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Tove: A Block-Based WordPress Theme by Anders Norén



Tove: A Block-Based WordPress Theme by Anders Norén

I have been secretly keeping tabs on Anders Norén over the past couple of weeks, awaiting the moment he pushed his first block theme to the WordPress directory. I first noticed it when he tweeted a screenshot two weeks ago. And, today was the day it happened. Tove landed in the review portal several hours ago, and I have been tinkering with it ever since.

While it is not downloadable from the directory yet, the review system moves much faster than in times past. It should be available soon. In the meantime, anyone who wants to give it a spin can grab the ZIP file from its ticket.

I called his last WordPress theme, Eksell, “the standard by which we should be judging all other” themes, and Norén has a history of releasing solid designs. Could he do for blocks what he has done for classic in years past?

The truth is that going 100% blocks has limitations. Designers can experiment and test out some new things, but the underlying system is not up to par with what is possible with traditional theming. However, some feats are much easier to accomplish. Much of it depends on the creator’s goals and how well they work with the system instead of fighting it.

At first glance, Tove was not any more impressive than most block themes I have installed and activated. It seemed pretty bare-bones, but I imagine this is what theming will look like far into the future. Many will be a wide-open canvas that allows users to build whatever type of site they want. Themes will primarily add personality.

One area where they can and will shine is with custom block patterns. And Tove has over 40 of them.

The theme is flexible enough for use with various sites, but its focus is on cafes and restaurants. Many of the patterns lean into this, such as custom menus, call-to-action-buttons, and more.

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