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WordPress 5.9 will feature a brand new default theme named Twenty Twenty-Two. It arrives during an exciting time for WordPress themes. With the advent of Full Site Editing and Global Styles, themes are changing structurally and functionally to enable far more avenues for customization than users have come to expect in the past. To take advantage of these new abilities, Twenty Twenty-Two has been designed to be the most flexible default theme ever created for WordPress.
A reliable starting point
To find inspiration for this theme’s design, I did not have to look far. Thanks to a bird feeder attached to the outside of our kitchen window, my family’s daily breakfast routine involves a rotating cast of cardinals, doves, finches, jays, and tufted titmice. The birds are always up to something interesting: Sometimes they’re lining up patiently to take turns eating, other times they’re playfully performing aerial gymnastics.
While the birds’ exact behavior is unpredictable, they are remarkably reliable overall. The exact lineup changes somewhat, but every single morning there’s a group of birds eating breakfast with us. Throughout all of the tumult the world has seen in the past couple years, this consistent, entertaining routine has been a welcome starting point to my day.
That routine is the inspiration for this years’ default theme. Like the birds, Twenty Twenty-Two is designed to be light and resilient, with a hint of playfulness. The theme uses the lightweight Source Serif Pro for headlines, paired with a sensible sans-serif for support. Its color palette is drawn from nature, and layout elements sit gently on the page.
Above all, the theme is designed to be reliable. Its design choices are intentionally subtle, and its foundation will be built strong. It’s our hope that this theme will suit your site through many seasons.
Twenty Twenty-Two will take advantage of a wide networknetwork(versus site, blog) of page templates, headers, footers, and other patterns so that users can easily make the theme their own. In another nod to the behavior of birds everywhere, these will offer a balance between fun and utility: some are irregular and unpredictable, while others are straightforward and traditional. Together, these patterns will act as a window into all of the possibilities that the theme enables.
In addition, Twenty Twenty-Two will ship with a range of alternate color schemes so that folks can drastically change the appearance of their site. Users will also be able to change fonts, image treatments, and more on a site-wide level. These new controls open up a wide array of drastically different customizations for the theme:
Twenty Twenty-Two is designed with the acknowledgement that its default appearance is not most people’s endpoint. Everyone deserves a truly unique website, built on a solid, well-designed foundation, and Twenty Twenty-Two aims to help them achieve that.
Built for Full Site Editing
As a block theme, Twenty Twenty-Two will likely require WordPress 5.9 to run. If the Twenty Twenty-Two and 5.9 release leads determine that there is need in the community for broader theme support, we will explore ways to bridge that gap.
Kjell Reigstad (@kjellr) is leading design for Twenty Twenty-Two, and Jeff Ong (@jffng) is leading development. The two of us are looking forward to your involvement and support though the process! If you are interested in contributing to Twenty Twenty-Two, make sure you are following this blogblog(versus network, site).
Theme development will happen on GitHubGitHubGitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/. Once the theme is stable, it will be merged into CoreCoreCore is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. and its GitHub repo will be deprecated. An empty repository has been created here that you can follow if you’d like:
The community has produced a dozen best-in-class themes together, and we’ve come to look forward to a new one arriving at the close of each year. That said, themes are in a transition period today, and it seems like this may be a reasonable time to step back and to re-evaluate the annual cadence with which we build default themes.
Innovations like theme.json, block templates, and block patterns are making theme development far simpler, and are providing new ways for users to customize their sites. There’s reason to believe that the community can leverage all this to build more frequent and diverse theme and customization solutions for our users in the coming years.
We’re all still navigating these new opportunities (and in the meantime, we have a theme to build!) so let’s regroup after the 5.9 release to discuss future paths forward for default themes.
For information about about previous default themes, you can read the following posts: