Full-Site Editing Doesn’t Seem So Full. Yet.

Earlier this year as I watched Brian Gardner demonstrate how Full-Site editing works, a lightbulb went off in my head. It was nice to see how something works rather than reading about it. In my first dive into Full-Site Editing, I highlight a couple of tasks that used to require editing code that’s no longer necessary. For these experiments, I’m using the Frost WordPress theme as it supports Full-Site editing and contains a variety of templates to edit.

Changing the Copyright Text

In the past, changing the copyright year or text within the footer generally required navigating to a theme’s footer.php template file and performing a find and replace command in a code editor. With Full-Site Editing, all you have to do is click on Appearance > Editor which opens the site editor. Click the Template Parts link on the left side of the page and select Footer. This will load the footer where you can alter the text and change the year.

Editing The Footer Template Part in the Full-Site Editor
Editing the Footer Template Part in the Full-Site Editor

I recommend changing the toolbar so that it sticks to the top of the page. If you don’t, the toolbar will overlap the footer template making it difficult to edit.

The block editor tools cover up the footer template part making it difficult to edit
The Toolbar Blocks the Footer Template Part if It’s Not Stuck to the Top

Increasing or Decreasing Comment Avatar Size

In the comment section, increasing or decreasing the size of an avatar would require changing a value inside a theme’s CSS file. In Full-Site Editing, all you have to do is click on the avatar and move the Image size setting left or right. It’s nice to be able to see the changes in real-time as opposed to saving a changed value in CSS, then reloading the page until you get the result you’re looking for.

Editing the Size of an Avatar Using the Image Size block Settings
Editing the Size of an Avatar Using the Image Size Block Settings

I Can’t Edit Everything

According to the Developer’s Resources handbook, Full-Site Editing is defined as, “a collection of features that bring the familiar experience and extendability of blocks to all parts of your site rather than just post and pages. You can think of Full Site Editing as the umbrella project name for various sub-projects within Gutenberg that make this vision possible.”

I think and expect Full-Site Editing to mean that I can edit anything on my site through the various editors whether that’s text, blocks, positions, etc. In some cases you can but in others, Full-Site Editing doesn’t seem so full.

For example, if I want to change the wording of this part of the comment form, I can’t. I can only choose whether the number of responses or Post Title is displayed or not.

Trying To Edit The Comment Title Text In The Site Editor But Can't
Trying to Edit the Comment Title Text in the Site Editor but Can’t

I learned that the Comment Title is a block within the Single Post template which makes me think that there is another level deeper I can go to change the text. The Comment Author and the Comment Date are also blocks and while I can move them around, I can’t add text before or after them.

Expectations Versus Reality

I understand that making little changes like the ones described above are not mission critical to a site but not being able to do them leaves me a bit disappointed in my first dive into Full-Site Editing. I admit that I still have a lot to learn on how the various editors work together and how Full-Site Editing itself works and perhaps I’ll figure out how to accomplish the above without using code. But until then, my vision of Full-Site Editing where I have full control over everything is not yet a reality. If it is, please enlighten me in the comments.

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