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Getting to grips with the WordPress Twenty Nineteen theme

Getting to grips with the WordPress Twenty Nineteen theme

Posted 19th March, 2019 by Janah

The release of WordPress 5.0 brings with it a number of new features, including the Block Editor. This update also features the gorgeous Twenty Nineteen theme.

Creating a site with the Block Editor grants users customization freedom. Twenty Nineteen was built alongside this editor, so it should come as no surprise that it offers the same. Most notably, the theme comes with a single-column layout, as well as three navigation menus.

In this post, we’ll cover the release of WordPress 5.0, the features of the Twenty Nineteen theme, and discuss how to make use of them. We’ll also talk you through how to install the theme on your site.

An introduction to WordPress 5.0

Towards the end of last year, WordPress made the decision to launch WordPress 5.0 ‘Bebo’. The December 6th launch date put it several weeks ahead of the original schedule – although this wasn’t the first time the date had been changed.

Since its initial announcement in 2017, the roadmap for WordPress 5.0 has been one with a number of twists and turns. However the work has been worth it.

Of course, new versions of WordPress always attract a lot of attention. Even so, few versions of the platform have gained as much buzz around as this iteration. The Block Editor has a big part to play.

Wordpress New Editor

This new editor is essentially a complete overhaul of the existing TinyMCE editor, and offers a re-imagined and re-designed approach to content creation. In addition, WordPress 5.0 also provides a new, sleeker default theme in Twenty Nineteen.

Why there was need for WordPress to undertake a radical update

The development team clearly had a more modern feel for the platform in mind for this update. Although WordPress is still regarded as a powerful content management system (CMS), the competition from other website builder platforms has presented a number of challenges over recent months.

In a nutshell, users wanted an intuitive, quick way to build websites. Despite a lack of flexibility, competing products were generally viewed as easier to use, so it was vital for WordPress to adapt.

A quick word on the new way of releasing WordPress updates

The 5.0 update brings change that goes beyond the initial differences, too. WordPress now intends to move away from the old release cycle, in which frequent, smaller updates were replaced with fewer, but bigger, adaptations.

Getting to grips with WordPress’ new Twenty Nineteen theme

Wordpress Twenty Ninteteen Theme

Twenty Nineteen is the new WordPress default theme, meaning it’s available to anyone who upgrades to WordPress 5.0. This also means it’s fully compatible with the Block Editor.

At first glance, the theme appears to be a completely blank slate which could arguably put off less technical users. However, underneath its minimalist design, you’ll find a whole host of features.

Perhaps most notably, Twenty Nineteen features a single-column layout, meaning you can emphasise content easily. This is great for readability.

Featured images also cover the full width and height of the screen, along with a colour overlay that references a ‘duotone’ effect:

Wordpress Features Image

By default, the theme uses a blue accent colour to align with WordPress’ branding, although this is easily changed through the Customizer. However, be aware that while you have a full colour palette to choose from, it does also affect a number of different site elements besides your featured image.

This feature alone could bring any site right into 2019.

A focus on bold typography

The availability of sophisticated typography in Twenty Nineteen has also generated a lot of excitement, and was one of the key points promoted by the WordPress team:

Wordpress Typography

The theme’s aesthetic here is minimal, meaning it can work well in a variety of applications. This is arguably different from previous default themes from WordPress, as they’re usually focused on blogging. Here though, you could easily see Twenty Nineteen as the foundation for both personal and business sites or all descriptions.

For example, the minimal, typography-driven design provides an ideal base for a blog, while the overall more professional feel means it can also be adapted for use as a static business website. The simplicity of the theme is also perfectly suited to fit mobile screens – essential, given the increase in small-screen browsing.

How to Install the Twenty Nineteen theme

Installing Twenty Nineteen is as easy as any other theme. Simply navigate to the WordPress theme directory within WordPress, and search for Twenty Nineteen. Once you've installed and activated the theme, you’re ready to get underway.

However, it’s worth mentioning what to do if you’re not interested in using the new Block Editor. The answer is to install the Classic Editor plugin:

Wordpress Classic Editor Plugin

This will essentially give you WordPress 5.0, minus the Block Editor. Even so, note that the Classic Editor is available in sorts through the Block Editor, and you can also convert older posts into blocks – although depending on the content, your mileage may vary.

The good news is that the Classic Editor will be officially supported until 2021. As such, you can use an editor you’re familiar with, while learning how to leverage everything the Block Editor does with Twenty Nineteen.

Finally, it’s worth noting that you can use Twenty Nineteen with third-party page builders, too. However, there are a few quirks you may have to get used to, such as Edit Post links opening content with the Block Editor by default.

The workaround is to install the Classic Editor plugin alongside your page builder, meaning if you don’t want to use the Block Editor, this is path you’ll need to take first.


An overhaul of the platform we know and love is always bound to split opinion – although it's pretty difficult to argue with the sheer amount of new features WordPress 5.0 brings. Perhaps one of the most exciting elements that the update offers is the aesthetically-pleasing Twenty Nineteen theme.

In this post, we’ve covered both Twenty Nineteen and the new Block Editor, and the reasons WordPress has introduced them. We also looked at some of the key elements of the Twenty Nineteen theme – including typography, and a more minimalist design.

Image credit:Tama66.

Categories: WordPress, Tips, Blogging, Marketing

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