Twenty Twenty Three Theme Review – Is It Any Good?

David Utke •  Updated: October 24, 2023 •  Website Builders

I made a tutorial video using the Twenty Twenty Three theme. At almost 2 hours in length, I have a solid understanding of this theme, it’s pros and cons and how useful this WordPress flagship theme is for designing your next website.

In the tutorial video I created, I made a website with a well designed homepage that had an offer section with a call to action and hero image at the top with the navigation bar, a visual layout for the blog roll and a call to action at the bottom of the homepage. I also show you in the tutorial how to build out a footer, custom design pages and blog posts.

Compared to the Twenty Twenty Two theme, I found it a much more easy and intuitive experience for designing a website with the full site editor. I found myself less frustrated and not fighting the theme so much to do what I wanted:

In the tutorial I used Dreamhost for hosting and Namecheap for the domain name. I’m quite impressed with Dreamhost and have now switched my recommendation from Bluehost (they’re still good, just not ideal for my needs) to Dreamhost.

Dreamhost

Recommended by WordPress, they are the best beginner friendly webhost for creating blogs, websites and online stores.

Great hosting & support, free domain name and free WHOIS protection. I use them in all my tutorials.

dreamhost logo

Is the Twenty Twenty Three theme any good?

Yes, it’s quite useful for creating a blog or small business website. There is a learning curve with the full site editor from WordPress, particularly in creating multiple templates you can select from and switch out.

But once you get the hang of it, it’s simple enough. Also, with WordPress website design, once you have everything laid out the way you like, you won’t use the editor that much.

The most annoying aspect of the Twenty Twenty-Three theme I found was editing and designing the navigation (your site’s menus) and adding a favicon of all things. Otherwise, once you understand the block nature of WordPress, the Twenty Twenty Three theme is good as it takes full advantage of this.

What is the Twenty Twenty Three Theme exactly?

According to WordPress:

Twenty Twenty-Three is designed to take advantage of the new design tools introduced in WordPress 6.1. With a clean, blank base as a starting point, this default theme includes ten diverse style variations created by members of the WordPress community. Whether you want to build a complex or incredibly simple website, you can do it quickly and intuitively through the bundled styles or dive into creation and full customization yourself.

WordPress.org

I do agree you can build a complicated, visually appealing website using blocks and patterns that are provided by WordPress or with plugins like Stackable. You can also build a minimalistic website, blog, portfolio site and so forth.

The ten “diverse style variations” are somewhat useful. They provide a good base to then edit and adjust everything else. But all these style variations are simply preselected colors, fonts and style choices you have access to.

In general, I would suggest using the “default” style template and customize everything from there.

Twenty Twenty Three Theme Pros and Cons

Is this theme perfect? Of course not, so after having used the Twenty Twenty Three theme to build out a website, blog and to add e-commerce onto it, here are the pros and cons of this free WordPress theme.

Pros:

  1. Can import premade headers and footers. Finally, at the click of a button you can “replace” the default header and footer with a competently made one that you can customize. The headers are simple, classic layouts that work. You also have your choice of footer templates to customize. I also like how you can finally just delete the whole “powered by WordPress” instead of having to use CSS to hide it.
  2. Full site editing (FSE). Unlike the previous Twenty Twenty Two theme which tried to use FSE, but made for a frustrating design experience. The full site editing experience is much better.
  3. Can clear customizations and start over. Sometimes you make things a mess, so I like how in the FSE, you can select the template you’re working on and then select from the options to “clear customizations.”
  4. A good selection of different font styles. Finally, you’re not stuck with one font family for your heading and body text.
  5. Able to create your own patterns and save them. Once you try out this feature, you’ll like it. Any block element you custom design you can save as your own pattern which you can then import on other pages at the click of a button.
  6. Easily develop an offer section. I use offer sections on my site designs to direct user attention to a call to action. With the Twenty Twenty Three theme you can easily setup custom CTA’s for pages and blog posts.

Cons:

  1. I hate the way menus and the navigation works. I just wish they made it so you can create multiple menus like you can templates, then simply select the menu you want to use.
  2. The learning curve. If you’re familiar to WordPress, then getting going with full site editing is simple enough, but if you’re new to this, wow it’s overwhelming. It took me 3-4 hours to design a website and learn all the little details of this theme.
  3. Advanced options that will confuse beginners. Templates, patterns, blocks, padding, em, pixels, blocks nestled in blocks. This is why Squarespace or Google Sites is popular. Drag and drop into place and resize as you like.
  4. Creating your own templates is very confusing. You create a template, thinking that it won’t change the template that is currently active, yet sometimes it does. This whole process is weird. I want to be able to create different templates that have a custom design, then assign them to specific pages and customize from there. But that is not at all how it work.
  5. Setting a homepage and a blog post page. Since you can navigate to your settings and set a page to be the front page and blog roll page, these settings seem to conflict with whatever you have set as the front page in the full site editor.
  6. Could be faster. I’m very particular about website speed, you can definetly over design with the Twenty Twenty Three theme and make a big, bloated mess that loads slowly.

This is a “blank slate” style theme

Twenty Twenty Three is a WordPress theme that prioritizes simplicity in its design. With a focus on speed and accessibility, the theme offers a clean and minimalist interface, making it user-friendly for both beginners and experienced users.

It aims to provide a beautiful and uncluttered experience, making it easy to use your own patterns, templates and to customize the design with blocks. It’s functionally a more stripped down version of the Twenty Twenty Two theme.

Settings

When in the site editor, you are able to click on each block and then access setting that affect that block, and only that block. You can change:

Overall, the settings tab gives a wide range of optionality for design purposes. No longer are you stuck with a cookie cutter design.

Styles

styles twenty twenty three theme

Under the styles button, come numerous site variations. Pick whatever one you like and begin customizing.

Typography

One annoying design limitation of previous flagship WordPress themes was the lack of variety with typography settings. I was quite happy to see a nice range of fonts to choose from and the ability to change the font weight.

Here are the supported fonts:

Colors

I love the colors on this theme. You can change the colors for the:

I appreciate how this theme separates the H1 title tags from the headings. H1 is technically a heading tag, but a webpage is only going to have a single H1, the title of the page or the blog post. It’s a

Layout

With this theme, you get the ability to change the layout settings globally for your website. You can change the content width as well as the width of the entire website. You can also add or remove padding to the entire site design.

Templates and template parts

template parts twenty twenty three

This theme uses full-site editing. As such, it comes with many premade templates for standard website sections like your front page (homepage), blog post page, individual posts, pages, 404 page, post archive and author pages, and so forth.

You can also create custom templates as well. If you need more time to apply your custom template to a page or post, you can also do that.

Who is this theme for?

It’s made for all types of websites. From blogging style websites to corporate websites, simple online stores, or portfolio websites. Because this theme is so stripped down, it offers many design options once you’re proficient with the full site editor.

So is the Twenty Twenty Three theme any good?

It’s a solid theme. It does have a learning curve, but you’re given a wide array of design options that allow you to create a custom design for your website.

Be that dedicated homepage with a call to action at the top of each page and post, a portfolio or real estate website, or a corporate website for a small business.

Dreamhost

Recommended by WordPress, they are the best beginner friendly webhost for creating blogs, websites and online stores.

Great hosting & support, free domain name and free WHOIS protection. I use them in all my tutorials.

dreamhost logo

It's all my fault

Hey I'm David. I'm a blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated UX consultant on Fiverr. My writing, videos and courses have helped tens of thousands of people make their first 1$ online. I write this blog to show you the "how to" for turning knowledge into income so you can live life on your terms.