Twenty Sixteen Now Available on GitHub and the WordPress Theme Directory

Twenty Sixteen, the default theme scheduled to ship with WordPress 4.4, is available for download on GitHub and the WordPress theme directory. According to Tammie Lister, Twenty Sixteen will be developed as if it were a feature plugin and will merge into WordPress core later this year.

As development takes place on GitHub, changes will regularly sync up to the WordPress theme directory. By installing and activating Twenty Sixteen from the theme directory, users can easily update to new versions as they become available.

So far, Twenty Sixteen has 23 issues and 27 pull requests on GitHub. Many of the issues such as, introducing automated Travis CI build testing into Twenty Sixteen, are up for discussion.

Here is what the top half of the Tavern looks like with Twenty Sixteen activated.

Twenty Sixteen on the Tavern
Twenty Sixteen on the Tavern

Here is what the content section looks like. Notice the block of code that displays instead of an image.

Content on the Tavern with Twenty Sixteen
Content on the Tavern with Twenty Sixteen Activated

Testers are encouraged to open issues and pull requests on GitHub. If you’re not familiar with how GitHub works, this guide explains how to contribute to the Twenty Sixteen project. Keep in mind that Twenty Sixteen is a work in progress and should not be used in a production environment.

15 Comments


  1. I was very happy to find this out and am excited by the prospect of more projects being developed on GitHub and merged into core :)

    I have never used SVN for anything other than updating a plugin on the WordPress.org repo, I have no idea how it actually works. On the other hand I use git for almost all of my projects. Git is much more familiar for me than SVN and I’m certain there are others out there in the same boat.

    Using git instead removes a barrier of entry to core contribution that previously blocked me from actively being involved during development.

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    1. Completely agree, very excited to see more WP projects moving over to git and Github. The whole workflow of making pull requests makes so much more sense to me than submitting a patch via Trac. Looking forward to WP one day moving off Trac…. or at least accepting PR’s via Github :D

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  2. WordPress “Default Themes” are by nature niche-oriented, limited in Customizer Options, and loved as children by their developers because of all the effort involved in their creation. Current examples:
    https://github.com/WordPress/twentysixteen/issues/44
    https://github.com/WordPress/twentysixteen/issues/43

    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). This new direction could either totally replace the future creation of “Default Themes”, or run in Parallel with them. Here are some commercial Theme Builders to possibly learn from, during that development:

    http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/
    http://headwaythemes.com/
    http://www.layerswp.com/
    https://thethemefoundry.com/wordpress-themes/make/
    https://theme.works/
    http://themifyflow.com/
    https://ultimatumtheme.com/

    WordPress Core Developers can call it whatever-they-want (Framework, Multi-Purpose, Theme Builder, etc.), but the idea is to offer an Official, Core Compliant, Modular, Option-Packed Theme Builder that any user can use to create her/his “Perfect Theme” as they see fit.

    (This may Freak some people out, but the general idea is give the consumer what they want, not what we want to give them).

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    1. Just to make note on your comment at the end there about giving the costumer what they want. Are you certain that this is what the majority of consumers want, or is it what you want? Undoubtedly a certain amount of people would want this but I feel it is far from the majority.

      I for one (as a user of WP and a developer) certainly do not want WordPress theming to adopt a single theme builder as it would likely foster a very same-y design trend towards everything looking and working exactly the same… The opposite of what I expect people do want which would be creativity and originality.

      A theme builder that replaced default themes would be much more stifling than anything else.

      By all means roll your own theme builder and use it on your sites/release it as a plugin/contribute it to core/whatever but I recon you’d be targeting a small subset of users that had interest – not the wider community as a whole.

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    2. This sounds like it leans too close to wordpress.com. More weight would be introduced and be so intertwined in the core that it would be tough to get rid of.

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    3. Even though I 100% agree with the sentiment, themify flow and Divi actually each score 0% at themecheck.org, so don’t use them as examples and use the phrase “Core Compliant”. Divi gets security warnings, and when v2.4 came out, in the forums there were complaints about various plugin incompatibilities. Both of them do not have “clean”, WP compliant code, I’m not familiar with the rest of the list items…

      I really don’t understand why nobody reports the code quality of some of these popular premium themes, are they all paid off, or afraid of something? Shouldn’t security, compliance (compatibility) and then speed trump everything else (like looks, features,etc…)?

