Twenty Ten the New Default Theme

TwentyTen the Category

Twenty Ten is the new default theme for WordPress as of release 3.0 .   I’ve been setting up sites using it for a couple of months now.   It is a great theme and there is a lot you can do with it.   I tweak it a lot.   Therefore, I’ve decided to start a new category dedicated to Twenty Ten Theme and modifications that can be made to it quickly and easily.

Some quick changes can make it look completely different.   The new header area and background layout area provide a great playground for variation in theme.

The WP team recommends any changes be made to a child theme and not the default.   I know one reason why and you need to be aware of this.

Every time you update WP the Twenty Ten Theme is replaced as well.   Any custom CSS you put in the default them is wiped out.   Same is true for any changes you made to the code in the various parts of the theme.   So Be advised YOU NEED TO BACKUP TWENTY TEN EVERY TIME THERE IS AN UPDATE!!   especially if you have made modifications.

I don’t like working with child themes.   Maybe someday, but I’ve had a little experience with them and find it very labor intensive to make changes.   I like firebug on one tab and the CSS editor in another.   Make a change and update.   Maybe I’m missing something.   But for now I edit the default theme itself.

Short, short posts

Some of these post are going to be very short.   Most of what I’ll cover are tweaks in the CSS that will make a difference in the appearance of the theme.   They will all be filed under TwentyTen.

Some will be a little longer.   It takes more than a few words to describe how to change the header image size and width.   Or change the layout to make the sidebar or content areas bigger.

If you are looking for ways to tweak Twenty Ten come here.

If you don’t find what you are looking for leave a comment, I’ll see what I can do and write a post on the tweak.

Example Post

Clear Both for Header Tags

You will find this statement in the CSS.

h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 {
font-weight: normal;
clear: both;

The clear both will make it impossible to display an image beside an h3 tag in your post.

The simple solution.

There is typically no reason to clear both on any header tag below an h2 tag.   Therefore change this to:

h1, h2,   {
font-weight: normal;
clear: both;

Your h3 and below tags can now be used with an image displayed either right or left.


  1. What do you find most attractive about the twenty ten theme? I have leaned towards some free and premium themes. I can do a small amount CSS PHP HTML, but by all means not an expert. Some of the themes have made it real easy to configure, however I can’t always customize the theme exactly to my liking.

  2. Mike,

    TwentyTen is clean. I know there are no hidden links or links back to the theme author or sponsored links. (Links back to the theme author I don’t mind at all, sponsored links . . .)

    It has all the new functionality built in.

    Custom Headers
    Custom Backgrounds
    Clean CSS
    Learn the Theme Once use it multiple times

    Those are my base reasons. And it being installed automatically with every WP install makes it a good one to learn.


  3. I have three emails in my inbox from you via blog subscription about this “2010 theme.” I had to visit to see what all the hoopla was about. You are so good at this stuff, why not be one of those guys who modifies a paid theme, like Thesis, for example.

  4. Joe,

    Yeah, I’ll probably slow that pace. Been working with Twenty Ten for a couple of months and the new update that just release prompted a couple of posts. As for Thesis, never been a fan, to proprietary, I see no SEO advantage from using it, I do see a couple of SEO DISADVANTAGES of using it. And it is in general a pain in the . . . to work with.

    Clients that have me work on Thesis usually end up spending more than double because of the time it takes compared to a typical WP theme.

    Especially after the recent events with Thesis author and Matt from WP. I’ll stay clear of the theme and the author.