With the commercial release of WordPress 3.6 right around the corner, the time has finally come for the launch of this year’s default theme: Twenty Thirteen. The theme comes with a 604 pixel main column width with footer widgets of 245x and a secondary sidebar which is 260 pixels wide. The header image size is 1600x wide by 230x in height, while post formats and featured images work best with images that are at least 724 pixels wide. The new theme boasts a responsive layout that can be viewed successfully from practically any screen size; making it compatible with tablet computers and mobile phones as well as the latest HiDPI screens. Twenty Thirteen also has two display fonts (Source Sans Pro for body text and Bitter for headings) plus a symbol font called Genericons.
Custom Post Formats
There has been a lot of buzz about custom post formats lately; especially with Mark Jaquith’s announcement that WordPress 3.6 will be available soon (the first Beta has already been released to the public). The Twenty Thirteen theme info page states that the download “features the full range of post formats available in WordPress, each displayed beautifully in their own unique way. Links, quotes, videos, audio clips, asides, statuses, images, galleries, and chats—whatever format you choose in the post editor. Each form is shown a bit differently than standard blog posts, including a unique background color and possibly different text treatment.
Twenty Thirteen showcases your lovingly crafted content with bold and unapologetic colors. Large, alternating swaths of color are intended to encourage posting a variety of formats—writing all kinds of different content on your blog: images, videos, quotes, links, and more. The colors corresponding to various formats are distinct yet complimentary—any combination of formats will result in a lush and attractive layout.”
In the screenshot I’ve pasted below, you can see that this theme is capable of publishing multimedia content without any code manipulation. All you have to do is set the custom post format, copy/paste the embed code from a site like Vimeo or YouTube, and then enjoy your multimedia format from the front end. This can add a great deal of depth to any WordPress website since you can combine everything from quotes to links and include them in your main blog feed to provide readers with updates.
This new default theme will likely present a more aesthetic feel without the use of a sidebar due to its single column layout. That’s because the download is designed to emphasize your unique content and give the webmaster ample room to display galleries and full page entries without having to worry about getting cut off by a widgetized region on either side of the main feed. However, there is an optional sidebar for those diehard fans who feel that sidebars are a must have on their website.
You can also take full advantage of the footer region at the bottom of each page and program your widgets (such as calendars, meta info and archive links) to appear there.
Those who would like to add a custom header image and custom menu can Upgrade To Custom Design by subscribing to the premium WordPress.com service for $30 per year.
“The best custom header images are decorative background images,” says Automattic subsidiary WordPress.com. “The image will be cropped for small viewports (not scaled down like with Twenty Eleven or Twenty Ten) to fit the available area fixed for height and width. This means header images that work best with this theme are abstract or decorative images like the three bundled header images.”
To get a look at the new Twenty Thirteen WordPress theme, see its Live Demo.