Failing To Get Started with the Theme.json

Alright.. Honest truth time. I failed at about everything I tried today to get started with the Theme.json file. So much so, that you wouldn’t want to watch a video of me fumbling through documentation, etc.

I think that says a lot about the level of documentation that’s still needed for the average user. At one time I had about 50 links open and still couldn’t figure out what was going on.

Where did I fail?

I’m glad you’ve asked! I understand the purpose of the theme.json but as I got started out, I wanted to start taking a look at some of the structural elements like contentWidth and wideWidth. But those immediately didn’t work, or at least what I was expecting.

It was well defined, what the layout should do with regards to the block editor view, but it didn’t work. Now I was using Gutenberg 11.6 and from what I was reading. In fact, it seems that it’s supposed to be fixed.

So let’s move past that and over to the next. I decided that since I couldn’t get the layout settings working, I moved towards padding and margin.


When I added that, it too, didn’t work as I thought it was. I’m not sure why because I haven’t been able to find anything that says where to look or what to see.

Building with Gutenberg

It is without a doubt that Gutenberg is in full development mode. Because of this, it feels like it’s constant changing and documentation is lacking quite a bit.

This is fully expected to be the case when you are working with cutting-edge technology. I want to make it clear, that I’m not casting blame or upset by any of this.

It turned out to be a good experiment in trying to figure this out in a way that would allow me to use this brand new, still experimental work.

Wrapping Up

I think I need to enlist some help to get me going on the theme.json file. Have you had a chance to play with it yourself? Do you have some updated documentation, a specific video recommendation, I should watch/read? Please shoot them over. Hit me up to Twitter to continue the conversation.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue to do some research and see what I can find to address some of my issues. With any luck, I’ll be back on this journey in just a few days. I’ve got faith that this is the future of WordPress themes and I’m still ever more excited to get into it.