What’s new in WordPress 5.9 – a Reading list on Full-Site Editing and Block Themes.

February 8th, 2022

New page in End-User Documentation:

New videos about the Navigation Block:

Updates: Jan 24th, 2022.

Today, I added the Customizer Video and Jonny Harris Dev Note on the added REST API Endpoints for Menus. Last week, I added Anne McCarthy’s post on How 5.9 creates a strong foundation for the future

Created: Jan 7th, 2022:
WordPress 5.9 Release Candidate 1 was released on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 and the version is on schedule to be released on January 25, 2022.

The WordPress 5.9 release mostly introduces Full Site Editing to WordPress user. It’s the biggest release since the roll-out of the block editor in December 2018. The umbrella term Full-site Editing covers a multitude of editing features.

This reading list covers the latest publication of Developer Notes and User Documentation related to the Block Editor.

Also, see the WordPress 5.9 Field Guide with all DevNotes for the upcoming release.

Introduction WordPress 5.9 on WordPress YouTube Channel

Table of Content

Also don’t miss Anne McCarthy’s article on what’s still in the works for the next version of Full-site Editing and Block themes.

There were many questions regarding the Customizer after headlines like the Customers will disappear etc. It was a bit disconcerting for people. In this very short video Anne McCarthy tells you all you need to know about the Customizer in WordPress 5.9

About Themes

Block Building and extending Gutenberg

New Blocks

Learn more about the progress on performance improvement efforts coming to WordPress 5.9 Performance Improvements

User Documentation for Site Builders and Content Creators

Site editor

It is only available to content creators who are using a Block theme. When you are using the Site Editor, most changes here are made across your entire site.

Block Themes

A block theme is a theme that uses blocks for all parts of a site, including navigation menus, header, content, and site footer.

Styles Overview

This is a new feature in WordPress 5.9 that comes included in Block themes that allows you to customize your site as much as you’d like with different colors, typography, layouts, and more

Navigation block

The Navigation Block is an advanced block in WordPress 5.9 that enables you to edit your site’s navigation menu, both in terms of structure and design. The Navigation block can be used with a block theme or a theme that has support for template editing.


Template part block

The Template Part block is an advanced block introduced in WordPress 5.9 that can be used with a block theme or a theme that supports template editing.

And more…

Block-Based Themes, ready for Full-Site Editing.

Ready to Test? To date, you’ll find 34 block Themes already in the WordPress repository that are prepared for Full-Site Editing.

I often get the question: “What are the few themes you like?” Here is my list:

I received similar questions at meetup gatherings. Here are the themes of my response.

All three are from trusted theme designers, and were reviewed by Justin Tadlock at the WPTavern.

Automattic also published a set of themes, all focused on blogging and writing:

I am also a huge fan of the first WordPress default block theme, called Twenty-Twenty-Two. Carlo Danielle did a deep dive into the inner workings for Twenty-Twenty two. and takes you along for the ride in his post for Kinsta. Designer-developers Kjell Reigstad and Jeff Ong worked on it with other contributors. It will be released with WordPress 5.9. New WordPress site will activate it out of the box.

Share in the comments if you find a block-based theme that you like or built.


At Learn.WordPress.org the course Simple Site Design with Full Site Editing is now available online. It’s part 1 in a series of 2 or 3 courses to come out soon. It’s free of charge

At Fullsiteediting.com, Carolina Nymark, contributor on the WordPress theme team prepared two courses

Social Learning

Social Learning events around the new features. Register on Meetup.com