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Beaver Builder Review: A WordPress Developer’s Perspective

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.

This review is part of our full WordPress page builder comparison, which gives in-depth reviews and comparisons of WordPress’s largest page builders.

Let’s start with the executive summary.

Is Beaver Builder Good?

Heck yes. It’s our favorite page builder in WordPress.

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.

Beaver Builder Review Table

Below is a detailed breakout of Beaver Builder’s strengths and weaknesses from our page builder comparison table:

SiteGround Bluehost HostGator
Av. loading time from the nearest location 0.41s 0.93s 0.93s
Min. response time 0.46s 0.62s 0.78s
Max. response time 0.87s 4.9s 0.89s
Cost per month (12 month) $3.95 (just for the first year) $4.95 $7.16
Cost per month (36 month) $3.95 $3.49 $5.56

See more detail about how Beaver Builder stacks up against WordPress’s other largest page builders in our full WordPress page builder comparison.

Full Beaver Builder Review

With the at-a-glance summaries above taken care of, here’s our full Beaver Builder review.

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.

To review Beaver Builder, we put it through the same test (duplicate the landing page of an app named Tile) that we use for the other page builders we’ve reviewed.

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.
  • Summary: Beaver Builder review summary.
  • 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


By this I mean: Beaver Builder lets you accomplish your layout goals well and quickly, without sacrificing stability or grimacing your way through bugs and hacks. I was able to get a solid, attractive, non-buggy, non-fragile start on the Tile homepage design in about 20 minutes of work—while also demoing a flawless Gravity Forms embed and a passed “multi-part” shortcode test at the bottom:

Of the four builders I’ve tried, my progress in Beaver Builder was without question the one I’d most want to show Tile themselves. I could honestly say, “We’re well underway implementing your homepage design, just need a fair amount of polish work, fonts and so on, but we’re on the right track.”

By contrast, the pages I created in the Divi and WPBakery builders, because of those builders’ structural weaknesses, are interesting case studies of failure and dead-ending—not progress toward an actual web development goal. My progress in Elementor was pretty smooth, but also seemed to risk being buggier; I’d feel a fair amount more anxious during the demo.

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

So my experience has been that, 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 Beaver 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 panic by bugs once.

Some Places Where I Rely on Beaver Builder

You can see numerous uses of Beaver Builder on our paid courses site,, 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.

Generates Stable and Predictable Output

This point has a few facets.

In Beaver Builder, you do layout by cleanly setting actual CSS layout elements.

First, in Beaver Builder you do layout by cleanly setting actual CSS layout elements—in particular, padding and margins—for every row, column, and module you create. When you set a row to be “full-width” and set its padding and margins to 0, the row then actually, truly stretches to be the full width of the content container. When you set the content within that row to be “boxed” with a max-width of 800px, the content actually, truly has a max-width attribute of 800px. When you set a module to have an 80px top margin, that gets filtered directly through to an actual CSS style that you can look at and change.

What Beaver Builder doesn’t do is skip steps in its user interface, by relying too heavily on blunt instruments like 12-column grids (which it uses and which are wonderful, but with the huge difference that you can actually set the width of the space being divided into columns), or by jumbling real layout concepts into mushy, end-user-convenience-focused systems like “gutters” or “stretch columns.”

As a result, a layout that in WPBakery Builder you’d be trying to cobble together with “a stretched row containing a single 1/2 column plus I guess two 1/4 spacing elements but I hope we can get those to disappear on mobile and also I guess we’ll need to set a max-width for the 1/2 column,” in Beaver Builder you just declare cleanly, simply, and literally.

When you click Done > Publish, what you see is exactly what you saw when you were editing the page.

The next thing that happens is: Your declarations stick. When you click Done > Publish, what you see is always exactly what you saw when you were editing the page. That means no surprise horizontal scrollbars, no disappearing nav menus, no unexplained extra margins or padding. In Beaver Builder what you write sticks, and your visitors see it as you’ve designed it. That’s what WYSIWYG page builders are supposed to do, and it’s hard to describe what a difference it makes to be using one that actually does it.

