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Reaching the Future of Full Site Editing



Reaching the Future of Full Site Editing

As you’ve likely heard, full site editing (FSE) officially landed in the WordPress world with 5.9, with more planned for 6.0 and beyond. If you’ve tried it out, you’ll notice that it was released with a beta label on its menu to indicate it’s in an early stage and that it needs feedback from people like you to evolve it. As people have begun exploring, though, questions abound: Who is full site editing for? Why is it missing XYZ feature? Will it meet my needs? Why was it released now when it isn’t yet fully formed? This post seeks to clear up some of these questions and provide a wider context for this current stage of WordPress. 

In some cases, the suite of features that come with full site editing has unlocked doors users have long wanted to explore, from editing headers directly to making site-wide design changes. In other cases, the current limitations of this initial beta version feel too rudimentary for some to adopt fully. This is all intentional – full site editing needs to start somewhere and will make sense to different people at different times. Ultimately, it was released now in order to get feedback early to better determine what’s needed to get it where it needs to go. If it’s not meeting your needs, provide that feedback and get specific about it in GitHub, whether on a current issue or in a new one. 

Who are the features for today vs in the future?

When thinking about who full site editing is for, as with all of WordPress, the answer is broad: WordPress seeks to be something for everyone. Ultimately, it is being built for all use cases but it can’t all be done at the same time. As a result, it does a disservice to only think about who full site editing features are for today vs. who they can be for in the future as the work continues to evolve. For now, I see these features as being best for the following situations:

  • People who are creating a new site and don’t have a deep experience with WordPress terminology/history. 
  • People who are familiar with WordPress and aren’t in need of some of the features listed in the next section. 
  • People well acquainted with the block paradigm and who have a technical understanding of how to make best use of templates, Styles, theme.json, etc. This includes those who might want to curate the experience
  • People with design skills who want to build a site in WordPress but don’t know how to code. 

What blockers do you see for adoption?

Right now, full site editing likely makes the most sense for those above from my vantage point, but it also sets the foundation for so much more and for everyone. If this doesn’t resonate for you, I encourage you to share what would help and to think about what would help all. I’ve heard from many of you and here are a few of the current blockers that I’ve heard prevent folks from adopting full site editing in its current state:

  • A way to lock blocks visually (this is coming to WordPress 6.0!) and in line with user roles. 
  • More theme.json options for both greater customization and more control. 
  • More options with the navigation block from mega menu items like having the ability to add headers to a menu to the ability to style interaction states.
  • Improved responsiveness options out of the box.
  • Being able to save drafts/more revisions as people were comfortable having with the Customizer.
  • Improving the accessibility of the editor itself and establishing accessibility norms for the future of block themes. 
  • And more! What do you see as a blocker? 

While full site editing features might not be for you today, let’s help get those features ready so they will be the right choice for you tomorrow. For more thoughts on this from the executive director of the WordPress project, check out the WordPress Briefing episode on “Is WordPress Made For Me?”

Photo from Jeff Golenski in the WordPress Photo Directory

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