WordPress Contributors Consider Renaming Full-Site Editing

WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy is proposing contributors rename the terms “full-site editing” and “full-site editor” to something more user friendly. The terms came into use as WordPress moved into the Customization phase and are still used to differentiate the work being done on site editing as opposed to content editing in the block editor.

Haden Chomphosy has identified two issues with using the term “full-site editing:”

  • It was already possible to edit every part of a WordPress site using code. The term “full site editing” differentiated between phases of a project, rather than a new capability in the CMS.
  • To us, “full site editing” implies the use of blocks, but for new users there’s no reason for them to expect anything else. The term isn’t descriptive of what makes it unique.

Contributors who work in WordPress every day may not be fully aware of how specialized some of these terms are and how little they mean to a newcomer. Haden Chomphosy proposes WordPress adopt a new term that is “immediately meaningful for new users of our software, while also being an easy to reference term for all of us building and supporting the software.”

She opened a conversation today on updating our shared lexicon to use a new term for this aspect of editing and asked for feedback on additional contexts that need to be considered.

Ideas are already pouring in as it’s much easier to name something than to build it. “Site Editor” has been one of the must popular suggestions so far, but participants in the discussion have also suggested “Template Editor” and “Theme Builder,” as well as “Builder” and “Site Builder.”

“Future view, looking back from collaborative editing, what I would want to tell a user: The Editor,” Rob Glidden said. “In the WordPress editor you and your team can edit posts, pages and themes in the same, consistent user interface.”

WP Engine developer advocate Nick Diego suggested it’s too late to unring the bell on full-site editing and that WordPress should stick with the term.

“Many still refer to the Editor as Gutenberg,” Diego said. “I would be hesitant to introduce a new name when ‘Full Site Editing,’ now that it has been so publicly talked about, will likely live on for years and years to come.

“I kind of like the term ‘Full Site Editing.’ For new users in WordPress, it implies that they will be able to edit their entire site, which is true. Of course, there are many Classic themes and page builders that also allow you to do the same thing, but a theme that supports FSE differentiates it from traditional Classic themes.”

The discussion was just opened today and the community is invited to participate with comments on the post. Those who have knowledge of what users, clients, and people outside of WordPress call the editor in the context of full-site editing should also weigh in to help contributors get a better picture.

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10 responses to “WordPress Contributors Consider Renaming Full-Site Editing”

  1. I think this just highlights the mess WordPress is in at the moment. Its become in a permanent state of beta testing and is now too confusing for non technical people to use.

    None of my clients can use the new site editor and I don’t really blame them as I, someone who has been building WP themes for over ten years, find it buggy and frustrating to use.

    I understand something needed to be done to give things more functionality which a lot of people wanted from the number of add on editors and themes which third party companys were making. But I think the way its been done has been messy and currently WordPress is not the solution it used to be for most people wanting to manage their own website.

  2. This is getting funnier and funnier. When the product is the problem some people get the bright idea that all they need is a rename. I recall years ago a company that made very poor quality laser printers. They went through three rounds of rebranding before they finally folded their tent. It’s called “putting lipstick on a pig.” or the converse: “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

  3. This is a really fun satirical piece, isn’t it?

    I guess it doesn’t matter too much, FSE is an alpha product, it’s not even visible to new users of WordPress, isn’t it?

    But I thought FSE invented editing of website footers, and prior to fse every WordPress website in the world had the same uneditable footer, is that not the case?

    Anyway, the problem is just those silly laggards not adopting the future of WordPress and getting left behind again. That’s the real issue, isn’t it?

    Anyway, I think a lovely name would be “Cosmic”. If that name is chosen, I want to be recognised as a contributor please.

  4. I’ve mentioned this before but I brushed off some of my old corporate usability testing skills a couple of months ago and invited a tech-savvy but WordPress novice to try writing a blog post with a clean install of WordPress.

    Just going to say that I… suggest someone on the core dev team try this. Same for block-editor fanbois.

    And yes, at one point my subject wound up in the full site editor. Had no idea what it was, how they got there, or how to get back out.

    When they were trying to write their post they also wondered why they’d want to insert a menu block. (I’m sure it was just a boneheaded interface bug that’s since been fixed, but in that release FSE blocks were exposed even when the user is not in FSE mode.)

  5. Noboby thinks of us, elderly bloggers? we need simple and easy to understand thinks in wordpress! (I am 62) Full site editor is enought for me, but I do not use it! Just writing my thoughts….

  6. I appreciate that. I’ve been putting off getting my mind around FSE for a while now, so I’m pleased I watched this as I believe it’s given me a decent basis for where to go next—much appreciated. I’ve been putting off getting my head around FSE because I’ve been putting off getting my brain around FSE.

  7. Elementor crossed the 10 million mark after targeting the term Full Site Editing.

    Elementor Raises Eyebrows with Google Ads Targeting Full-Site Editing

    It sounds now like the term Full Site Editing was invented to create the impression Gutenberg was the first to do it and now something is needed for users.

    While we’re considering terms, the post refers to this being an “audacious journey”. Is that audacious as in “showing an impudent lack of respect”?

  8. Ideas are already pouring in as it’s much easier to name something than to build it.

    I politely disagree with this statement.

    “There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things. — Phil Karlton”

    It’s way easier to build something than to give it a name. This is exactly why FSE is already built but they’re talking about renaming it.

  9. Why not call it what it is, a page builder?

    Gutenberg Page Builder, maybe? Gutenberg Website Builder? Works for SquareSpace and Wix and that is who WordPress says it is now competing against.

  10. The problem isn’t the name. It’s FSE, period. It’s not user friendly and everything looks the same. WP has lost their vision. Bring back the ready made themes and let people get down to the business of writing and promoting their goods. All we want is something easy to customize that looks good! I went on the Pro plan in order to find a theme that looked good and was easy to customize.

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