First Look at the Twenty Sixteen Default WordPress Theme

WordPress 4.4 is the last scheduled major release of the year and with it will come a new default theme to replace Twenty Fifteen. On the Make WordPress Core site, Tammie Lister published an image gallery that shows off the design of Twenty Sixteen.

According to Lister, the process of determining the new default theme has taken months, “Lots of themes were considered, eventually settling on the one you see below. It’s a perfect fit,” she said.

Twenty Sixteen
Twenty Sixteen

Twenty Sixteen is designed by Takashi Irie, who also designed the Twenty Fourteen and Twenty Fifteen default themes. Irie describes Twenty Sixteen as:

A modernized approach of an ever-popular layout — a horizontal masthead and an optional right sidebar that works well with both blogs and websites. It has custom color options that allow you to make your own Twenty Sixteen. The theme was designed on a harmonious fluid grid with a mobile first approach. This means it looks great on any device.

The new theme has hints of Twenty Fourteen but is different enough to stand on its own as a unique design. It doesn’t look as modern as Twenty Fifteen out-of-the box but the design could change during the 4.4 development cycle.

If you want to help Twenty Sixteen be the best it can be, please join the weekly meetings held every Monday and Friday at 16:00 UTC in the #core-themes channel on SlackHQ. The meetings are a half hour-long and start once the theme is initially added to WordPress core.

What do you think of Twenty Sixteen?

87 Comments


  1. It kills me that so much effort is put into default WordPress themes rather than putting effort where collectively so much more value could be created.

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      1. > it’s only once a year!

        But it’s not. If you read the announcement, you see that they have been working on it for months already.

        About the theme itself: I think it looks somewhat like a modern twenty twelve theme and it probably comes with some useful things where people can learn something from. I don’t see myself using it as I stopped focusing on blog themes a long time ago already. I actually work in the real world where companies need fully functional websites, instead of an entire theme focused around their blog.

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      2. I don’t see myself using it as I stopped focusing on blog themes a long time ago already. I actually work in the real world where companies need fully functional websites, instead of an entire theme focused around their blog.

        +1

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      3. In the real world, there are a lot of blog sites. They’re just as important as company websites.

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      4. (blog sites) are just as important as company websites.

        There is so much to read between the lines in that very short statement.

        “Just as important?” That is a passive statement, can we make it active? IOW can we answer the question, “For whom are blog sites just as important to?”

        By evidence of what the WordPress core team focuses on, I would say that blog sites are not “just as important” as company websites, I would say they are far more important to those who get to decide.

        Note I am not implying that those in a decision making position are in the wrong, I am only trying to see if we can get all the cards on the table so that we don’t make assumptions about other’s perspective or motivations.

        But for those for whom company websites are far more important than blog sites, WordPress’ focus on blog sites can be extremely frustrating given that WordPress dominates the web and so many businesses want their developers to use WordPress. So I would ask why those who care about blog sites and dismiss the needs of people working on company websites cannot empathize with the other? To help you empathize, if you will, many of those who focus on company websites feel like we are being told FYIGM.

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    1. It kills me that so much effort is put into default WordPress themes rather than putting effort where collectively so much more value could be created.

      A lot of good comes out of creating them. They push boundaries, show off the latest features from Core, and also push Core to be better. This, from Lance, really spells it out beautifully:

      The default theme should show off the latest and greatest features, be flexible enough to gracefully support child themes and encourage customization, work well for a blog or a website, and sport a design that is aesthetically pleasing and a bit different from the last design. Under the hood it should represent the best in coding practices and technical excellence. That said, the default theme isn’t trying to be an end-all-be-all theme. It won’t please everyone.

      They also are what users see first, and I can’t remember a more exciting time to be a theme user especially because so much love and attention is given to the default themes.

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      1. What restaurant (or pub) advertises an item as “stuffed with smoked meat”?!

        Is that beef, pork, chicken, …?

        Months have been spent on this theme and yet the heading still looks laughable. Which seems to make Mike’s and Piet’s point.

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      2. So what’s meant to be an enticing heading to an enticing theme has to make as much sense as lorem ipsum? Ah, yes, that’s exactly the right way to publicize WordPress!

        I can’t help noticing the irony that another current blog item on WP Tavern’s is by Mario Pashev, talking about “stepping up your game.” He rightly emphasizes developing process (e.g. unit testing). That doesn’t just apply to coding. This heading is just sloppy.

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      3. @KTS915 I really don’t see anything wrong with this title. Smoked meat is delicious. Probably especially so when you stuff it Potato Dumplings.

        You know that not all everyone in the world is from America, and some of them have different styles and ways of speech, right? Considering that the blog entry in question was written about a meal in a pub in Sussex, you might think about that as well.

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      4. @Otto,

        “You know that not all everyone in the world is from America, and some of them have different styles and ways of speech, right? Considering that the blog entry in question was written about a meal in a pub in Sussex, you might think about that as well.”

        Ha, ha. You know what? I had considered that. I’ve actually eaten in pubs in Sussex. I’ve even eaten smoked bacon in them. Delicious. Not one pub would ever say “smoked meat”. That would suggest something so awful as to be indescribable.

