A blog about everything by Jack Baty

Blogging like it’s Twenty Twelve

WordPress theme designers need to calm the fuck down, IMO

 Me, in 2021

Has every WordPress theme created since 2012 been competing to see how overwrought it can become? Seems like it. All I want is a simple, chronological, full-post layout with decent typography and a clean layout.

I spent a couple of hours scouring the web for a suitable theme. I couldn’t find one. Also, have you searched for WordPress info recently? What an SEO contest nightmare of ads, newsletter popups, and content farm nonsense.

And don’t get me started on “full-site” editing. JFC I don’t want to design the thing myself. I just want to pick a nice theme and start writing. Too much to ask, apparently.

Anyway, I got so frustrated that, in protest, I installed the Twenty Twelve theme from the WordPress folks and it’s as good as anything out there, so here we are.

I expect to interact with this blog primarily from external tools such as iA Writer or MarsEdit or even Emacs. I haven’t installed a single plugin yet1, and have only made a couple of minor CSS tweaks. I don’t care if it’s ugly, I just want it simple and familiar.

My favorite feature of using Twenty Twelve is that it tricks me into believing I don’t give a shit about endlessly tweaking my blog’s design and that I only care about the writing.

  1. Not exactly true, but I consider JetPack part of WordPress. ↩︎


Steve at Founders


The Book Doctor


  1. Mark

    Have a look at the themes by Anders Noren, beautifully simple. It is where I would go first. https://andersnoren.se

    • Thank you for reminding me about Anders’ themes. I used their “Davis” theme for quite a while and found it very pleasant. I’ll be sure to revisit them, thanks again.

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