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What’s new in WordPress 5.9 – a Reading list on Full-Site Editing and Block Themes.



What’s new in WordPress 5.9 – a Reading list on Full-Site Editing and Block Themes.

WordPress 5.9 Release Candidate 1 was released on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 and the version is on schedule to be released on January 25, 2022.

The WordPress 5.9 release for the most parts introduces Full Site Editing to WordPress user. It’s the biggest release since the roll-out of the block editor in December 2018. The umbrella term Full-site Editing covers a multitude of editing features.

This reading list covers the latest publication of Developer Notes and User Documentation related to the Block Editor.

Table of Content

About Themes

Block Building and extending Gutenberg

New Blocks

Learn more about the progress on performance improvement efforts coming to WordPress 5.9 Performance Improvements

User Documentation for Site Builders and Content Creators

Site editor

It is only available to content creators who are using a Block theme. When you are using the Site Editor, most changes here are made across your entire site.

Block Themes

A block theme is a theme that uses blocks for all parts of a site, including navigation menus, header, content, and site footer.

Styles Overview

This is a new feature in WordPress 5.9 that comes included in Block themes that allows you to customize your site as much as you’d like with different colors, typography, layouts, and more

Navigation block

The Navigation Block is an advanced block in WordPress 5.9 that enables you to edit your site’s navigation menu, both in terms of structure and design. The Navigation block can be used with a block theme or a theme that has support for template editing.

Template part block

The Template Part block is an advanced block introduced in WordPress 5.9 that can be used with a block theme or a theme that supports template editing.

Block-Based Themes, ready for Full-Site Editing.

Ready to Test? To date, you’ll find 34 block Themes already in the WordPress repository that are prepared for Full-Site Editing.

I often get the question: “What are the few themes you like?” Here is my list:

I received similar questions at meetup gatherings. Here are the themes of my response.

All three are from trusted theme designers, and were reviewed by Justin Tadlock at the WPTavern.

Automattic also published a set of themes, all focused on blogging and writing:

Share in the comments if you find a block-based theme that you like or built.

Social Learning and Courses

The training team is getting ready to release some courses on Full-site Editing and I will update this post once they are available online. For now here are some Social Learning events around the new features. Register on

Featured Image: “Mitchell Library, Sydney (#24)” by Christopher Chan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 found on OpenVerse

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