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      5. Here’s an example in Canada of a similar type advertisement and it’s live right now on the internet.
        http://taste.fourseasons.com/recipe/montreal-smoked-meat-breakfast-bagel-with-spicy-potato-poutine/

        Here’s one in Czechoslovakia:
        http://www.exporestaurant.cz/en/menu/tankovna-menu/53-main-course/117-bramboracky-uzene.html

        Here’s one in Estonia:
        http://www.tripadvisor.co.za/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g274958-d1119974-i119128040-Vanaema_Juures-Tallinn_Harju_County.html

        I could go on, but I think the point would be made, there are plenty of countries where such things are said.

        Content is not always a good indication of whether or not a developer or anyone associated with building websites or apps is good at what they do. In fact, many people of all skill sets hire copywriters because that’s what copywriters do well.

        BTW, I found the links via Google search “potatoes and smoked meat” in case anyone wants to verify there are more examples.. Just saying..

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    2. There are lots of ways to contribute to WordPress, and the people who contribute have a diverse variety of skill sets that they each bring to the project. A talented group of themers working on a default theme doesn’t stop other contributors from working on the parts they think need improvement. Just because one person is working on one aspect of the project does not mean someone else isn’t working on another.

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      1. A talented group of themers working on a default theme doesn’t stop other contributors from working on the parts they think need improvement.

        Very true.

        However, a talented group of themers working on a new default theme does stop that same group from enhancing and extending a previously existing theme in a manner that would allow people to pick and choose the new features they need without loosing the ones they had before (i.e. a modular theme) and to change the look and feel of the theme via documented coding practices. And that is a huge opportunity lost in my book.

        IOW, why not instead put effort into something that allows us to build upon what was created in the past?

        To me, this tendency for designers to constantly create yet another throwaway theme with no focus on adding to past efforts is one of big shortcomings of the WordPress culture; “Time to build yet another theme!” But who cares what my opinion is? I’m just one person who opinion differs from the WordPress community group think. Just dismiss me because that is easier than actually addressing my insight (this latter statement is not aim directly at you Mel, but at the total of comments that reference my first comment.)

        BTW, my guess is that less than 20% of users will ever use this theme, so doesn’t adding a such a theme to WordPress core violate the WordPress philosophy of “core providing features that 80% or more of end users will actually appreciate and use?” https://wordpress.org/about/philosophy/#clean

        #justsayin

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      2. The Twenty* themes dwarf all other premium and free themes, and they actually do come in above 20% of active WP themes in the world. I think they are well worth the investment and maintenance. They’re named with years, but can be timeless.

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      3. they actually do come in above 20% of active WP themes in the world

        Fair point, but can I assume they are no where near 80% of active installs…?

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      4. No, and I would be surprised if any single theme ever gets above 10-15% usage. For reference, the top-selling premium WP theme of all time (that I’m aware of) is Avada, and it’s significantly smaller in usage than all six of the twenty* themes individually. I think they represent an incredible resource for the WP community, and I’m excited there are more options of Twenties to choose from. We have a while until the Twenty-Ones start. :)

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      5. What percentage of that 20% are test sites or sites people set up and then never used?

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      6. @Josh Pollock if the test site is localhost, the we don’t store the info. If the test site stops being visited at all, then it doesn’t check for updates and we stop counting it after some time.

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      7. Given they’re already in the dashboard when you install WordPress, that kinda seems like a moot point, no?

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      8. I’m sorry but,

        The only time I see the default themes used in real life, are for demos and tutorial web sites.

        If we discount these type of sites, and account only the actual “real” sites using these default themes, then I guarantee you that percentage will drop to less than 1%.

        Which companies use any of the default themes for their corporate websites? I have not seen any…

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      9. Matt why do you turn the point around?

        Mike brought up

        …the WordPress philosophy of “core providing features that 80% or more of end users will actually appreciate and use?” https://wordpress.org/about/philosophy/#clean

        You reply with

        The Twenty* themes dwarf all other premium and free themes, and they actually do come in above 20% of active WP themes in the world.

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      10. Because he’s twisting a core philosophy and trying to apply it to themes, which have never and will never target 80% of the user base. (We want people to use as many different and customized themes as possible.) That’s not the goal of the Twenties. Also 80/20 is a rule of thumb, and sometimes we may override it for something niche but that we think is important for the platform, like post revisions.

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  2. Is it just me or is everyone else yawning too? While there may be tweaks in functionality, from a design point of view… ZZZZZZZ.

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  3. Well, I really like it! The comments above seem like negative reactions to the features I think are most important in the default theme:

    – Lots of effort put in, well thought out
    – Blog focused (Business sites should never be using the default theme, no matter how business-y it is)
    – Not that visually interesting. The content should be the interesting part. The theme should stay out of the way, in the background.

    So glad we’ve moved away from default themes like Twenty Thirteen. Nice work Takashi Irie and team!

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  4. Visited the gallery in the original post and saw some comments that say it’s an old and outdated design. For me, it’s a good shift compared to the earlier theme designs. Plus, Matt says the Twenty Seventeen is around. So I’m sure they are going to make that even more beautiful, functional and trendy!

