Released with WordPress 4.4, Twenty Sixteen is the 7’th installment of default WordPress theme started with Twenty Ten. Like other default themes, Twenty Sixteen comes with the recent standard and fully internationalized code ready for all translations. It is developed with mobile first approach and that’s why the theme looks really good on mobile devices and all other devices.
Twenty Sixteen is compatible with WooCommerce, BuddyPress, bbPress and other plugins and even if it snot compatible, plugin developers will make their plugin compatible with the theme in next few days. You can start a decent, clean blog using Twenty Sixteen or child themes of Twenty Sixteen.
Theme’s designer Takashi Irie said about the theme,
Like every year since 2010, WordPress team has released a new default theme named Twenty Sixteen in Dec, 2015 along with WordPress 4.4 release named “Clifford”. The very first version of Twenty Sixteen came in Aug, 2015 with the first look of few theme’s page designed by Takashi Irie. Takashi is also the designer for Twenty Fourteen and Twenty Fifteen themes. I was very excited to see the new default theme’s design and almost sure that the focus will be on mobile responsiveness. Well, after the release, it was very much clear that the theme is designed with mobile first approach and with the clean layout for blog in mind.
Twenty Sixteen is not the best theme available for WordPress but is having few really good learning points for other theme developers.
Like other default themes, it follows the recent coding standards
If planning to target a large audience who do not speak English, one should develop a theme with internationalized code in mind. Theme should be 100% translatable
Building a theme framework, follow the code of Twenty Sixteen
Know more about new APIs introduced in the recent version of WordPress i.e. 4.4 by checking the code
Here are few pointers for the users
Design and UX
For a blogger, Twenty Sixteen is great. It comes with a sidebar where you can engage users by putting subscription box, running ads, showing more content from category or archive etc. The menu location on top-right makes the menu very prominent and easy to navigate for the visitors. Twenty Sixteen comes with 5 color designs to select from in Customizer to make a beautiful site.
Twenty Sixteen is 100% responsive and the site look beautiful on all the devices. The responsive design give you peace of mind as visitors coming from mobile devices will also see your site in a beautiful layout. The theme had been developed with that approach in mind.
Ease of Customization
The theme option page or the Customizer is not crowded with lot many customization feature but few basic options are there. One can change the background color, link and text color etc. YOu can also change the menu and widgets using Customizer.
Twenty Sixteen comes with 3 different widget areas. One is sidebar which appears in the right side of the page, other two widgets under the single post content area. The single post content area widgets are useful for promoting eBooks and subscription as well as to show related contents.
Speed and Load Order
Well, I checked this theme with content rich website and it performed really well. For the site’s homepage, the Google PageSpeed came as 78 out of 100 whereas for a single post, it came as 82/100. For mobile devices, it came 67/100 for homepage and 63/100 for single article.
I didn’t talk about the security related to Twenty Sixteen as it is developed by WordPress core experts only and must have all the security related stuff. For simple and clean blogging or to start a nice looking site, Twenty Sixteen is a good choice. WordPress team keeps releasing updates for the theme so you can always remain in peace of mind about the safety and security or vulnerability specially introduced by some themes.