Twenty Twenty-One Theme for WordPress: A Minimal Default Theme for 2020

One of the first decisions any WordPress user needs to make is selecting a theme for their website. While there are thousands of options for themes, WordPress comes with a set of default themes that can be used to display most websites. 

The default themes are built to showcase WordPress’s features, and the release of the new Twenty Twenty-One default theme continues the journey towards full site block-building.

Keep reading to learn: 

  • What’s new with WordPress Twenty Twenty-One
  • How the new default theme supports block-building 

A First Look at Twenty Twenty-One

On September 23, 2020, developer Mel Choyce-Dwan confirmed that the WordPress 5.6 release would include a new default theme: Twenty Twenty-One.

WordPress 5.6 is the last major scheduled release for WordPress in 2020, and it will continue to focus on the goal of using Gutenberg blocks to facilitate full website builds.

The block editor is composed of content elements called “blocks” that users can drag, drop, and rearrange to create their website layout. 

Thus, the new Twenty Twenty-One theme has been designed as a canvas for the block editor.

So, what’s new with Twenty Twenty-One? 

Clean and Minimal Design

The theme design echoes the idea that Twenty Twenty-One is a canvas. It’s simple and minimal. 

The straightforward design will permit flexibility and customization using Gutenberg blocks and predesigned block patterns.

You will notice that the default color scheme is a muted pastel green. The entire color palette includes only the green background and shades of grey for the font.

While green is a bold choice for a default color palette, the theme is bundled with a selection of color palettes to permit customization. 

In keeping with current design trends, the color palettes include a range of pastel shades as well as black and white.

Starter Content

Since the Twenty Twenty-One theme was created to lay the groundwork for building with the block editor, some changes have been made to the starter content.

Starter content consists of the media and text that come with a WordPress theme. The idea is to help inspire website builders and provide examples for how to build a website. 

Starter content has often been pushed to the lower end of the priority list and is underused by website builders.

With the release of Twenty Twenty-One, WordPress developers see an opportunity to provide more value with starter content.

The initial starter content consists of Van Gogh images, but the team intends to replace the content after Beta 1. For now, they say the impressionist visuals work well with the default pastel green palette.

The team is exploring the idea of using artwork by female impressionists or sourcing art from the WordPress community.

Right now, starter content is only available for entirely new websites. However, the team has been discussing the possibility of permitting already existing websites to import starter content. 

Setting the Stage for Full Site Editing

The new Twenty Twenty-One default theme will help usher in the future of WordPress website building, namely block-building. 

The name for the full site editing version of the theme will be Twenty Twenty-One Blocks. When the full site editing version of Twenty Twenty-One is released, it will be available in the theme directory. 

Twenty Twenty-One will come packaged with a collection of Gutenberg block patterns explicitly built for the theme. 

While the theme design is neutral, Choyce-Dwan calls the block pattern selection “opinionated.”

The team wants to show off the capabilities of block-building and will be creating patterns designed to match the theme. 

But, the team is eager to get the WordPress community involved, so they are accepting submissions for block patterns to include in the theme.

Trying Out Twenty Twenty-One

Twenty Twenty-One won’t be considered stable until WordPress 5.6 is released. However, the team has made the source code publicly available on Github for interested developers to try it out.

WordPress 5.6 is scheduled for release on December 6, 2020. 

Default themes are built to show off WordPress features. As core features change, so do default themes.

WordPress aims to build default themes that highlight the best WordPress has to offer while enabling the creation of child themes and customization. 

The introduction of Twenty Twenty-One will be a big step forward toward the future of WordPress and full site editing. 

As you look forward to the new WordPress user experience, be sure to check out web hosting plans with Bluehost today.

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Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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