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  5. Months? WOW – impressive – I think.

    I thank whatever collective that decided to turn away from the last two designs. I wonder how many times a theme can be re-created before “everyone” says “HO-HUM”.. Maybe it is more responsive and maybe it might show off some of Core’s best features (whatever that is), but really… it doesn’t look much different from what else is available.

    And I’m sure, to the thousands (maybe millions) of people core don’t think are smart enough to make technical decisions for themselves, it’s a great place to start and it will do just fine.

    I love the comment about “Pushing boundaries”. That was cute.

    What is worth paying attention to (and I mentioned it above) is the functionality of the theme. Or maybe I should say, “flexibility”. Built on a harmonious fluid grid. Now that is worthy of a new theme. Thanks for that.

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  6. Well Mikey, I am torn between two thoughts.

    First, you seem to be making an awful lot of money off of a tool that you are getting for free. So who the blazes do you think you are complaining.

    Second, when you and your like-minded friends gain a little maturity you will see that one of the biggest problems you can have as a developer is to have the people that create a tool you depend upon seeing that tool as a “product”. People that are developing products have very different perceptions from people who are using a tool. When a developer starts using what they are developing the tool gets better because they see first hand all the pros and cons of what they have been doing.

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  7. @Michael Porter,

    Cool, first blood.

    So, someone expressing an opinion that doesn’t match yours completely indicates lack of maturity? I think not. I think it is what helps make WordPress better and it is something that the WordPress community really needs.

    Next time you suggest maturity with regard to someone else, consider that the last sentence of this article is a question which asks for opinions about the theme. Mikey’s and everyone else’s opinions are just that, including mine and yours.

    Seldom does a developer using what they have created have the insights of other users, mainly because the developer is usually thinking form one perspective all the way down the line. Sure, the developer may clear out some bugs. But, when users begin to give feedback, the developer gets to learn just how limited he or she has been thinking in most cases. And that brings about growth.

    There is no need to attack others and attempt to claim they lack something you presumably are claiming you do possess. All that does is give others the opportunity to learn just exactly what you do or do not have yourself.

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  8. I think this looks really good.

    My ranking of default themes in order from best to worst:

    1. Twenty Sixteen (probably)
    2. Twenty Fifteen
    3. Twenty Twelve
    4. Twenty Fourteen
    5. Twenty Eleven
    6. Kubrick
    7. Twenty Thirteen
    8. Classic

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    1. I agree. It looks good. I hope that it is fully functional and responsive and easy to build something out of. I doubt I’d ever use this as my main site theme (unless it wows!)

      In terms of ranking, I’d put Twenty Fourteen still further down. I think that was a rather bad theme. It didn’t at all look pleasing out of the box. I found myself going back to Twenty Twelve as a base to test everything.

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      1. First testing purposes, agreed. I used Twenty Twelve (and now Twenty Fifteen) as best for generally testing things. On my personal site, though, that I wanted to tweak it a bit, determine how to show off what content, etc, I really enjoyed _using_ Twenty Fourteen.

        I had some disagreement during development with Fourteen (notably, I liked it earlier in development when whatever was displayed in the Ephemera widgets on the side wasn’t displayed in the main posts column) that I still wish made it in, but that said, I liked Fourteen.

        With Sixteen, no beef with the design. I did like the pattern mixing up the “purpose” of the theme (Fifteen for traditional blogging, Fourteen for magazine sites, Thirteen for more lifestream, post-format focused fun, etc), so I hope that Seventeen will mix it up a bit again.

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    2. I was just thinking it would be fun to do a reader survey and have people rank the themes through the years.

      My list is almost the same:

      1. Twenty Sixteen (definitely)
      2. Twenty Fifteen
      3. Twenty Eleven
      4. Twenty Twelve
      5. Twenty Thirteen
      6. Twenty Fourteen
      7. Classic
      8. Kubrick

      I think Sixteen will be great because it won’t be hard to add personal touches and make it look special.

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  9. Another blog-focused theme? Where’s the boundary-pushing in this? As ugly as Twenty Fourteen was, at least it was an attempt to show that WP could be used for other purposes than as a blog.

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  10. I like the design, though I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking. Groundbreaking would be if it was a JS theme and used the REST API :)

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  11. Honestly, this Theme looks quite decent. I gave up on trying default themes since Twenty 12-Even though I just joined wp last year. Twenty 13 was way too lavish, 14 was ok, 15 was minimalist but not perfect for websites, now twenty 16 looks like it retains the minimalism of twenty 10-12 and mixes it with 15’s minimalism. Looks great so far!!!

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  12. I don’t get the bashing on putting so much effort into a theme. You have to remember, this is *the* default theme that will be shipping with WordPress. This theme is going to be the introduction to custom theme development and child themes for so many budding WordPress themers and developers to be.

    Personally, I think it looks great! I love the minimalist approach with just enough style to add a bit of personality, and I believe that the TwentyXX themes should have always followed a similar aesthetic.

