Master of the universe

Mastering Full Site Editing - Tips and Tricks To Boost WordPress Site Functionality


Full Site Editing (FSE) is a game-changing feature introduced in WordPress 5.8 that has revolutionized the way users build and customize their websites. By offering a consistent, block-based editing experience across your entire site, FSE empowers you to create dynamic, visually stunning webpages without touching a single line of code.

Mastering Full Site Editing can significantly enhance your site's functionality and user experience, enabling you to create a cohesive and engaging online presence. This comprehensive guide will provide you with tips and tricks to help you get the most out of FSE, so you can take your WordPress site to the next level.

1. Familiarize Yourself with the FSE Interface

Exploring the Site Editor

The first step in mastering Full Site Editing is becoming comfortable with the Site Editor interface. Accessible from the WordPress admin dashboard, the Site Editor is where you'll create and edit templates, manage global styles, and customize site settings. Here are some tips for navigating and customizing the Site Editor:

  1. Top Toolbar: The top toolbar contains essential controls, such as undo/redo, block navigation, and the 'Save' button. Familiarize yourself with these controls to streamline your editing process.
  2. List View: Located in the top toolbar, the 'List View' button reveals a hierarchical overview of your page's structure, making it easy to select and navigate between blocks, patterns, and templates.
  3. Inspector Sidebar: The Inspector Sidebar, accessible via the 'Settings' button in the top toolbar, provides context-specific settings and options for the currently selected block, pattern, or template.
  4. Add Block: To add a new block, click the '+' button in the top toolbar or within your content area. This will open the block library, where you can search for and select the desired block.

Understanding Block Patterns and Templates

Block patterns and templates are essential components of Full Site Editing, allowing you to create complex layouts and designs with ease. Here's how to access, use, and customize block patterns and templates in FSE:

  1. Block Patterns: Pre-designed combinations of blocks, block patterns can be easily inserted into your content to achieve a specific layout or style. To access block patterns, click the '+' button to open the block library, and then select the 'Patterns' tab.
  2. Customizing Block Patterns: Once you've inserted a block pattern, you can customize its individual blocks, such as changing text, colors, or images, by selecting and editing them directly within the pattern.
  3. Templates: Templates are predefined layouts for various types of pages (e.g., homepage, blog archive, single post) that you can customize and reuse across your site. In the Site Editor, click the 'W' logo in the top left corner to access the Template Selector, where you can choose from available templates or create a new one.
  4. Customizing Templates: To customize a template, simply select and edit the blocks, patterns, or template parts within it. Any changes you make will be applied to all instances of the template across your site.

2. Customize Global Styles and Site Settings

Global Styles

Global Styles is a powerful feature in Full Site Editing that allows you to control the appearance of your entire site from one central location. By customizing typography, colors, and other design elements, you can ensure a consistent look and feel across your site. Here are some tips for customizing Global Styles in FSE:

  1. Accessing Global Styles: In the Site Editor, open the Inspector Sidebar by clicking the 'Settings' button in the top toolbar. Then, select the 'Global Styles' tab.
  2. Typography: Customize global typography settings, such as font family, font size, and line height, by expanding the 'Typography' panel in the Global Styles sidebar.
  3. Colors: Modify your site's color palette by expanding the 'Colors' panel in the Global Styles sidebar. You can adjust the background, text, and link colors, as well as define custom color combinations for use in blocks and patterns.
  4. Other Design Elements: Explore the additional panels in the Global Styles sidebar to customize other design elements, such as spacing, layout, and block-specific settings.

Site Settings

Site Settings in Full Site Editing allow you to manage various aspects of your site, such as site identity, theme options, and menus. Here's how to navigate Site Settings in FSE and customize these settings:

  1. Accessing Site Settings: In the Site Editor, open the Inspector Sidebar by clicking the 'Settings' button in the top toolbar. Then, select the 'Site' tab.
  2. Site Identity: Expand the 'Site Identity' panel to customize your site's title, tagline, and logo.
  3. Theme Options: Some themes may provide additional customization options, which can be found under the 'Theme Options' panel.
  4. Menus: To manage your site's menus, expand the 'Menus' panel, where you can add, remove, and rearrange menu items, as well as create new menus.

Remember to click the 'Save' button in the top toolbar to apply any changes made to your Global Styles or Site Settings.