Let’s see all this in action, on the sample “slide” I created at the top of the page:

The main takeaway from this GIF is, again, what happens when I click Done > Publish. What happens is nothing: everything sits in place exactly, precisely, down-to-the-pixel where it’s been told to be, because it’s all resting on styling rules that are actually real.

A subtlety that points back at the high underlying quality of Beaver Builder’s approach to layout is what happens when I change the slide height from 500px to 400px. Nothing happens right away. Why is that?

It’s because the slide text itself has so much top and bottom margin that it’s “pushing” the slide itself to be taller than the height we’ve suggested for it. When we reduce the text’s top margin from 250px to 150px, the slide can finally “relax” down to the 400px we’ve suggested for it.

This is how actual web layout works, and even if the ability to make two contradictory statements and only have one take effect might confuse some end-users with no technical grounding, it’s heaven to a developer who thinks in actual layout terms.

Fallback to Clean HTML

One amazing thing about Beaver Builder is that if you turn it off, the markup falls back to astonishingly clean HTML:

This is a really, really good sign for a bunch of reasons. First, it solves the practical concern of how to get your page content back out if you ever need to deactivate the builder—a major issue with Divi Builder, WPBakery/Visual Composer, and most other builders.

The clean fallback shows that the Beaver Builder developers care about code quality.

Second, it shows that the Beaver Builder developers care about code quality. Working with the other two builders involves (to different extents) the very familiar sinking realization that the commercial software you’re stuck using simply doesn’t care about quality: they sell to the end user, and any fatal flaws that an end user won’t pick up on become your problem. Beaver Builder gives the opposite feeling in numerous places, and this is one of them.

Third, and probably most important, this means that Beaver Builder itself is built on something less fragile, buggy, ugly, clumsy, and about-to-be-destroyed-by-Gutenberg than shortcodes. Of the builders reviewed here, Beaver Builder most displays an underlying robustness, a hey-that-worked quality that makes you dare to trust the software. That is 100% related to the fact that its creators didn’t hitch its vast layout and design functionality to the awkward, fragile, and wonky shortcode API (or, as a reader of this article commented, to the devil’s bargain of iframes).

Building an ever-growing page builder’s worth of complex features on shortcodes means you’re always playing defense—always compensating for the slow, fragile, and bulky engine at the base of everything. Beaver Builder is different: that feeling of not being in overwhelming technical debt shines out loud and clear throughout every aspect of the user experience, as we’ve discussed in the sections above.

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: 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.

Empowers Developers

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

Relatively Few, Blandly Named Default Modules

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.

Reliance on Truly “Full-Width” Page Templates

One thing Beaver Builder doesn’t do—and that I really value about (of all things) WPBakery Page Builder—is allow you to stretch a row horizontally beyond the bounds of the normal content container.

In other words, if you’re using Beaver Builder on a “No Sidebar” page template that just gives you one 1100px column to work with, there’s no easy way to create elements that are truly full-width—meaning going to the edge of the screen, rather than just to the edge of the 1100px boundary that’s set up.

The burden is on you, the developer, to know how to create “empty” or “true fullwidth” templates that give you the entire horizontal screen area to work with, or to be using a theme that has them.

This means that the burden is on you, the developer, to know how to create “empty” or “true fullwidth” templates that give you the entire horizontal screen area to work with, or else to be using a theme that has one or more of those templates.

I’d be curious to see how a Beaver Builder implementation of a “stretch row”—using JavaScript to break normal content boundaries—would look. Of course, stretch rows are quite a bit more fragile and, in a sense, hacky than regular layout elements, but for the sake of accessibility for non-developers I’d be curious to see Beaver Builder try.