    Yes, the layout and content structure is conventional, but that’s what’s going to make this a widely used and adopted theme (which should probably be the point of the default WordPress theme, right?).

    This theme looks extremely versatile and easy to extend/hack/child-theme. I know people who still work with TwentyTwelve because of these same qualities. Finally, we have a modernized upgrade to that.

    Thank you to all who worked so hard at creating this!

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  13. And as for the theme “taking months to create,”

    to quote Paul Rand…

    “Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”

    I, for one, am glad that so much talent and focused energy goes into creating these themes.

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  14. It looks a bit like WooCommerce’s Storefront theme…

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  15. IMHO this is the best WP default theme yet! Great work!

    @peterrknight, My rankings go as follows:

    1. Twenty Sixteen
    2. Twenty Twelve
    3. Twenty Eleven
    4. Twenty Fifteen
    5. Twenty Fourteen
    6. Twenty Thirteen
    7. Classic
    8. Kubrick

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  16. Seems like everyone here is split down the middle. Lots of love and lots of haters, too. I get where everyone is coming from. The flat/minimalist look where the content has to stand up for itself is definitely what our clients’ clients are asking for.

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  17. I really want to try some of those potato dumplings stuffed with smoked meat.

    On the subject of the theme, I’m wondering how they’re going to handle the intro/subtitle for posts.

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    1. I was wondering the same. It would be nice to have a standardised way to handle this. Something officially supported by a core theme would be a nice way to make sure we are all on the same page with that functionality.

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    2. Previous Automattic themes have used the custom excerpt functionality for subtitles, which is less than ideal.

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  18. There may have been so much work put into making the Twenty Sixteen theme or it’s predecessors but at the end of the day the theme that wins my vote is the one that is user friendly and is customizable.

    I hated all the default WordPress themes except for Twenty Twelve version. This was the simplest and most user friendly for me anyway.

    Of most important out there in the real world where 99.9% of your visitors are is that they can’t give a rats arse about your theme, they are looking for quality content to solve their own problems.

    They want a site that is easy to read, with relevant content to their search phrase, easy to move around from one page to another, with less annoying popups, good color, structure, functionality – i.e just like wptavern.com

    Having said that I will use 2016 theme as a default theme for all my new “under construction” websites.

    Honestly!

    and … I LOVE WORDPRESS!

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  19. I agree with those who say new themes are not needed. Adding more functionality and flexibility to existing themes would be a much better use of time and effort. I am using free themes with ten times the user friendliness of any of the 20 series themes. Every time, in fact, that I’ve attempted to use a 20 series theme I’ve gotten frustrated with its limitations and given up.

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  20. I just realised what this reminds me of. It’s the Coraline theme, but better. That was a GPL replacement for one of Chris Pearson’s themes. It never seemed to become all that popular, but I thought it was much nicer than Twenty Ten, which was made around the same time.

    https://wordpress.org/themes/coraline/

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  21. I think the post has some fuzzy language there is no real pushing the boundaries with this theme lol. It’s like all the other themes in the 20 series.

    The main thing everyone has to remember though is most people in WordPress are not large editorial news sites they are small blog based sites. So the default theme seems to be targeted for them. That aside do we really need a new theme every year lol. They look very very similar to the other 20 series themes we already have.

    I don’t see anything revolutionary or any pushing the boundaries done with this theme.

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  22. Those who are focusing on whether they like the design, colors, etc are missing the most important point of the wp “default” theme.

    The default theme is and for the past few years been the weakest link in a chain of things that are attached to wp.

    Many plugins are only set to work with whatever WP pushes as default theme. Want to use buddypress and rtmedia? Support only happens if you switch to default theme.

    There are certainly many other plugin dependancies that break when you switch to better looking (non-default) themes, and given that plugin and theme devs have enough work to do just keeping up with wp core updates possible breaking things – getting stuff to work with updates and still maintaining (often better looking) ‘legacy; themes – meh.

    “The default theme should show off the latest and greatest features,” –
    – last couple years what is that? The new way wp handles title tag?

    “be flexible enough to gracefully support child themes”
    – 2015 fails with this big time.
    –Making a child theme using codex with 2015 is confusing and did not work for me this week.
    Flexible? – moving the sidebar from left to right is not easy, not even sure it’s possible at this point.
    “encourage customization”
    – seriously? Changing the padding for a widget takes you on a journey of finding multiple media queries and trying figure out how to override them with a child theme.
    “best in coding practices”
    if wp’s idea of best coding practices is going to be making things so complex that you need a degree in css, javascript, php, media queries, etc.. in order to take apart a default theme piece by piece through thousands of line of code – then it’s time to find another platform.
    “That said, the default theme isn’t trying to be an end-all-be-all theme. It won’t please everyone. “
    – unfortunately the default theme choice is indeed an end-all when it comes to many plugins actually working. Even minor changes like title tag things sets off changes in dozens of plugins which then either work with latest and break ‘legacy’ designs, or don’t work the other way around.
    – I don’t expect the default theme to please everyone; when it comes to colors and typography everyone is going to have opinions.
    – If the defaults were easy to override like legacy themes, then it would not matter if it pleased everyone – a few css rules and changes are easy. Unfortunately the last couple of default themes are anything but easy to make even simple and popular modifications.

