Screenshot of the TwentyTwentyTwo theme homepage

Taking a look at the TwentyTwentyTwo WordPress theme


So along with the new WordPress 5.9 coming in late January, we’re also going to get a new default WordPress theme, TwentyTwentyTwo.

Normally with the last major WordPress release of the year, we also get a new default theme that comes along when you first download and set up WordPress. But when WP 5.9 was delayed in December, the TwentyTwentyTwo theme also got delayed.

But having played with the new default theme, I can assure you that the wait will totally be worth it. TwentyTwentyTwo is hands down the best default theme ever for WordPress. And if you play your cards just right (and know what you’re doing), you can create a unique, custom website using just this theme.

So let’s take a look at what you can expect with the TwentyTwentyTwo theme.

Built for full site editing

First off, TwentyTwentyTwo is built with full site editing in mind, and it shows in a very big way. What you’re able to see and build on the backend of the website is exactly what you’re going to see when you view that post or page on the frontend of the site.

If you aren’t familiar with full site editing, it’s finally making its way into WordPress core with the 5.9 release. And it adds in the ability to change and customize every part of your website, from the header to the footer to the page template, single post template and more.

TwentyTwentyTwo shows off how themes can utilize the new full site editing capabilities flawlessly. It has the perfect support to allow you to change out what the header and footer looks like, as well as what the index or “blogroll” layout looks like. And the best part is that you don’t need to know any code to do it.

And on the code side of the theme, it’s been a big help for a developer like myself to really understand how FSE themes need to be built and structured so that we can take full advantage of these new features.

Customize everything with the theme

And because of that, you can really make the TwentyTwentyTwo work to fit your needs and design for your website.

You’re not simply stuck with the colors that are chosen already for the theme or any set of predetermined color palette. You can easily change the background color, the text color, link color and more. Plus, you can change the fonts used on the website.

And that’s before we get to the fact that you can completely customize the way that your header looks. Or you can simplify the footer to just be a copyright date or even have a small horizontal menu.

Plus, you could remove the featured images for posts and pages or make them stretch across the top of the page above the post/page title. And you can add in post navigation at the top or bottom of all of your posts. Or if you use the Yoast SEO plugin, you can easily make sure there are related posts at the end of each post. Really, the possibilities for what you can do with this new theme are endless.

TwentyTwentyTwo truly is the most flexible default theme created by the WordPress team.

TwentyTwentyTwo loads quickly

Finally, one thing that kind of surprised me is just how quickly the theme loads and runs, especially given the typical performance issues with the block editor. Now granted, I have been running it on a test site with not a lot of extra plugins running, but still it has great performance.

The size of the theme is also pretty impressive. It checks in at around 4 MB, and most of that is the images and a video that are included in the base design of the theme. If you want, you can remove them to really bring the size of the theme down. For comparison, the Sports Bench Main Theme checks in at around 7 MB.

So kudos to the team for creating a pretty quick default theme.

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Take some time to play with the TwentyTwentyTwo theme

At the end of the day, TwentyTwentyTwo is the best and most flexible default theme that the WordPress team has created. And because of that, I really highly recommend that you take some time to just play around with the theme and see what you can do with it.

Try to find or create a sandbox or test environment where you can break things without destroying your live site. Try out creating a new header template part or changing the home page template or customize the single post template to get it just to your liking. See how the colors change and if you can add in your own fonts to the theme.

There is so much that you can do with this theme, and I’ve only scratched the surface with the possibilities. It truly shows off what exactly you can do with full site editing that’s now included with WordPress core.

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