2023 How to Seamlessly Transition to Full Site Editing with WordPress

Transitioning to Full Site Editing with WordPress can be a seamless journey, unlocking a world of design and customization possibilities for your website. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps and best practices to make this transition a smooth and rewarding experience. Whether you’re a seasoned WordPress user or just getting started, embracing Full Site Editing will empower you to take control of your website’s look and feel like never before.

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transitioning to full site editing

How to Seamlessly Transition to Full Site Editing with WordPress

In the ever-evolving world of web development, WordPress continues to adapt and innovate. One of the most significant advancements in recent times is Full Site Editing (FSE). This transformative feature empowers website creators with unprecedented control over their site’s appearance and functionality. In this comprehensive guide, we, at Otterwp, will walk you through the process of transitioning your website to full site editing and provide you with valuable insights and precautions to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

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Understanding the Power of Full Site Editing

Before diving into the transition process, let’s explore what Full Site Editing means for site creators. FSE essentially revolutionizes the way you design and customize your website. It allows you to take charge of every detail, from layouts to templates, without the need for extensive coding knowledge. This level of control is particularly beneficial for those who want to create unique and tailored web experiences.

Is Full Site Editing Right for You?

The decision to switch to Full Site Editing should be a well-considered one. It’s not a mandatory upgrade, and there are specific scenarios where it makes more sense than others.

When to Consider Full Site Editing

  1. You Crave Creativity: If you enjoy experimenting with different design ideas and color schemes, Full Site Editing is your playground. It offers a plethora of design tools and options to satisfy your creative cravings.
  2. More Control: FSE is ideal for those who desire complete control over their website’s look and feel. It’s especially useful for small business websites and one-page sites seeking a unique online presence.

When Not to Make the Switch

  1. Don’t Rush It: Avoid transitioning to Full Site Editing simply because it’s the latest trend. Your existing website will continue to function as-is. Only make the move when you’re comfortable with the transition.

Preparing for the Transition

A successful transition to Full Site Editing requires careful planning and preparation. Here are the essential steps you should take before making the switch:

1. Always, Always Backup Your Website

Before making any significant updates, create a full backup of your website. This ensures that you can revert to your previous state if any issues arise during the transition.

2. Test Your Plugins

Not all plugins support Full Site Editing, so it’s crucial to test them before making the switch. Plugin compatibility is a key factor in a smooth transition. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Create a staging site or duplicate your WordPress installation for testing.
  • Activate a Full Site Editing theme, such as Twenty Twenty-Two or Twenty Twenty-Three.
  • Activate your plugins and test them with the block editor, ensuring that they work seamlessly without causing errors.

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3. Prepare Your Website

Aside from plugin testing, you should consider these additional steps:

Convert Your Content to Blocks

Full Site Editing themes primarily style blocks. If your content is currently created with the classic editor, you’ll need to convert it to blocks to ensure it displays correctly.

Copy Your Widget Content

Full Site Editing themes do not use widgets, so copy any content from your widgets that you want to retain. Take screenshots of your widget layout to help recreate it using blocks.

Copy Content from the Customizer

If your current theme has text fields or areas in the Customizer, save that content in a text file. You’ll lose this content when you switch themes, so having a backup is crucial.

4. Optional – Install the Gutenberg Plugin

While not mandatory, installing the Gutenberg plugin is highly recommended. It provides more Full Site Editing features than the core WordPress installation, allowing you to explore additional functionalities and test them with ease.

Selecting and Setting Up Your Full Site Editing Theme

Choosing the right Full Site Editing theme is essential for achieving your desired website design. Here’s how to do it:

Selecting a Full Site Editing Theme

The WordPress theme directory offers a variety of free block themes to choose from. When selecting a theme, focus on its structure and layout rather than its color scheme, as colors are easily customizable in Full Site Editing.

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Setting Up Your Full Site Editing Theme

Before diving into customization, there’s one more crucial step:

To ensure your website’s 404 (Not Found) page functions correctly, set the permalink structure to “Post name.” This setting can be found in the WordPress admin area under “Permalink Settings.”

Adding Menus

Creating and managing menus in Full Site Editing is slightly different from traditional WordPress themes. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Site Editor from the WordPress admin area.
  2. Locate and select the navigation block in your theme. Most Full Site Editing themes come with pre-placed navigation blocks.
  3. Assign an existing menu to the navigation block. WordPress preserves your menus during the theme switch, but you must select the menu in the navigation block settings for it to display correctly.

Re-Adding Content from Widget Areas

Switching to a Full Site Editing theme might affect content in your widget areas. Here’s how to address this:

  1. Open the Site Editor from the WordPress admin area.
  2. Locate and select the template part for the area affected (e.g., footer).
  3. Add new sections and blocks to replace the widget content you had previously. Use screenshots of your old layout for reference.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully prepared your website for Full Site Editing and made the transition. In this guide, we’ve covered essential steps, from backup and plugin testing to theme selection and content migration. With Full Site Editing, you have the tools to craft a website that’s truly unique and tailored to your vision.

As you delve deeper into Full Site Editing, you’ll discover even more possibilities for customization and creativity. Embrace the power of FSE to shape your online presence with precision and style.

Stay tuned for more insights and updates on Full Site Editing, and feel free to explore the vast world of possibilities it offers for your WordPress website.

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