    Make default simple – if you want ogle over takashi’s attention to multiple details with sizing for various media queries, promote those on the featured themes page. Heck even include a child theme that includes the typography and padding that Takashi and Matt think are most beautiful.

    Don’t force us to choose a better looking theme from another source that does not function with important wp plugins.

    The average user can switch themes with a click and find what they think is pretty. Those of us that need to rely on the default theme for other things to work should have easier options for modding it.

    Support for 2015 is pathetic. Documentation for themeing WP is in the works – but should have been done before 2014 and 2015 were released. Looking at the trello for them docs makes me wonder if they will be done before 2017.

    Updates are pushed to default themes and we wonder what is changed and what breaks with our sites, plugins, mods, etc.

    Where do we find answers? The theme designer doesn’t seem to help, the codex doesn’t help much, the people begging for help in the 2015 support forums are left in the cold. Answers on other professional wp sites, stack overflow type places, and others, are either for older versions of default or only work for certain screen sizes and fail otherwise.

    The default theme is an important choice for many reasons. Most people will only see the default for a moment as they click to switch to something else – so why spend months trying to decide that Automatic likes 20 px padding on widgets in large / medium screens?

    Spend that time providing some docs and help – make some fancy child themes if that’s all you want to do – but make new defaults easier to work with.

    And since a new theme is in the works – why not add a checkbox on install that asks people if they want to auto load third party resources like G fonts, gravatar, emoji and all that extra fluff that can slow down or break a site and ruin the privacy of the web site admins and visitors?

    Most of additional things added since 2010 would be better off as options, included child add ons, or recommended plugins. The time wasted trying to choose what is pretty has been wasted, most wp sites don’t want to keep defaults and if they want to change them 14 and 15 don’t make it easy – changing to non-defaults to make things look better seems the logical choice for most.

    I tried to bring some of these things up in the make thread ( https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/08/25/introducing-twenty-sixteen/#comment-27220 ) – I don’t have all the answers and knowledge of how things can be done better, but I hope more consideration will be made for the average wp users and not just what a few people think “simple, straightforward typography is readable on a wide variety of screen sizes, … designed it using a mobile-first approach”

    If the core team is spending months trying to figure that out – they could of simply copy pasted bootsrap or foundation and been done. That would at least provide a ton of documentation and expanded the support for people looking to modify it.

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    1. Steve – That has got to be the best comment I’ve read here on the Tavern in, like, I don’t even know when.

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  23. Yes, only if some of his statements were not 100% factually wrong!

    Obviously you have never created a proper, correctly coded theme before…

    – Quote: “Many plugins are only set to work with whatever WP pushes as default theme. Want to use buddypress and rtmedia? Support only happens if you switch to default theme.”

    That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time. If a theme is coded correctly, meaning that it passes the theme check, then any plugin that works with the core, WILL work with that cleanly coded theme. The problem is that most of the premium themes fail miserably in terms to being coded to the WordPress standards. As an example, Divi by Elegant themes, when they released V2.3 it was getting a score of just 33% at themecheck.org. When V2.4 came around that score went to 0%. As a result their forums started getting complains about plugin incompatibilities.

    – Also, there is no such thing as “a theme flexible enough to gracefully support child themes”. Creating a child theme has nothing to do with the parent theme supporting child themes. I still have not met a theme that I could not create a child theme within 2 minutes.

    – Finally, if you want to customize a theme CSS-wise, and you are not good with CSS, use an appropriate tool, like Microthemer. To exaggerate, a monkey can be trained to visually change a theme with this tool within just a few minutes, media queries and all.

    I agree with some of the things that Steve mentioned, but on some others, he is so FACTUALLY wrong, that many won’t take him seriously.

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    1. For those complaining about the effort on themes, where are your contributions? These people are volunteering their efforts and doing what they do. Most are designers, not developers and forcing them to work on core instead would get you nothing. If you feel there are problems that need to be addresses in core, then get off your butt, participate in the core discussions and start coding solutions.

      @nick6352683 – every single plugin developer I have EVER had to get support from as asked me to first switch my site to a default WP theme to eliminate my current theme as a possible source of the issue. That’s what he was talking about.

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      1. LOL.. That’s funny.

        Again, the end of the article asked, “What do you think of Twenty Sixteen?”.

        Now you come along and say people shouldn’t share what they think if it isn’t what you think it should be? Too late.. FYI – the question wasn’t “What do you think of Twenty Sixteen? And oh by the way, only comment if it’s not criticism.”

        It has been my experience, seeing many people who have been dismissed by core contributors as not being qualified to enter discussions (including myself), I wouldn’t bother attempting again.

        But, thanks for the smile. I enjoyed it.

        FWIW, many of us have, in fact, done a significant amount of contributing in many ways, albeit not in core. And in my case, I don’t bother approaching anything “core” due to their attitudes, not mine.

        I think there needs to be more, much more involvement in criticizing what is presented. That IS part of the process, or it should be.

