Testing WP’s Full Site Editor

WordPress has been blowing its trumpet regarding the new Full Site Editor. Who knew they were Trumpers!? What? Oh . . . trumpeters. Right.

Readers might remember I gave up my beloved 2010 Theme because of the Block Editor’s (Ptui!) requirements. Actually, I was lied to tricked into switching, but, OK.

I don’t mind the current theme too much, but it has a few things I don’t like. I’m told I could wrestle it into Disperser Compliance by CSSing to death, but whenever I try something, I run up against the limitations of the theme (I had chosen this theme from of the themes that WP said were block-compliant — but that was more Fake News).

The point is, I was curious about this much-vaulted FSE thing, and, as it so happens, I have blogs I had created at a time when I thought I might split the main blog into three separate blogs; a Photography blog, a Writing blog, and a Whatever-else blog.

In case anyone is wondering what happened, I did migrate all the obvious posts into the appropriate blogs, BUT . . . I tend to mix photos with opinions, fiction with reviews, and, to make a short story long, it was a mess. So, I stuck with the one blog . . . this blog.

Anyway, back to FSE . . . I took some hours I didn’t have and invested them in playing with FSE. Once I thought I got the gist of it, I picked the photography blog, changed the layout to the Twenty-Twentytwo Theme, and set about editing it. It’s worth saying that it’s a Beta editor, so don’t expect too much from it, regardless of what WP says.

So, how did I do? Well, read on if you’re interested (99% of the people won’t be, so, once again, this is for my future me to enjoy). To be clear, this won’t be of interest to anyone other than someone who has a blog and is thinking about trying FSE.

The plan was to sort of duplicate the current theme and fix stuff I didn’t like. Stuff like the sidebar menu not appearing on the home page, the width not behaving very well when the window size is changed, the width being too narrow while the sidebar was too wide, the spacing between the blocks being too much, the fonts not having enough control (size, pitch, spacing, etc.), and a few other things.

So, here’s what I got after hours of learning and playing. This is obviously a screen capture and not the actual site:

The site’s Home Page at the widest.

When I say “the widest”, I mean that is as wide as the two columns below the title will go (I could set them to go wider). If I go wider from there, the header will widen and space out, but the two columns will just stay as their limit.

Next up, is the narrowest width at which you can still see two columns (the posts and the sidebar). Any narrower, and the sidebar drops down to the end of the page.

The site’s Home Page as narrow as can be and still showing two columns under the header.

Note that the Header adjusts to the full width of the window, which I like. By the way, I don’t have an FAQ on that site, so there’s only the About page to the right of the Blog. The plan is to have a vertical column with “Home”, “About”, and “FAQ” pages. I didn’t bother adjusting the fonts of some of the blocks (the categories and tags at the end of each post should be smaller).

Next up is the Home page at the point the two columns transform into a single column, but it makes it as wide as both columns would be. You can go narrower but this is reasonable. I prefer this layout to the tiled view with the current theme.

What about the single post window? Well, this is where I need to do some thinking. I’ve always had the sidebar when looking at a single post, but now I’m leaning toward having a wider content window and no sidebar. Meaning, without a sidebar, the content window can be wider AND the photos can be wider . . .

About as wide as I can go with the settings I had.

That’s the widest I can go for the settings I had. Going any wider, and the header keeps growing, but not the content width.

I had two glitches that I tried to resolve and just couldn’t . . . note the size of the title of the post; it’s pretty small. It doesn’t matter if I chose large, small, or extra-large, or if I manually choose a font size; that’s what it looks like. Note that it’s smaller than when it appears on the home page (that’s the size that it should be).

The other glitch is that there is a post after that one, so there should be a “Next →” symbol on the right side, between the header and the post. The weird thing is that it appears for older posts, but not for any of the new ones. I played with recreating the posts, copying older posts, and looking for any settings that were different between old and new posts (none that I could find). I even tried having the two blocks right next to each other in the center. It looks great in the preview, but the “Next →” disappears once I publish the post.

The current theme (this one) does some weird stuff with the sizes of the photos when you resize the browser window, so I wanted to make sure that the photos and text narrow evenly and smoothly, and they do. Note that the title of the post appears larger below, but I think it’s an optical illusion because the window is narrower so all the text appears larger. Or, the title may be a bit larger, but not as large as it should be.

Note: it would be really useful to add a border around the image block, and you can do that using HTML . . . but it’s a pain. They should make it easier, but they haven’t. I could have used a Classic Block and easily added a border … but didn’t.

This is what a “regular” width browser window would see . . . not bad.

I then checked to see what happens if I make the window as narrow as possible . . .

As narrow as possible (this is the last post, so no “Next →” is fine here).

Overall, it does OK. The menu collapses into a two lines symbol (which maybe some people won’t recognize as something they can click), and the photo resizes nicely.

I don’t like that the wolf-head and Blog Name are separated into two lines. I’ll have to see if I can get them to stay together and just get smaller. Or, just have the wolf-head disappear and just leave the name. Or, I might move the wolf-head to the right of the name so that it drops below and on the same line as the “About”.

Again, all-in-all, it’s not bad. There are many quirks that one has to learn, and I had hoped for more font choices (two). They also claim “drag-and-drop” which some might interpret as being able to drag and drop the actual blocks.


You can drag-and-drop the descriptions and settings which appear to the left side when you’re editing. Each block is a line and they are arranged in a hierarchical order and indented depending on how they are grouped.

The problem is that when you drag and drop, it does weird stuff. Things can disappear, they can be merged with other stuff even if you don’t want them to, and some positions are closed out, forcing you to circumvent the limitation by moving a block somewhere else, and then rearrange the blocks around it so that the block you moved appears where you want it relative to the others.

Again, there’s potential here, but this is a BETA release (ain’t they all), and I don’t think it will be ready for prime time anytime soon. By the way, the help desk, as usual, was awesome. I was on a chat with them for about an hour, and while they couldn’t answer all the questions, and while sometimes what worked for them didn’t work for me, they were a great help.

I also suspect that, as in the past, things might work better in Chrome than Firefox because more people use Chrome and it gets more attention.

Still, all in all, despite it being clumsier than I would like, and with fewer options than I would like, and not as intuitive as they make it sound, I had fun learning. Hopefully, in a few months — when I look at it again — it will have more options and be more robust. I now know what to quickly look for, and if I don’t find it, I won’t have to waste my time on it.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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