MotoPress is a drag and drop content editor for WordPress that can be used to improve the style and structure of your content. This type of plugin is usually referred to as a page builder as it allows you to easily structure the content of a page using a visual editor.
MotoPress was launched in May 2013. Over the last year, many new features have been added to the features that were available at launch. For example, the latest version, released in September 2014, added options for parallax effects and video backgrounds.
In this article, I would like to show you how the plugin works and how you can use it to build pages with a WordPress website.
Once you have purchased MotoPress, you will be provided with a license number. This needs to be entered in the plugin license page (*Don’t be concerned with the fact my license has expired as it was only provided for testing purposes).
English, Russian, and Spanish, can be selected from the main options page. More languages should be available soon as the developers are actively seeking people to help them translate the plugin into other languages.
By default, MotoPress can be used to style posts and pages. This can be disabled if necessary. I always welcome additional options in plugins, though I am sure most people will simply leave MotoPress enabled at all times.
What is particularly useful is the option to disable MotoPress for specific user groups. For example, you could restrict MotoPress to administrators and editors so that authors and contributors cannot use it.
MotoPress has some additional features such as spellchecking and an option to convert shortcodes in excerpts to HTML. Custom CSS code can be added for additional styling too.
That is all you need to do to set up MotoPress. As you can see, the plugin works correctly out of the box.
How to Use MotoPress to Style Your Content
Once MotoPress has been activated on your website, a “MotoPress Content Editor” button will be added above your post editor. This will still be displayed if you have disabled the visual editor through your WordPress profile.
When you click on the button, the MotoPress interface will load. A loading icon will be briefly displayed for a few seconds while the interface is loading.
If your post is blank, you will initially be presented with a blank canvas. If not, your content will be loaded e.g. images and text.
At the top of the interface is an update button to save your work, a preview button to see what your content looks like, and a close button to enable you to return to the regular WordPress post editor interface. There is also a help icon that displays a lightbox with several tutorial videos.
Along the left side of the interface is a list of the content modules that can be used to add content to your post or page.
Modules are split into six different categories. Once you have found a module you like, you simply drag and drop it into the canvas area.
A unique settings box is displayed with every module. It can be minimized or closed if you feel it is getting in the way.
The box allows you to customize the module as you see fit. For example, with the image module you can change the alignment of the image and make the image link to a specific URL. For a post grid, you can choose how many posts are displayed and how many columns those posts are displayed in.
Each settings box also has a style tab. This allows you to define the margin around the module and link to a custom CSS class.
One of the main features of page builders is the ability to place feature rich content into columns and rows.
I have tested several drag and drop page builders for WordPress. Most page builder plugins allow you to add new columns and rows using buttons. For example, you would click the row button to add a new row and then drag a module to that row.
MotoPress does things differently. When you drag a module over to the canvas area, a blue box will appear in the area in which you drag the module.
If you drag a module to the left or right hand side of another module, it will insert the module as another column. If you drag the module above or below another module, it will be added as a row.
This seems like an insignificant feature of MotoPress, however it allows you to create complex table structures using modules very quickly and very easily.
There is not any learning curve for MotoPress. With other page builders, it can take 20 to 30 minutes to understand how to use the plugin correctly; however MotoPress is self-explanatory, therefore you will be able to use it confidently right away.
Modules dictate what you can do with a page builder, so you will be glad to hear that MotoPress has a wide variety of modules on offer.
As I noted earlier, modules are divided into six different categories. The first category relates to text and content. There are five modules in total.
One of the most interesting options is the members content module. It allows you to restrict content to registered members.
- WordPress Text
- Members Content
The second category features an image and slider module. The slider module lets you choose multiple images from your WordPress media gallery and display them in a simple slideshow. The output looks great and the settings box allows you to change slider settings such as slider speed, animation type, and pagination.
The next category features a call to action button, social sharing buttons, and social following buttons. All types of buttons can be aligned left, center, or right. You can also change the color of regular buttons and the style of sharing buttons.
- Social Share Buttons
- Social Buttons
The next category offers media. Vimeo and YouTube videos can be embedded easily using the video module.
The audio module allows you to link to an audio file from an external URL or from your WordPress media gallery.
There are several modules available in the fifth category. This list of modules is all about displaying information on your page, whether it be data, charts, tab boxes, tables, or whatever.
- Post Grids
- Google Maps
The last module category is widgets. This section will display every available widget on your website, including favorites such as recent posts, recent comments, custom menus, categories, and search bar.
The ability to integrate widgets directly into a post or page greatly expands what MotoPress can do. With tens of thousands of free and premium plugins available to WordPress users, you have an opportunity to integrate almost anything into your content area.
The screenshot below illustrates how multi-column articles can be constructed in less than a minute.
Once you have used MotoPress to style and structure your content, click the update button to save your work and the close button to return to the post editor.
At this point, you will have noticed that MotoPress has used shortcode to style your article (even if you are using the WordPress visual editor). If you know these shortcodes off the top of your head, you could use them in future without loading the MotoPress interface.
I found that it was not necessary to use the preview button after creating a page. The slider does not function in the MotoPress interface and dotted lines are displayed to indicate rows and columns. However, by and large, the content that is displayed in the MotoPress interface matches what will be displayed in your post or page.
This saves you from having to constantly switch between the editor and the preview page to see what your finished product will look like.
Three different licenses are available for MotoPress. Their personal plan retails at $29 per year and is suitable for one website.
The MotoPress business plan costs $79 per year and allows up to five websites to use MotoPress. If you need to use MotoPress on an unlimited number of websites, you will need to choose the developer license, which retails at $139 per year.
All plans come with one year upgrades and support and a 30 day money back guarantee.
MotoPress is a capable drag and drop page builder that has a lot of great features. It is easy to use, has a good variety of content modules to choose from, and the ability to to integrate widgets into the content area means that the plugin has arguably more potential than alternative plugins that can boast having more types of modules.
The one area I do feel it falls behind some competitors is styling. MotoPress does let you change the margins of each module and you can style each module uniquely using custom CSS.
However, non-designers may be a little disappointed that pre-defined styles are not available for modules. Personally, I do not have a major problem with the minimal approach to modules that MotoPress takes as I use a minimal WordPress theme on my blog, but there is no denying that styling is an area that the plugin needs to address.
I hope you have enjoyed this review. If so, please take the time to share your own opinion of MotoPress below.
To find out more about the plugin, please visit MotoPress.
Very easy to use
Good selection of content modules
Widget support makes MotoPress a flexible page builder solution
Lack of styling options
No pre-made themes available so your article may look a little dull and uninspiring
Summary: An easy to use drag and drop page builder that can be used to create complex layouts in WordPress posts and pages.
Rated 4 stars