        We don’t all agree, and I for one am tired of those who seem to believe that we must all act like we agree in order to be welcomed.

        If you believe that because there are people who are expressing their dislike for something (or are attempting to give some rather good, constructive criticism) means they haven’t attempted to participate, then I disagree with your evaluation.

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      2. Hi @dnavarrojr,

        For those complaining about the effort on themes, where are your contributions?

        Your logical fallacy is tu quoque.

        But I will still bite even though your question was meant as an attempt to shame the questioner in order to deflect focus from the actual question.

        What are my contributions? Very few in core, but not for lack of trying.

        There is a claim in the WP community that “patches are wanted” but the reality is they are only accepted from people who are part of clique that the core team has become (much like we remember from high school.) Good work gets ignored when it comes from the wrong people, and bad work routinely gets included because the right people did it.

        That said my most recent contribution of hundreds of hours of time I could have otherwise spent billing clients was as API lead on the WP Metadata Feature-as-a-Plugin. There was someone good at bridging the political divides in WordPress (and I think the world of him) who brought me into the process.

        But after spending a significant amount of time on the code I had one core committer decide we needed to go a very different direction, one that I felt strongly will paint WordPress into some pretty nasty corners because of all the prior experience I have had building forms and fields for WordPress apps. Yet when I asked to speak with that one person so I could explain my concerns with the new approach she was not even willing to talk to me about it. And I gave up rather than work on something that I knew would add serious issues to WordPress, issues similar in magnitude to the issues that a poorly architected menu system has caused over the years.

        But that was not the first time I’ve tried to contribute core. Each prior time was rebuked as well, in large part because I was trying to address needs of business sites and the core team is clearly only interested in the needs of end-user blogger’s sites. My criticism of the theme is not a criticism of the theme itself — of that I could care less — but instead criticism of what the core team chooses to focus on. And that is consistent with all the effort I have put into WordPress and makes your tu quoque criticism moot.

        If you feel there are problems that need to be addresses in core, then get off your butt, participate in the core discussions and start coding solutions.

        Since we’ve already established here that participating in the core discussions and coding solutions is not sufficient to get one’s work included in core let us instead look where I have invested time coding and providing other forms of support:

        1. Thousands of hours in answering almost 400 questions on WordPress Development on StackExchange, most with detailed and pre-tested code-based answer. And I constantly get thanked for that work in email and in person.

        2. Hundreds of hours as co-organizer of The Atlanta WordPress Coder’s Guild meetup where we’ve held WordPress development workshops every month this year starting in February.

        3. Hundreds of hours of time to prepare and speak at five (5) WordCamps.

        4. Hundreds of hours on developing an open-source library WPLib and a command line scaffolding tool to provide both the rigor of models and views to site development and the structure for auto-loaded class libraries to WordPress (the latter of which WPLib calls “modules.”) Now I would love to see this effort added to core to support business site developers, but given the core team’s apparent disdain for business use-cases, I am not holding my breath.

        5. And there are tens if not hundreds of other hours since 2009 that I have put forth to support others 1-on-1 who develop with WordPress.

        Given your tu quoque offense-is-the-best-defense attack I think my works speak for itself. So now I will turn around your fallacy back around on you:

        What have YOU done that gives you the moral authority to criticize the criticizers?

        -Mike
        P.S. For those who have had similar experiences with trying to contribute and being rebuffed, I’d really like to know who you are. Maybe we can start our own Slack to work on extensions to WordPress that the core team actively ignores?

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    2. – Also, there is no such thing as “a theme flexible enough to gracefully support child themes”. Creating a child theme has nothing to do with the parent theme supporting child themes. I still have not met a theme that I could not create a child theme within 2 minutes.

      Not to nit-pick too much, but it is very possible to create a parent theme where things will break (like fatal error break) when attempting to create a child theme for it. This is usually the result of improper use of get_stylesheet_directory().

      Of course, we try to check those sorts of things before a theme goes live in the WordPress.org theme repository. :) If anyone’s running into those sorts of issues from repository-hosted themes, the TRT needs to know so that we can do a better job catching it.

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  24. You know, I’ve been thinking about all of the bipolar opinions of Default Themes for WordPress (primarily necessary for WordPress.com users) and have come to the following conclusion:

    Why not have the core developers create an Official WordPress Theme Builder; designed and maintained for WordPress.org users only, packed full of Customizer Options, placed on GitHub, and built on the foundation of Underscores (or any other base core structure maintained by the core developers).

    The reason I would like to see this take place is that Themes designed by Automattic always seem to be niche oriented, and most of the time are purposefully limited in Customizer Options. I installed the current GitHub version of Twenty Sixteen, and two things already irritated me and guaranteed that I would not use the current of that theme:

    1. The main Blog Page displayed all Posts as full displays including Featured Images, which delayed and overburdened the initial rendering of that page. There was no way to set the Blog Page to only display excerpts in the Theme’s Customizer (although many Commercial Business Themes do offer this option as a checkbox in their own Customizer).

