What’s New in WordPress 5.9 – Full site editing?
WordPress 5.9: Full Site Editing? Is it Worth It?
WordPress 5.9 was released on January 25, 2022, and it changed the way we look at WordPress.
Today WordPress is no longer just a blogging platform. You can literally create, launch, and edit your WordPress website without the need of a developer or a page builder.
In WordPress 5.9, you get Full Site Editing and a ton of other features. It’s the biggest release for the WordPress community since the launch of the block editor Gutenberg in December 2018. Full-site Editing is not just a hyped term but a literal term covering a multitude of editing features.
Let’s take a closer look at WordPress 5.9’s most talked-about feature and see how it can help you scale your website with ease and in a DIY situation.
Full Site Editing (FSE)
Full site editing (FSE) is the latest feature released with WordPress 5.9 update. The development is the next big step after the Gutenberg block editor as it gives you complete freedom to edit your website just as you want to.
Where Gutenberg block editor only focused on the format of content blocks, with FSE editing features you get control of site design as well.
The best part is that you won’t even have to get your hands dirty with the code as everything is available within the FSE editor out of the box.
With the FSE editor, you can:
- Add and edit site templates
- Change the design and style of the website
- Make tweaks within the site design
- Add sections to pages/templates if necessary
The only catch?
Where WordPress Gutenberg editor worked with all themes, FSE editor will only work with FSE enabled WordPress themes.
You will need a theme that has FSE functionality before you can get the advantage of the WordPress 5.9 update. Only a few themes at this time are capable of using the FSE editor in WordPress. One of the themes that you can use for this functionality is the Twenty
We would recommend first trying the theme on a staging server before you plan to move it to the production server. Since FSE editor is a new feature, many WordPress users may not find it to fit their business needs.
Overview of Full Site Editing in WordPress
You can access the full site editor by clicking on ‘Editor’ in the sidebar, under the ‘Appearance’ section on the WordPress dashboard.
For this tutorial, we are assuming that you have an FSE enabled theme like Twenty Twenty Two.
The FSE tool allows you to make site-wide changes such as changing the typography and fonts of all of your pages. Moreover, you can easily create consistent colour schemes and layouts for your site.
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Pattern Explorer in FSE
Another new feature that you can use in FSE is the Block Patterns Directory which comes with ready-made layouts. This allows you to copy and paste these into your site.
Global Styles Interface in FSE
Global Styles interface is one feature released with Full Site Editing that allows you to edit themes and style preset. Since Customizer is no longer available in the new release, you can set custom palettes and layouts for each page using a graphical interface. No need to get into code and change the template. The best part is that you will also get a handy preview to see what changes you have made to the website.
Once you are satisfied with the layout you have created, you can directly add it to the site.
Custom Templates for Site Pages
The best part about the Full Site Editing feature is that you can create customized templates for any page of the website. You can even create 404 pages for your website that don’t just look like a robotic 404 page.
To get started, click on the WordPress dashboard on the top-left and click Templates on the sidebar menu.
There are multiple templates available that you can use. Select a template that you want to edit and use, and that is it.
The items on the list view are also collapsible, making it easier to manage complex block structures. Moreover, it’s possible to add HTML anchors to blocks for quick navigation.
The navigation block features flexible layout controls, meaning that you can easily change the orientation and justification from the design tools. The block can also be configured as a responsive menu to collapse into a menu icon automatically.
Navigation Block in FSE
We all know that we have many articles that are just too long. What if you want to add a navigation menu to these articles? Well, you can do that with the help of the Navigation Block in FSE. This will create a mini navigation bar for your articles and you can edit the menu items and links to the article’s headings as and when necessary.
Pattern Insertion and Creation
What if you want to add a new fold to your WordPress website? With the help of Pattern Insertion & Creation, you can add new block patterns to your website easily.
For instance, create a section for subscription form by adding a pre-made pattern to your website block.
To do so, click on the Editor > Patterns Section. You can choose a category or even explore the block pattern sections available to you. In total, you will get over 70 patterns to help you add as many design variations to your website as possible.
The majority of these sections we have discussed for Full Site Editing are only available in the Twenty Twenty-Two theme. If your theme is different, then there are chances that it may not include all the new features offered with the FSE editor such as block patterns, headers/footers editors, and Global Site Styling.
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