Twenty Fifteen Officially Added to The Development Version of WordPress

The default theme slated to ship with WordPress 4.1 dubbed “Twenty Fifteen” has officially been added to the development version of WordPress. In sharp contrast to Twenty Fourteen, Twenty Fifteen is a simple, two column, blog focused theme. The typography features Google’s Noto Serif and Sans, a font family designed to be visually harmonious across many of the worlds languages.


Here’s what the Tavern looks like with Twenty Fifteen activated. In the screenshot, you’ll notice a scrollbar between the sidebar and content. Being able to scroll the sidebar separate from the content reminds me of the Visual Editor in WordPress 3.9. I’d like to see both columns be a cohesive unit for a better experience and to eliminate the ugly scrollbar. This issue has already been reported.

Twenty Fifteen Tavern Home Page
Twenty Fifteen Tavern Home Page

In Twenty Fifteen, the comment reply link is aligned to the left. While not a deal breaker, I prefer the comment link to be aligned to the right.

Comment Reply Link on The Left
Comment Reply Link on The Left

On the Tavern, we routinely use the featured image as the first image in a post. This works well since the Tavern theme is configured to show only the excerpts and featured image on the homepage. The Twenty Fifteen homepage displays full posts which shows the same image twice, creating a post title sandwich. Keep this in mind if you use featured images and are thinking of switching to Twenty Fifteen in the future.

A Featured Image Sandwich
A Post Title Sandwich


Each post on the homepage is separated by blank space. Featured images that are not at least 826 pixels wide are padded by an equal amount of blank space on each side. Similar to Twenty Fourteen, images that span the entire width change the visual look and feel of the theme. Posts on the homepage look great when the image is more than 826 pixels wide, while smaller images don’t have the same visual pop.

Since featured images touch the top of the content box, smaller images give me the impression that something is broken. For example, maybe there’s an alignment issue where the top of the image is being cut off. It’s not, but that’s what I’m thinking when I see it. This is all a moot point though if you use a full width featured image.

Featured Image is Too Small
Featured Image is Too Small

It’s Still Early

There is a long way to go before Twenty Fifteen is ready for prime time. Initial feedback I’ve seen so far labels Twenty Fifteen as a breath of fresh air. Twenty Fifteen goes back to the blogging roots of WordPress, but it does so in a modern, elegant way. Once the bugs have been squashed and the theme polished, I think a lot of people will either switch to or use Twenty Fifteen when WordPress 4.1 is released. If you’d like to see Twenty Fifteen in the wild, check out Brandon Kraft’s personal site.

How You Can Help Improve Twenty Fifteen

The Twenty Fifteen development team is holding meetings on IRC, every Tuesday at 15:30 UTC, in the #wordpress-dev channel. The meetings are opportunities to discuss all things Twenty Fifteen and to collaborate on tickets.


37 responses to “Twenty Fifteen Officially Added to The Development Version of WordPress”

  1. Yeah… Not gonna lie, so far, I really dislike it. Sidebar is on the left instead of the right, that scroll bar, the widths are annoying with so much useless whitespace on most laptops, that scroll bar, the customize options are lacking, that scroll bar, it’s very bright by default and thus hard to read, that scroll bar, and the sidebar is first in the html code which is not good for readers or seo. Also, that scroll bar.

    Still, it’s new. I look forward to the improvements.

  2. I’m loving Twenty Fifteen so far!

    I think the scrollbars between the side bar and main content area could work a little better together (scrolling to the top of the content doesn’t scroll to the top of the sidebar).

    But otherwise, I’m really liking it so far! Have decided to use it for my personal site, and anything I find that needs fixing I’ll hopefully get to contribute back :)

  3. Look Ma! Frame-sets are obviously back!

    The 3d scroll bar that will be different by browser and OS parked right in the middle really brings out the flat in the design don’t ya think? Like an old Palm layout lovingly nested in frames of an OS 7 era browser.

    Though somehow when the scroll bar _doesn’t appear all_ the demos remind me of wedding invitation samples. It is going to be a weird year in WordPress land.

  4. I can’t help think these types of fixed-sidebar themes are better suited to users – since they don’t really allow for ads etc in the sidebar… the fixed-sidebar really takes up too much screen real-estate (and doesn’t let it go as users scroll down) – in my opinion. Although they do look kind of nice and simple and are, of course, great for folk who really just want the focus all on their writing.

  5. Two Frustrating Comments:

    1. Who is it, High Up, that insists that WordPress should remain “Blog” software forever, with “Blog Focused Default Themes” that go back to the “Blogging Roots” of WordPress? I could have sworn that I saw a video a year or so ago, with Matt Mullenweg stating that global WordPress usage was leaning towards that of a CMS. I’m not super intelligent, nor a trained Coder, but I’m starting to think that it would be globally beneficial, if a small group of Core Developers started their own Forked Branch of WordPress as a CMS only. Currently, it seems that “WordPress” is somewhat schizophrenic, and can’t decide whether it wants to create Blog or CMS software. Why not have two separate divisions with two separate Theme Directories?