    2. Twenty Sixteen (as of right now) does Not offer Full-Width display in either Pages or Posts.

    I realize that the above two options are MY desires and maybe not those of others, but to satisfy WordPress.org end-users, why not provide a way for them to modify their chosen WordPress Themes AS THEY SEE FIT.

    I also realize that third-party Theme Builders already exist, but why not have an Officially Supported WordPress.org Version that will never have compatibility issues with the core components?

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    1. @Shapeshifter 3 : Yes, Twenty Sixteen is full-width as long as your sidebar is empty…
      Look I have already install the new theme (now even available on WP.org theme repository) and I only use the 2 bottom widget areas:
      http://www.wp-formation.com

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      1. Mr. Gobet,

        You are correct! I hadn’t noticed that before, unless it was updated recently to do that. I had looked at the Page Attributes section of the Page Editor, and had not seen any drop-down menu for Page Templates.

        I guess all pages default to Full-Width, unless a Sidebar is added…interesting.

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  25. Wondering where my last two comments I posted are. Trying provide more information here.
    The comment system here is quite strange compared to my wp sites – especially when trying to reply to another comment it acts wierd. Could be my browser plugins I guess.

    But there is little or not info posted on the screen either – nothing like “comment held for moderation”

    Are comments held automatically for everyone and not published if the site does not agree with the statements?

    Are they held in moderation if we include a link to make dot wordpress dot org?

    Maybe it’s akismet going crazy and they are pushed into the never-to-be-seen akismet tab. Certainly would not be the first time I’ve had issues with that thing.

    Maybe I should post about these things on one of my blogs.

    Hate to see 30 minutes of time spent writing content for another site just vanish without a clue as to why.

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    1. I also have a missing comment (I posted it 2 days ago already).

      I don’t think it has anything to do with the comment system.

      To me it seems the Tavern is (once again) under comment moderation; perhaps because the powers that be don’t like the directions some comments are taking.

      Most likely we will get to read a last comment from the Jeff-puppet soon, informing us that most opinions are heard and the discussion is closed from here-on out.

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  26. Don’t EVER lose sight of the fact that WordPress and everything that goes into it is still FREE ………….. and it is STILL the best CMS on the planet.. I may not agree with the new theme, I may not like it but so what?

    I am forever grateful for the dedication and hard graft that goes into this superb (and need I remind anybody again ?) FREE software.

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    1. On thing for those who contribute in all capacities to remember is that even those of us who may have some harsh criticisms regarding all manner of things relating to WordPress is; we wouldn’t be here expressing our opinions and criticisms if we didn’t care about the project.

      That seems to be something core contributors could stand to learn about the rest of us as well. Thanks for bringing this to the thread.

      One correction though, WordPress core may not cost money, but it is not free. Everyone pays a little something one way or another. It’s an investment we all have committed to.

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    2. @Paul Shotan – that is one of the famous excuses for wp and most open source /gpl stuff in general. I get what you are saying, and partially agree. However I encourage you to consider this blanket statement as being only partially true.

      I could give a tesla with a contract that you can never sell it, it could break down every 5 miles. It would still be free. I know that’s different, if I give you a car and you simply trash it no big deal. No lets say that Elon Musk (sp) gave you a tesla with the same contract – you can never sell it. That would be a little difference would it not? That car breaks down every 5 miles. People can say all over the world it’s the best electric car on the planet. That could be true for many people – but it may not be for all.

      How is this connected to the issue I was bringing up?

      When Andy Peatling first posted about buddypres I got excited (And there was another similar project that code was being shared for) – I started wrapping my head around how excellent it would be to use my then favorite blogging tool with this social network layer added on. Started drawing up design and layout ideas, started sharing with others.

      Now if Andy had just released the code and it did not work with future WP updates (or even work at all – which it.. well..) – you could still use that argument – wp is the best, it’s free.

      However Matt and I (maybe Automattic?) came out in support of BP, put some resources behind it and it blossomed a bit. It became a kind of official thing – although I am not sure exactly what the heck happened with the bp project and Matt and Auto (at one point I thought automattic would put 1% of their last funding round into bp and hire 4 – 8 full time php gurus to get it fixed up for a year).. however it is still featured as one of the first plugins for everyone when they go to plugins-add-new. (at least on my screens, and maybe the repo plugins page?)

      Anyhow, if I spent time on a free plugin in the repo and it stopped working with future wp – throw out the “it’s open source, fork it, it’s free – blah blah’ too bad you wasted your time working on a platform with some no name developer who abandons gpls projects…

      Since Matt and Co got behind BP I felt it was safe to put a lot of time into working with it. (Trust and faith, and reputation – the difference between me giving you a car and Elon doing it) Developed a couple of sites around it. Spent hours (hundreds) reading support forums, trying to learn things, giving advice on putting other pieces of that puzzle together, etc. (and still do).

      See how that “free” is not quite so free anymore?

      Now all I am asking is that future theme development takes into consideration some of the most popular plugins. It’s a shame when a new theme or other wp decision rolls out and break things – it’s especially more shameful when it breaks things that are as closely tied to wp as bp is.

