Full Site Editing arrives on WordPress.com

Two hands holding ice cream cones

Try Our New Tools for Creating Beautiful Sites

February 4, 2022

Ben Sailer

Last week we opened up limited access to a revolutionary array of new site editing tools that will transform how you create, edit, and update the look and feel of your WordPress.com website by leveraging easy-to-use drag and drop functionality.

Today we’re excited to announce that the wait is over. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling these new tools out to all of our customers. Here’s what that means for you.

via WordPress.com News Blog: Try Our New Tools for Creating Beautiful Sites

Now that full-site editing is coming to anyone who wants it here on the WordPress.com platform, once the initial tremors settle down, I hope we will be back to blogging as we knew it pre-2018’s introduction of the Gutenberg Block Editor, obviously with significant changes none-the-less. There is nothing more disturbing than writing a post while the ground beneath you is buckling and shifting. And let’s be frank, the last 4 years have been a seismic adventure that not everyone here wanted to take.

As always, the information in this post is correct as of publication date. Changes are inevitable.

Over the next week or two, I’ll be sharing posts from around the web testing the currently available sharing options of reblogging, sharing and PressThis and posting the results below.

How was this post shared and what happened: Shared via the “PressThis” sharing button at the end of the original post. Nothing appeared in the pop-up editing box that opened following clicking the button, even though I highlighted post text first; not the post title, featured image, an excerpt nor a link back to the original post. I added them manually either in the pop-up editing box or when editing the saved draft post in my dashboard.

Images: The gravatar image in this post is hotlinked through Gravatar and is not saved to the Media Library on this site.

Additional note: clicking the PressThis sharing button on a blog post creates a new post on your Primary website by default.

Published by JenT

After 4 years hand-coding websites, 2 years setting up and running WordPress sites, I launched my first website on WordPress.com in 2006 and never looked back. Since then, I’ve helped other site owners safely navigate through the ins and outs of the ever-changing WordPress.com ecosystem. Find me at wpcommaven.com

22 thoughts on “Full Site Editing arrives on WordPress.com

  1. I started a new site to mess about with, and I have been trying to work with the editor and the pre-filled content on the home page. I keep getting “The editor has encountered an unexpected error.” – It reminds me of the bad old days when Gutenberg was new. Meanwhile, I just signed up for a WP.COM intro course on full site editing. Are you doing one, too?

    1. I get the same error every time I load my fse site’s front page. Apparently this is a known issue. And yes I immediately signed up, but my feeling is it’s going to be a glimpse rather than anything in depth.

      1. The more people who report it, the more attention it will get to be fixed. And while there was a test group for FSE before it was released to everyone (for a change!), I guess they can’t cover every configuration of every user. Wash, rinse, repeat. is how these things work. :/

  2. IF I can create a site the way I want it, and IF it works the way I want it, and IF I have control over the blocks (how they interact with each other, etc), and IF they stop messing with stuff once I use it, THEN I might try it.

    . . . them be a lot of — and BIG — IFs.

    If my experience with building the sidebar with blocks is any indication, none of those “IFs” will come to fruition.

    1. If you have the time, which not everyone has. I’m really hoping that TPTB expand the library of block themes here to include more “classic-style” themes that people who do not have the time or do not wish to create their own can just activate and blog. Personally, I think it’s still going to be a while before they stop messing with stuff, particularly as it relates to FSE.

    2. Like most software I consider, I’m not interested in debugging it, so I’ll wait and let others be trailblazers. I mean, I would for some compensation, like a reduce membership fee or additional storage.

      And, as with software, first bug I hit, I’m outta there.

      . . . unless, sadly, I need to fix something.

      1. Back in the early days of WordPress.com, when there was more a sense of community and a “we’re all in this together” attitude, I and others diligently tested stuff and reported bugs. These days there are so many users reporting stuff that if I come across something, I might or might not report it. There’s only so many hours in a day.

      2. Over the years, I developed a simple model . . . if I can, I look for open-source software (or free software). If I like it and it works, I’ll contribute something (there’s usually an option). If I keep using it, I often contribute again.

        If I like it, I’m also more apt to help debug or try stuff and allow usage statistics to be collected.

        Once I have to pay for it (meaning, it’s sold to me), then all that stops. I don’t see it as my responsibility to debug something I’m buying.

        On WordPress, I’ve spent many hours with support (providing screen shots, movies, and trying things) to work out problems. Once I got enough “sorry, that’s not a priority now” I stopped doing that and only interact if I need them to fix something that bothers me.

