Thoughts on the default WordPress theme Twenty Sixteen

The new default WordPress theme Twenty Sixteen is still in the development phase, with daily updates being made over on the theme’s github page. In this video, I take a look at the theme in its current state and see what it has to offer in terms of form and function.

It’s been interesting to read some of the commentary around the web about this theme. As always, when it comes to design and aesthetics, opinions are divided.

The theme has received much praise for its clean and minimal lookS and its ease of use. It integrates all the latest WordPress core functions while remaining very user friendly.

On the negative side, a number of people have criticised the theme for looking “old fashioned” and not representing 2015 theme design trends.

Personally, I find the criticism a little harsh. The task of creating the default theme is a daunting one at best. There are so many expectations riding on it that it’s almost always going to disappoint some people.

The comments got me thinking about what the default WordPress theme should be, and I think there are at least 3 key considerations it has to address:

– It has to cater to the widest possible audience
– It has to provide a blank canvas to build on
– It has to show off WordPress functionality

I think the default WordPress theme Twenty Sixteen does all this very well. I think it’s professional and elegant, with some brilliant font work (although there seems to be a font issue related to non-latin characters, but I’m sure that will be addressed in due course).

For me, the best thing about it so far is its simplicity. It really does a great job of lowering the barrier to entry into WordPress for newcomers and non-power users. Some people want more bells and whistles, I like hassle-free, cross platform themes that work straight out of the box. I guess it boils down, as always, to personal preference.

I’d be interested to hear your take on the theme. Is it something you’d use? Would you change anything?

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About the Author: Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.

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