      I give kudos to those who work on the bp code – as they have jumped into coding things that changed with wp (like title tags recently) – and they have spent time trying to harmonize things with the last couple of default themes. All the bp webmasters try to keep up.. but things break and we all spend time waiting for fixes, or writing fixes, or paying others to help with things that break with updates.

      This is true along the chain of wp–>theme->bp->rtmedia->yoast ->more and more

      anyhow, I hope you can see a difference here. My main thing is not to complain but to ask that more consideration is made with new releases in this chain of events that time and time again has left us with sites that don’t function as they should.

      you said:
      “Don’t EVER lose sight of the fact that WordPress and everything that goes into it is still FREE “…………..
      No, these things we deal with are not free – not for the devs who spend time and those who struggle to get fixes one way or another.

      “and it is STILL the best CMS on the planet..”
      Maybe.. for some people.. maybe even most people.. however I think we will see the future including people looking for other ways to create sites and work with the cms they really need, and given the amount of baggage that has been dragging wp down – I think we’ll see less and less basic wp installs in use as they have been the past few years.

      ” I may not agree with the new theme, I may not like it but so what?”
      I partially agree with this for most people… most people do not need to like the new default theme – most people will never use it when there are so many other options. However some of us get basically stuck using default for reasons outlined above – and for that it doesn’t matter if we like the colors and layout, SO LONG AS WE CAN MOD IT. I hope things will be easier to mod with the next one. I hope there is some documentation for the next one. I hope more people understand it and support it.

      “I am forever grateful for the dedication and hard graft that goes into this superb (and need I remind anybody again ?) FREE software.”
      Me too.. I totally agree – the amazing amount of time this community has spent putting together this powerhouse is quite amazing. I wonder if someone could write a script that would run through all the code, plugins and themes and be able to estimate hoe many human hours have been put into behemoth.

      I must say that word free is a bit of a misnomer though – some of wp is free, but you add up the time and resources spent to keep a wp site running, the cost starts to add up. Some may get lucky with an autopilot system that never needs a bit of code changed as updates and bugs and fixes are rolled out… I have on wp site like that… however if I added up the amount time I have spent trying to wp+bp running in a reasonable way, (x) hours * $1 / hour…. well I’d probably have been better off buying boonex dolphin or phpfox that have dedicated teams of people who work to keep all the ingredients of a social cms working together.. not releasing an update for the front page that breaks all the forums and picture uploading – with an excuse of “it’s free”.

      I am glad to see that 2016 has been put on github and the theme directory – hopefully that will help out the major players in checking things for compatibility issues before it is force fed with an update.

      I look forward to digging into it a bit and see if it can be modded without reverse engineering a bunch of java and such. I wish the wp themes had the kind of documentation that bootsrap and foundation have.. theirs are not perfect, but there is enough there about all the pieces that you can at least figure out what it does and how to make it do what you want.

      ah 4 pennies of random thoughts for ya.. well actually a little more than that, if I was making 1$ per hour :))

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  27. 3rd repost:

    in response to Paul Shotan

    What exactly does that have to do with it?

    The author asked

    “What do you think of Twenty Sixteen?”

    That question brings a lot of sentiment as it is not the first time that opinions are asked AFTER decisions have been made already.

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    1. The fact that it is free means nobody has any right to be sarcastic, aggressive, bemoaning, or derisory about the releases. If they can do better then ….. contribute and improve them. Step back, examine your manners and rights and you’ll hopefully see that we are all extremely privileged to be using this software without cost. If people don’t like it then choose another…… Joomla, Magenta, etc.

      Ever hear the saying don’t look a gift horse in the mouth? I’m too busy to debate any further.Nuff sed and back to work (with WordPress)

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  28. What happened here? How did a conversation that should be focused on Twenty Sixteen turn into a slug fest of contributing to open source and who does or doesn’t get to complain about WordPress?

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    1. Probably the fact that it IS WordPress and it IS what will come with the next version of WordPress. I’m presuming you will allow THIS post.

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  29. I appreciate the work put into the core themes, and use them during core development and when teaching folks about WordPress. I’ve used 3 of them on production sites (and still use a couple of them), and recommend them to developers who are looking to get into theme development or for example themes to show potential clients.

    I worked on one minor enhancement in Twenty Fifteen and from my experience, the work the theme designers and developers put into each one is high quality and well-thought-out, and is useful for learning and showcasing WordPress features.

    I may not decide to use Twenty Sixteen in any of my sites, but you can be sure I’ll read the code and learn some new things that I can apply to sites I build.

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  30. My first thought was it’s like blast from the past. Old style. Overall, the font is too small, espesically in the sidebar, also it needs more line spacing. The black bars are too thick and the font for title/header is a little bit dull, it would be great if we could adjust it in the Customizer. However, this theme looks good in smartphone and tablet, I guess it was designed with mobileness in mind?

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  31. I love the Twenty* themes.. It’s something I look forward to each year. It’s like when the new default theme comes out I feel like I’ve grown as well as WordPress. It’s really exciting to see what’s new.

    Keep up the great work!

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  32. I don’t hesitate to use this theme for my website.It’s awesome

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