WordPress Twenty Nineteen theme

Released on December 6, 2018, Twenty Nineteen isn’t the most recent default theme for WordPress. Despite its significance, I didn’t review it earlier, but now it’s time to rectify that oversight.

This theme, which became the default in WordPress 5.0, was purposefully crafted to seamlessly integrate with Gutenberg — the new block editor. Twenty Nineteen arrived at a significant juncture in WordPress history as it was indeed the first default theme to fully embrace the block-based editing system, empowering users to construct entire websites using blocks within the editor. In summary, Twenty Nineteen laid a robust foundation for adopting the new editor that changed the way users create content on WordPress and create dynamic, block-based websites.

The block editor introduced in WordPress 5.0 grants users an unprecedented level of freedom to customize their site’s layout and design. In order to fully achieve their vision, users will need a new generation of flexible themes, built to take advantage of the creative freedom that the block editor offers. Twenty Nineteen is built with this in mind and includes both front-end and editor styles for all core blocks that ship with WordPress in 5.0. This means that what you see in the editor will look almost exactly like what you see on the front end.WordPress

Features of Twenty Nineteen

The Theme Homepage highlights that Twenty Nineteen was intentionally crafted to showcase the capabilities of the block editor; notably its power and flexibility. Notably, it incorporates custom styles for all default blocks, ensuring that the content you see in the editor mirrors what you’ll see on your actual website.

At the core of Twenty Nineteen is its simple, sophisticated typography. The theme’s aesthetic is minimal and non-prescriptive, allowing it to work well in a variety of applications.WordPress

The Twenty Nineteen theme boasts a clean single-column layout that places a strong emphasis on content. This design choice ensures that your website’s full and wide-width blocks shine. On larger laptop screens (with a resolution of 1440px), the main column spans up to 1032px in width, maintaining a sleek one-column layout.

For personalization, Twenty Nineteen supports a Site Logo, which serves as an excellent avatar for personal blogs or business logos. It also comes with custom color options with a default blue accent color that can be adjusted via a hue slider.

As for navigation, users benefit from three distinct menus: the Primary menu and the Social Links Menu, thoughtfully positioned in the page header, and the Footer Menu, conveniently located at the bottom of the page. For seamless integration with social media, Twenty Nineteen provides a Social Icons Menu indeed, enabling users to add links to their profiles, which appear as stylish logos in the header.

Lastly, the theme includes a widget area just above the footer — the only widgetized area actually 2 — allowing users to enhance their site’s content. On wider screens (1168px and above), widgets in this area automatically arrange into two columns.

Featuring ample whitespace and modern sans-serif headlines paired with classic serif body text, it’s built to be beautiful on all screen sizes.WordPress

The theme supports a wide range of functionalities: Accessibility Ready, Block Editor Patterns, Custom Colors, Custom Logo, Custom Menu, Editor Style, Featured Images, Footer Widgets, One Column, RTL Language Support, Sticky Post, Threaded Comments, and Translation Ready.

Community Feedback

The community’s response to Twenty Nineteen was generally positive. Users appreciated the theme’s minimalistic approach and its focus on typography. According to many, this theme indeed exudes elegance through its minimalistic, single-column layout. However, this deliberate simplicity, while elegant to some, may not resonate with every user’s aesthetic preferences. For instance, the uncluttered design might appeal only to those seeking simplicity; I don’t.

Featuring full Block Editor integration, Twenty Nineteen offers more customization options than ever before. While the default settings focus on offering streamlined typography, the Block editor enables users to make their sites their own.John Hughes

The integration with the Gutenberg editor was also well-received, as it provided users with a high level of customization for their sites. For instance, B.J. Keeton states that Twenty Nineteen is everything a default theme should be. It is easy to use, simple to customize, and robust enough to scale to many different project types. Before to conclude that it feels shiny, new, and entirely ready to take on whatever projects we can throw at it.

You get a blank canvas to build whatever you want, however you want.B.J. Keeton

The theme was also praised for its adaptability, allowing users to craft anything from a simple blog to a full-fledged business website.

It’s a minimal, typography-driven blogging theme with a single-column layout, and can be used to build a wide range of websites, going from personal blogs to small business websites.Carlo Daniele

However, this theme did not rise to the level of popularity as its predecessor, as indicated by Will Morris from Elegant Theme. Its limited widget areas (only one in the footer), among other things, might have contributed to this. Not to mention its tight dependency with Gutenberg, which divided opinions!

Conclusion

Twenty Nineteen is a testament to WordPress’s commitment to providing users with a powerful and flexible platform for web creation. Its reception has been a positive step forward from its predecessors, setting a high bar for future default themes in terms of design, functionality, and user experience.

The hallmarks of Twenty Nineteen are its simple but sophisticated typography and its pared-down, open aesthetic, two things that make it a great foundation for a wide variety of websites. Use it for your minimal, typography-driven blog, or adapt it for your professional business website — it’s at home with both.WordPress team

Despite WordPress’s claim that Twenty Nineteen adapts to various websites (from photo blogs to businesses and non-profits), I believe that it leans more toward blog-oriented use cases. For personal blogs, it might excel, providing a clean slate for content creation indeed. The theme also prioritizes legible typography, enhancing the readability of blog posts. However, when it comes to business websites, it may lack certain features needed for robust functionality.

In summary, Twenty Nineteen shines as a refined choice for personal blogs but may leave business-oriented users wanting more. As with any theme, it’s essential to weigh its strengths against your specific requirements.

Coming next: Twenty Twenty


1 Of note, Twenty Nineteen uses system fonts to increase loading speed. In keeping with this, Gavin Pedley from ThriveWP explained We have spent some time using WordPress twenty nineteen. It’s a very fast and light theme. They have clearly gone for a basic, clean and fresh approach.. ^
2 As explained by B.J. Keeton from Elegant Themes, Twenty Nineteen does not have a sidebar by default on Posts and Pages. That means the items listed under the Widgets menu are located in the Footer. Now, you can add widgets to posts and pages within Gutenberg. ^

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