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      1. nick6352683,

        I haven’t used any of the builders on my list either, and wasn’t promoting one over the other. I was just trying to show that they all are either fulfilling (or trying to fulfill) some desires or needs of their customer bases, that are NOT being provided by WordPress itself (if they weren’t they wouldn’t be in business). They will all probably hate me now for stating this, but WordPress.org ought to be doing this on its own to give an easy way for non-programmers to customize their individual sites using the Customizer of themes already in the Free Themes Directory. IF, end-user Stats don’t provide enough numbers to justify the creation of an Official, Free, Single, WordPress.org, Option-Packed (through the Customizer) Theme Builder; then why not have a Free, Officlal, WordPress.org, Customizer Options-Pack Plugin that will provide all of the Customizer options that current Default Theme Developers pick and choose from, after deciding what to include and what to leave out.

        Currently, when an end-user installs a Default Theme (or one created by Automattic), the options Panel in the Customizer have been culled or limited depending upon the individual preferences of that theme’s design goals. Two Examples: if you install the Edin or Sequential themes from Automattic, they don’t provide the same options in their Customizer, each has a limitation that the other does provide, but neither provides a comprehensive package of options, so their download Stats aren’t great and prospective users probably end up switching to another theme.

        So to make a long-story short, what I’m trying to promote is an easier way for WordPress.org end-users, to Build or Customize their own Theme, without having to fight the limitation desires of themes provided through the Free Themes Directory.

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      2. The idea of having an official option-packed “Kitchen Sink” theme developed by WP.org is – in my mind – a non-starter. Such feature-rich themes lead to theme lock-in, where it becomes more and more difficult to switch themes because you have no idea what will “translate” from one theme to the next. I’m not an expert, but it’s likely the theme review guidelines prevent a lot of the potential customization options you’re envisioning, specifically to prevent this sort of lock-in, which is why you don’t see that sort of theme in the repository.

        As well, an official WP.org provided “customizer pack” plugin is also not going to happen. Firstly, AFAIK, WP.org isn’t involved in plugin development other than the Feature Plugins which are specifically intended to be merged into Core. And secondly, the options provided in the Customizer by default are actually very few. It’s likely that the options you’re seeing in Edin and Sequential have been added *in addition* to the default Customizer options, rather than anything being deliberately limited. (Unless they are disabling default Customizer sections because they aren’t supported by the theme, in which case there’s no way to force a theme to abide by options that it doesn’t support)

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  3. I like this new theme. But I would suggest developer if they add theme options to upload logo, post excerpt and other settings.

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    1. There is support for a custom header (not a smaller logo though) and I believe it outputs custom excerpts in streams, like category pages, tags, front-page, when they are set.

      What other excerpt functions would you like?

      With a typography focused theme like this its understandable that the theme defaults to a text title – but you make a good point about logos at least being an option available to close if you wanted.

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  4. I’m testing it live. Seems to work okay … https://random.hellyer.kiwi/

    Some things don’t make sense for me, as my avatar is displayed beside each post, yet I already do that in my sidebar. Plus, I’m the only author, so a per post avatar display doesn’t make as much sense as displaying the avatar across the whole site (hence it’s in my sidebar).

    It looks to me like a worthy replacement to Twenty Fifteen despite it perhaps not being the best fit for my own site(s).

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    1. I agree with the avatar vs. single-author blog point. In previous themes there was a conditional statement checking if it was a multi-author blog or not. That should probably take place here as well. Then again, it’s a design decision so …

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    2. Your avatar and author info in a sidebar isn’t something available in WP by default. It’s a custom feature, your own customization. Most of the users will not have it, and removing author info below the post will completely hide any information about the author, relying only on the ‘about’ page which, again, isn’t available right out of the box. The same applies to single-author blogs. It’s not only a design decision, it’s common sense. Besides, author block below the post is, actually, a well-recognized pattern, even on single-author blogs.

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