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Twenty Ten: The New and Improved Default WordPress Theme

Twenty TenWordPress is gearing up to release a new version, WordPress 3.0, which will house a lot of new cool features and the merging of WordPress MU with WordPress stand alone version. Alongside with this release WordPress will also be shipped with a brand new interpretation of what a default theme should be. For years the default theme has been Kubrick, but that’s all going to change.

I’ve never been a fan of either Kubrick’s look or code, but I must say Twenty Ten is genuinely a great base theme to use for all your WordPress projects, especially when working with Child Themes. Sure it’s not as advanced as say Thematic, but it does produce powerful semantic html and is in general very well SEO optimized. No surprise there because Ian Stewart, the creator of Thematic, was also the one who inspired Twenty Ten with his theme called Kirby, and recently joined Automattic as a Theme Wrangler.

Full Screenshot Twenty Ten

Twenty Ten will feature amongst other things a proper horizontal dropdown menu, great typography, microformats. post thumbnails for custom headers and WYSIWYRG. A very cool feature that makes use of editor-style.css stylesheet which in turn makes sure you are now getting a perfect replica of your blog’s theme when you’re writing in the WordPress’ visual editor. This neat function was introduced by Andrew Ozz and implemented by Matt Thomas (the actual author of Twenty Ten) and I’m sure it will find it’s way very quickly to a lot of themes.

To really get a good impression of what Twenty Ten looks like you can head over the the Development blog of Twenty Ten which, of course, uses WordPress’ new default theme. If you’d like to check under the hood and see what the fuss is all about you can download Twenty Ten by downloading a zip file of the latest bleeding edge version of WordPress (which should never be used on live a live site and only as a test installation). In the wp-content/themes folder you will find the latest version of Twenty Ten.

All in all Twenty Ten to me is a major improvement over Kubrick. What do you think?

Categories: WordPress Themes
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  1. Jeremy ) says: 4/1/2010

    I completely agree with you! I have been working with Twentyten for a few weeks now, starting from it to try develop themes that will take advantage of WordPress 3.0 new features, and I have to say it is a really nice theme to work with.
    It is a really big step for WordPress imo, as many beginners will start looking into this code to build their own themes. That’s way better than building themes from Kubrick!


    • Remkus de Vries ) says: 4/1/2010

      Glad you agree Jeremy :) The improvement in code is indeed a great step. I mean, I would actually consider using Twenty Ten as a base, as a parent theme. Something I have never done with Kubrick (or the Classic theme for that matter)


  2. Darren ) says: 4/1/2010

    In stead of using the bleeding edge, you could try the nightly builds. Still not stable as such, but they’re some what safer than bleeding edges.

    I was running twentyten on my blog for a few weeks although recently switched to a new custom theme. Still running on nightly builds though :S

    Twentyten is a vast improvement over the old default theme. Its pretty cool that whats happening to twentyten now will happen every year


    • Remkus de Vries ) says: 4/2/2010

      I hope they can make a leap each time they come up with a new default theme. Repeating the big step forward from Kubrick to Twenty Ten, to Twenty Ten to 2011. How’s that for pressure Matt? ;-)


  3. MT ) says: 4/1/2010

    Appreciate the kind words about Twenty Ten, Remkus. Ian gave me a great base to start from with Kirby and I’m thrilled to see that WordPress users are liking what we’ve come up with. Kubrick was an amazing theme when it was designed in 2005, and I hope WordPress’ new plan of introducing a new default theme every year will help quicken the pace of innovation when it comes to both the design and the structure of WordPress themes.


    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 4/2/2010


      Having initially reviewed Kirby here on BP it was great to see Kirby go from 0.1 to 0.3.1 but it was an even more interesting development to see Twenty Ten evolve. You guys surely have outdone Kubrick when it comes to both bleeding edge and ease of code.
      All I can say is that you’ve set the bar for Twenty11 VERY high!


    • Remkus de Vries ) says: 4/2/2010

      You’re welcome Matt and thanks for dropping by.


  4. reviewmylife ) says: 4/2/2010

    It does look pretty clean. I’ve been using Kubrick for over two years, and rather than actively choosing a new theme I’m just going to wait for WordPress 3.0 to introduce Twenty Ten.

    It does look like a wider theme than Kubrick so I think I’ll have to start using bigger photos when this comes out.


  5. says: 4/6/2010

    expecting wp 3.0


  6. karina ) says: 5/24/2010

    I got really into twentyten when I starting setting up our blog. Then I realised that I needed to move

    from –

    to –

    and now for the life of me… I can’t find the Twenty Ten theme whereever I look!!

    Would really appreciate some help.

    Many thanks


    • Remkus ) says: 5/27/2010

      When you download the latest beta 2 of WordPress 3.0 you will find the latest version of Twenty Ten in the themes folder of that WordPress install.


  7. WP Weaver ) says: 6/5/2010

    If any of you are interested, I’ve just released a Twenty Ten child theme called Twenty Ten Weaver. You can tweak all the colors in Twenty Ten, and it lets you change layout and other stuff.

    It is available at


    • WP Weaver ) says: 6/15/2010


      I’ve just released Version 1.1 of my Twenty Ten Weaver theme. Lets you do almost anything you can imagine doing without writing your own PHP code to tweak the Twenty Ten theme.


