Using the WordPress Twenty Seventeen Theme

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect theme for my blog. I’ve used a few over the years, but settled on Period Pro for a year or so. But I wanted something with a bit more of a clean, modern feel so I started digging through the “Popular” section on WordPress.org.

After trying about a dozen different options, I ended up settling on…Twenty Seventeen. That’s right. I went with the default WordPress theme that comes with WordPress and is set by default on all new installations.

Here’s what I like about 2017:

  • It’s got a nice full-size image posts page that really pops. I’ve put one of my own photos in there of the neighbourhood where I live. It visually elevates the homepage of my site but still gets out of the way on post pages as the header shrinks down perfectly.
  • It’s fast. Because it’s a stock, first-party theme written by WordPress core developers, it’s fast and performs quite well.
  • It’s free. Again, first-party means it’s a high-quality theme with all the bells and whistles of a premium theme but it’s completely free.
  • It’s mobile-ready. I know from my stats that lots of people hit my blog on their phones or tablets, so 2017’s mobile-responsive design is important to me.

Any downsides?

The only downside for me is that the posts column is a bit narrow at just 525px. That constrains things a bit with inline images when using the “alignright” or “alignleft” options, but it won’t take me long to clean up a few older posts and it actually makes things easier going forward since it forces me to use smaller images if I wrap text. Bigger images can be centred which looks nice too.

Other than that, I do wonder if having a very common template hurts readership. I used to roll my own templates and prided myself on having a unique, one-of-a-kind blog. Obviously using 2017 means that my blog looks like more than a million other blogs out there (literally…there are more than 1 million installs of 2017 according to the WordPress theme gallery).

What do you think? Would you stick with the default template, or do you prefer to have something that’s different from all the other blogs out there?

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