Beaver Builder Review: A WordPress Developer’s Perspective

beaver builder review

Update 6/13/2018: This Beaver Builder review has been revised and expanded to reflect an additional year of using the plugin, and to review the new features in Beaver Builder 2.

This Beaver Builder review is not paid or commissioned by Beaver Builder or any other company. This is my honest opinion as a professional WordPress developer, who builds and manages WordPress websites for a living.

Let’s start with the executive summary. Is Beaver Builder good? Heck yes.

The Best Page Builder in WordPress

Beaver Builder

More than any other single plugin, Beaver Builder has changed how I do my work as a WordPress developer, and made good front-end layout building a reality.

Thoughtfully built, feature-rich, and above all reliable, Beaver Builder is our favorite page builder in WordPress.

Now, let’s explore Beaver Builder more deeply. Before that, a bit of set-up:

What We’re Reviewing

This review focuses on Beaver Builder Standard, the least expensive paid version of the main Beaver Builder plugin, currently on version 2.1. No Beaver Builder extensions, themes, or other add-on products are considered.

About the Reviewer

Hi! I’m Fred Meyer, co-editor-in-chief of WPShout. I’ve been a professional WordPress developer for six years, and I’ve written hundreds of WordPress tutorials for developers here on WPShout since 2013.

I first tried out Beaver Builder in mid-2017, and wrote up my experiences in the first version of this Beaver Builder review. I’m writing this revised version of the review after using Beaver Builder actively for over a year, on both my own projects and projects for my clients.

Links to Beaver Builder in this article are affiliate links. My opinions of both Beaver Builder’s strengths and weaknesses are my own. In both this review and my related WordPress page builder comparison review, I’m telling you the plain truth as I see it about which WordPress page builder to use, when, and why. Thanks for reading!

Sections of the Review

Click on a section below to navigate this Beaver Builder review.

  • Pros: Things I especially love about Beaver Builder.
  • Cons: Where Beaver Builder falls short.
  • Comparison with Competition: Where Beaver Builder fits next to everything from Divi and WPBakery Page Builder to Squarespace to Gutenberg.
  • Role in WordPress Projects: What needs Beaver Builder solves, and doesn’t solve, in a WordPress project.

Beaver Builder Review: Pros

This section describes what makes Beaver Builder a great tool for a WordPress developer. So it’s about Beaver Builder’s strengths relative to a developer’s other options for creating WordPress layouts.

If you want to know why the Beaver Builder plugin is the best page builder in WordPress and where others fall short, view the Comparison with Competition section.

It Successfully Streamlines Layout Work in WordPress

Beaver Builder hugely improves and streamlines my work as a WordPress developer.

This is really the key point of this entire Beaver Builder review: Beaver Builder hugely improves and streamlines my work as a WordPress developer.

The first time I used Beaver Builder, in 2017, I ended up working for a bit over an hour. I recorded the process here:

(Because the video was lots of me figuring stuff out, don’t go in expecting a guide, or a very organized look at the software.)

This was the result of that hour: https://wpshout.com/beaver-builder-landing/. And here’s a screenshot in case the above link changes at some point:

beaver builder pro demo

Click for full size

This experience was so cool because, before using Beaver Builder, I have no idea what I would have used to get the same results in WordPress:

  • Theme-based layouts are inflexible and usually badly coded.
  • Other page builders were so bad that they were worse than using nothing. (This is still generally true.)
  • I would have needed like 10 incompatible plugins (“Column Shortcodes,” a Font Awesome embedder, a pricing table plugin, and more) to duplicate this functionality without a theme-based solution or a builder plugin, and the final product would have been much worse.

Ever since that sample project for this Beaver Builder review, I’ve used consistently Beaver Builder for complex layouts, because I saw just how much it streamlined my own work.

It’s Reliable and Well-Built

Beaver Builder is solidly built enough to use without fear on both personal and client projects.

Alone among WordPress page builders, Beaver Builder is solidly built enough to use without fear on both personal and client projects.

Since first trying it in 2017, I’ve used Veaver Builder every time I’ve needed to create complex layouts in a WordPress project, whether for myself or a client. (The only exception is clients that are already using another incompatible solution.)

Across the projects I’ve used Beaver Builder on, I haven’t been disappointed or made to panick by bugs once.

