Since its launch at the beginning of 2014, Beaver Builder has been one of the most popular solutions in the competitive WordPress page builder market.
Beaver Builder is a user-friendly product that allows you to create professional pages with stylish content in minutes. It gives you full control over how your WordPress website looks.
The plugin also offers a range of pre-made templates for common pages such as your contact page. These templates also make a great starting point for your own unique templates.
There has never been a better time to be a WordPress user. Several years ago everyone was styling content using shortcodes, however today we have over a dozen excellent visual drag and drop page builders to choose from.
Therefore the question WordPress users need to ask is: How does Beaver Builder perform in this competitive page building market?
In this Beaver Builder review I will be taking a close look at the plugin and showing you exactly how Beaver Builder can be used to create stylish pages on your WordPress website.
The Beaver Builder Interface
The user-interface is a key part of every page builder. The developers of Beaver Builder opted for a front-end solution that lets you see changes in real-time. This saves you from having to switch from the admin area to your live website.
Once the Beaver Builder plugin has been activated on your website, you will see a “Page Builder” button displayed next to your WordPress text editor.
Clicking on the “Page Builder” button displays a launching message temporarily and then takes you to the front-end of your website for the post or page in question.
Alternatively, you can launch Beaver Builder when visiting any page of your website when logged in. Simply click on the “Page Builder” link in the WordPress toolbar.
Regardless of which method you use to launch the page builder, you will see the page in question loaded with the Beaver Builder interface. The interface may remind you of the WordPress theme customizer since the developers have adopted the native WordPress design and colour scheme.
It does not take long to familiarise yourself with where everything is placed.
At the very top of the page is a toolbar that displays the Beaver Builder logo on the left and buttons for adding content, templates, tool, and support, on the right (note that in the screenshot below the content button is not displayed in the toolbar since the content menu is loaded).
The content menu loads at the right-hand side of the page. This is contrast to the WordPress theme customizer which, as you know, loads on the left-hand side. In the content menu there is an option for row layouts and then three options for modules. Underneath are options for saved rows and saved modules.
Creating a layout takes seconds. You simply drag and drop the number of columns you want into the row. Rows can be moved easily around your template. Highlighting the row also lets you edit row settings, duplicate the row, and delete the row.
Column and row settings both feature options for changing style and structure.
In the style options section you can change the width, height, colours, background type, and border type.
The advanced options section deals more with structure. You can change margins, padding, and when responsiveness is activated. The default setting is for a row or column to be responsive all the time, however you can instead only make your content responsive for large devices, medium devices, or small devices.
CSS selectors are available and you can set whether a row or column is always displayed, never displayed, or only for users who are logged in or not. This is a useful addition that lets you control what content is displayed on the page.
The content modules are divided into three different categories: Basic modules, advanced modules, and WordPress widgets.
As I write this article there are currently eight basic modules, twenty-two advanced modules, and twelve WordPress widgets.
You will find many useful content modules available within the thirty modules Beaver Builder provides. There are modules for photos, slideshows, blog posts, testimonials, maps, galleries, and more.
You will be glad to hear that Beaver Builder does not restrict you to the twelve default WordPress widgets that are included with the WordPress core. If you activate a WordPress plugin that adds widgets to your WordPress widgets page, these widgets will be available via the Beaver Builder WordPress Widgets area.
The benefit of using widgets provided by other WordPress plugins should not be dismissed. Being allowed insert any type of widget into your Beaver Builder page allows you to use any of the thousands of widgets that are available to WordPress users. You therefore need not worry about there not being a content module for a particular situation.
There is a “Save as” option that allows you to save modules and rows and then access them later via the content menu. This is useful if you want to use a particular piece of content multiple times on a page or across different pages on your website.
Adding content to your page is simple. All you have to do is drag a content module into a column. You can modify a number of settings for each content modul though the settings that are available for each content module depend on the module in question.
Some of the basic modules only have one or two settings available while others have several tabs of options. All modules featured an advanced tab for modifying margins and padding etc.
Beaver Builder gives you great control over how a content module is constructed, but the easy to use user-interface ensures you are not overwhelmed with all the options available.
Everything can be accessed via the buttons displayed at the top right-hand side of every page. As I noted earlier, the “Add Content” button is not displayed when the content menu is open.
Beaver Builder provides over thirty beautiful responsive templates.
Landing pages are designed for your home page and for specific purposes such as a coming soon page or subscription page. There are a great variety of landing pages on offer so you should find something that fits your needs.
Content pages include an about us template, services, portfolio, FAQ, blog, pricing, and contact us. Any custom templates you save are also available via the template area.
When you select a template you will be asked whether you want to completely replace the existing layout for that page or append the template at the bottom of the page.
I was impressed by the quality of templates and the range of templates available. Even if you do not like the full look of a template, you can use it as a starting point for your own design and remove the parts you do not need.
To save a template you simply add a descriptive name for your design. It will then be available via the templates menu.
Duplicating a layout will create a brand new page of the layout in question. This is useful for testing purposes and also if you are looking to make similar pages. For example, you could duplicate your contact page and use it as as a starting point for the contact area of your advertising page.
The global settings box lets you adjust default settings for the page. You can select whether the page header is displayed and adjust the default margins, padding, and widths, that are used on the page.
Default responsive layout settings can also be adjusted in this area.
The “Done” button in the top menu saves your design. To the right-hand side is a question mark symbol that opens up the support menu.
There support menu presents options to take a tour, watch a video, visit the knowledge base, and contact support.
I recommend taking the tour when you first activate Beaver Builder to give yourself a solid understanding of how all the major features of the page builder work.
Like the interactive tour, the seven minute long getting started video will help show you how to use the page builder.
