I am often on the hunt for those hidden gems when it comes to block-related plugins. I like to see the interesting places that plugin authors venture. That is why it came as a surprise when someone recommended I check out the Twentig plugin a few days ago. Somehow, it has flown under my radar for months. And, it has managed to do this while being one of the more interesting plugins for WordPress I have seen in the past year.
Twentig is a plugin that essentially gives superpowers to the default Twenty Twenty theme.
While I have been generally a fan of Twenty Twenty since it was first bundled in core, it was almost a bit of a letdown in some ways. It was supposed to be the theme that truly showcased what the block editor could do — and it does a fine job of styling the default blocks — but there was a lot of potential left on the table. The Twentig plugin turns Twenty Twenty into something worthier of a showcase for the block editor. It is that missing piece, that extra mile in which WordPress should be marching its default themes.
While the new Twenty Twenty-One default theme is just around the corner, Twentig is breathing new life into the past year’s theme. The developers behind the plugin are still fixing bugs and bringing new features users.
Of its 34 reviews on WordPress.org, Twentig has earned a solid five-star rating. That is a nice score for a plugin with only 4,000 active installations. As I said, it has flown under the radar a bit, but the users who have found it have obviously discovered something that adds those extra touches to their sites they need.
What Does Twentig Do?
It is a toolbox for Twenty Twenty. The headline feature is its block editor features, such as custom patterns and page layouts. It also offers a slew of customizer options that allow end-users to put their own design spin on the default theme. However, my interest is primarily in how it extends the block editor.
Let’s get this out of the way up front. Twentig’s one downside is that it adds a significant amount of additional CSS on top of the already-heavy Twenty Twenty and block editor styles. I will blame the current lack of a full design system from WordPress on most of this. Styling for the block editor can easily bloat a stylesheet. Adding an extra 100+ kb per page load might be a blocker for some who would like to try the plugin. Users will need to weigh the trade-offs between the additional features and the added page size.
The thing that makes Twentig special is its extensive patterns and pages library, which offers one-click access to hundreds of layouts specifically catered to the Twenty Twenty theme.