Some Places Where I Rely on Beaver Builder

You can see numerous uses of Beaver Builder on our paid courses site, courses.wpshout.com, where all of our landing and sales pages are Beaver Builder layouts.

up and running landing page | beaver builder review

We redeveloped the Up and Running landing page using Beaver Builder. (Click to see full landing page.)

Prior to me trying Beaver Builder, we were producing these same layouts with fragile, buggy, restrictive, difficult-to-manage widgetized pages handled through the theme.

I use Beaver Builder for all long WPShout articles, this one included.

I also used Beaver Builder to write this article, because of how much easier it is to visualize the flow of the article when you’re looking at it as you write. I do the same with every long article I write on WPShout, such as my recent one on proper WordPress development practices. Once the article’s ready, I just paste the HTML in its “Text” tab back into the default WordPress editor.

I can also count at least three current client projects that are also running Beaver Builder without incident.

Summing up, I’ve used Beaver Builder for lots of diverse needs, for both myself and clients, and I’ve always been glad I did.

…But Buggier Since Inline Editing in 2.x

I do have to mention an unfortunate trend here, though. Beaver Builder used to be extremely reliable—free of bugs to an almost spooky extent. It’s actually significantly buggier in version 2, since the early-2018 launch of the inline editor (see “Cons“), than it was in version 1.

It Empowers You as a Developer

It’s hard to overstate what it means to be able to create layouts with a consistent tool that works properly.

What needs to be emphasized, over and above the better result on any one project, is how much it empowers a WordPress developer gets to be able to create layouts using a consistent tool that isn’t tied to any one theme or site environment and actually works properly.

It’s incredibly liberating to be free of the theme marketplace (which is mostly a layout marketplace and mostly low-quality) in considering how you’ll meet your own or a client’s layout needs.

And it’s such a relief to be able to invest in getting familiar with a layout tool you can use everywhere, rather than being forced into learning whatever code and UI decisions an individual theme or theme+builder combination might be making for you.

Using Beaver Builder is like finally having a paint roller, rather than hoping that there’s some “roller-like” stuff lying around each house you work on.

All this is what Beaver Builder has done for me in my own work. It’s like doing home renovation and finally having a paint roller, rather than hoping that there’s some “roller-like” stuff (maybe we can wrap a hand towel around a paper towel tube and put a broom handle through it?) lying around each house you work on. Specifics aside, the main thing the plugin has given me is much greater freedom as a WordPress developer, and the importance of that is hard to overstate.

Active Developer and Community Support

Beaver Builder gets much better over time.

Beaver Builder gets much better over time. Since I first published this Beaver Builder review a year ago, the plugin’s developers have given it:

  • massively improved UI.
  • What feels like a significant performance boost.
  • A full inline editor that’s just about the only buggy part of the Beaver Builder plugin, but that I’m glad exists.
  • A bunch of additional features (“Beaver Themer” and others) that I prefer not to use.

On that UI improvement, let’s get a bit specific. When I first reviewed Beaver Builder a year ago, this was what I had to work with:

beaver builder version 1

And I liked it then! But I did note that the user interface was a bit, well, plain, as well as clunky, hard to use, and slow.

A year later, Beaver Builder looks like this:

beaver builder version 2

The better UI carries over into literally every piece of the Beaver Builder layout creation experience. They really nailed it, and the plugin is now a pleasure to use—not just something that’s forgivably ugly because it magically works.

Beaver Builder is maintained with obvious passion. It feels like a good technology to invest in.

So, like most things I love in WordPress—WooCommerce and SiteGround being the examples that come to mind—Beaver Builder is maintained with obvious passion by an active developer community who care about doing things right. It feels a good technology to invest in for the long run.

Beaver Builder also has a large, active, and passionate user community around it: a sizable Facebook group of developers committed to the tool, a set of actively maintained tutorial sites organized around it, lots of third-party extensions, and so on.

So within WordPress, Beaver Builder is not only the best page builder plugin, it’s also got a large community people dedicated to using it and making it better, and that’s important.

Beaver Builder Review: Cons

This part of our Beaver Builder review covers my main frustrations with the plugin.

Limited and Difficult-to-Browse Module Library

Beaver Builder has relatively few layout modules, and their bland names and icons make them hard to browse.

Beaver Builder’s choice of modules (the range of layout elements that are available by default) are the one place where Beaver Builder is strongly outshone by most other page builders (including a pretty decent one, Elementor).

