Anders Norén has this to say about Chaplin:
Chaplin is a WordPress theme built specifically for the new WordPress block editor. Its deep support for the block editor allows you to easily construct advanced page layouts, and all colors and fonts can be easily modified in the Customizer.
One of the reasons Twenty Twenty is taking after Chaplin is because according to Anders, Chaplin was built with Gutenberg in mind. And again, as Gutenberg nears its first birthday, it seems fitting to release a theme that focuses on flexibility, clarity, readability, and Gutenberg.
Anders notes that the Gutenberg editor gives website owners the freedom to design and structure their sites per their individual needs. Adding to that, he feels that the responsibility of a WordPress theme is to empower site owners to fulfill their vision by making the end result look and work the way it should.
In other words, this new theme should give site owners the ability to customize every aspect of the theme.
Twenty Twenty Features to Look Out For
Remember, Twenty Twenty is not trying to be a fully-featured WordPress theme. Instead, its main job is to give users the freedom to create custom content layouts for their posts and pages.
With that said, you can expect to see cool features such as:
- Automatic feed links
- Post thumbnails
- HTML5 elements like search and comment form, gallery, and caption
- Custom backgrounds and logos (inside the Theme Customizer)
While you’ll be able to experience everything that is WordPress Twenty Twenty once it’s officially released, here’s a glimpse at two of the best features to look for:
1. Increased Readability
Clarity and readability are key traits seen in Twenty Twenty. Because of this, you’ll find the typeface Inter, which features the x-height to aid in readability of mixed and lowercase text. This will make even the tiniest of font sizes easy to view and helps adds some personality to your larger headings.
Adding to this, Inter comes in a Variable Font version, which has never been seen before in a WordPress default theme. This means that the weights and styles of Inter are contained in two font files.
By using variable fonts, you’ll reduce the number of requests made in your site visitors’ browsers. It will also keep your page sizes down (and site speed and performance up).
Not to mention, having variable fonts means you don’t have to use the same font style over and over again throughout your website like you’ve had to with all other default WordPress themes.
2. 100% Block Editor Support
As we’ve mentioned a few times now, Twenty Twenty will include full support for the Block Editor, meaning site creating using Gutenberg will be easy with this new theme. It will even come with block features that can be used to build real websites with ease.
More specifically, Twenty Twenty supports:
- Wide and full-width alignments
- Editor color palette
- Four editor font sizes
Common blocks like ‘Media & Text’ and ‘Cover’ have also been improved in Twenty Twenty and are now perfect for those wanting to create professional portfolios or showcase products in an eCommerce shop.
Keep in mind though, despite its effort to cater to Gutenberg users, the Block Editor is still very new and isn’t perfect yet.
That’s why even if you do choose to use the new Twenty Twenty default theme, you might look into using some popular WordPress Gutenberg plugins such as Gutenberg Blocks, CoBlocks, Atomic Blocks, or Advanced Gutenberg to help you with your design efforts.
In the end, WordPress Twenty Twenty is set to release as the new default WordPress theme very soon. But with its minimal style, the real challenge will come in how you choose to use Gutenberg to create a custom, one-of-a-kind website that people come to know and love.
Are you new to WordPress and need help getting started? In addition to preparing for the new default Twenty Twenty theme, be sure to check out this helpful guide to starting a WordPress website.
Are you looking forward to the release of the new WordPress default theme, Twenty Twenty? If so, we’d love to hear why in the comments below!