Ease TYPO3 adoption with a simple out-of-the-box theme

Application by
Paul Hansen

What is your idea about?
Unlike most other CMSs, TYPO3 does not currently deliver a basic frontend theme during installation. It is harder than it should be to deploy a simple website that is ready to use.
Such a built-in theme would enable immediate content entry and empower small businesses and nonprofits with a basic but solid website made with TYPO3. Simply put — if they can’t get on the platform easily enough, they’ll move on to software where they can. For a large portion of the CMS market, it’s been years since “you want a website — hire a web developer” was the right solution for them. Installing TYPO3 is very easy, but we lack the equivalent of WordPress’s built-in “twenty twenty two” theme.

When you install TYPO3 today, there are two options: either an empty site with no configuration or home page; or an “empty starting page” with the TYPO3 logo and basic content rendering. With several additional technical steps, one can also install the Introduction Package. But that package is more of a demo, with multiple languages, predefined content, and bootstrap_package (which is amazing, but it provides many non-core content elements and is quite complex).

The current “empty starting page” is extremely basic and does not make a good impression about the quality of TYPO3. This project would aim to replace that (or add a third option) with a very simple and usable theme. This project will not deliver a theming system, a big package, or attempt to solve complex use cases. It aims to be as simple as possible while fulfilling the needs of smaller adopters and evaluators of TYPO3.

What is the potential impact of your idea?
The goal of this project is to create a simple theme so that TYPO3 is more comparable to its competition when it comes to getting people started with our platform. Right now, just getting to that “simple site” starting point is hard in TYPO3, which makes the whole thing seem like it could be too hard as well. We need to fix this!

In its early days, TYPO3 did deliver several themes. It’s possible there is some reluctance to provide a theme that could become the TYPO3 “look” or create a maintenance hassle. And yet, it’s clear from the experience of other CMSs that there’s an important gap that such a theme would fill for the TYPO3 community, especially at a time when we need all the adoption we can get.

There is no reason why TYPO3 can’t suit smaller websites just as well as huge ones. The success of some other platforms at the enterprise level is built on their broader adoption by millions of small business and nonprofit websites. A very simple theme could easily serve these simpler websites and let them have a usable TYPO3 installation in a few minutes.

Who can / should implement your idea?
I will take care myself

Approximate Funds needed
€5,000 - €10,000


Hello Paul,

thank you for your application. The goal of the TYPO3 Association is to reduce the amount of money spend on worktime for code. Instead the money should be used to enable people to be part of teams or to enlarge the community. Can you please explain why -in your special case- money for code should be spend?

I’m not sure if I understand the difference between a mini theme and a demo. A simplified demo is fine, but who needs a single theme? Agencies will have either their own themes or will create a custom design. And for smaller projects a single theme is not enough to choose from.

Perhaps I am happy if you call it “Starter Package” :smiley:

Great idea! I however suggest that should be a default theme in the core, based on best practices regarding frontend development and integration. Therefore it must be well communicated with the core team.
Having “just another theme” won’t have too many benefits I guess


Thanks for your comment, Georg! That is exactly what I proposed, a very simple default theme in the core. Not over-engineered, just very simple and easy to maintain. For some reason, most of my application was not copied into my original post. I’ll add it here.

As far as the question about “working time”: As I explained in my budget application, quite a bit of time needs to be taken to work with the core development team and community so we all like this simple theme as an easier way for people to start testing or using TYPO3. I could make the theme very quickly, but communicating and collaborating is the hard part. After all, this simple theme needs to represent TYPO3. If the community drives an increased scope of work beyond this budget, I would facilitate continuing its development along with other contributors through our existing development framework.


Thanks Martin, it isn’t a starter package or theme system. What we need is a very simple theme instead of the very clunky big TYPO3 logo with page.10 < styles.content.get, which doesn’t represent the quality of TYPO3 at all.

My proposal explained this but those portions were not copied into this topic. I’ll add that below.

I’m eager to improve and grow TYPO3. I volunteer time to TYPO3 and serve on several teams. I also pay for my employees’ time to contribute code and participate in sprints. I have almost 30 years of web development experience, and routinely plan, manage, and execute projects. This project involves enough work that it needs to be prioritized and scheduled. I’ll need to take time away from running my busy agency, but I’m willing to work at a reduced rate in order to help the TYPO3 community.

Here is the rest of my budget application. I’m not sure why this was omitted, as it would have answered so many of the questions above.

Thank you.

Additional Comments to Funds needed

The modest amount of this budget is intended to impose a limit on the theme’s complexity, which will in turn lower the long-term cost of maintaining it. In many ways, creating the theme is the easy part. The hard parts will be transparently discussing what the theme should do and not do (defining its scope), and to get community input and support for what it should look like.

The specifics of this theme would be created through the normal community process for core development. It would use only core functionality in order to be broadly compatible and easier to maintain. The theme must be accessible, responsive, and follow modern web design standards.

In terms of getting the project done, I have 19 years of experience with TYPO3, and I develop themes and sitepackages as part of my daily work. I understand the many pitfalls that could be encountered during this project, as well as the TYPO3 best practices that will be needed for a successful outcome. I also participate in the TYPO3 teams and initiatives that will aid in various parts of the project, including accessibility, UX, and marketing.

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Should it be simple enough to go without any JavaScript code? If so, should it use 3rd party libraries.
What about pre/post-processing of CSS code? SASS, LESS, Post-CSS,…
And not to mention the build process :slight_smile:

For real world projects I use all of the above. OTOH I dislike to be forced to use a library that does not fit my worklfow.

Hi Masi, as I stated above, the goal is not some full-blown theme system. We already have bootstrap_package and t3kit, or your agency’s bespoke base extension. My goal is to create a very simple theme that is good enough to start content entry or even make a simple website. Dependencies need to be minimal to ease long-term maintenance.

Keep in mind that what we have now (in core) is crude and provides a poor initial impression of TYPO3. It would be so much better if it looked like something, and you could use it in minutes without all these extra hurdles that TYPO3 continues to impose on new developers and integrators. If we insist on being “enterprise” our niche will continue to shrink.

I agree that the current “hello world” is useless. The non-enterprise users don’t need IMHO a single super-simple theme, but a theme store like Wordpress.

Showing off TYPO3 with best-practices is fine and all good.

But I don’t see why and how my question leads you again to the term “full-blown theme system”.