There are two issues:

  1. There aren’t that many modules available by default.
  2. The modules’s bland names and icons make them hard to browse.

Here’s what you get:

beaver builder modules

Click for full size

Even after more than a year, using Beaver Builder’s modules is an experience of: “I wonder if they have what they need. I’m betting they don’t. Wait, there it is! Does it do what I need? Whew, it does. Why is it called that?”

Quick, how is a “Call to Action” (icon: a bullhorn) different from a “Callout” (icon: a bullhorn)? What does an “Icon” do? Is it just an icon, or something else? Does that make it kind of like a “Call to Action”?

This is something that Beaver Builder could do better at, and I’d love to see them expand their default module library as well, as I’d like very much to avoid having to trust third-party “More Beaver Builder Modules” extensions on projects that matter.

Predictably Buggy Inline Editor

Beaver Builder’ inline editor basically works, but it’s got all the usual inline editor bugs, and even adds a few of its own.

I’ve been excited about Squarespace-style inline frontend editing forever. This is where you’ve got a page on the internet and you just start writing: not in a separate “editor” window, but on the page itself. To me, that’s real front-end editing—the way of the future, the way websites should be built—and everything else is a compromise.

Here’s the problem with inline frontend editing, though: it’s really, really hard. Certain problems are essentially unsolvable, because they’re down to the level of “a human being can’t tell a machine all the specifics of what she’s getting at just by writing words onto a page.”

Beaver Builder launched an inline editor earlier this year, and while it basically works, it’s got all the same bugs that earlier attempts in WordPress have had, and even adds a few of its own.

  Horror

The inline editor adds the   character all over the place. Specifically, any time you use the inline editor, inline HTML tags get surrounded with   characters.

Let’s say I’m writing the sentence “I like this.” If I do it in either WordPress’s visual editor or Beaver Builder’s visual editor, and then examine the result in either text editor, it’ll look like:

I <em>like</em> this.

Now here’s what will happen if I ever use Beaver Builder’s inline editor to do anything on this page. That markup will change to the following

I&nbsp;<em>like</em> this.

Again, this is if I change anything on the page with the inline editor, not just this section of text. And it’s not just this markup that will change: the first time I use the inline editor, anything on the page that uses inline tags like <strong>s or even <code>s will be peppered with &nbsp; characters.

To give more detail, this bug usually won’t trigger if I stay viewing Beaver Builder’s Visual editor tab. But it’ll trigger immediately if I make inline changes while viewing the Text editor tab. Switching back to the Visual editor sometimes fixes it, but if you publish while viewing Text the markup stays. (And so on, down a rabbit hole of confusing when-to-expect-the-bug details.)

So what’s wrong with &nbsp; characters anyway? Well, besides its not being the markup I want—which is never acceptable—the specific problem it causes is that it causes lines to break early. Whereas “American Revolutionary War” might break onto two or even three lines, “American&nbsp;Revolutionary&nbspWar” never will, and so there are giant gaps in your paragraphs and blockquotes where things broke onto a new line way too early.

If you care about precision, this is the kind of thing that will drive you absolutely crazy. It’s a familiar problem from other front-end editors, but it makes me wish the Beaver Builder inline editor wasn’t even a thing. There are other bugs, too, like the inline editor somehow occasionally causing links to be written incorrectly, that I won’t cover here.

Puzzlingly Bad Text Shortcuts

The current version of the Beaver Builder inline editor has no way to turn text into headers.

The current version of the Beaver Builder inline editor has no way to turn text into headers.

Given how important a feature need that is, it’s a pretty bizarre omission, and it pretty much dooms any use of the inline editor to be a ping-pong experience back and forth with Beaver Builder’s TinyMCE editor. (More on that in a bit.)

The formatting options the inline editor does give you are at the top of the module—they don’t float with the text. I won’t get into how useless this is on a text module that contains thousands of words, like the one I’m writing now. It’s even bad for a module of a few paragraphs:

beaver builder inline editor

Editor Ping-Pong

The shortcomings of the inline editor force the user to bounce between three editing experiences.

The shortcomings of the Beaver Builder inline editor force the user to bounce between three editing experiences:

  1. The TinyMCE Visual editor,
  2. The TinyMCE Text editor, and
  3. The inline editor itself.

Let’s say I want to make something an <h3>. Can’t do that in the inline editor, better pop over to the Visual editor.

