Two weeks ago, WordPress theme author Rich Tabor tweeted, “Even with my theme developer hat on, I’m finding it easier and easier to create block themes ~ within ~ WordPress. I’m positive one day (soon) this will be the norm.”
It looks like that day has arrived sooner than expected, as Automattic has had a team working on this capability for awhile. Today, a group of eight full-time sponsored Themes Team contributors released a plugin called Create Block Theme that can create standalone block themes and child themes inside the WordPress admin.
The idea is that users can design their own themes using full-site editing features and then export their finished creation as a theme that can be installed on any other WordPress site. Ben Dwyer shared a video called Designing a theme in the WordPress Editor where designer Beatriz Fialho demonstrated the possibilities. She created a unique new theme using full-site editing features in just a couple of hours.
The plugin offers a variety of exports for different use cases. Users can export their work in the following ways:
- Export the active theme with user changes included
- Export a child theme with the active theme as the parent theme
- Export a clone a new theme based on the active theme with user changes
- Overwrite the theme files to include the user changes as part of the theme
- Export a blank theme into the site’s themes directory
All of these export options are available under Appearance >> Create Block Theme.