3. Create and Modify Template Parts

Understanding Template Parts

Template parts are reusable sections of your website's design, such as headers, footers, and sidebars, that can be customized and applied consistently across multiple templates and pages. Mastering template parts in Full Site Editing allows you to streamline your site's design process and maintain a consistent look and feel. Here's an overview of common template parts in FSE:

  1. Header: The header typically appears at the top of your site and contains elements like your site logo, navigation menu, and search bar.
  2. Footer: Located at the bottom of your site, the footer often includes copyright information, contact details, social media icons, and additional navigation links.
  3. Sidebar: Sidebars usually appear on one or both sides of your site's main content area and can contain widgets, such as recent posts, categories, or custom menus.

Customizing Template Parts

In Full Site Editing, you can create and modify template parts to tailor your site's design to your unique needs. Here are some tips for designing responsive and consistent template parts in FSE:

  1. Creating a Template Part: In the Site Editor, click the '+' button to open the block library. Search for the 'Template Part' block and insert it into your template. You can then choose to create a new template part or select an existing one.
  2. Editing Template Parts: To modify a template part, simply select it in the Site Editor and edit its contents directly. You can add, remove, or customize blocks within the template part, as well as adjust its layout and design settings.
  3. Reusing Template Parts: Once you've created a template part, you can reuse it across multiple templates and pages by inserting the 'Template Part' block and selecting the desired template part from the list.
  4. Responsive Design: Keep in mind that template parts should be designed with responsiveness in mind, ensuring that they adapt to different screen sizes and devices. Utilize the 'Preview' button in the top toolbar to preview your template part on various screen sizes, and adjust your design accordingly.
  5. Consistency: To maintain a cohesive look and feel across your site, ensure that your template parts follow a consistent design language, such as using the same font families, colors, and spacing values defined in your Global Styles.

4. Utilize Conditional Block Visibility

Block Visibility Settings

Conditional block visibility is a powerful feature in Full Site Editing that allows you to control the display of content based on certain conditions, such as user roles, screen sizes, or device types. By mastering block visibility settings in FSE, you can create dynamic, personalized experiences for your visitors. Here's an introduction to block visibility settings in FSE:

  1. Accessing Block Visibility Settings: In the Site Editor, select the block you want to apply visibility conditions to, and open the Inspector Sidebar by clicking the 'Settings' button in the top toolbar. Then, locate the 'Visibility' or 'Advanced' panel, depending on your theme or plugin support.
  2. Setting Visibility Conditions: Within the visibility panel, you can define one or more conditions that determine when the selected block should be displayed. Examples of visibility conditions include:
    • User role (e.g., display only to logged-in users or specific user roles)
    • Screen size (e.g., show or hide the block on mobile, tablet, or desktop devices)
    • Date or time (e.g., display the block during a specific time frame or recurring schedule)

Practical Applications of Conditional Visibility

Conditional block visibility can be used to create a wide range of dynamic content displays and user experiences on your WordPress site. Here are some use cases and tips for implementing conditional visibility effectively:

  1. Personalized Content: Use visibility conditions based on user roles to display personalized content, such as special offers or member-exclusive sections, to specific user groups.
  2. Responsive Design: Improve the responsiveness of your site by controlling the display of certain blocks on different screen sizes, such as hiding a large image on mobile devices or displaying a mobile-specific navigation menu.
  3. Time-sensitive Promotions: Schedule time-sensitive content, like promotional banners or event announcements, to appear and disappear automatically based on the date or time.
  4. A/B Testing: Experiment with different content variations by setting up visibility conditions that show or hide specific blocks for a percentage of users, allowing you to evaluate their performance and optimize your site's user experience.

Remember to test your visibility settings thoroughly to ensure that your content displays as expected under different conditions.

5. Optimize Performance and Accessibility

Performance Optimization

Performance is a crucial aspect of any website, as it directly impacts user experience, search engine rankings, and conversion rates. Full Site Editing offers various opportunities to optimize your site's performance, particularly when it comes to block rendering and minimizing load times. Here are some tips for enhancing performance in FSE:

  1. Minimize Block Usage: While blocks offer a convenient way to design your site, using too many blocks can hinder performance. Aim to use the minimum number of blocks necessary to achieve your desired layout and functionality.
  2. Optimize Media: Compress and optimize your images, videos, and other media files to reduce their file size and improve load times. Consider using a plugin like Smush or ShortPixel to automate this process.
  3. Leverage Caching: Implement caching mechanisms, such as browser caching or server-side caching, to serve static versions of your content and reduce server load. WordPress caching plugins like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache can help streamline this process.
  4. Use a CDN: Distribute your content across a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve load times for users in different locations. Popular CDN providers include Cloudflare and KeyCDN.

