Since the release of Gutenberg Block Editor, the main goal of WordPress of is to unlock Full Site Editing (FSE) capability for WordPress. It’s been two years since Gutenberg was released into WordPress but we are still far away from reaching full site editing on WordPress. In this article, we are going to know what full site editing is when we can have it, how we can try it now, and a lot more about it.
Table of Contents
What is Full Site Editing?
In current WordPress parts of websites are blocked by your theme or you need certain plugins to access them but with Full Site Editing, you will be able to edit everything on your site from start to finish without requiring any extra plugins or tools.
On the other hand, if you are an agency and want to block or restrict certain parts of your website, with FSE you can do that so you always have greater control over your website. Full Site Editing is very powerful and useful and it can change WordPress to its core. It completely changes the way we use WordPress.
One thing to keep in mind is full site editing is not just a single feature but a collection of features. It’s a collection of features that bring block-based editing for all parts of your website not just for your posts and pages. That means now you’ll be able to visually edit:
- Archive Layouts
- Single Layouts
- 404 page
There are also things outside of Full Side Editing but very important for site-building such as widget editor and navigation editor and they can unlock a lot more opportunities for the block-based editor.
What are the Benefits of Full Site Editing?
You may be wondering the WordPress was actually working perfectly and you are comfortable with it then why does WordPress want to change it so drastically and what are the benefits of it? Here are some benefits of Full Site Editing:
- More control over the website so you can edit almost everything without needing anything extra.
- With the full site editing capabilities, your site’s reliability on third-party plugins will be fewer.
- Full site editing will give you a more modern and easy layout for editing your site.
- Ability to define global styling for the website so you can restrict your site users to just use certain typography and color on the entire website.
- Block-based themes will be very lightweight and will contain fewer files than the current WordPress themes.
- With this, you don’t need to worry about bloated headers or footers of the theme since you can edit them.
- Now you should be able to switch between different themes more easily, since your header, footer, and most parts are separate from the theme.
- If you are a theme author you need to care less about the code and more about the overall layout and design of your theme.
When Can We Expect FSE?
WordPress team is working very hard on bringing full site editing in WordPress but it won’t be going to happen in an instance. WordPress has planned to release it slowly and wants to give people proper time to adapt it. The WordPress version 5.8 is actually the first step toward full site editing. And soon in subsequent updates, we will see Full Site Editing capabilities for our website.
Hopefully, the upcoming scheduled WordPress version 5.9 will bring more Full Site Editing capabilities to our websites. WordPress version 5.9 is currently scheduled to launch in December 2021.
How to Try Now?
Even though there are many new things released in WordPress 5.8 there is a lot more going on in Gutenberg. If you wanna try and understand what is coming and how the full site editing will look like when it will be fully released then let’s know how we can do that.
Note: One thing to keep in mind is we are actually going to take a look at beta features that are not officially released and there are a lot of things that can change in the future, also it can break your website. So do not try these on your main website, instead, use them on your stage site or test site if you have any.
1. Gutenberg Plugin
The first thing you need for trying full site editing is to download the official Gutenberg plugin from the WordPress plugin store. Download this plugin and activate it. Now you can access all the upcoming beta features of Gutenberg. One thing to keep in mind there is no off button for Gutenberg Plugin so you need to deactivate it to stop it from using.
2. Get a Block-Based Theme
The second thing you’ll need is to install a theme that supports Full Site Editing. There are currently 16 different themes available in the WordPress repository that supports Full Site Editing. To see them go to WordPress theme repo and filter themes with Full Site Editing tag, you can also visit this link to see those themes.
You can install any of these 16 themes but I recommend you to use Blockbase theme which is developed by Automattic the parent company of WordPress or TT1 Blocks which is released by wordpress.org itself. Both of these themes fully support full site editing and are the first choice to use.
3. Site Editor
After installing Gutenberg plugin and a block-based theme you’ll have some new options in the WordPress dashboard. As shown in the image above you’ll see a Site Editor (Beta) Tab, this tab will allow you to use full site editing for your website. This Site Editor is actually replacing the theme customizer and will give Block Editing capability for editing and customizing your website.
After clicking on it you’ll see your website’s homepage with the option to edit it with Gutenberg Editor layout. The first thing to notice is that you can actually edit your website header and footer without requiring anything extra. The editing experience of the site will be the same as editing a block using the block editor.
Another thing to notice is the new navigation tab, you can access it via clicking on the top right WordPress icon. From this navigation tab, you can navigate throw your website to edit different parts of it. You can edit your theme templates and pages design and much more.
How to Stay Updated on FSE?
Now if you wanna stay updated on FSE and the future development of Gutenberg the best way to do that is by actually using the beta version of Gutenberg as we have shared above how you can try FSE now. You can install this on your staging website and if you don’t wanna mess with your staging website and don’t have any extra website then install it locally on your system.
Another thing you can do is to bookmark our website, we are keeping a close eye on WordPress and will share every change with our visitors. So make sure to bookmark our site and visit it regularly.
Useful Resources for Staying Updated
Here are some useful resources that you can check to stay updated;
- Themes – Full Site Compatible WordPress themes available on WP themes repo.
- Gutenberg-related articles on WebProTime.
- Official Full Site Editing info on WordPress.
- Official Block-Based theme development guide.
- Official details about the Global Style feature.
- Full Site Editing outreach program to share feedback and suggestions.
- Official Github repo to see the changes and report bugs and request features for FSE.
Some Common Questions About FSE
So let’s take a quick look at some common questions about FSE editing:
Will there be an opt-out option?
The first thing which comes to everyone’s mind that is there any opt-out option for this if you are not ready for Gutenberg then the answer is yes but eventually after some time you have to use it cause you can’t opt-out for forever.
Will site builders die?
Another common misconception about Gutenberg is it will kill site builders, but that’s not the case. It’s true Gutenberg is trying to be like site builders but it can’t replicate every functionality of your favorite side builder so they are not going away.
Is full site editing requires a special theme?
Yes, full site editing needs a block-based theme, classic themes won’t gonna work for full site editing.
Do you need to learn full site editing?
Not really, if you know about Block Editor and already using it then no extra skills requires, because editing experience will stay the same.
I hope now you are able to understand what WordPress full site editing is and how it’s gonna affect you and your website. I am personally so much hyped about it and wanna see some more big changes in WordPress. If you have any doubts, questions, or suggestions about this article or Gutenberg let us know in the comment below. I’ll make sure to answer all of them.
Since block-based editing is going to be default now and you still don’t know how to use it, it’s a perfect time to start. Check out our article about What Gutenberg Block Editor is and why you should learn it.