FSE Program: Answers about general functionality

This post is part of a series that provides answers to questions gathered in early February. Thank you to everyone who submitted a question so our knowledge can grow together! Each post will help provide foundational knowledge for future documentation efforts, and future calls for questions in the coming months. 

All posts in this series:

The focus of this post:

This post focuses on general questions related to overall functionality, including how to supply a sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. on a site and switching between device views.

1) How can I supply a permanent top and bottom menu with the same content for all new created pages?

Please keep in mind that there are a few ways you could do this! With that said, the simplest way at this point would be to do the following:

  • Edit the template that your pages will use. 
  • Using the navigation blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience., create a menu in both the top and bottom of your page with the content of your choosing. 
  • Save changes 🙂 

Here’s a quick video of how this might work where I simply copy/paste the current menu into the footer. Keep in mind that if you didn’t want to alter the footer itself (aka the footer for your entire site), you could place the menu in another part of the template content.

2) How can I supply a sidebar for all pages to a client?

Similar to the previous question, you can do this by editing the template directly and using the column block to set the sidebars you desire for a client to use. Here’s a quick video showing how this might work:

3) How do I switch between desktop and tablet and mobile views?

Currently, the preview option in the Site Editing experiences allows for you to switch between different views. Here’s a quick video showing how this works: 

As you can see, this is still a work in progress with a few open issues opened already to improve the functionality. Inspired by this question, I also opened this issue around device size specific edits

4) How can I edit comments layout in one go for all comment display blocks everywhere?

This is a great example of what will be unlocked with the Global Styles portion of Full Site Editing. With Global Styles, you’ll be able to alter styles for a single block across your entire site. Right now, an initial version of Global Styles is headed into the WordPress 5.7 release but it’s  solely concerned with the theme.jsonJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML. structure for themes and won’t impact users just yet. If you want to take a peek at what’s planned, you can try out the Global Styles system within the current GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ release and/or you can check out this current issue discussing how to improve the Global Styles sidebar to make it more intuitive. 

5) How can I add backend only instruction texts for page editors?

You’ll want to use a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party like WP Help to add specific instructions. 

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