Twentig Now Upgrades Twenty Twenty-One Theme Experience – WordPress Tavern
Twentig, an original idea of the co-founders Diane and Yann Collet, now supports the Twenty Twenty-One theme. The developers initially built the plugin, which is hosted on WordPress.org, around the idea of “supercharging” Twenty Twenty. After its initial success, they switched to the most recent default theme, adding a slew of new features over the past few months.
The plugin still supports Twenty Twenty. He just added functionality for the latest default theme to his repertoire. The duo behind the plugin do not plan to stop there either.
“Yes, we will definitely continue this with future default themes,” said Yann Collet. “It will be exciting to see what we can do with the full site edition and the upcoming block-based theme. With the arrival of FSE, the opportunity is immense, giving us confidence that we can help people build better websites. “
The last time I covered it, Twentig only had 4000 active installs. All 34 of its reviews were five stars. Today, the plugin has racked up over 10,000 installs and 75 five-star reviews. It got its first four-star rating, which lowered the average a bit. Nonetheless, its user base clearly loves what plugin developers do.
The team created 10 website demos and 8 one-page examples for inspiration, each in addition to the Twenty-one theme.
One of the great things about the plugin is that it basically treats the default themes as a base, a framework. Users don’t have to search for a new theme when they get bored of their current look. They can just mix things up with Twentig.
“The goal is to showcase the power and flexibility of Twentig, the default theme, and the block editor,” the team said. “And ultimately inspire people to be creative with blocks. It’s incredibly fun and quick to build right in the Block Editor with our block models instead of using a prototyping tool like Figma. “
Extension of the block editor
The strength of the Twentig plugin is in the way it extends the block editor. Users are first presented with a custom sidebar panel with a plethora of templates and full page layouts. The plugin then provides options for the individual blocks.
Unlike many other block related plugins, Twentig does not save its own blocks. It uses the basic WordPress blocks except for the Contact Form 7 integration, mixing and matching them in different ways. If a user needs a call-to-action section, the plugin offers 11 templates. If a user wants to beautify their galleries, they are spoiled for choice.
The plugin layouts and templates all work with the Twenty Twenty and Twenty Twenty-One themes. Since Twentig relies mostly on basic blocks, it’s just a matter of making sure that its custom CSS works.
Some blocks get one or two additional parameters through the plugin. However, most of the customization options are done through Twentig’s “CSS library”. This is a setting on the Advanced tab for most blocks that users can access by clicking the “+” icon next to the Additional CSS Classes option. It allows users to check the boxes for many classes – each has an explanation of what it does. They are simply a set of utilities that somehow modify the output of the block.
Twentig’s CSS class system follows the path of utility class frameworks like Tailwind. WordPress does a bit of this but doesn’t take a holistic approach. I have argued that WordPress should create a design framework in the past. A standardized class system would work well with block options, giving the development team a foundation for creating a better user experience across themes.
The downside is that the two extra style sheets above the CSS of Twenty Twenty-One add a bit of weight to the page. It might give users who want to keep things light a break. However, it has a smaller footprint than when used with the old Twenty Twenty.
Personalization options and more
The plugin groups dozens of parameters in the “Twentig Options” customization panel. It also expands other sections, such as adding additional color options. Users who care more about changing the overall design than blocks will find almost everything they need to make their sites their own.
Everything from fonts and site layouts to post metadata to display is covered. Users can also switch between stacked and grid-style blog post designs while further customizing them according to their choices.
Ultimately, future versions of Twentig will rely less or not at all on the Customizer. If Twenty Twenty-Two is a block-based FSE theme, such customization will happen in the next site editor. Plugin developers will need to change their tactics and find ways to extend the experience in new ways.