Theme One Development

Continuing discussion from 2021 Goals/Projects

I’ll be honest, I haven’t given it too much thought as yet but one of the most important things is that it is actually useful. It may just be me but I’ve never used any of the WP Twenty * themes.

Off the top of my head, I’d be looking for:

  • Lightweight
  • Uses classic editor
  • No plugin dependencies & minimal other dependencies (e.g. jQuery)
  • Child theme ability
  • Mobile first
  • Some basic options (e.g. header layout)
  • Choice of home page layout (e.g. full width, fixed width, hero, etc.)
  • WCAG 2.0 AA
  • Translation & RTL
  • Compatible with page builders, especially Beaver Builder
  • EDIT: support for Classic Commerce

@james may have other suggestions.

Done. It’s called “Theme One” for now :slight_smile:


Sure, jQuery isn’t even needed.

Good one. I have tons of ideas, let me put my skills to the test. Since this is a research project, anyone can also fork it, and build something cool.


Absolutely. That’s what the research area is there for. Get those creative juices flowing. And anyone can join in.

To add a few more items:

  • HTML should support Schema and use semantic elements
  • Should have full-width page template

And as a side note, should probably be built for PHP 8 and be compatible with 7.4.

Edited to add. We should consider having two homepage templates, one business focused and one for traditional blog. This would appeal to wider audience.


Everything mentioned (except “built for PHP 8” and “WCAG 2.0 AA”) is in my Twenty8teen theme.
Kevin’s theme Canuck probably also has all that.
(lots of themes do)

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Feel free to contribute to “Theme One” Joy.

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Does it complicate issues, if the theme released with CP version is just chosen from the community developed ones?

I mean a number of themes are chosen from the community and one takes the cup because it fulfills all the requirements above. We can add to the list below.


  • Reduces the need for developers(limited resource)
  • Encourages community developers to contribute to ecosystem. It is a nice reward.


  • Devs will always question criteria for theme chosen. We are human.

I see this as a more viable solution to the challenge mentioned in passing and also the solution noted.

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I think that to do this we need a themes team who checks the themes that are eligible to be chosen as “default CP theme”.
And I think this approach will lead to questioning the choices made by that team, as you noted…
Why we need a team? We can’t ship in core something that we randomly picked up, it’s a risk.
So IMHO is more easy to build a new theme from the ground up with some specifics in mind. A custom made theme for CP.
I think your proposal will make sense when CP is bigger and there would be a great number of themes developed by ClassicPressers to chose among. Now we don’t have the numbers to set it all up with some theme devs checking code and to do this we need to set rules also, to avoid people arguing over selected themes.

I think I need to clarify a few things.

  1. Theme One is a research project. The name itself is a working title that I “imaginatively” came up with simply because it’s the first new theme to be classed as a research project.

  2. There is no guarantee that research projects will go on to be included as part of the CP core or any other part of the ClassicPress project.

  3. The research area is intended to be a breeding ground for ideas, where developers of all abilities can nurture their ideas and call on the community for input and support.

  4. Research projects are not official ClassicPress projects. However, the research programme is the route through which projects can be considered for “official” status.

  5. Anyone can ask for a research project to be set up, as @Devrealm_Guy did here, and as others have done in the past.

  6. The research area is jointly coordinated by @James and me (although I take full responsibility for any confusion here).

  7. As with everything ClassicPress, nothing (other than bug and security fixes and such like) will be added to the core without community involvement.

  8. Theme One came about after I added “more themes” to my own wishlist in 2021 Goals/Projects. As a result, @Devrealm_Guy expressed an interest to work on a core theme as a research project.

  9. We do need more themes. I’ve heard it said on many occasions that bundling old WP themes with the CP core is not the best look. I am hoping to stimulate community interest and involvement so that we can finally do something positive in this area.

  10. If someone expresses an interest to work on a project that has the potential to be of benefit to the ClassicPress project, it is vitally important to me that we do everything we can to support them.


I’m happy to have Theme One out there as currently the seed of an idea, thanks for taking the initiative on this. I also think we should take a close look at the themes posted here by various community members and include a few of the themes from that entire pool (including Theme One if this experiment yields a good result) with the next major release.