Full site editing

(This is currently a work in progress)

The goal of the full site editing project is to utilize the power of Gutenberg’s block model in an editing experience beyond post or page content. In other words, the idea is to make the entire site customizable. This editing mode will understand the structure of the site and provide ways to modify global elements like headers and footers.

Focus maintainers: @michael-arestad, @mapk

Timeline: TBD

Tickets, Issues, and PRs:

Problems to solve: Problems to solve:

  • How does a user initiate full site editing?
    • Start from full site? Start from page/post?
  • How to navigate pages in full site editing?
    • A way to enter “browsing” mode so that every click navigates to the resource (navigation menu, etc) as the customizer does. It could be part of the cursors, bound to a modifier key (hold “alt” and click to navigate anywhere; click without alt to edit / select).
    • A way to load a specific context for a layout (a post for single , a category for categories, etc) in preview mode. This could also be tied to the “browsing” mode as navigating by clicking would also load a specific context (a page, post, category, etc) automatically.
  • Layouts
    • A way to see the current layout you are in (index, home, single) and be able to select a different one. This includes ways of presenting the layout hierarchy without exposing all of its complexity.
      • A design for elements that need to be in placeholder mode (a “post content” block in the single layout, since it doesn’t have any specific post to show). This is crucial to understanding when you are editing a layout and when a specific page. This need multiple design explorations.
    • A flow for starting a layout from scratch that guides you to first insert / create layout parts for structure.
    • A way to organize layout parts (theme builder inserter or category) and view them in isolation (similar to the demo IO did) for editing.
    • Once you are in a specific context, and the current layout is single, you should be able to create a variation for that specific post id (art direction), which would then create a single-xx layout. This flow is more advanced, so it should be handled carefully to not overwhelm people, but it should be possible.
  • Customization
    • A way to access global style tools (likely registered as top header plugins) clearly emphasised.
  • How to add/remove block patterns
  • Navigation block integration
  • Saving changes
    • All at once (staged sort of)
    • Block-level
    • Both?
  • Placeholders when no blocks are loaded (archive pages or something?)
  • A way to export a full set of layouts as a “theme” to upload in the directory.

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