Beginning in WordPress 5.3, the Twenty Twenty WordPress theme is the new default theme for WordPress, so we recently gave the new theme a test drive. Here are a few highlights.

Twenty Twenty: A New Default Theme for WordPress

The new Twenty Twenty WordPress theme has a bold, minimalist design. With high-contrast colors and modern typography, Twenty Twenty definitely has a focus on clarity and readability.

twenty twenty wordpress theme

Full Support for the Block Editor

The biggest feature of the Twenty Twenty WordPress theme is how it takes full advantage of the flexibility of the WordPress block editor (also known as the Gutenberg Editor). As Gutenberg celebrates its first birthday, the recent WordPress 5.3 release, along with Twenty Twenty, show an extended commitment by the WordPress team to keep improving the block editor.

Twenty Twenty is designed with flexibility at its core. If you want to use it for an organization or a business, you can combine columns, groups, and media with wide and full alignments to create dynamic layouts to show off your services or products. If you want to use it for a traditional blog, the centered content column makes it perfect for that as well. – Introducing Twenty Twenty

In-Page/Post Previews

In Twenty Twenty, complete editor styles give you a good idea of what your content will look like, even before you publish. Twenty Twenty may be one of the best examples of a theme using the in-page/post editor to preview blocks as you compose a post or page so you don’t wait to click the “preview” button to generate the final front-end look.

wordpress 5.3 editor preview

Customization Options

Using the Appearance > Customize page from your WordPress admin menu, you can tweak colors, background images and more. The colors of all elements on your site are automatically calculated based on the colors you pick, ensuring a high, accessible color contrast for your visitors.

customize wordpress twenty twenty

Customization Options:

  • Background Color
  • Header & Footer Background Color
  • Cover Template Options
    • Fixed Background Image – Creates a parallax effect when the visitor scrolls.
    • Overlay Background Color – The color used for the overlay. Defaults to the accent color.
    • Overlay Text Color – The color used for the text in the overlay
    • Overlay Opacity – Make sure that the contrast is high enough so that the text is readable.
  • Background Image


Twenty Twenty offers several pre-built template options you can apply to pages.

  • Default
  • Cover
  • Full Width

Twenty Twenty’s featured image utilization may be a bit different than you’re used to, as featured images are actually used within the page/post, and not just as thumbnails in post archives. All of these uses of the featured image are highlighted in each of the layouts.

twenty twenty page templates

Default Template

The Default template for Twenty Twenty utilizes the featured image of the page at the top of the page. Using blocks, you can customize the look of the page.

Cover Template

The Cover template utilizes the page’s featured image for the “header” of the page, along with the settings used in the Cover Template options on the Appearance > Customize page. Use these settings to set an overlay background color and overlay opacity for the cover template.

Full Width Template

The main difference between the default layout and the Full Width template t is the standard width of blocks. While Default condenses the blocks, full-width expands them (but not the complete width of the page).

Block Styles

Within the block editor, you’ll notice lots of style options that are consistent with the color scheme of the Twenty Twenty WordPress theme. These color options are great for helping you select a consistent style for elements that match the overall design of the site.

A great example of this is the Button Block. In the block styles, you’ll notice two default styles, as well as color settings for buttons. These styles make it easy to create buttons within pages and posts with just a click.

wordpress twenty twenty button

Another is the Cover block. You can select a background color with/without an image. You can also utilize the block alignment options to make the Cover block full width, even within a post or page. wordpress twenty twenty cover


Designers may appreciate that Twenty Twenty comes with the typeface Inter, designed by Rasmus Andersson. As a first for WordPress default themes, Inter comes in a Variable Font version, which keeps load times short by containing all font weights and font styles in just two font files.

Give the Twenty Twenty WordPress Theme a Whirl

Even if you don’t plan to adopt the theme for your site, testing out Twenty Twenty is a great experience to see how WordPress is moving forward with the block editor. Love or hate the design, Twenty Twenty’s full support of the block editor is worth seeing. Developers will probably want to dig further into the theme files to see how a lot of this is accomplished on the backend.

Don’t forget to use a WordPress backup plugin like BackupBuddy to run a complete website backup before changing themes on a live site. This backup of your entire site should include your WordPress database, WordPress files, themes, plugins, media library, etc.

The Twenty Twenty WordPress theme is available as a free theme download on Download Twenty Twenty. You’ll also find Twenty Twenty bundled with WordPress 5.3 (released November 12, 2019).

To see what’s new in WordPress 5.3, check out this post on the top 20 new features and improvements in WordPress 5.3.

Download the Ebook:
Ultimate Guide to WordPress 5.0 & The Gutenberg Block Editor

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