WordPress Twenty Fourteen Project Enters Crunch Time for 3.8 Release

twenty-fourteenThe Twenty Fourteen project team, led by Lance Willett, is working like crazy to get the theme ready for the upcoming 3.8 release. The theme’s inclusion in 3.8 is dependent upon how many things can be accomplished during the crunch time before the merge window closes tomorrow.

Since last week’s development chat, the team has made great strides and announced a number of major improvements today, including:

  • Many design changes to make the “first run” nicer and look better without featured images
  • UI for Featured Content moved completely into Customizer (tag, display, count)
  • Added contextual help and tips around the admin interface for setting up the Featured Content area
  • Performance tweaks for faster loading
  • IE, RTL, and i18n fixes

The Decision to Remove Placeholder Images

Creating a theme that is so highly dependent upon featured images makes it a challenging to display content nicely without them. Originally, Twenty Fourteen included placeholder images in case no featured images were set. This was meant to encourage users to add featured images. Instead, it ended up making the theme look awkward without featured images. This week the team opted to remove the placeholders in favor of giving it a more general appeal as a blog theme. However, Twenty Fourteen will still look its best when feature images are used.

Featured Content in Twenty Fourteen

Twenty Fourteen is intended to be a magazine style default theme, so having an easy way to promote featured content is important. The theme was originally intended to work hand-in-hand with the “Featured Content” plugin that is being developed for 3.8. As it is yet unclear if that plugin will be ready, the team opted to implement a “featured content” tag instead, which can now be found in the Customizer.

Author Widget

Lance Willett said that they are hoping to include the Author Widget plugin in Twenty Fourteen to highlight multiple authors. This is well-suited to a magazine theme. For now it exists as the Authors Widget plugin but Willett says, “It’s fairly light and can merge right away.”

How to Access Twenty Fourteen for Testing

If you want to see how Twenty Fourteen is shaping up, check out a live demo at: twentyfourteendemo.wordpress.com/. This site is synced nearly every day with the core version of Twenty Fourteen.

There are a number of ways to get access to the theme for testing. You can grab it via SVN or switch to trunk using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. The easiest option, however, might be to simply download the WordPress zip from its github repository, which is a mirror of the subversion repository and synced via SVN every 15 minutes.

21 Comments


  1. A correction:

    This can be set at Settings > Reading and authors can determine which tag to use for displaying posts in the featured content area.

    This is all moved to Customizer now.

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  2. Anyone know how to modify so that the home page (only with headlines and images) to look just like how you would access it from mobile?

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  3. This what i am waiting for, we spend too much penny for this similiar themes in the market, not passion to wait this release, great job lance

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  4. Thanks Sarah for the demo link, this theme is really different of the last defaut theme… i appreciate the change :)

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  5. Love this theme it has all the ingredients needed to go forward and is soo twenty fourteen. I have been testing it on tattoosidea.com and it is awesome!

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  6. I really love the look and feel of 2014 and am giving it a test run but I just cannot get the featured posts working. Whatever I do nothing happens. Can anyone help please?

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  7. I’m struggling to create the featured content layout for my front page using twenty fourteen. Can anyone help?

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  8. I, too, am struggling to create the featured content layout for the front page of a new blog. I really miss the placeholder images. This theme just is not intuitive. I’d also appreciate help.

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  9. @Ben

    I, too, am struggling to create the featured content layout for the front page of a new blog. I really miss the placeholder images. This theme just is not intuitive. I’d also appreciate help.

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  10. Hi Ben,
    Your iWordCup site is awesome. However, we gave up on the 2014 theme and chose another, much easier theme to work with. I’d like to keep you in mind, though, in case we decide to try the 2014 theme again. Thanks!

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  11. @Ben,
    Thank you for your offer. The Brasil 2014 site is exactly how I would like mine to appear. I was using a different template and had laid out all my posts in it before switching to twenty fourteen. I assumed that process eliminated the featured content layout, but maybe not.

    I took all my content out of the theme and attempted to start from”scratch” but that did not help either! Right now rosemarywrites.com is set to private and relatively empty. I’m new at this and struggling to learn about css and codes etc, but I’d rather be writing content. I’ve looked at many webinars and help pages and did learn a few things but featured content still eludes.

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  12. Ben, I can show you what I have (remember I removed a lot of content) but I will need to make it viewable by you. (it is private right now – under construction so to speak). Can you send me a contact link that I can post on my website?

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