Should we change the default WordCamp theme to CampSite 2017?

TL;DR: Would CampSite 2017 be a better default theme than TwentyThirteen? It offers a more recent version of _s, accessibility improvements, and more customization options, but it may not be as easy to use for smaller organizing teams.


Currently, when a new WordCamp site gets created, the TwentyThirteen theme is activated by default.

Earlier in the year, a team of contributors developed a new theme for all camps, called CampSite 2017. It’s based on the latest version of the _s theme, and includes some accessibility and customization improvements.

Feedback during the beta testing period was positive, and the theme has been available to all camps for several months now. So far, 9 camps have chosen to use it: Europe 2018, Jyväskylä 2018, London 2018, Europe 2017, Cologne 2017, Stockholm 2017, Phoenix 2017, Kuala Lumpur 2017, Zagreb 2017.

Recently, @sonjaleix suggested that it could become the new default theme, replacing TwentyThirteen, so I’d like to gather input from everyone about that. Since CampSite 2017 is a blank “starter” theme, we would also add some default styles to the Custom CSS section of the Customizer, so that teams without a designer don’t need to build them from scratch if they don’t want to.

Pros and Cons

These are the benefits and drawbacks, as far as I can tell, but please leave a comment if you see anything I missed:


  • It’s based on a recent version of the _s theme, which has hundreds of enhancements compared to the version available in the `WordCamp Base` and `WordCamp Base Redux` themes.
  • Includes the accessible menu improvements from the TwentySeventeen theme
  • Adds a ton of widget areas, to make it layout customization much more flexible
  • A “Day Of” template, so that on the day of the event, the site’s home page can easily contain the most useful information for attendees (like directions to the venue, the Code of Conduct, the schedule for that day, the Tagregator stream, etc)


  • It’s a bit more geared towards the needs of a large camp with experienced designers/developers on the organizing team. In particular:
  • The number of widget areas is great for customization, but could be frustrating to manage for camps that only want a very simple layout
  • It’s a blank “starter” theme, which could confuse some organizers. This would be mitigated by having the default styles that Sonja mentioned in the Meta ticket, but there may be some edge cases or particular workflows that aren’t covered.

Your thoughts

What do you think? Would CampSite 2017 be a better choice for the default theme than TwentyThirteen (or one of the other available themes)?

cc @kau-boy, @coreymckrill