        Like now; I will ask them if they can remove some of the empty space between the blocks, or at least let me control it (it looks like they automatically add a separator between the blocks on the sidebar). I expect they will say “Oh, that’s too bad, but we like it, even if you don’t”. And so it goes.

      3. Having volunteered for ages in the community forums, I also get it if only one person has this issue, then it’s unlikely to get any dev time. I’d normally be willing to spin up a test site with an older theme just to see what’s going on, but at the moment Dropbox is up my nose after forcing me to “update” and then having it stoopidly dumped off my computer in an effort to update it. My knickers are in a bind. Grrr!

  3. I reported the problem with the ‘Press This’ button no longer copying the link to the post I wanted to share many months ago. Initially, I was told it was down to the fact I was using Chrome, but when I tried it via Safari, the same thing happened. Eventually, the Happiness Engineer was persuaded that there was a problem and said they’d report it and get back to me.

    Many months later, the problem still hasn’t been fixed. Such a shame, given that I promote Press This as a safer option than using the reblog button.

    1. In my opinion, the PressThis post sharing button is broken. I can certainly try again using a different browser and report my findings.

      1. The more of us that report it is broken, the better. They may get around to fixing it then, especially given that the sharing button is still active.

      2. Hi again Hugh, Thanks for posting about it. I agree and I just reported it in a live chat with support. Things seem to only get developer attention if a lot of people contact them about it. And now that is four different browsers, Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox, so unlikely it’s the browser!

      3. I heard back from the HE who helped me in LiveChat and she said that it appears PressThis is not working on a few sites (none specified) and that it’s been reported to the devs. No timeline for a fix. I guess that’s a move in the right direction at least.

      4. That seems such a shame for those with limited space. I wonder why WP still has the filters if they cause damage, don’t work correctly and delete images still in use? I guess it’s going to be one of those jobs they’ll get around some time to fix?

      5. Hugh, correct me if I’m wrong but I think you meant to reply to a different comment a bit further along when we discussed the Media Library filters? If so, and you are referring to filters like “unattached,” that comes from the WP core software. For users here on WPcom, the recommendation has always been to optimize images before uploading to save space and loading time on a page/post. Optimizing can be done either on a computer or a phone app or even in the WP phone app itself. Personally if I’m not 100% certain the image isn’t in use somewhere on my site, I let it go. It’s preferable to risking a “broken image” icon.

      6. Appoligies, yes, I was replying to another comment, Jen. I must have clicked the reply button on another message.

        The problem though is that while WP may recommend to optimize images before uploading to save space and loading time on a page/post, I don’t believe a lot of bloggers know this (especially new ones to the site or those with a free plan). I see so many messages from people saying their media library is almost full and what should they do. If those filters worked it would be such as easy process.

        Thankfully, I reduce the size of all the images before placing them on posts. And I add any videos to YouTube, thus not using up space either. I’ve recommend this in many of my posts.

        Thanks, Jen.

      7. No apologies needed, but Hugh, anyone who runs a website today should know to optimize their images for the web. That’s good practice and it’s the one immediate thing a site owner can do to improve their search engine ranking, especially since loading speed on mobile is a leading rank factor these days. At the same time, it’s easy enough to do the math.

        If you have 3GB of storage, that’s 3 million KB/3000 MB. If your photos are 5MB each (a huge waste of space and causes increased loading time which penalizes you big time with search engines), that’s 600 photos. If you are uploading photos that are 1.5MB each (still too big) that’s 2000 photos. Reducing photos even further to an average of 200KB each (somewhat big, better less, unless you are taking Retina displays into consideration), and you have room for *15,000* photos.

        Keep in mind that this only relates to images that are optimized offline prior to uploading to our websites. If you upload an image and use the tools available in the WordPress.com Media Library, you’ll double the storage for the same image because WordPress.com keeps the uploaded file in case you want to revert it to the original.

        There’s so much more on this topic, but I think I’ll stop with that. 😁

      8. Thanks, Jen. I appreciate you doing that. I don’t know how often they have told me that it’s a browser problem or to empty and clean my cache (none of them ever work).

        There is also a significant problem when deleting images from the media library using the filters. Some images still being used in posts also appear on the list (it doesn’t happen if using the old classic view). I won’t go into all the details here, but needless to say, I reported it over a year ago, and it still has;t been fixed.

      9. Honestly, there is no safe way to use the filters in the Media Library, either WP Admin or the default WPcom, as a means to judge which photos are in use. If you don’t “clean up” immediately after publishing a post, let it be. Tidying up the Media Library leads to a world of pain. If you are optimizing images prior to uploading them, it will take years to hit even the 3GB free storage limit.

        If I’m misunderstanding you, please let me know.

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