What you’re about to read is an extensive review of one of the most popular page builders around: Beaver Builder. Why are we so into page builders lately, you ask? Well, just about anyone who’s anyone seems to be getting fed up with the limitations of the default WordPress content editor — the one you normally use when editing a post or page.
So what are they using instead? Something with more functionality?
The answer, it seems, is a new wave of drag-and-drop page builders that enable you to do all kinds of handy modifications to posts and pages. Indeed, many would go so far as to say page builders could be the next big thing for content creators!
Beaver Builder is a feature-rich drag-and-drop content builder that’s meant to make all your content creation efforts in WordPress as hassle-free as possible.
What this means in practice is:
All of the above means Beaver Builder should come in handy for the vast majority of users, site owners, and WordPress developers — with the main selling point being that it makes working with website content (and even creating websites from scratch) much faster and more efficient.
Beaver Builder actually tackles one of the main issues with WordPress as a platform: The fact that it’s not overly friendly towards users who have no experience with websites — especially those who want to create great content on their own.
Let’s have a deeper look into the individual features Beaver Builder offers.
The core of Beaver Builder’s offering can be divided into two parts: (a) the content builder plugin, and (b) Beaver Builder Theme — a specially built theme that’s optimized to work with the Beaver Builder plugin, making it even more functional.
Here are some of the more significant features:
There really is a lot waiting for you under the hood with Beaver Builder, but the good thing is none of it’s difficult to grasp. The features don’t all jump right at you, but rather sit there quietly in the background waiting to go to work when you need them. We’ll talk more about that in one of the next sections, but, in the meantime, let’s look at the pricing.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room: Beaver Builder isn’t cheap.
Here’s the official pricing table:
The good thing, though, is you can use Beaver Builder on unlimited sites, regardless of the plan you choose. This isn’t always the case with the competition.
In my honest opinion, the plans that makes the most sense are either standard or pro. The agency plan seems to only give you additional white labeling features, which I don’t see as all that valuable in most cases.
The main selling point of the pro plan is Beaver Builder Theme. This can be useful if you’re planning to use Beaver Builder as the base for client sites you’re building from the ground up. However, for existing sites — or your own site — that already use a good theme, standard is really going to be enough.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a free trial, but Beaver Builder does provide a nice demo, available here. And there’s also a lite version of the plugin, available at WordPress.org. In comparison with the premium plans, it doesn’t include these:
Also, keep in mind that even with the premium plans, you only get support for one year (which can be extended later on).
Okay, let’s move on to the next section in our review:
We’ll stick with the Beaver Builder plugin for now, not the theme.
When working with Beaver Builder, you can take one of two paths:
Going with method No.1, you can choose from Landing Pages and Content Pages:
In general, landing pages are used for marketing and sales purposes (e.g. for your homepage, product page, other sales pages), while content pages let you create nice looking about pages, team pages, contact pages, portfolios, and so on.
The landing pages come nicely labeled for different purposes, and you can find many templates for small businesses, apps, fitness, online magazines, classic blogs, photography portfolios, restaurants, agencies and even law firms.
Once you pick your template, or if you’re starting from scratch, it’s time to build/edit the structure of the page. This is what we’re going to focus on next.
Here’s how content organization works in Beaver Builder (excuse the hand drawing):
As you can see, there’s some structure here, and it’s all meant to make your page easier to grasp when you go back to it after a while.
The best news when building a page is that rows and content elements are drag-and-drop supported. This means you can take any row or individual content block and realign it somewhere else, like so:
Adding new rows and new content blocks is equally simple. All you do is go to the sidebar menu:
From there, you can select from:
Last but not least, you can adjust the template you’re working with or even change it completely at any point without losing any of your content.
When you finish your work, just click ‘done’ in the upper right corner, and Beaver Builder will publish the changes.
Overall, editing content in Beaver Builder works really smoothly and without any glitches — surprising, considering the experiences I have had with competitor tools. Furthermore, interacting with the builder is really fun, and you can easily get results that would otherwise cost you heavy money if you were to hire a designer.
An important thing I want to point out is that if you’re using Beaver Builder with your current theme (not Beaver Builder Theme), there are slight limitations as to what Beaver Builder can do. That being said, if your theme is responsive, it won’t cause you any trouble in most cases.
Apart from editing your content via the Beaver Builder plugin, you can also get Beaver Builder Theme (available with the pro plan), and use it to build — or rebuild — your site from the ground up.
With the theme, you can customize the overall look and feel of your site through the WordPress Customizer, and then tune the individual pages inside the Beaver Builder plugin. That is what we’re going to do here.
The Beaver Builder section in the WordPress Customizer gives you a handful of options:
First off, you get to pick a preset for the overall design:
There are only some slight differences between them, but that’s a good thing. The presets are only meant to give your site a specific feel, not get into the individual elements too much.
Next, click on the ‘general’ settings panel and proceed to ‘layout’ settings, where you can choose whether you want to use a boxed layout (standard these days on the web) or a full-width version.
In ‘general’ settings, you can also set the likes of the background (color, image) for the whole website, accent colors, headings typography, and body text typography.
I won’t describe every element in the Beaver Builder Theme’s customization panel — that would require a how-to post of its own — but I’ll briefly mention some of the more important things, which include:
Overall, it’s apparent that the main goal for Beaver Builder when creating this theme wasn’t to make the theme itself massively feature-rich, but to make it massively compatible with the Beaver Builder plugin.
The theme itself isn’t special on its own. I don’t see a reason to use it if you’re not going to use the Beaver Builder plugin along with it. That being said, when working together, the theme and plugin combo is just perfect.
I can see two types of users who are likely to benefit most from using Beaver Builder:
Beaver Builder is very strong in the ease-of-use department, and this makes it really beginner-friendly. Chances are, even if you know nothing about building or managing websites, you’re still going to be able to create awesome content with Beaver Builder’s drag-and-drop features.
On top of that, the way Beaver Builder interacts with the user is really intuitive. Beaver Builder offers true front-end editing, which means working on your content pages or landing pages is much like working from a Word document — what you see is what you get.
Then we have the second group of users — designers and developers working on client projects. Here, Beaver Builder’s pro package can be the most useful. With Beaver Builder Theme and the Beaver Builder plugin together, you can build new original sites really quickly.
In other words, you no longer have to worry when clients request changes and new elements, as there’s no need to redesign anything with Beaver Builder — you can just drag and drop things into place. Really cool!
In a nutshell, get Beaver Builder if you:
That’s a tough question. The market is really saturated, and there are cool solutions at all price points.
That last one is actually Beaver Builder’s main competitor, in my opinion. Both Beaver Builder and MotoPress offer great features and really friendly user interfaces.
Which is the better overall plugin, and therefore also the best drag-and-drop builder plugin?
Sorry, but in my opinion they’re equally excellent. Beaver Builder has a great user-friendly interface, and offers you everything you may need, but it’s a bit more pricey. MotoPress has excellent content modules and is more budget friendly, but is shortcode-based, so your content can stop working if you deactivate the plugin.
Ultimately, of course, the choice is yours!
Used/using Beaver Builder? What do you think of it? Or maybe you have questions related to this Beaver Builder review.