Let’s say I want to use the &mdash; character (a long dash, —). Can’t do that in the inline editor or the Visual editor for that, better open up the Text editor. But gotta make sure to toggle back over to Visual before I do any more inline editing or everything’s going to be plastered with &nbsp;s as described above.

The continual need to switch editors creates a distracted writing experience.

There are tons of examples of this problem beyond the ones I’m giving. The need to switch editors goes on and on, and it creates a distracted writing experience that forces constant creativity to do simple things.

You can fix this to an extent by simply never using inline editing—but once you know a text field’s editable, it’s hard to remember not to edit it directly. It’s also sad, because inline editing is by far my preferred way of creating content.

If I didn’t have years of experience writing and massaging HTML markup (and hacking around the bugs of various frontend editors), I honestly wouldn’t want to use this system—a markdown editor would be so much more reliable.

As a closing thought on this topic, I do expect the inline editor to get much better over time, given Beaver Builder’s ongoing track record of rapid improvement.

Beaver Builder Review: Comparison with Competition

There are lots of software projects on the internet trying to bring a better authoring experience to users. This section of our Beaver Builder review explains how Beaver Builder stacks up to its competition, both inside and outside WordPress.

Beaver Builder vs. Other WordPress Page Builders

Beaver Builder is the best page builder in WordPress.

Aren’t WordPress’s other major page builders, like Divi and the WPBakery Page Builder, pretty good too?

No, they’re not. Beaver Builder is vastly better than them. In fact, they’re so different in quality that it’s accurate to say that Beaver Builder makes WordPress better, while those two builders in particular make it worse.

I’m not just saying this. I’ve written 10,000 words to prove it:

WordPress Page Builders, Reviewed: Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, WPBakery Page Builder, Elementor

For an immense amount of detail on how Beaver Builder stacks up to the other WordPress page builders it competes with, have a look at that comparison article.

The summary of that article is, simply, that Beaver Builder is the best WordPress page builder. In my mind it’s not even that close, although Elementor is pretty decent too.

Beaver Builder vs. Squarespace

Should you build your websites with Beaver Builder + WordPress, or with a hosted builder like Squarespace?

(For starters, let’s limit “hosted builders” to just Squarespace. You should never use Wix or Weebly, which are like Squarespace but much worse.)

The Squarespace experience of using a front-end page builder that I actually liked gave me a very new perspective on web development.

Squarespace was my first experience of using a front-end, drag-and-drop page builder that I actually liked, and it gave me a very new perspective on web development altogether.

For very simple projects with very few custom feature needs, I found that Squarespace is probably a better choice than WordPress. And even on WordPress projects, it suddenly seemed very hard to go back to static page layouts, feature-poor widgets, and HTML-heavy custom PHP templates to get the layouts I was looking for. This experience was actually what led me to try Beaver Builder in earnest, where before I had regarded page builders as a plague on WordPress.

I like both Squarespace and Beaver Builder, and I use them for different things.

In short, I like both Squarespace and Beaver Builder a lot.

So which one’s “better”? Neither, they’re for different things.

When to Use Squarespace, and When to Use WordPress + Beaver Builder

You should use Squarespace for very simple “brochure” sites with almost no need for customization or added features.

You should use WordPress for any project beyond the ultra-simple ones Squarespace can handle. Within those projects, you should use Beaver Builder anytime you need to build a custom layout.

Nothing, including Beaver Builder, makes a WordPress site simple enough for a non-developer to build.

By the way, for every WordPress project, make sure a developer builds the site. Nothing, including Beaver Builder, makes a WordPress site simple enough for a non-developer to build. In other words:

  • Beaver Builder makes developer-led projects better.
  • Squarespace makes consumer-led projects better.

If you want more detailed thoughts on the topic, I’ve said a lot about WordPress’s and Squarespace’s respective roles in this article:

I Built a Site with Squarespace, and I Liked It

Beaver Builder vs. Gutenberg

It’s a shaky time to be discussing WordPress page builders, because everyone’s awaiting the arrival of Gutenberg, the official layout solution slowly making its way into WordPress core.

What’s going to happen when Gutenberg arrives? Even if Beaver Builder is the best WordPress page builder plugin, will there still be a place for it?

Gutenberg is nowhere near to being a layout builder on par with Beaver Builder.

Yes, there absolutely will be. Gutenberg is nowhere near to being a layout builder on par with Beaver Builder.

