FSE Program: Answers about Themes

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 themes and the important role they play with FSE, including how best to prepare, what pathways there will be for traditional themes to transition to FSE, and more.

1) What are some variations that themes can have in relation to Full Site Editing?

There will be many variations of themes that will exist in relation to the Full Site Editing project. These are some possible examples, though the list will surely evolve as the project continues:

  • A traditional theme
  • A traditional theme + global styles
  • A traditional theme + FSE templates
  • A traditional theme + Site Editing blocks (open issue here)
  • A 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. theme w/no support for Global Styles (so all the styles are CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site.)
  • A block theme with full global styles support
  • A traditional theme + widgets
  • A traditional theme + widgets + navigation screen

If you’re interested in following along with new variations, check out the Theme Experiments repository or join the Block Based Theme meetings that happens twice monthly in the #themereview channel at 16:00 UTC.

2) What will the final version of the block-based editor look like? Asking as a theme developer.

Because the final version of the site editor hasn’t yet been completed, this isn’t yet possible to answer. The experience is being actively designed, so a final picture will become clearer as we get closer to the MVPMinimum Viable Product "A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development." - WikiPedia. Here are a few resources for theme developers to explore to be better prepared and involved in this work: 

3) I have themes based on widgets. How can I transport them to FSE features without any hiccups for any of my theme users? 

This question touches directly on the goal of the final milestone of “Gradual Adoption” for the Full Site Editing Project! While Widgets won’t be a tool people interact with when building a site with Full Site Editing, this doesn’t mean work isn’t underway to help theme developers benefit from many of the features that have been built as part of the wider project. You can read an in depth post about the work being done currently to bring the power of blocks to widgets and you can follow this project here. As the post states, the work to bring blocks to the Widgets editor is being done to help both bring benefits sooner rather than later to more parts of the site building process for users and to pave the path towards a future full site editing first experience.  

4) Are there any plans to record video demos of certain Full Site Editing related concepts and/or walkthroughs of current themes like TT1 Blocks? 

As the Full Site Editing project comes together, it opens up the opportunity for courses on Learn WordPress and an expansion of the tutorials offered currently in the Block Editor developer documentation. Right now, it’s simply still too soon to share in depth some of these items. More demos can be expected similar to what was shared at the State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/. in the future though, including as part of the FSE Outreach program to better explain different calls for testing. 

5) As a developer, I wonder if the current way of making site/theme FSE ready (pasting blocks HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. output in HTML files) is going to change. Are there any plans of making this process more PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php.?

The process definitely will change and there have been many discussions about the advantages of defining block templates in PHP (for example: translation and dynamic values). This is all a work in progress though and subject to change as Full Site Editing’s ideal experience is further defined. Once that’s defined, it’ll be much easier to create an obvious migrationMigration Moving the code, database and media files for a website site from one server to another. Most typically done when changing hosting companies. pathway for classic themes to block themes. If this is an area of interest, check out the following two GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ issues and join the conversation in #themereview:

#fse-answers, #fse-outreach-program