Well I’ve just started a brand new personal blog and thought: What better time to try out the next default theme?
Twenty Fifteen is shipping with the beta version of 4.1 that you can try out by installing the beta plugin and setting it to bleeding edge nightlies.
It’s clean… really clean… like nothing to it kind of clean. And that’s the main problem, there’s basically nothing to it. It demonstrates a really nice use of the WP Customizer – allowing you to select a colour scheme from their predefined palette (or tweak each colour to a custom value if you want), upload and use a custom header or background and set menus in 2 theme location.
It only has the option of a right sidebar and both menus go in there along with the widgets you pick. The primary menu is basically like a blogroll from the old days.
The second menu is a social icon menu. It will automatically parse what social network you have linked and display it as an appropriate icon – instead of a plain old text link. That’s a pretty cool feature, probably the coolest thing about the theme if you ask me, but I only use Twitter so it’s wasted on me.
It’s built mobile first so it gets a +1 from me for working that way but design-wise it’s really not to my taste.
All of the default post formats are enabled though so maybe that’s the way to go when it comes to customizing your site if you use Twenty Fifteen.
In theory taking the default theme back to it’s blogging roots and making it über clean and streamlined is a great idea. In practice it appears not to work all that well.
I’m crossing my fingers that a lot changes are made between now and the official release of the theme but I won’t hold my breath. There’s not been a great deal of talk on Make WordPress Core about changes and it’s slated for release with WP 4.1 in December – which doesn’t leave a lot of time to do much about it.
Since Twenty Fifteen is scheduled for the end of 2014 maybe the could start working on Twenty Sixteen early next year… heck maybe I should hop on over there and push to try to have some input into what Twenty Sixteen should be like.