All You Need to Know About the Twenty Twenty-Three Theme
Here we are: new year – new default WordPress theme. After the significant changes that WordPress 5.9 brought forth and the change of concept in direction of Full Site Editing, which resulted in the lovely Twenty Twenty-Two theme, the community is moving forward in new, even more creative directions, fueled, among other things, by block patterns. Let’s take a look at what the Twenty Twenty-Three theme has in store for us.
The most significant change that the new default theme brings is the focus on style variations. Twenty Twenty-Three is not about detailed layouts, images and other ready-made visual components. Instead, it proposes a set of predefined styles, which of course can be customized to fit the users’ needs like a glove.
As such, it is a quite minimalist theme, and more of a blank canvas than any previous default theme. It is created as a starting point for users, designers and developers alike to use it for creating templates and patterns.
What’s also important is that, unlike previous themes, Twenty Twenty-Three was not created by a single designer. Rather, the job was awarded to the community, with various designers contributing their unique style variations. This not only guarantees a great aesthetic diversity of the theme, but also reinforces the WordPress ethos: it’s all about the community. Building and creating together, working together to solve issues, to improve the product and the experience – these are the motivations that brought forth Twenty Twenty-Three.
Starting with WordPress 6.0, the contributors are able to pack different style variations in their themes. This means that a single theme can offer different cohesive looks. Twenty Twenty-Three is bundled with ten different style variations:
- Pitch: a modern, dark variation suitable for tech, agencies, blogs, magazines and more.
- Canary: a bright yellow style with narrow columns and a lovely border radius effect on sections and images
- Electric: a somewhat brutalist, contemporary style with bold and bright, almost neon typography
- Pilgrimage: another dark variation of the basic style
- Marigold: a fresh, optimistic style with a soft character
- Block Out: a bold style with a duotone effect that “blocks out” images
- Whisper: a warm, autumnal style
- Sherbet: a colorful, youthful style in bubblegum and candy colors
- Grapes: a soothing, well-balanced palette and elegant typography.
The style variations are set in the Global Style part in the WordPress backend. Here you can browse styles, change typography settings, change the colors of individual elements and change the layout. Like we said, the styles are perfectly customizable and tweaking them just the way you like it requires no particular or advanced knowledge.
Since Twenty Twenty-Three is rather stripped-down in terms of visual content, it’s only logical that typography would take center stage. With this theme, the creators wanted to make sure the content is easy to read, highly accessible and in line with the best UX practices.
The theme comes with a brand new set of font families and uses fluid typography, which was introduced with WordPress 6.1, alongside spacing presets. Fluid typography means that the font properties, such as size and line height, can scale up or down depending on the size of the screen or, more precisely, the viewport.
As for spacing presets, or fluid spacing, it will now be possible to set fixed values for things like padding and gaps. This will be very useful for when you want, for instance, to use the same values in patterns or content in different websites, or to transfer them between themes.
The changes that regard the choice of fonts reflect the idea of simplicity and minimalism. The number of typefaces that can be used in style variations was limited in the requirements for contributors so that each variation features three or four different fonts max, in addition, of course, to the system fonts.
The theme comes with the six most readable fonts, a decision that aims to support the theme’s usability, functionality and simplicity. The selection includes System Font, DM Sans, IBM Plex Mono, Inter and Source Serif Pro.
Page Layouts and Block Patterns
It could be argued that Twenty Twenty-Three represents a more stripped-down version of the previous default WordPress theme, in terms of layouts. The new theme offers a decisively minimalist approach and a very modern, sleek look for post singles.
In addition, the heading sizes have been slightly decreased, although this is not a change that will be instantly noticeable.
Now when it comes to templates and patterns, the new theme represents a true embodiment of all the innovations brought forth by WordPress 6.1. Twenty Twenty-Three brings eleven page templates:
- Blog (Alternative)
- With Cover block
We also get four template parts:
- Post meta
Again, the focus here is on simplicity and customization. The Global Style interface allows for tweaking just about anything you want on your pages, using the templates as the starting point. And thanks to the available style variations and their options, the number of unique designs that can be created with Twenty Twenty-Three is virtually unlimited.
Wrapping It Up
For a superficial and unfocused observer, Twenty Twenty-Three may appear empty and dull. However, on closer inspection, we soon realize the theme actually allows for making the absolute most of the WordPress full site editing features. Plus, with ten style variations and a nice selection of templates and template parts, the theme is everything but empty. Twenty Twenty-Three is here to underline the difference between site appearance and site functionality. The theme options give you full liberty in customizing the appearance, while the blocks (default and custom ones, like Qi Blocks for Gutenberg) and plugins take care of the functionalities.
Furthermore, this theme is an excellent tool for theme and template design and development. With a little know-how, you can create your own style variations and even entire themes and use them for your various projects.
Finally, perhaps the most important thing about Twenty Twenty-Three is its distinctly participatory nature. Created as a result of joint effort by several WordPress designers, this theme reminds us of what we love the most about WordPress – its rich, active and supportive community.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!
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