The Beaver Builder WordPress project examples we showed you above are literally impossible to create in Gutenberg, for lots of reasons:

  1. Gutenberg has columns, sort of, but they’re utterly primitive and there’s no way to style them.
  2. Gutenberg has nothing like the “Rows” layout element that is extremely important and useful in Beaver Builder and every other major layout builder plugin.
  3. Gutenberg is also not on the front end—and won’t ever be, meaning you’re building your website’s pages in a wp-admin environment that, at the end of the day, doesn’t look much like them.

What Gutenberg outcompetes is WordPress’s default editing experience, and that’s the right way to think of it. As a frontend-builder-killer, it’s laughable.

What Gutenberg outcompetes is WordPress’s default editing experience, and that’s the right way to think of it. As a frontend-page-builder-plugin-killer, especially for the best page builder in WordPress, it’s laughable.

That might change eventually, but it also might not, and it won’t be soon in any case.

Beaver Builder Review: Role in WordPress Projects

This final section of our Beaver Builder review helps you understand exactly what you get with the plugin, and what it will and won’t do for your WordPress projects.

WordPress Projects Still Need to Be Developer-Led

I would not recommend that a non-developer attempt to set up a WordPress site using just Beaver Builder, a theme, and free time.

First and foremost, I would not recommend that someone attempt to set up a WordPress site using just Beaver Builder, a theme, and free time. That person will almost certainly:

  1. Choose a badly built theme,
  2. Choose really bad hosting,
  3. Not know how to change things in WordPress, and so
  4. Install dozens of plugins as fixes, and
  5. Not know how to customize even Beaver Builder to look and behave exactly as he wants.

You still need a developer to set up a WordPress site. Beaver Builder just makes that developer’s job easier and higher-quality where custom layouts are concerned.

You still need a developer to set up a WordPress site, just as you always did. A good WordPress page builder just makes that developer’s job easier and higher-quality where custom layouts are concerned.

And, again, WordPress is only the right solution for sites that actually do need custom attention from a developer. A site with a highly custom interactive events calendar would be a good example of a project appropriate for WordPress. Beaver Builder would be a perfect addition to that project if that site also needs custom page layouts. If the site needs no customization at all in terms of features, Squarespace may be a better bet, especially if there’s a very limited budget.

Wonderful for On-Page Widgets and Shortcodes

Beaver Builder is the obvious solution for putting widgets and shortcodes onto your pages wherever you want them.

One of the things that most excited me when I started using Beaver Builder is how it makes it easy to put both shortcodes and widgets onto your pages wherever you want them. I’d tried various “widgets on pages” solutions through the years, and you start to get into sadness with imposing columns, and then making the columns responsive, and it just gets ugly.

Then there’s shortcodes. They’re designed to go in page content, but laying them out is no fun, either, and they don’t render until you preview the page. Well, in Beaver Builder they render and you can drag them around like anything else. I tried this with a Google Forms plugin we use, and seeing that form render—and then duplicating it and putting two forms next to each other using drag-and-drop—was a minor revelation.

What this means is that anything WordPress-plus-plugins can do—which is everything—can be easily dropped into and dragged around on a page in a frontend-y way, as long as it registers a widget or a shortcode. I would say that this was my single clearest “mind blown” moment with the Beaver Builder plugin.

carl sagan mind blown gif

Beaver Builder Works Within Layouts (You Still Make the Layouts)

Beaver Builder works within whatever page layouts you’ve got. If your page template has a content area that’s 400px wide, then that 400px is what Beaver Builder has to work with.

And so, if you want to use Beaver Builder to create lovely things like Medium-like layouts, full-bleed images, and so on, you’re going to need how to create truly “full-width” layouts—not ones that are “fully” 900px wide (with no sidebar), but ones that go all the way to the edge of the screen.

And so for this, it really helps if you know how to write your own WordPress custom page templates. If you do, you can create a “Beaver Builder” template that uses your site’s header and footer, but has an empty space that stretches to the left and right edge of the screen rather than a “boxed” area to write in.

Some themes, like Understrap, have these “empty” templates already. If your theme doesn’t, building one is easy for most themes, if you understand HTML, CSS, PHP, and the WordPress template hierarchy. Another reason why WordPress projects, including Beaver Builder ones, need a developer.

