Anders Norén’s new Eksell theme is now available for download from the WordPress Themes directory. Eksell was inspired by Swedish graphic designer Olle Eksell. It arrives a year and a half after Norén’s popular Chaplin theme was released.
Last week Justin Tadlock published a preview of the theme while it was still making its way through the review system. Since that time, Norén has added to the five block patterns he originally submitted with the theme. There are now 12 block patterns that help users create stacked galleries, calls to action, multiple columns with pullquotes, and more.
Eksell also includes a unique “Blank Canvas” page template that only displays content added in the block editor, which Norén said offers a preview of what users will be able to do once Full Site Editing (FSE) is merged into core.
The Eksell announcement post is a sobering reminder of the uncertainty facing even the most experienced theme developers with changes coming later this year. Norén said he is not planning to update his existing 20 themes to support FSE:
My current belief is that I won’t update my existing themes to take advantage of Full Site Editing. Not because I don’t buy into the vision of Full Site Editing, but because I don’t think anyone would be well-served by six year old themes (like Hoffman) very much not built for FSE being updated to sorta-kinda support it. I would rather spend that time on themes built from the ground up to take advantage of the new tools Full Site Editing gives us.
Once FSE is released, Norén said themes not updated to support it will immediately feel outdated “much like Classic Editor themes felt in the spring of 2019.” Theme developers don’t yet know what shape themes will take or how difficult it may be to update them once FSE is in core.
Norén is considering updating Eksell to bridge the gap between the world before FSE and whatever themes look like after it lands in core, but reserved the right to leave it behind with the others. For the time being, it is one of the best themes around for the block editor, but it may be the last of the truly classic themes before the dawn of a new era in theming.