No “Undo” on Layout Changes

Beaver Builder doesn’t let you undo layout changes, such as moving or deleting columns. Sometimes I’ll delete a column by accident and have to re-make the overall layout within the row, which makes things feel more precarious than they would otherwise.

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.


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: Summing Up

What I can’t fully convey here is just how helpful a good WordPress page builder like Beaver Builder can be to a WordPress developer’s day-to-day work.

I’ve made clear in this review that I believe Beaver Builder is the best page builder in WordPress. What I can’t fully convey in this review is just how helpful a good page builder can be to your day-to-day work as a WordPress developer. It’s enormously freeing and empowering to have a good, high-quality solution for creating custom layouts that isn’t tied to one particular theme or site envrionment. It’s freed me up tremendously, and brought huge value to both my personal and client projects in WordPress.

So if you’re looking for the best WordPress page builder, there it is: it’s Beaver Builder. If you haven’t tried it yet, I strongly encourage you to do yourself a favor and try Beaver Builder today.

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:

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 in WordPress core.

What’s going to happen because of Gutenberg? 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.

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.

Review Wrap-Up: Beaver Builder is 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.

Yay! 🎉 You made it to the end of the article!
Fred Meyer

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Christian Siegmann
July 23, 2018 3:01 pm

Hi Fred. Thank you very much for this helpful review. Your descripions contains the daily real developer troubles that exist. Iam to 99 percent agree with you. But the Beaver Themer extension i love also like BB. Custom Blog Layouts and awesome Woocommerce pages are setup in few of minutes. I never want to miss the BB system in my WordPress Sites. Regards, Christian.

Jay Roberts
June 5, 2018 6:08 pm

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.

Alok Sharma
December 21, 2018 9:24 pm
Reply to  Jay Roberts


I have heard the same story elsewhere also. If that is the case, then it is not acceptable.

Normally, the software should continue to work after the license has expired except that people don’t get any further support or updates until the license is renewed. This is how the licensing modal works.

I will bring this to the attention of Beaver support to confirm if this indeed stands true.

Frank Herr
February 25, 2018 10:38 am

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?

Frank Herr
February 27, 2018 3:58 pm
Reply to  Fred Meyer

Makes sense! Thanks for clarifying that Fred.

January 7, 2018 6:34 am

Oh and your thought son toolset…. 🙂

January 7, 2018 6:34 am

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.

Beaver Builder vs. Elementor Pro: A Look at WordPress Page Builders
August 9, 2017 9:36 am

[…] come leaps and bounds and are definitely worth consideration. Even expert WordPress developers have admitted to loving these tools for a variety of reasons—so what are their benefits, why should you […]

Collins Agbonghama
July 31, 2017 2:18 pm

+1 for Elementor page builder. So intuitive with lots of templates. Works great with lightweight themes like GeneratePress, Astra and OceanWP.

July 28, 2017 1:17 pm

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.

Tyler Golberg
July 28, 2017 12:51 am

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.

July 27, 2017 5:09 pm

I agree with Michele’s suggestion to check out Elementor, and I meant to also make that suggestion earlier!

July 27, 2017 2:46 pm


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.”

Rob Dewing
July 27, 2017 6:25 am

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?

Ivan Juras
July 27, 2017 3:02 am

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

David McCan
July 26, 2017 5:31 pm

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.

Luke Cavanagh
July 26, 2017 2:15 pm

Your forgot about Elementor.

July 27, 2017 11:07 am
Reply to  Luke Cavanagh

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.

July 28, 2017 5:51 am
Reply to  Jamie

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.

Denis Ethier
July 26, 2017 2:13 pm

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.

July 26, 2017 2:10 pm

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.

July 27, 2017 9:43 am
Reply to  Matt

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.

July 27, 2017 10:15 am
Reply to  Brent

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.

July 27, 2017 10:54 am
Reply to  Matt

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.

July 27, 2017 10:56 am
Reply to  Brent

Excellent. Glad to hear it! ?

July 26, 2017 2:00 pm

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

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