Learn together by building block themes in public

If you have completed the first lessons about creating a block theme, and you want to learn more by working on a real-life block theme project, then I hope that you will join the WordPress.org Themes team and build a community theme together with others.

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What is a community theme?

A community theme is a theme built and maintained by both sponsored and volunteer contributors, that is released in the WordPress.org theme directory by the WordPress organization.

Community themes are built in public, which means that you can follow along with the discussions, see the original designs, read the code, pull requests and reviews.

They are an opportunity to learn together with others, it is a hands-on learning experience where you help create a block theme, without needing to take on the full responsibility of publishing and maintaining a free theme yourself.

The themes are held to a high standard, but experimenting and exploring the limits of block themes is encouraged.

Example themes: Blue Note Stacks

Where are the community themes built?

The community themes have a GitHub repository under the WordPress organization: https://github.com/WordPress/community-themes

This is where the themes are developed and where the communication happens.

How to contribute to community themes

Anyone is welcome to participate, and you don’t need any previous experience of contributing to WordPress. You will need a GitHub account and a WordPress installation. Having a WordPress.org account including access to the WordPress Slack is also useful, in case you want to participate in meetings (Meetings are of course optional). Be ready to learn and to share your knowledge with others.

You can contribute as little or as much as you want. Here are few ways to contribute:

  • Submit a design. Perhaps you have an interesting design and you would like to see how it could be created using blocks. Perhaps you need help with making your design come to life as a new block theme.
  • Submitting ideas for niche themes
  • Coding or creating the designs in the editor: Solving issues by submitting pull requests.
  • Reviewing other peoples pull requests.

There are often more than one community theme being built at any given time, you are very welcome to jump in and work on any existing project, or propose a new theme. Some projects are fast paced, others may move a little slower.

The details about how to contribute are explained in the GitHub repository.

Contributor Mentorship Program

Earlier in 2024, building community themes was part of the WordPress Contributor Mentorship program. This is a six week mentorship lead by experienced mentors. The Q1 program has ended, but the next program is in the planning stages, and will likely start in September.

Learn more about the WordPress Contributor Mentorship program on these links:

What is the Contributor Mentorship Program?