Web Development

When to code a Traditional Theme vs a Full-Site-Editing (FSE) Theme in WordPress

When it comes to creating a website using WordPress, you have two primary options: coding a traditional theme or using a full-site-editing (FSE) theme. Both approaches have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will compare the two and help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.

Traditional Themes

Traditional themes have been the go-to choice for WordPress developers for a long time. These themes are created by coding HTML, CSS, and PHP files to define the appearance and functionality of a website. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of coding a traditional theme:

Pros of Traditional Themes

  1. Flexibility: Coding a traditional theme gives you complete control over every aspect of your website. You can customize the design, layout, and functionality to meet your specific requirements.
  2. Performance: Traditional themes are known for their lightweight nature, which results in faster loading times and better overall performance.
  3. Compatibility: Since traditional themes have been around for a long time, they are compatible with a wide range of plugins and extensions, allowing you to enhance your website’s functionality.
  4. Security: By coding your own theme, you have the advantage of knowing exactly what’s going on behind the scenes. This allows you to implement robust security measures to protect your website from potential vulnerabilities.

Cons of Traditional Themes

  1. Time-consuming: Coding a traditional theme from scratch requires a significant amount of time and expertise. It may not be the best option if you have a tight deadline or limited coding skills.
  2. Updates and maintenance: As WordPress evolves, you will need to keep your traditional theme up to date to ensure compatibility and security. This can be time-consuming, especially if you have made extensive customizations.
  3. Less user-friendly: Traditional themes often require technical knowledge to make changes or customize the website. This can be a barrier for non-technical users who prefer a more intuitive editing experience.

Full-Site-Editing (FSE) Themes

Full-Site-Editing (FSE) themes are a relatively new addition to WordPress. With FSE, you can visually design your entire website using the block editor, without the need for coding. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using FSE themes:

Pros of FSE Themes

  1. Easy to use: FSE themes provide a user-friendly editing experience, allowing anyone to create and customize their website without any coding knowledge.
  2. Time-saving: With FSE themes, you can quickly design your website by dragging and dropping blocks, eliminating the need for extensive coding and testing.
  3. Real-time preview: FSE themes offer real-time previews, allowing you to see how your changes will look on the live website before publishing.
  4. Future-proof: FSE themes align with the direction WordPress is heading, making them a future-proof choice for your website.

Cons of FSE Themes

  1. Limitations: While FSE themes offer a lot of flexibility, they might not provide the same level of customization as traditional themes. Advanced functionality may require custom coding or additional plugins.
  2. Compatibility: Since FSE themes are relatively new, not all plugins and extensions may be fully compatible. This can limit your options for enhancing your website’s functionality.
  3. Learning curve: While FSE themes are user-friendly, there is still a learning curve involved in understanding how to effectively use the block editor and make the most of the available features.


Choosing between coding a traditional theme or using a full-site-editing (FSE) theme in WordPress depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you value complete control, flexibility, and have the necessary coding skills, a traditional theme may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a user-friendly, intuitive editing experience and want to save time, an FSE theme could be the way to go.

Ultimately, the decision boils down to your goals, timeline, and level of technical expertise. Whichever option you choose, WordPress provides a robust platform that caters to both traditional developers and those seeking a more visual approach to website creation.

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