    2. Your comments about Twenty Fifteen’s creation of a “post title sandwich” has been a continual issue with quite a few of’s recent theme creations, and the developers seem to have no problem with it. Justin Tadlock’s Stargazer theme that WP Tavern is currently using, uses Featured images CORRECTLY as far as I am concerned. I’ve never understood WHY so many themes that offer Featured Images as an option, insist on “doubling up” when displayed on an individual Post. Is that what a smartphone user wants to see on their device AND do they want two images downloaded for each individual Post to eat up their bandwidth?

    I’m done….just some rambling thoughts.

    • “…that insists that WordPress should remain “Blog” software forever, with “Blog Focused Default Themes” that go back to the “Blogging Roots” of WordPress?”
      – Really like this comment; maybe a little brashly put but you’ve absolutely got a point here! I’d also really like to see a much more CMS-focused default theme for once!

      “…but I’m starting to think that it would be globally beneficial, if a small group of Core Developers started their own Forked Branch of WordPress as a CMS only”
      – Oh god no! For all kinds of reasons (like branding and the allocation of resources etc – not to mention general user confusion), this can never (and nor should it) fly!

      …in my opinion. ;)

  6. Hello Jeff Chandler,

    I would like to thank WP Tavern for keeping us updated about the Twenty Fifteen theme and about other WordPress/Automattic topics that do not seem to get mentioned at/by the official blogs for and the official blogs for other Automattic services/products, oddly/disappointingly those official blogs often fail to mention various things that I consider to be important enough to mention about WordPress and Automattic :( , and so if it were not for WP Tavern I would not know about certain things/various things like the progress of the Twenty Fifteen theme (which News, Theme Shaper (which is rarely updated, misses most news about themes, and does not do a good job of getting the community involved in giving ideas/opinions/et cetera on themes), et cetera did not even mention that it was being worked on and offered no screenshots and did not mention the demo website or anything yet except that ideas about the theme were being talked about last year or so).

    Hopefully that did not sound too harsh, I just would like the official blogs to do a better job keeping us updated on various things that they often miss, and for them to do a better job getting feedback from us users through polls/et cetera to get our opinions before making certain changes/et cetera.

    I think that WP Tavern should be listed as an official or valuable blog/website/resource in various areas on so that more people (especially on can know about it and stay updated on various things that are often missing on the official blogs.

    The demo website for the Twenty Fifteen seems to be online now , and so you might want to link it in your post and/or in your next post ;) :

    Keep up the good work :) ,
    -John Jr

      • Hello Justin,

        I knew about the Official Core blog already, thanks to WP Tavern (since none of the official related blogs/Theme Shaper/et cetera mentioned it as far as I know), but thank you for sharing the link for those who might not know about it already. ;)

        As a user I think that WP Tavern does a good enough job keeping me updated on most things that I care about that are not mentioned at News, The Daily Post, Theme Shaper, et cetera so for me I do not really need to follow the Core blog or the various other Automattic blogs (Akismet, Polldaddy, After The Deadline, Gravatar, et cetera) as well thanks to WP Tavern. :)

        About the demo, yeah, I think that they could do a better job of communicating (besides the things that they often forget to mention, you will also notice that many people’s comments are not even responded to on various topics like the Twenty Fifteen announcement on the Core blog, even when simple and important questions are asked); but I think that WP Tavern will mention the Twenty Fifteen demo at some point so that other people will know about it, since the official WordPress blogs have not mentioned it so far it seems, which is another reason that I think WP Tavern should be an official WordPress blog and easier to find so that more people will know about it so that they can stay updated on things that are often not mentioned on the official WordPress blogs.

        -John Jr

  7. 1. Like the aesthetics (except maybe that scrollbar)
    2. Would like it much more if the sidebar is customizeable in terms of background/color
    3. Assuming the color scheme will be customizeable overall???
    4. Can the “image title sandwhich” please be fixed? That’s not pretty and it will be a definite problem/deal breaker in how I’d like to use this theme.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • warmsunkiss,

      I don’t know if this is even possible or not, but maybe an option could be added to the Customizer of ALL WordPress default themes, AND All themes created by Automattic, that would allow the end user to easily TURN OFF the “image title sandwich” if they so choose to do so.

  8. for linked images, it wont be tied into the gallery group, since each image will be a rel, and this lightbox requires them to be in the same group, via the group attribute, or else no prev/next buttons will show up for the image(s)

    and I won’t be adding to because of the liscense of the strip.js its creativecommons and unsupported for the plugin directory, the only alternative would be for the user to add the js and css manually themselves, and I thought from a perspective on someone with less skills to do this it might be harder.


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