The Common Web Platform 2.0 comes with two themes that help government agencies get their sites up and running quickly.

Starter theme

The CWP Starter theme(external link) is a developer focused highly accessible(external link) Bootstrap 3 theme that is suited for sites that require more customisation and design. The theme can be applied with minimal restrictions and is intended more as a starting point for customisation in order to speed up development.

Wātea theme

The Wātea theme(external link), on the other hand, includes more design elements than the CWP Starter theme and so is more fully featured as a quick 'up and running' option, particularly suited to short-term campaign sites or sites which needs a decent starting point which will be added to as time goes on. Out of interest, the Wātea theme currently powers (this site) with some minor changes. Wātea is well suited for smaller agencies with smaller sites, smaller budgets and smaller developer teams. This Wātea theme is a sub-theme of the Starter theme. It provides a more visually appealing layer to jump start projects.

The CWP Agency Extensions Module(external link) provides added configuration and underlying functionality that may be useful to allow clients/agencies to adjust website functionality themselves. It provides the content management side of the functionality provided by the Wātea theme (specifically Wātea Plus which adjusts site fonts and colours and the Carousel).

Please note CWP also has a legacy theme which might still be used by some agencies on CWP 1.0 called the Default theme(external link), there could still be references to this theme throughout these guides and documentation for CWP.

Wātea Plus theme

As an extension of the Wātea theme, Wātea Plus introduces new functionality, allowing agencies to customise the look of their site with minimal input from developers, and better align the theme with their brand. Wātea Plus makes it easier to spin up a customised site on the Common Web Platform and, in conjunction with the subsites feature, agencies are now able to create a themed set of sites based on a colour palette.

There is a new area within the CMS where a site administrator can choose from a selection of fonts and colours to quickly and easily transform the appearance of their site. A palette of 12 accessible (AA) colours (plus white, light grey, dark grey, and black) that can be selected from the new Theme Settings screen. The default colour palette has been chosen to cover a broad spectrum of use-cases, but the feature is built with extensibility in mind, ensuring that developers can easily adjust options as required. 

Minor improvements have been made to the default typography styles and template layoutsThe original Wātea typeface, Nunito Sans, remains as the default font option, but we’ve now also included Fira Sans and Merriweather. Fira Sans is widely used across New Zealand Government websites and is a slightly narrower, more distinguished sans-serif font alternative. Merriweather offers the user a contemporary take on a classic serif font—highly readable with differing weights for web.


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