  8. Max - The IT pro ) says: 6/7/2010

    Greetings from East Africa via Canada & Barbados…
    All I can say is WOW!!! Twenty Ten frigging rocks. I’m totally blown away by all the kool features stuffed inside this default theme after playing with it yesterday on my XAMPP server I installed on Windows 7. I’ve been pushing WP down here big time since I arrived for a 1 week business trip 4 1/2 years ago. lol!!

    One thing I’d like to see is a rotating banner that’s possible with the K2 theme. I’d like to have maybe 10 different header images that are sized 940px X 198px and just randomly change on each refresh. Can some1 point me to a plug-in?? Once I have that, I can ditch K2. :-) Hopefully the Twenty Ten dudes can code this feature in an options page. (crosses fingers)

    One other thing…can some1 tell me WHERE in the CSS I can change the white background in the inner container??? And what about the font/text colours for posts, etc.??

    Like I said Twent Ten kicks ass. What a nice, clean design with so many goodies thrown in. Wow!!
    WordPress has truly stepped up to plate over the past 2 years with some dynamite releases. My hats off to EVERYONE (Matt, the Twenty Ten gang, and all the other unknown developers/testers who are passionate about improving this phenomenon).


    – Max


  9. Max - The IT pro ) says: 6/7/2010

    BTW, when is WP 3 gonna be released to web hosts?? I have 2.9.2 running a client’s site but I want to move up to 3.0 to use Twenty Ten. Any ideas?? Beta 2 seems pretty solid to me. I wonder how long it’ll take HostGator to move up.


  10. Rudi Lehnert says: 6/23/2010

    I just created 64 nice headers for the Twenty Ten Theme:

    You can download them for free. Enjoy it!


  11. Tookangweb ) says: 6/24/2010

    how about SANDBOX, did twenty-ten based on sandbox wordpress theme?


    • Remkus de Vries ) says: 6/24/2010

      Not really, but Ian Steward did base Thematic somewhat on Sandbox and I’m pretty sure some things got passed on to Twenty Ten eventually…


  12. Tookangweb ) says: 7/3/2010

    this is simple and powerful wordpress theme


  13. Abhijit V. Chaore says: 9/29/2010

    Indeed it is a nice theme to edit too.


  14. Kako says: 10/26/2010

    Originally I was using Suffusion Theme due to its high popularity rating on Its advantage was its customizable aspect. But there were way too many disadvantages for me such as browser compatibility problem, header image not fitting within the frame, comment not being able to close, no save button on newer version etc…and for every issue, there was a new version to download or new bug fix code to fix for yourself. If you visit the theme page or forum, it has been frequently updated because of these reasons. As a newbie, I didn’t enjoy that aspect very much. I just wanted to start up a blog without a headache. :-/

    So I switched to Twenty Ten Theme and I was immediately attracted to its functionality, simplicity, stability etc. All I did was created my own header by using GIMP to make it look more homey for my own website, . Thanks! :-)


  15. Max - The IT Pro ) says: 10/26/2010

    Hi Kako, I just peeked your Japanese translation site with the Twenty 10 theme. It’s very nice. :-)
    I like your rates too. Best of luck!
    Oh, WordPress rocks!!! :-) I just had a client purchase the StudioPress Corporate theme and I’m waiting for the graphics guru to create a header for me. It’s a pretty slick theme — for $79. Have a peek:


  16. Becky says: 10/29/2010

    I FTP’ed TwentyTen to a host server. When I selected the theme to apply it, I received an error message. The message said that a function was missing. When I opened the file, it really was missing the function. Because of that reason, I was blocked from using the theme. Has anyone ever encountered a similar problem?


  17. sheila says: 10/29/2010

    Does anyone have any idea how I can get my text in the sidebar to wrap around the photo? This is the only theme that I cannot do this on. No help from the wordpress forum. ughhh. lol. Thanks.


  18. Catherine says: 11/18/2010

    Hi, I’m working on twenty-ten and I have been through all the css and for some reason I cannot see where to change the Pages default font. Seems like it should be really easy so I recon I have just somehow skipped over it somewhere.
    Can someone let me know which CSS file it’s in and where about in the code.
    Really appreciated.


  19. Angel says: 1/4/2011

    Can I make the blog post column wider while still keep the two-column structure of the blog? Many thanks for your help!


  20. TekxY ) says: 1/19/2011

    Twenty Ten is such a clean theme. I just made a traslation to spanish for the theme, a traditional traslation to be more specific, I’ll leave you the link in case some of your readers may benefit from using it.


  21. Blog Towkay ) says: 2/9/2011

    I like the WordPress Twenty Ten theme alot. Nowadays, I no longer need to hack the template as much as when I was using other forms of free themes found online. However, one problem that confounds me is that I have not yet found an efficient way to embed adsense codes in such a way that it will not disappear with each theme version upgrade.


  22. Get India Tours says: 5/31/2011

    This the the most used themem of WP and is very SEO friendly i too using this theme for my bklog


  23. rims says: 6/19/2011

    Love your website, great articles. Added your feed and will be back to read more. Take note though, the footer is blownout in Flock installed on Ubuntu.


  24. Save Pramnos says: 2/9/2012

    hi, I ‘ve been using this theme since the initiation of my blog. Suddenly today one can scroll down infinitely…I have no clue how this happened and no not like that much. No-one added any plugins, so I am curious to know if someone knows how can this have happened and how to return to my lovely footer widgets.


  25. robyn crawford bio says: 2/21/2012

    I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site :).