WordPress Default Themes Through The Ages – A Mini Showcase

WordPress began way back in 2003. Two years after that came the idea of themes: essentially downloadable files that could be uploaded to any WordPress site to immediately change the visual design of the website.

Nowadays there are literally tens of thousands of these themes available of course (both free and premium, and for all kinds of websites), but whenever someone downloads the latest version of WordPress, there’s a theme that comes with it: known — fittingly — as the default WordPress theme!

Typically the default WordPress theme moves with the times (with a recent release schedule of approximately once a year), and are in fact designed to showcase both the best WordPress coding standards and the best of just what the newest version of WordPress can do straight out of the box, i.e. without the use of third-party plugins!

So what do all these default WordPress themes look like?

Starting with the most recent default WordPress theme, “Twenty Twenty”, let’s take a look: enjoy!

Twenty Twenty (Dec 2019)

Details

twenty-twenty-wordpress-theme

  • Released alongside WordPress version 5.3.

Download

Twenty Nineteen (Dec 2018)

Details

WordPress Twenty Sixteen Theme - Screenshot

Download

Twenty Seventeen (Dec 2016)

Details

WordPress Twenty Sixteen Theme - Screenshot

Download

Twenty Sixteen (Dec 2015)

Details | Live Demo

WordPress Twenty Sixteen Theme - Screenshot

Download

Twenty Fifteen (Dec 2014)

Details | Live Demo

WordPress Twenty Fifteen Theme - Screenshot

Download

Twenty Fourteen (Dec 2013)

Details | Live Demo

WordPress Twenty Fourteen Theme - Screenshot

Download

Twenty Thirteen (Aug 2013)

Details | Live Demo

WordPress Twenty ThirteenTheme - Screenshot

Download

Twenty Twelve (Dec 2012)

Details | Live Demo

WordPress Twenty Twelve Theme - Screenshot

Download

Twenty Eleven (July 2011)

Details | Live Demo

WordPress Twenty Eleven Theme - Screenshot

Download

Twenty Ten (June 2010)

Details | Live Demo

WordPress Twenty Ten Theme - Screenshot

Download

Kubrick (Feb 2005)

Details

WordPress Kubrick Theme - Screenshot

Now Retired (Download Kubrick 2014)

Kubrick is a little different to the others in this list — if you’re interested in reading more about the history of this particular theme, check out this fascinating article over on The Huffington Post. What’s more, Kubrick wasn’t around for just one year: oh no, Kubrick was the default theme all the way from February 2005 (when themes were first added to WordPress in version 1.5) to June 2010!

Before Kubrick?

Is that it? Nothing before Kubrick? Well, actually there was, before Kubrick (the first official default ‘theme’) there was another default ‘design/template’ of real significance/note: Classic (also now retired).

So what’s next for default themes then? Any ideas for TwentyTwentyOne? An eCommerce/WooCommerce-focused theme perhaps? Or maybe something completely different? What would you like to see?

By Brin Wilson

Founder of WinningWP - passionate about all things WordPress! Find me on Twitter.
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