Beaver Builder Review Summary: A Game-Changer for WordPress Developers

At this point, I’ve used and loved Beaver Builder for over a year, on both client and personal projects. It’s held up great on every one of those projects, and the plugin itself has gotten much better during that time.

Beaver Builder empowers a WordPress developer by making layout creation simple and reliable across projects and needs. As simple as that sounds, it’s incredibly difficult, and the fact that Beaver Builder is nailing it (despite some ongoing slip-ups) makes it not only the best WordPress page builder, but probably the most impactful plugin of all time for me as a developer.

To again summarize how I’ve found Beaver Builder after a year of using it:

The Best Page Builder in WordPress

Beaver Builder

More than any other single plugin, Beaver Builder has changed how I do my work as a WordPress developer, and made good front-end layout building a reality.

Thoughtfully built, feature-rich, and above all reliable, Beaver Builder is our favorite page builder in WordPress.

Thanks for reading! Do let me know your thoughts in the comments.


28 Responses

Comments

  • Craiger says:

    I enjoyed your article and take on Beaver Builder. I’ve been building wp sites for several years – creating custom templates for unique page layouts. Now Beaver Builder is my go-to tool for just about any WordPress project.

    I didn’t notice a mention of their Beaver Themer addon plugin https://www.wpbeaverbuilder.com/beaver-themer/ If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to check it out. This, and Field Connections http://kb.wpbeaverbuilder.com/article/404-create-connections-to-advanced-custom-fields-themer sealed the deal for me.

  • Scott says:

    I’d be interested in your take in comparing Beaver Builder to Cornerstone and Fusion Builder.

  • Matt says:

    Beaver Beaver is great for site owners and can be great for clients. However, professionally it’s quite antiquated. It’s still using a Bootstrap 3 grid for example. Yes, I know even a BS4 rc is nothing where close to being released but there’s no reason why they need to pigeon hole themselves to one frontend framework. There’s Foundation or even better IMO Semantic UI.

    They’ve managed to create a product that people like and are willing to pay for that empowers novices to do what they otherwise couldn’t. As a professional, the BB standard was too low for me and I don’t expect that to change with the coat of paint that v2 will come out with.

    It’s of course very opinionated stuff like most development decisions these days. Which is why I’ll stop there. That’s my 2 cents.

    • Brent says:

      Actually Beaver Builder does not use Bootstrap 3 or any other frontend framework apart from it’s own. You may be confusing it with the Beaver Builder Theme, which is simply a companion theme that can be used with the plugin to get started quickly. The theme does use bootstrap. The content that the page builder produces does not.

      • Matt says:

        Actually no, I was referring to the plugin itself…

        On April 27, 2015 at 12:55 am Ben Carlo (Keymaster) of support said…

        “Beaver Builder is using Bootstrap 3 which uses a “Mobile First” approach. So for your case, we need to create the BB layout based on what we want the mobile view to look. Since you want the ‘address column’ to appear first on mobile, put that on the left side of the row then the ‘contact form column’ on the right side. Give the ‘address column’ a class of col-lg-3 col-lg-push-9 and the ‘contact form column’ a class of col-lg-9 col-lg-pull-3. From there, you should be able to add/modify the classes to suit your needs.”

        You can simply google “beaver builder bootstrap 3” to see for yourself as the forum link is there in the results. I’d love to be wrong but I don’t yet see any proof of that though.

        • Brent says:

          Ben is referring to the theme there, I just spoke to him. Page builder doesn’t use Bootstrap grid. Only the standalone Tour component. You can also check out the CSS directory in the plugin if you’d like to confirm it.

  • Definitely agree that a developer’s experience is needed as some point, whether is for design decisions, technical issues or to achieve a specific goal.

    Regardless of the page builder (I use another one for WordPress), end-users would benefits from training or support from a developer for the specific page builder they use.

  • Your forgot about Elementor.

    • Jamie says:

      No, he didn’t. Elementor isn’t one of the plugins recommended at the end of Pippin’s Page Builder review post so it wasn’t included in this.

      • Patrick says:

        That review is a starting point of sorts , but it is also almost a year old . Elementor isnt perfect (I’ve had issues with it) but it has moved on as no doubt other page builders have, for better or worse.

  • Yes, Beaver Builder (or Elementor if you prefer) fills a hole in WordPress and shrinks the distance between a developer and an end user. As a fellow developer, I applaud your willingness to embrace tools like Beaver Builder (and Square Space). Not everyone is so open-minded.

