WordPress has come a long way since its inception, and one of the most significant developments in last few years was the Block Editor a.k.a Gutenberg. Gutenberg transformed WordPress with its block-based approach, enabling user-friendly content creation and customization.
I have been a very early adopter of the Gutenberg. I started building for Gutenberg long before it was merged into core WordPress. That’s how Ultimate Blocks came to the scenario.
Now, more than 50,000+ websites are using Ultimate Blocks to create better, engaging content with the Gutenberg.
Although, Gutenberg was not accepted widely when it came, it has come a long way since. There’s a huge difference in terms of how it was and how it is right now. It has improved a lot.
And, Full Site Editing (FSE) was a great addition towards this new direction. FSE is a set of new WordPress features that helps you edit all parts of your WordPress website. Block themes are one part of FSE.
Introducing Block Themes
Block themes are a type of theme introduced with the Full Site Editing (FSE) feature in WordPress 5.9 and later versions. Block themes are built using blocks, which are the fundamental components of the block editor.
Unlike traditional WordPress themes, block themes rely heavily on the block editor to provide a more seamless and consistent experience for users.
They allow you to edit and customize every part of your website using blocks, including headers, footers, sidebars, and other layout elements.
Developers and users can create and edit block themes using the Site Editor, a feature available in WordPress with FSE.
This allows for a more visual and intuitive customization process, making it easier for users to create and modify their site’s appearance without needing to code.
Block Themes vs. Classic Themes
While classic themes have served as the backbone of WordPress websites for many years, block themes introduce a more modern and user-friendly approach to website design.
Here’s an overview of comparison between the two:
Template hierarchy using PHP, HTML, CSS, and JS
Built using blocks, focusing on block editor
Limited, often requires coding or child themes
Highly flexible, editable using the block editor
Block Editor Compatibility
Varies, some themes offer partial support
Seamless integration, designed for block editor
Full Site Editing (FSE)
Not supported natively
Native support, edit all website elements
Complex hierarchy of template files
Simplified structure with HTML, CSS, minimal PHP
Global Styles and Settings
Limited, often theme-specific options
Theme.json file for unified global styles/settings
May become outdated as WordPress evolves
Designed for the future of WordPress
Abundance of themes, both free and premium
Limited but growing number of themes
May require learning new concepts and techniques
Familiar to long-time users and developers
Full Site Editing
Full Site Editing (FSE) is a handy feature in WordPress 5.9 that offers various tools for easy website design. It includes the Site Editor, which is similar to the Block Editor (or Gutenberg Editor).
Using the Site Editor, you can create and modify layouts with blocks, edit templates, and change your theme’s design.
The goal of FSE is to let you customize your entire website from one place, adding new blocks and options, and reducing the need for extra plugins or coding.
Block patterns are like ready-made design elements you can easily plug into your website. They help you quickly create beautiful, consistent content without starting from scratch.
Patterns can be used as to quickly design a page section or a full page layout.
They cater to a wide range of use cases, such as galleries, testimonials, call-to-action sections, and more, making it easy for users of all skill levels to create engaging and visually appealing content.
The block editor comes with a default set of block patterns, but you can also find additional patterns in various block themes and plugins.
In the past, you’d use the WordPress Customizer to change your theme’s look, and depending on your theme, you’d have access to a limited or wide range of design settings. You might also use custom CSS for further customization.
Now, with WordPress block themes, you can adjust global style settings right from the Site Editor. It’s simple to tweak your theme’s appearance and apply changes site-wide, or even just to specific pages if you prefer.
Introducing GroundWP – Block Theme For Better Website Building
GroundWP is a lightweight and super-fast WordPress block theme that works great with the block editor and Full Site Editing.
This easy-to-use theme fits all kinds of websites, like blogs, portfolios, or online shops.
It comes with ready-to-use patterns, lots of ways to personalize your site. And works seamlessly with the block editor and the core blocks.
With the patterns available, you can create pages with few clicks. At the moment of writing this, I am working on page creation patterns, which are full page patterns.
Therefore, although individual patterns are excellent for crafting specific sections of your page, page creation patterns enable you to construct an entire page using a pre-designed template in just one click.
You can check out some of the patterns demo from the navigation menu.
With Global Styles option to change styles for all the elements in the website, GroundWP also comes with styles variation.
Right now, we have a dark mode style variation. With just one click, you can transform the whole site style into a dark mode.
Check out the video below:
Templates and Template Parts
Apart from the essential templates, GroundWP comes with additional templates like No Title, Blank templates.
Blank template loads the page without any header or footer. It can be a great for pages where you want the audience to focus only on the content.
No Title page template hides the page title. It can be great for landing pages, pricing pages.
As for template parts, the header and footer is considered as template parts.
GroundWP currently comes with multiple designs for header, footer. For footer, we have few different designs, like – five, six columns footer.
The main idea behind GroundWP is to help you build visually stunning, high-performance websites with ease, leveraging the power of the block editor and Full Site Editing.
Classic and block themes each have their ups and downs, but as WordPress is moving towards a more block-heavy approach, it is my personal choice to go with block themes. They work really well with the block editor, let you customize your site easily, and stay up-to-date with WordPress changes.
If you’re starting a new website or updating an old one, a block theme could be a good choice for you, and GroundWP can be a great one at that.