Types of WordPress Themes and How to Add Full Site Editing Features to Classic Themes


As of WordPress 5.9, we have the following types of WordPress themes:

  • Classic Themes. These are the themes that existed before Gutenberg and use PHP templates. For example, the default Twenty Twenty One theme. You can find classic themes in the official repository if you don’t filter by Full Site Editing.
  • Universal themes. These are the themes that work with the traditional customizer and also the site editor. An example is Blockbase, of which we have published this guide on Blogpocket: How to create a Blockbase child theme.
  • Block theme. These are themes created entirely for Full Site Editing (FSE) and use HTML templates and the theme.json file. An example is Twenty Twenty Two. You can find block themes in the official repository by filtering by Full Site Editing.
  • Hybrid Themes. These are classic themes to which features of a block theme have been added. It is possible to turn classic themes into hybrid themes, simply by adding features from the full site edition; mainly the theme.json file and the template editor.

To learn how to add the theme.json file and the template editor to a classic theme, and thus turn it into a hybrid theme, Carolina Nymark has published an interesting article: Adding full site editing features to classic themes. See also our Full Site Editing course.