WordPress 4.7 to Ship with New Twenty Seventeen Default Theme

WordPress lead developer and 4.7 release lead Helen Hou-Sandí unveiled the design for the Twenty Seventeen default theme today and confirmed that it will be part of the upcoming release. Mel Choyce, a core contributor and design engineer at Automattic, is credited with the design of the new theme, which falls into the business or product showcase category.


The homepage features a fullscreen header image with navigation directly underneath, a call-to-action section, and various sections for services, blog posts, location, and featured content. Hou-Sandí posted several screenshots of the design in action on mobile devices and linked to a collection of higher resolution mockups.


“Twenty Seventeen will focus on providing a seamless initial theme setup so anyone can set up a website for themselves or their business with minimal hassle,” Hou-Sandí said. She identified several usability improvements planned for core which the theme will exemplify:

  • A better flow for using a static page as your front page
  • Visible edit icons in the Customizer, replacing the current hidden shift+click method
  • Expanding custom header images to include video
  • Dummy content for live previews

Hou-Sandí also said that the new default theme will use plain CSS, instead of using preprocessors, in order to “keep it simple, making the theme easier for everyone to understand, quicker for anyone to modify and better to maintain in the long run.” Twenty Seventeen development will initially happen on GitHub but will be merged into core when it’s stable so that issue reporting can be handled on Trac.

Contributors will have the opportunity to offer more specific design feedback in the #core-themes Slack channel on Friday. Choyce, known for her critical attention to typography and color, is a co-author on several popular WordPress.org themes. She will continue leading the design efforts along with Laurel Fulford and David Kennedy, who will spearhead development. Contributors will work closely with the Theme Review Team to ensure that it meets the core standards.

Initial reactions to the design on the Make/Core post are overwhelmingly positive, as many WordPress users have been waiting for a default theme that can be easily customized for businesses. Twenty Sixteen was more blog-oriented, as were Twenty Fifteen, Fourteen, and Thirteen. It hasn’t been since Twenty Twelve that WordPress had a default theme resembling anything close to a business style theme.

Twenty Seventeen is the shot in the arm that WordPress needs to make it easy to set up a business website with a trusted, well-supported theme. When combined with the improvements to the initial theme setup process that are planned for core, Twenty Seventeen will make it possible for a business to go from installation to a professional-looking online presence in a matter of minutes.


16 responses to “WordPress 4.7 to Ship with New Twenty Seventeen Default Theme”

  1. Looks fab. I’m so pleased it’s not another overly blog-centric theme: thereby better catering to a diverse range of small businesses and showing more of what WordPress can really do! Also, those images: wow. Gorgeous! :)

  2. Awesome, Can’t wait for its release.
    This is what I waiting for WordPress default themes with static homepage, instead of Twenty Twelve. They have beautiful menu as similar to Twenty Sixteen and interesting header. I have plan to use in my site.
    Thank you WordPress team.

  3. The large header image “themes” are annoying. The images are wasted space on the majority of sites and I hope the header can be removed to something simple: title, logo, etc.

  4. This is the first time since 2010 that I have been excited about the default theme! It looks clean and professional, something people will want out of the box!
    Super excited to see all the details from @melchoyce

  5. Nice work. There are 2 FPO stock images with MBP’s, so I’d replace 1 with a non-Apple mobile device of some sort (phone, tablet, rift). Orange …just time for Fall! Good job :)

  6. Looks great from what has been shown and I agree we are well over due for a default theme that isn’t a blog!

  7. Hello Sarah Gooding and/or someone with WordPress (WP) Tavern and/or anyone reading this,

    The Twenty Seventeen theme has a demo now according to this post:


    Here is a link to the demo:


    Oddly I have not seen anyone else share this news yet, and so I would recommend that WordPress (WP) Tavern make a post about this sharing this news so that people can see the Twenty Seventeen theme in action because the official WordPress.com blogs/websites (including ThemeShaper) probably will not share this news because they usually do not talk about things like this unfortunately so most people (especially those who do not usually follow WordPress.org official blogs/websites, like myself, because I am only a WordPress.com user) will not even know about this so if your blog/website and others (Automattic employees, some WordPress.com bloggers, some WordPress.org users, et cetera) were to share this news it would help spread the word to more people.

    Thank you,
    -John Jr

  8. What the hell is happening in name of art and design. 2017 is just a joke. It is nothing in compare to 2016. I don’t understand what people are clapping for.

    2016 is far better in readability, fonts, perfection, menus, icons, minor details, flow and in all other areas.

    2017’s readability is too much poor. Look at the menus, social icons, sidebar widgets, clickable links and use of space. Where is creativity? Where is the actual design?

    Design means presentation… a perfect presentation of something. It does not mean arranging a lot of things one after another. 2016 has presented the simplicity in an extraordinary way.

    Just try to read some text of almost 500 words on both the designs… you will understand my point. Read a story on 2016 and then read another on 2017. You will feel the difference.

    Even on this site… wptavern…. read the text. This is really smooth and clear. It does not force pressure on eyes and one can read easily for hours. One can read passively without making a lot of efforts.

    Open you eyes my friends.


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