Accessibility Best Practices

Accessibility is an essential aspect of web design, ensuring that your content is usable and enjoyable for all users, including those with disabilities. Full Site Editing provides several tools and features to help you create accessible designs and content. Here are some tips for incorporating accessibility best practices with FSE:

  1. Use Semantic Markup: Utilize appropriate HTML elements (e.g., headings, lists, and landmarks) to provide a clear content structure and improve navigation for screen reader users.
  2. Choose Accessible Colors: Ensure sufficient color contrast between text and background colors to maintain readability for users with visual impairments. Use tools like WebAIM's Color Contrast Checker to validate your color choices.
  3. Add Alt Text to Images: Provide descriptive alternative text for images, so screen reader users can understand the content and context of the visuals. In FSE, you can add alt text to images by selecting the image block and editing the 'Alt Text' field in the Inspector Sidebar.
  4. Create Keyboard-Navigable Content: Ensure that your site's interactive elements, such as buttons, links, and forms, are easily navigable using only a keyboard. Test your site's keyboard navigation by using the 'Tab' key to move between elements and verifying that the focus is clearly visible and follows a logical order.
  5. Use Accessible Patterns and Templates: When selecting block patterns and templates, consider their accessibility features and choose those that follow best practices. You can also customize and improve the accessibility of existing patterns and templates by following the tips mentioned above.

6. Extend FSE with Plugins and Custom Blocks

Popular FSE-Compatible Plugins

While Full Site Editing offers an extensive set of built-in features, you can further enhance your site's functionality by incorporating plugins that are compatible with FSE. Here are some examples of popular plugins that can extend FSE capabilities, along with tips for evaluating and choosing plugins:

  1. Block Collections: Expand your block library with additional blocks and patterns by using plugins like Stackable or Getwid.
  2. Page Builders: Enhance your site-building experience with page builder plugins that integrate with FSE, such as Elementor or Beaver Builder.
  3. Performance and Security: Improve your site's performance, security, and SEO with plugins like Jetpack or Yoast SEO, which offer FSE-compatible features.
  4. Evaluating Plugins: When choosing plugins, consider factors such as compatibility with your theme and other plugins, user reviews, update frequency, and developer support.

Creating Custom Blocks

For advanced users, Full Site Editing allows you to create custom blocks tailored to your specific needs. Custom blocks can provide unique functionality, streamline content creation, and enforce design consistency across your site. Here's an overview of creating custom blocks for FSE:

  1. Block Development: Custom blocks can be developed using JavaScript and the WordPress Block API. Familiarize yourself with the Gutenberg Developer Documentation to learn more about block development best practices and techniques.
  2. Block Design: When designing your custom blocks, consider factors such as responsiveness, accessibility, and consistency with your site's design language.
  3. Use Cases: Custom blocks can be especially helpful for creating content types specific to your site or industry, such as product showcases, event listings, or custom testimonials.

By leveraging plugins and custom blocks in tandem with Full Site Editing, you can create a truly unique and powerful WordPress site that stands out from the competition.


Mastering Full Site Editing is a valuable skill that can significantly boost your WordPress site's functionality, design, and user experience. By familiarizing yourself with the FSE interface and exploring its various features, such as block patterns, templates, global styles, and conditional visibility, you can create a dynamic, engaging, and accessible website.

Moreover, optimizing your site's performance and extending FSE capabilities with plugins and custom blocks can further enhance your site's functionality and set it apart from the competition. We encourage you to apply the tips and tricks shared in this guide and continue exploring the possibilities that Full Site Editing has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Full Site Editing (FSE) in WordPress?

Full Site Editing is a feature introduced in WordPress 5.8 that enables users to design and customize their entire website using a consistent, block-based editing experience. FSE empowers users to create dynamic, visually stunning webpages without touching a single line of code.

Is Full Site Editing available for all WordPress themes?

Full Site Editing is designed to work with block-based themes, which are specifically developed to take advantage of FSE features. Some existing themes may provide partial support for FSE, while others may require updates or modifications to fully utilize FSE capabilities.

How do I switch to Full Site Editing mode in WordPress?

To access Full Site Editing mode, you'll need a block-based theme installed and activated on your WordPress site. Once your theme is set up, you can access the Site Editor from your WordPress admin dashboard by navigating to Appearance > Editor (beta).

Can I use Full Site Editing with page builder plugins?

Yes, some page builder plugins, such as Elementor and Beaver Builder, offer integration with Full Site Editing. This allows you to leverage the power of both FSE and your preferred page builder to create a customized, feature-rich website.

How do I create custom blocks for Full Site Editing?

Creating custom blocks for Full Site Editing involves using JavaScript and the WordPress Block API. You can learn more about custom block development by exploring the Gutenberg Developer Documentation, which provides detailed guides, tutorials, and best practices for creating custom blocks.

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