In the two months since its release, Twenty Fourteen has already made quite a splash, becoming the theme of choice for almost 200,000 sites. If you’re a new blogger (hello, Zero to Hero participants!), it likely looks familiar. It’s our default theme for 2014, so it was the one that greeted you when you first landed on your homepage.
Twenty Fourteen has a flashy magazine layout that enables you to showcase content in numerous visually striking ways. With plenty of free customization options right of the box, including new color palettes, this is a theme that can give any site a major design boost.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to customize Twenty Fourteen to make your content shine, look no further than the two sites featured here today: they have each taken the theme in a strikingly different direction.
What do you know — a magazine theme used by an actual magazine! The Daily Slice, a collaborative online music zine, makes the most out of Twenty Fourteen‘s versatile layout, creating a cool look that’s at once vibrant and streamlined.
With a black-and-white custom header image that works perfectly with the theme’s default color scheme, the site channels an underground vibe from the get-go. The site’s main menu blends seamlessly into the header for easy navigation.
The site then capitalizes on Twenty Fourteen‘s featured content area, highlighting three recent posts, all with generously-sized featured images (the theme lets you select up to six posts to showcase).
Since this is a group effort, the magazine’s authors are all given a moment in the spotlight. Sidebar links direct visitors to each writer’s author page, and a sleek Author Grid Widget contains red-white-and-black illustrations of the writing staff.
One of the most notable visual elements of this theme is the ability to use splashy featured images on the homepage as well as on single-post pages. Whether your visitors arrive at your site through a search engine, a shared link, or the WordPress.com Reader, they’re in for a visual treat.
A blog dedicated to the retro beauty of fountain pens, edjelley.com presents a bright, clean take on Twenty Fourteen. The blogger’s intentions are unmistakable no matter where you look on the page: this is a place to enjoy the colors and shapes of lovingly-crafted objects.
An elegant custom header image — complete with a sleek logo — announces the site’s theme. Then, Ed, the pen aficionado behind the site, uses Twenty Fourteen‘s featured content slider to give his photos maximum visibility.
Other small touches make the site both visually coherent and smooth to navigate. An Instagram Widget in the right sidebar adds a dash of color and presents more stationary-related eye candy.
Across the page, on the right sidebar, enticing Text Widgets invite readers to follow Ed on other social networks and encourage them to submit content to the site — a smart way to foster interaction.
Even the primary menu serves several purposes. In the midst of the site’s colorful images, its neutral shade acts as a soothing visual element. It lets users find the content they look for, but also includes links to Ed’s Pens for Sale page as well as to his blogroll page — a great space saver, freeing up valuable real estate in the sidebar.
The beautiful design of edjelley.com stays intact no matter what device you’re using. As a fully responsive theme, Twenty Fourteen guarantees your visitors see your site the way you intended it — whether it’s from a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone.
New color palettes
In case you’ve considered Twenty Fourteen but prefer a brighter color scheme than the sleek black that comes as its default background color, we have good news.
We’re happy to announce that the theme now arrives with four free featured color palettes. Just go to the Colors panel in your Customizer (in your dashboard, head to Appearance → Customize) and pick the one that suits your mood.
Are you curious to see more customizations of Twenty Fourteen? Here are a few more creative takes:
- Honey & Thyme, a food blog with a clean, modern look.
- Coyopoa :: lightning in the blood, a writer’s stark, black-and-white homepage.
- A Pretty Penny, a soft-hued design and DIY blog.
For more customization tips and previous installments of our Customizing series, click here.
Jan 20th at 5:59 pm
Love this one. Time for me to play around with new theme templates again!
Jan 20th at 7:43 pm
I really enjoy the tips and ideas you so kindly share! Thank you!
Jan 20th at 8:05 pm
Thanks for all the kind words!
I’m loving Twenty Fourteen so far, it’s my favorite theme I’ve used.
Adding the custom upgrade really expanded what I could do with the site visually, and I’m super happy with how it’s turned out.
Jan 20th at 9:30 pm
Wow, this theme look brilliant!
Jan 20th at 10:45 pm
Wow, I really need to take a look at those customisation options. I am new, and picked the 2014 theme as it looked amazing. I just didn’t realise how diverse it could be!
Jan 21st at 1:36 am
What a great idea. Look so cool
Jan 21st at 2:07 am
This post is awesome……How to use our own theme in wordpress……
Jan 21st at 4:38 am
I’m enjoying the theme, but noticed within the e-mail sent today that I had the option to select a few color palettes. Unfortunately, I am not seeing them listed. Is there anything that I would need to do on my end?
Jan 21st at 5:42 am
The 2014 theme is truly elegant !
But couldn’t modify the Font, style and size, even after repeated attempts
Fantastic job, nevertheless
Jan 21st at 8:15 am
Can someone give me some ideas to what themes, or just some help. How would I go about posting things like poetry here. But I do like your theme ideas.
Jan 21st at 9:58 am
Unfortunately, there seems to be a new bug in WordPress as when I click on the Appearance option, it shows the themes for a few seconds before switching back to the Dashboard.
Jan 21st at 9:51 pm
I really like this theme and I’m looking forward to customizing it.
Jan 22nd at 3:03 am
Loving this new theme. How do you get the 3 posts/photographs to display across the top of the front page? And place twitter, facebook, pintarest icons in the sidebar? Does this require a custom upgrade? Thanks!
Jan 22nd at 5:37 am
I had no idea that 2014 could be made to look so eye pleasing. Thanks for sharing
Jan 23rd at 10:20 am
Great theme, I love it but as a beginner, I cannot figure out how to use a flexible header. It always force me to crop and then I get a white bar on the left. Can anymone help? I don’t plan to pay for he advanced design considering I can not work in css.
Jan 23rd at 9:14 pm
I knew 2014 was something special first time I saw it, and I keep coming back to admire it. As shown by the blogs you’ve highlighted here, 2014 has a look that’s as contemporary as tomorrow. Really crisp, clean typography, and it’s more readable than many avant guard typefaces.
It’s so good and so versatile that it sort of intimidates me. For a next step, I think I might switch to Expound. Eventually, I’ll get up the nerve to give 2014 a spin.
Jan 25th at 4:59 am
This is a magnificent theme. Congratulations to its creators!
Jan 25th at 7:51 am
Thanks to this post, I gave this theme a second try and love it.
Jan 29th at 7:56 pm
Question: What is the recommended size for one of the 6 featured images across the top of the theme? If you know, please reply as soon as possible x)
Jan 29th at 8:19 pm
Thanks for the reply, and also; does the slider slide automatically, or do you have to click the “next slide” button manually?