I left you yesterday with an exciting cliffhanger. Then I applied my thinking to the theme choices out there. The plan was to sift through the options, weighing each theme in the balance – is it clean? Is it flexible? Is it responsive? Is it extensible? So I did that. I clicked links and buttons. I asked around, And, finally, I decided. The theme I am going to use for this reboot is…

… the WordPress default.

OK, isn’t that like buying the show home (with all its pastel furnishings and generic art prints) because you can’t be bothered to develop your own taste? Well, to you, sir or madam (or honorific of your choosing), that may seem like shallowness. But to me, it’s simply efficiency.

Actually, though, a theme designed to support extension via child themes will offer plenty of opportunity for customisation. So there’s no necessary reason why the finished site should seem like the product of a cookie-cutter (I hope).

Also, I’m not choosing just any default theme. I am going with Twenty Seventeen, the theme that shipped with WordPress 4.7 which was released on December 6 2016 (yesterday, at the time of this writing). That offers me a couple of additional advantages. It makes this series timely – I’m going to be able to discuss my experiences with a very new product which will inevitably get much use. It also supports a video header and I’m a sucker for that. I’m looking at pretty restful fish flitting about on my Hello World page right now. Silliness aside, there are a few factors that fed into my thinking. Here’s a round up.

  • Twenty Seventeen will be robust. I can expect issues to be spotted and addressed.
  • WordPress default themes are built with an expectation of extension
  • Default themes are built with support for plugins in mind. Incompatibilities for popular plugins will be addressed in updates, or the community will publicise workarounds.
  • Default themes will exploit and expose the latest core features.
  • Twenty Seventeen is fully responsive
  • It is flexible. It supports multiple pages in strips on the home page, so there’s a structure I can work with straight away
  • The design is clean and minimal, leaving plenty of room for customisation.

Oh. And I am lazy and I don’t have much time. The decision is made. Let’s deal with it.

Thanks to the clever Composer set up I discussed on day 3, installing WordPress 4.7 was a matter of changing a few characters in composer.json and running composer update.

Here is the updated composer.json file:

    "name": "getinstance/getinstance-site",
    "description": "core for",
    "authors": [
            "name": "Matt Zandstra",
            "email": ""
    "bin": ["bin/"],
    "repositories": [
            "type": "package",
            "package": {
                "name": "wordpress/wordpress",
                "type": "webroot",
                "version": "4.7.0",
                "dist": {
                    "type": "zip",
                    "url": ""
            "url": ""
    "require-dev": {
        "getinstancemz/scriptutils": "dev-develop"
    "require": {
        "wordpress/wordpress": "4.7.0",
        "fancyguy/webroot-installer": "1.0.0",
	    "wpackagist-theme/twentyfifteen": "1.6",
        "wp-cli/wp-cli": "1.0.0"
    "extra": {
        "webroot-dir": "site/wp",
        "webroot-package": "wordpress/wordpress",
        "installer-paths": {
            "site/wp-content/plugins/{$name}/": ["type:wordpress-plugin"], 
            "site/wp-content/themes/{$name}/": ["type:wordpress-theme"]


Why am I still specifying Twenty Fifteen? Well at the time of this writing there is still no version of Twenty Seventeen available at wpackagist — attempting to add the theme results in this error:

Problem 1
    - The requested package wpackagist-theme/twentyseventeen could not be found in any version, there may be a typo in the package name.

I can confirm the problem with a quick search on the site.

Luckily, Twenty Seventeen comes bundled with WordPress 4.7 — so, for now, I can just copy it from my newly installed site/wp/wp-content/themes directory to the live themes directory at site/wp-content/themes (remember that I moved wp-content out of the core directory).

Having acquired the theme, I can manually enable it from the themes admin screen.

Here’s a quick peek of the default home page – only with the addition of that YouTube video of lovely fish added to the top bar – just to prove to myself that I can do it.


Tomorrow, I’ll work a little more with the Twenty Seventeen and start off a child theme.

photo credit: Landahlauts SE7EN via photopin (license)