The latest WordPress update has been released, however it does not ship with one of it’s greatest benefits, the TwentyTwelve theme. This all new theme is amazing by any standards and features the abilities of many paid premium WordPress themes. Why TwentyTwelve is not included in the latest download, I’m not sure, so finding it is the first step to upgrading the looks of your WordPress blog.
The TwentyTwelve theme can be found in the WordPress.org theme repository. Find the theme directly by clicking this link to download(as of this posting the latest version is 1.0), then install like any other WordPress theme. Setting the theme up is a bit more involved, although stock can fulfill a lot of a blogs basic requirements. The fun comes when you decide to setup static front pages.
Directions for TwentyTwelve do not highlight the small details to benefit from the static homepage. If you were to simply follow the included directions you would not receive benefits like footer widget areas or a full page layout. To utilize this theme, you will need to create two new pages. The first page should have a title like ‘Welcome’ or ‘Home’. Here you will fill out the page as you would any new post, include any content that you want to displayed on the home page. Next, you should select the ‘Home Page’ template from the side bar.(This was not made clear in the included directions for setting up TwentyTwelve.)
The second page you setup should be left completely blank. I named mine ‘Blog’, which will now be included in the top navigation bar. When your visitors click this link, they will be given the usual look of a wordpress blog, including a list of all of your posts. This would be considered a stock setup and acts as a second home page of sorts, to allow for static content to remain on the first page, blog contents on this second page.
Be prepared to play around with some images, layouts, and perhaps some new shortcodes. If you are selling a product, be sure to include some featured items, information about your company, or any pertinent contact information. It’s important to note that when you upgrade to this theme and setup static home pages you will NOT lose the url structure and permalink settings you originally set your blog up. So SEO minded people need not concern yourselves with losing rankings.
This is just my first 5-Minute experience with the new WordPress TwentyTwelve theme. I’m sure after time spent with TwentyTwelve I’ll find other great features, that I hope to share with you here.