Did you know that one of the biggest potential causes of a slow WordPress site is the theme itself? With page speed a confirmed ranking factor, it’s more critical than ever before to tackle anything and everything that may be holding your site back.
While some WordPress websites are just for fun and experimentation, there’s every chance you’d like yours to rank as well on Google as possible. Of course, that means making it fast, and there are plenty of factors to consider.
One of the best ways to start off on the right foot, or give an existing site a boost in the SERPs, is to take advantage of WordPress’s brand new full site editing (FSE) functionality. More importantly, with the look and feel so crucial to the user experience, you need full site editing WordPress themes that will leave all your visitors impressed.
In this article, we talk about what to expect from Full Site Editing, how it can help your site, the importance of compatible themes, and some of the best ones currently available.
What Is Full Site Editing?
The nature of WordPress has long meant that content, data, design elements, and every other aspect of a site come from numerous different sources. The typical workflow in creating a site involves choosing a theme, tweaking it where possible, then adding content and images.
However, options extended to whatever the theme made possible. There might be a few color changes here or dragging and dropping elements there. It never really felt like the site owner was in control until now.
The launch of full site editing follows from the block editor’s integration. This changed the way site owners and editors interacted with WordPress sites but focused mainly on the content area. The full site editor takes things a stage further.
July 2021 saw the debut of WordPress 5.8, together with the template editor, representing initial support for full site editing with the template editor. WordPress 5.9 following in January 2022, fleshing out the features with a site editor, template parts, block patterns, and more.
In short, site owners, writers, theme designers, and more now have greater control over every aspect of their WordPress site, without the need for page builders that can often slow site performance to a crawl. Full site editing changes the game, and it’s vital to deploy a theme that can keep up.
Full Site Editing WordPress Themes – What’s Different?
For theme developers like us, there was one particularly important change. When you activate full site editing, the days of PHP files and functions are behind us, replaced by HTML templates and comments, respectively.
The bulk of theme information is also now stored in a new theme.json file, rather than the increasingly fragmented options previously available.
The trusty Customizer, so long a part of many of the world’s most popular WordPress themes, has also been retired in favor of the site editor and template editor.
That’s good news for creators and designers alike, as site owners now have even more control over the look and feel of both individual pages and the entire site.
Do I Need Full Site Editing WordPress Themes Right Now?
Site owners get attached to their themes, and some are even held hostage! It can be tricky to move smoothly from one theme to another without breaking anything, especially if the theme in question uses a page builder.
Shortcodes no longer refer to anything. The text doesn’t appear where you expect it to. In many cases, it’s rarely as simple as deactivating one theme and activating another.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything immediately. Full site editor functionality on WordPress is currently entirely optional and can be turned on and off at will from the familiar comfort of your WordPress dashboard.
Think of it like the initial launch of blocks. Few plugins saw such a rush of rapid downloads as those that restored the classic editor’s functionality. Even the smartest techs can be unsure about change!
With that said, the block editor has risen in popularity. There’s nothing quite like clear benefits to drive adoption. WordPress rarely gets it wrong with large-scale new features, and full site editing will be next.
Does Full Site Editing Make Themes Obsolete?
Absolutely not. While users have greater control over the look, feel, and layout of their sites than ever before, that doesn’t make them designers. The best full site editing WordPress theme will still:
- Integrate professional designs, even for non-designers
- Extend the core functionality of WordPress without the need for additional plugins
- Help content layouts make sense without compromising on speed
- Provide premium support to users to get everything perfect
Themes will play the same role they always did for WordPress enthusiasts, and choosing the right one could be more important than ever before!
Will My Current Theme Work with Full Site Editing?
WordPress themes that are compatible with full site editing are relatively few and far between, reflecting the relative freshness of the technology. There were over 31,000 WordPress themes available as of 2020, and only a small proportion currently support WordPress’s new technology.
That’s unsurprising in many ways. The switch from PHP to HTML, not to mention a raft of other changes, means plenty of work for theme developers. It’s certainly not a case of copying and pasting!
Some of the more prominent theme development agencies have been quick to integrate this functionality, often by carrying over and translating their existing code. That’s great news for anyone that’s happy with what they’ve got and indicative of the direction in which WordPress themes are heading.
The Benefits of Full Site Editing WordPress Themes
While you don’t have to switch to a full site editing WordPress theme right away, that’s certainly not to say you shouldn’t!
WP Engine refers to the new functionality as the future of building with WordPress, and if it’s good enough for the sites of the future, the chances are it’s perfect for the sites of the present. Here’s why:
Greater Control for End Users
Full site editing removes the need to delve into CSS, and there’s no more remembering to create child themes before making big changes. If you’re used to the traditional Customizer and code snippet integration, the full site editor will blow your mind!
Less Reliance on Page Builders
While full site editing is unlikely to make popular page builders obsolete, users will have less exposure to the downsides. These builders often create bloated code and, as discussed above, can unintentionally make it tricky to seamlessly switch between themes.
Reducing their usage means faster, cleaner sites, with no need to cut back on customization.
More Speed and Better Performance
If you lie awake at night thinking about the Largest Contentful Paint of your website, you’ve probably had speed issues in the past. There’s more to a fast website than the theme alone, but a well-designed one can cover for a sluggish server, while those on fast hosting will fly.
The best full site editing WordPress themes cut out all the bloat and are less reliant on dynamic content than their ancestors. That means greater respect from search engines and a more pleasant experience for your visitors.
The Best Full Site Editing WordPress Themes
Not all WordPress themes were created equal before full site editing came along, and that won’t change now that it’s here. Ranking them often comes down to what you need for your site and what you expect the theme to achieve. We’ve based our selections on speed, functionality, and how well the respective themes cope with full site editing.
1. Hastighet – The Best Full Site Editing WordPress Theme
You might call us biased, but there’s a reason why we named our primary theme after the Swedish word for ‘speed’. The Hastighet theme differs from the competition in one critical way: it was designed from the ground up with full site editing in mind.
There was no converting, no recycled code, and no legacy issues. We determined what made the full site editor such a momentous update in WordPress’s history and crafted a theme to take full advantage of all of them.
The theme is optimized for speed, SEO-friendliness, and advertising. We created it for every WordPress user, and it can revolutionize how your site operates, whether you focus on content creation, affiliate marketing, memberships, or anything else you need it to.
2. Divi by Elegant Themes
An established favorite among marketers and designers alike, Elegant Themes updated Divi for full site editing compatibility in late 2021.
Much of the theme’s strength stems from the Divi builder, and some users won’t see much difference if they continue to use it for site designs. However, full site editing makes the theme even more customizable than ever before, without the need for additional CSS.
3. Frost by StudioPress
You may well have heard of the Genesis Framework, created by Brian Gardner of Copyblogger fame. Now owned by WP Engine, StudioPress continues to go from strength to strength, and Frost is their first effort at a WordPress theme with full site editing support.
It’s an impressive option for beginners, not least because of the relatively large number of block patterns that come bundled with it. It’s also fairly minimalist, ensuring something of a blank canvas for those looking to put their customization skills to the test.
Download the Fastest WordPress Full Site Editing Theme Today
Full site editing represents a rare opportunity to become one of the first to embrace the WordPress technology of the future. Whether you have an existing site or you want to get a new launch off to the perfect start, Hastighet can make it happen.
Download it today and enjoy the cream of full site editing WordPress themes where the sky really is the limit!