FSE Program: Answers about Templates

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 the Template Editing system that’s unlocked with FSE covering everything from specific questions around how to design a 404 page to how the entire template editing experience will feel.

1) Will I be able to share templates with other sites (export and import function)?

Yes! It is currently possible to export templates and template parts with the Site Editing experience. There are more plans underway to improve this export/import flow to include an even better transfer of customization. 

2) Will it be easy to go between editing a page and then going to edit the full site? Will I clearly understand if I am editing the page or a post or if I am editing the full site? Will it be easy to understand which section (e.g HeaderHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes.) I am in when I edit a template?

Yes! This is a big part of what’s being unlocked with Site Editing and there’s an entire major milestone dedicated to this part of the project (Milestone 2: Browsing). This work includes navigating between editing a page vs. the site and editing templates, template parts, and more. The goal is to create a smooth and clear experience for both when one is actively editing a part of a site and when one wants to navigate to a different part to make more changes. 

The FSE Outreach Program aims to ensure this is the case with various calls for testing, including the first one around the template editing experience

3) How can I provide 3-4 prefilled layout templates which show up as a popup and can be selected at every new page creation? 

This currently isn’t possible but you can join the discussion here around what these “Starter Page Templates” might look like in the future. 

4) How can I save a page as a reusable template for other new pages? How can I select these saved templates?

Currently, your best bet is to edit the default page template directly. You can select all of your templates using the navigation 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. for exploring your templates, template parts, posts, and pages like so:

With that said, in the future, there will be a few ways this will be possible to do as discussed in this issue about saving template edits as a new template

  • The simplest and most obvious method is to simply update the current template and overwrite the previous version. Just like when you edit a post or page. 
  • The second method is to create a new template with greater specificity. 
  • The third method is to create a new generic template that can be applied to any post or page. 

5) How can I design the search results page? How can I design the 404 page?

With Full Site Editing, you’re now able to design and edit these page templates directly. You’ll edit these templates like you would a post or page using blocks to build what you need! Here’s a quick video showing an example of how you would edit the 404 page directly:

6) How can I design in one go the layout of posts in blog, categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging./tag view, search results, every archive view?

Similar to the previous question, these would each need to be edited as separate templates if you wanted a different experience for each or some could rely on the default template that comes with the theme. 

7) How can I assign the current parent page layout to new created children pages?

Assuming this is referencing the template system, this isn’t currently possible to do, but your question did inspire me to open this enhancement issue to explore further

8) How can I add a general footer on all pages, posts, archives, 404, etc.?

You can do this using Template Parts by editing or adding a Footer Template Part and making sure that each template includes it (default, page, post, archive, 404, etc). Here’s a quick video showing how to find this option:

#fse-answers, #fse-outreach-program