Portfolio Facelift

Today Anders Norén released a new theme in the WordPress theme directory that considers WP’s new full-site editing option. I’ve been looking for an excellent theme to install and begin learning the new paradigm. Anders new Poe theme was the one I’d been waiting for.

Full-Site Editing

When blocks were first introduced several years ago, I was all in. I dumped all WP builders for blocks. I’ve used several over the years and am currently using WP Stackable. I loved that WordPress planned to make everything block base. I found it more intuitive and more pleasant to write in. Full-site editing is the culmination of blocks in the theme.

I’m not going to give a complete breakdown, as Rich Tabor recently shared a great analysis of why he thinks it’s the next era of WordPress themes. I want to state that getting used to full-site editing will take some time. The Poe theme is the first one that has opened my eyes to the power of FSE in action, and even with that, I’m still wrapping my head around it.

I’ve been using WordPress for years, and I honestly can’t remember what it felt like not to understand the customizer, which is what Theme developers used to help site owners customize their site’s appearance. The customizer came a long way from when I first started using it, but as I’ve been dabbling with the Full-site editor, I’m beginning to piece together why it’s truly the way to help all websites owner fully customize their WordPress sites.

The Struggles

The thing that has me hindered at the moment now is wrapping my mind around the template parts and how they work. As I rebuilt this site with the Poe thee, I ran into a bug where when I set the home page to what I thought was the home template, it would render nothing because nothing was on the actual page. At the same time, the blog page was rendering just a link to the blog.

After some messing around, I figured there must be some bug with my WordPress site or database, and the template parts from the theme were causing it not to work correctly, or it could be that I still don’t fully understand how the template works. I decided to leave my home page as my posts, which would render the home template designed by Anders tweaked by me. Then tweak the query loop not to inherit anything. Voila, it works.

The FSE Beauty

Recently WP introduced theme style variants. Which are different CSS properties that can be selected that change the color and fonts and the overall feel of the theme. Rich Tabor has written a lot about this, and I recommend you check his blog for more. He’s also created a couple of pieces leveraging style variations, but they heavily focus on blogging. My site has always been a hub for my work and not much of a blog. Poe, on the other hand, is centered around portfolios. I was using one of his other portfolio sites before this. The thing I loved about this theme is that it has several style variations as well as lots of great patterns to complement it.

I think the style variations are the secret sauce to this new era of WP themes. I love that one day, I can easily swap my website to a new variant and have it feel completely different, and I am excited to see what Anders does to improve this already outstanding theme.

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