Starting in 2010, the WordPress team started to annually release a new, default theme for WordPress sites.

This year they are cutting close to their own deadline. The Twenty Twelve theme narrowly missed inclusion in WordPress 3.4 and so will become the default with the December release of WordPress 3.5.

However, Twenty Twelve has now been released for testers and will soon be released to the general public via the WordPress Theme Directory.

What Does Twenty Twelve Look Like? This:

twenty twelve

So What’s Different in Twenty Twelve?

  • Twenty Twelve is the first default theme to be fully responsive to take advantage of all the new mobile devices.
  • To make WordPress act more like a CMS, there’s a homepage template with content and introductory area at the top, then unique widgets underneath.
  • The theme is retina-ready for those of you rushing out to buy the latest Macbooks.
  • There won’t be any pre-loaded or pre-selected header images.

Testing Twenty Twelve

At the moment, the easiest way to test Twenty Twelve is to download the 3.5 nightly builds and install a new WordPress site.

You can download the zip file from: With that zip file you can either use it to install a brand new WordPress site or you can extract and upload /wp-content/themes/twentytwelve/ to an existing WordPress site.

The Homepage

The homepage template has no sidebar. but does have it’s own widgets in the area below the content section. You set up a static front page using the normal procedures for creating a static front page. (Go to Settings > Reading on the dashboard). There are also no comments on the homepage.


How Pages Appear in Twenty Twelve


Posts in Twenty Twelve

Styling for post formats remains consistent on both list and single post views. Links, quotes, asides, and images that you enter into your posts will appear in the same way across your site.


How Links Appears in Posts in Twenty Twelve


How Asides Appear in Posts in Twenty Twelve


How Quotes Appear in Posts in Twenty Twelve


Posts and Pages with No Sidebar in Twenty Twelve

There is also Full-width-no-sidebar template that is a great option:


Theme Options in Twenty Twelve

Clicking Appearance > Customize or Customize from the dropdown menu gives you instant access to Twenty Twelve theme options. From here you can quickly customize the site and get an instant preview on the right hand frame.


Custom Header Images in Twenty Twelve

We’ve mentioned that there are no default header images included with this template. You can upload your own. A big difference here is that the size is flexible. There is a cropping feature for you to modify the image after upload if you have an especially large picture and you only want to use a portion of it.



  • Ed Andrea

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