  • Ivan Juras says:

    You should check out the v2 Alpha. It’s been amazing so far. Very few bugs, and the UI is 10x better.

  • Rob Dewing says:

    Great article, thanks. Your take on Beaverbuilder is pretty much the same as mine after using it for 1 year+ on about half the sites I build. I find it is great for building relatively complex page layouts really quickly. I’d agree it is not a totally seamless experience compared to all-in solutions like Squarespace or Wix, though I’ve only done very minor bits of ad hoc maintenance on either of those, but it’s pretty damn good and well worth paying for a standard licence.

    It would be interesting to hear any views on the merits of upgrading to the more expensive BB Pro licence giving access to their own theme which might be expected to be more tightly integrated. I’m using BB with Genesis framework which works pretty well and I’ve held back from moving away from Gesesis to the BB own theme due to the great community resources around Genesis.

    Any thoughts on the BB Pro upgrade and the BB theme?

  • Michele says:

    I urge you to also take a look at the Elementor page builder plugin https://elementor.com/. It was a little too new to be included in Pippin Williamson’s write-up, but it’s in the same ballpark as BB. Some would argue that it offers a superior UI which addresses that clunkiness you mention.

  • Scott says:

    Fred,

    Thanks for writing such a detailed and candid article! The WordPress community could use a lot more open-minded people like you. Too many WordPress pros react very defensively when confronted with WordPress’s numerous issues, instead of focusing on improving WordPress. Speaking of improving WordPress, I’m continually amazed by how many plugins are required to build a proper WordPress site. I’m unaware of any other popular application that requires so much 3rd party help. And why is the WordPress community so proud that 25% of sites use WordPress? That of course means that an overwhelming majority (75%) of site owners chose not to use WordPress. Not even Trump would claim that 25% is “huge.”

  • Interesting perspectives. I could see SquareSpace for simple sites but WP does set it self apart beyond that.

    Have you tried the alpha version of Beaver Builder 2.0? It has a much faster load time for the builder and an awesome new UI to boot.

  • Scott says:

    Re: “There are about a million WordPress page builders out there.”

    This highlights a much bigger issue: that WordPress was created for blogging, not to build websites. So although building websites using WordPress has become a popular option, doing so requires a commitment to constantly researching and mastering a bunch of plug-ins and work arounds.

  • nathan says:

    I’d like to hear you thoughts on Oxygen and also wonder what your workflow or dev stack would consist of if you decided to use Beaver builder – what sort of dev environment would you create to amke a good workflow using BB and devloping locally then pushing live?

    Thanks for the post and video – I’m going to watch it now.

    • Fred Meyer Fred Meyer says:

      Hi Nathan! I’ve never tried Oxygen, but I’m curious. Have you?

      On workflow, pasting this in from your question on YouTube:

      I honestly can’t see how Beaver Builder would affect your stack much one way or another. It’s just a way of managing post content for posts that need complex layouts. Whether you’re on remote or local, how you do deployments, use of a CSS preprocessor, your choice of code editor, etc., are all pretty unrelated. Unless there’s something I’m not thinking of??

      So for me, on a new project that involves a page builder, I’d use:
      -Sublime Text
      -WAMP
      -A starter theme (I like UnderStrap)
      -Maybe SASS if it’s complex enough on the design side

      And I think that’s about it?

  • nathan says:

    Oh and your thought son toolset…. :)

  • Frank Herr says:

    Great article, thanks! Curious what you meant by “for a person who wants to create a brochure site for her dog walking business and has $500 to spend: those days are probably over”. There are still lots of brochure websites, both existing and needed, no?

  • As a financial advisor, one of my roles is helping others establish their new businesses. An online presence is obviously necessary. I purchased Beaver Builder because it offered drop and drag capabilities in Word Press. It also appeared to be a cost-effective solution when compared to subscription-based solutions.

    This is not the case. Shortly after my license expired, Beaver Builder lost all functionality. The company’s website claims that “Beaver Builder doesn’t stop working just because your license expires.” After a Word Press update, I was left with zero ability to make any changes. In fact, the software doesn’t even start after the change.

    When you look at other services, they start with monthly subscription fees running from $5 to $12 a month. Beaver Builder costs $16.66 when you consider that updates are required (and yes, the only solution the company offered was for me to pay for an upgrade). Considering how tight the budget can be for a new business, I can’t justify recommending Beaver Builder.

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