WordPress 5.9 has been released and is now available for update or download. The most important introduction is full site editing (FSE).
WordPress 5.9 released
WordPress has today 25th January 2022 announced a major release of WordPress 5.9. The most notable feature introduced in 5.9 is full site editing abbreviated as FSE.
Over time you will hear WordPress users and developers use the term FSE. Therefore, it is important to understand what this means.
What is full site editing (FSE)?
FSE is a feature introduced in WordPress 5.9 core that makes it possible to change your website look without editing theme files. What FSE offers is almost similar to what page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder offer.
FSE was introduced to make use of the power of Gutenberg’s block model that was only available in page and post editor.
FSE’s mission is to make it possible for users to edit their entire website without writing any code or using page builders.
NOTE: Full site editing can only be accessed or used by a WordPress user with admin capabilities.
What does this mean for themes that do not support FSE?
You can still update to WordPress 5.9 and your website will work as it used to be. The only difference is that themes that have been updated to support FSE will have the full site editing interface available as shown in the screenshots below.
New features and changes in WordPress 5.9
- Editor: This is where full site editing takes place. Menus and customize options have been moved to the editor section (check image label 1)
- Customize: Customization of a website in 5.9 is only available through the FSE interface (2). Therefore, if you need to change your site color, font style, and layout, you can oly do it through the editor interface.
- Navigation Block: Managing navigation menus is now only possible through FSE and not in the dashboard (3)
- Templates and Template Parts: Templates can be accessed by clicking the WordPress logo on the top left side of the editor (4). Templates are used for styling Archives, Home, Index, Single Post, Search, and Single Pages of your theme (5) while Template parts are used for styling Header and Footer sections of your theme (6).
- Edit site: Clicking on the edit site link in the toolbar from the front end will take you to the site editor (7)
- Patterns: In 5.9 more prebuilt block patterns have been added. You can also copy and paste block patterns from the Block pattern directory.
- Twenty Twenty-Two theme: WordPress 5.9 comes with Twenty Twenty-Two as the default theme. It comes with full site editing.
- Load time: WordPress 5.9 comes with improved load time. Read our post about WP 5.9 performance improvements.
In general, FSE provides a new experience of styling your WordPress website which means you will have to learn from scratch how to customize your website using blocks. For now, it is advisable to use a theme without FSE support as you learn and wait for any bugs, errors, or issues that might arise to be fixed.
Video highlights of WordPress 5.9