You can find answers to common questions in the Beaver Builder knowledge base. Most articles in the knowledge base feature a video tutorial that walk you through the solution.
The contact link takes you to the support area of Beaver Builder where you can submit a ticket to have your problem addressed.
In comparison to many other page building solutions for WordPress, Beaver Builder has taken a more simplistic approach to the design and interface. I believe this is to their credit as some developers have added too many bells and whistles to their page builder and made everything overly complicated.
Configuring Beaver Builder
When you first activate the Beaver Builder plugin you will be taken to the welcome page of the general settings area. This page details what’s new in the latest version of the plugin and points you in the direction of where you can get support.
You can access this settings area directly at any time by going to the Page Builder link in the settings menu of the WordPress admin area.
Beaver Builder is a GPL friendly product. You do not need to enter your license details in order to use the plugin, however it is required for support and updates.
Most users will be happy with the default settings in the settings area, however it is important that you enter your license information so that you always have the latest version of the Beaver Builder installed.
In the module settings area you can deactivate modules that you do not need. I was really pleased to see this feature as it when you become familiar with a page builder there are inevitably modules you use all the time and those you do not. It therefore makes sense to remove the modules you do not need.
Beaver Builder works with posts and pages. It should also work with most post types added by WordPress themes and plugins. For example, portfolios, galleries, contact forms etc.
You can remove access to Beaver Builder for specific post types.
By default all templates are enabled. If you prefer, you can only enable core templates or user templates. You can also disable the templating system.
There are also options to edit the page builder templates and export template data.
Icon types can be enabled or disabled via the icon settings menu.
I was initially curious as to why the developers would add an option for deactivating a particular type of icons. A quick look at the icon content module made me realise they made it an option.
There are thousands of icons available in Beaver Builder. If you find yourself using a particular style of icon, it is useful to be able to deactivate the other types.
I still do not think this is an essential option since you can filter results by icon type in the icon module, however I am sure some people will find it useful.
In the editing section you can select the WordPress capability required in order for users to access Beaver Builder and for editing global rows and modules.
You will be pleased to hear that Beaver Builder has an option that removes the data the plugin adds to your WordPress database. This ensures that you will not have any unnecessary data in your database should you stop using the plugin.
As you can see, the settings area for Beaver Builder focuses mostly on global settings. Most of the main options you will be dealing with on a regular basis can be found in the page builder itself.
The Beaver Builder Theme
Pro users and agency users of Beaver Builder are provided with the Beaver Builder Theme. The theme can be viewed as a framework or as a canvas that has been optimised for the page builder.
If you are looking for a design that is perfect right out of the box, I do not believe this is the right theme for you. However, with a little patience you can use the theme to build a good website.
Every aspect of the website design is controlled using the WordPress theme customizer so you can see changes in real-time.
There are different style presets and a host of options for your header, content area, footer, and more.
The number of options available is impressive. Under the header section, for example, there are options for the top bar layout, top bar style, header layout, header style, header logo, nav layout, and nav style. In each section you can change colours, margins, padding, the background image, and more.
Whilst you use the WordPress theme customizer for customising the Beaver Builder theme, you still use the page builder to modify the content inside it.
The Beaver Builder is a nice bonus for customers, but it’s hardly a major selling point of Beaver Builder. It’s a good design that works well with the page builder though it does not do anything to set itself apart from popular free WordPress themes on WordPress.org.
Beaver Builder has a simple pricing policy. The software is GPL friendly so you are free to use it on as many WordPress websites as you wish.
There are three plans. All plans feature the Beaver Builder modules and templates.
The standard plan retails at $99. Upgrading to the pro plan at $199 gives you the Beaver Builder theme and includes additional functionality so that it works with WordPress multisite. I would only recommend upgrading to the pro plan if you need WordPress multisite as the Beaver Builder theme is not worth paying $100 more.
The agency plan retails at $399 and offers white labelling. This plan is designed for companies who want to change or remove all references of Beaver Builder and Page Builder and market the product as their own.
All plans come with one year of support. Should you wish to upgrade to a higher plan you can simply pay the difference in price.
If you choose to renew your membership within two weeks of your yearly expiration date, you will receive a discount of 40% for the following year. This reduces the cost of the standard plan for your subsequent years to $59.40.
A 30 day money back guarantee is also provided with your initial purchase should you decide that you are not happy with Beaver Builder.
Beaver Builder has rightfully built up a reputation as being one of the best drag and drop page builders available to WordPress users.
Two of the key factors to consider when selecting a visual page builder are the user-interface and the content modules that are available.
Beaver Builder’s user-interface doesn’t stand out in a competitive drag and drop page building market. It is not colourful and it has a simplistic design. For me this is a good thing as it offers more substance over style. Once you familiarise yourself with the page builder you can create complex designs in minutes and the inclusion of high quality templates provides a great starting point for those that want a starting point.
There are thirty content modules and an additional twelve WordPress widgets available by default. Every page building solution available offers a different range of content modules, however I found that Beaver Builder has a good mix. The great thing about the plugin is that the ability to insert WordPress widgets from WordPress plugins opens up thousands of other content modules. It really does make Beaver Builder a much more versatile product as it means you can find solutions for any content modules not offered natively.
I hope you have enjoyed this review of Beaver Builder. If you want to find out more about the plugin, please visit the official Beaver Builder website.
Thanks for reading.
- User-interface is easy to use
- Good range of content modules available
- Ability to use third-party widgets
- Templating system is useful
- User-interface is a little plain
- No extensions available from third-party developers to add additional functionality
- There are cheaper solutions available
Beaver Builder is an easy to use WordPress drag and drop page builder that can be used to create professional website layouts for your content area in minutes.
Beaver Builder is an easy to use WordPress drag and drop page builder that can be used to create professional website layouts for your content area in minutes.
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