Representatives of the WordPress Themes Team are looking to carry forward the momentum contributors found in creating the Twenty Twenty-Three theme’s style variations by launching a new Community Themes initiative. Leading up to WordPress 6.1’s release, 19 designers from eight countries built 38 unique style variations, and 10 were selected to ship with the release. At that time, contributors discussed a spinoff child theme project with additional style variations for Twenty Twenty-Three.
Automattic-sponsored core contributor Maggie Cabrera published a proposal that seeks to extend this new era of increased design contribution through a Community Themes project.
“The goal is to bring together a squad of people to build block themes all year around the same way the default themes are built,” Cabrera said. She cited other reasons for the proposal, including the need to increase the number and the variety of quality block themes in the directory, and capitalize on community momentum during times when no default theme is being actively developed.
The reality is there simply are not enough block themes available to the community yet with the current count at 247. Last year, the WordPress project fell short of its goal to get 500 block themes in the repository by the end of 2022. The world of patterns and the ease of inserting blocks into templates gives users more design flexibility than ever before, so the landscape of themes is slowly changing, but there is no replacement for finding a theme design that just works and enabling it with one click.
The new Community Themes initiative may offer an easier onramp for theme developers who are still getting into block theming, as well as a supportive community of builders who spur each other on to create themes that are compatible with the latest and greatest features of WordPress.
The Themes Team’s next hallway hangout discussion will focus on the goals and purpose of this initiative. Contribution opportunities will be available for all skill levels, including designing, coding, testing, and reviewing themes. If you are interested to help on this project, the team is inviting people to join the next hangout on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 10:00 AM EST. RSVP is required to attend online.