Quick Thoughts on the Twenty Seventeen Theme

I’ve been using the new Twenty Seventeen theme via WordPress’ most recent major update (“Vaughan“) and I’m really, really liking the experience. For context, I’ve been using it for about two weeks, here on my personal blog and even my startup’s blog as well so I’ve been able to test-drive it for different reasons and audiences plenty.

Starting a few years back I began using the “default” yearly theme for this blog to not only give a virtual hat-tip to the design and engineering team but also, and most importantly, for one very simple (and I believe rational) reason:

I want to focus on writing, 100%. I didn’t want to spend any time on the fundamental design layers or customizing backends.

Focus. Pencil. Coffee. Write.

I am a huge fan of minimizing the amount of technology that I have to mess and fool with day-to-day and trusting the engineering team (and much larger open source community) for packing in “best in breed” and “best practice” web design standards and paradigms gives me one less thing to think about.

This allows me to focus on writing exclusively, which I talk about often as the most important thing, bar-none.  This is especially important if writing is part of your life and something you want in your future.

I’ll be honest – in the past, the last few yearly-based themes have disappointed me greatly but this year they’ve really outdone themselves. Technically things are sound and the baked-in design options are plentiful but not “bloaty” or overwhelming.

One of the things that I kind of miss are the “pop-out” scaled images / rich media but there’s something I’ve come to appreciate about it all in one consistent column. I like the full-width featured image as well as the video for the proper homepage. This is especially timely since I’ve started vlogging so I can highlight that new, creative, and challenging work natively within the theme.

New vlog series here!

All-in-all, I feel as if they’ve struck a delicate balance with this one and unless they strike way beyond the bar for Twenty Eighteen I might just keep using this one for a while.

So, with that, well-done WordPress team and community on the new Twenty Seventeen default theme. From one writer (and developer) to another… thank you.

What a wonderful gift.

If you’re in the mood for a new look-and-feel for your blog then I’d suggest checking it out – remember, it doesn’t matter what your blog looks like because that’s not why your readers (or potential readers) are coming back anyways.

They want the words, which is your responsibility! Leave the technical components that power the your semantic publishing platform to the experts.


Also published on Medium.