While WordPress allows for an incredible number of different website possibilities, it doesn’t do it alone. The basic page editor that is included simply doesn’t cut it for most sites, which is why page builder plugins are so important to a WordPress site.
With a page builder, you can create web pages visually without writing any code – unless you want to. Frontend editing allows you to see what you’re doing as you do it, providing live feedback to help you cut down on development time and build something unique.
WPBakery Page Builder is one of the most popular page builder options of all time, so there’s no denying it’s a great tool. But does it fit your needs, budget, and experience level? Keep reading to find out.
What is WPBakery Page Builder?
Formerly known as Visual Composer, WPBakery Page Builder is a plugin that allows you to use a select and place visual builder to create custom pages on your website. You can interact with a custom demo website to get hands-on with the builder, but to use it on your site you’ll need to purchase a single-use license.
With a wide range of templates and elements, it enables website owners with no coding knowledge to make their own website quickly and simply. It can be used alongside any theme, is translation-ready, is built with SEO in mind, and has extendability to expand functionality past just what it offers out of the box.
Who is WPBakery Page Builder For?
WPBakery is exceptionally beginner-friendly. The interface is clear to see, simple to interact with, and even color coded to keep you on track while you work. Structural elements can be easily added and edited to ensure everything fits where you want it to, and content elements can be dragged and dropped into place with previews to ensure things don’t get messy while editing. The plugin also includes theming settings that cut down on styling time for various elements, shortening development periods and helping you get up and running sooner.
WPBakery’s single-application pricing model lends itself to individual businesses rather than developers because you have to pay-site instead of per year. Fortunately, lifetime support means that once you buy the plugin, you won’t have to worry about it again.
The simplicity, budget-friendliness, and versatile WPBakery Page Builder is a solid plugin that can be used in almost any design situation. It will be responsive, translation-ready, and compatible with almost all themes, allowing you to choose your preferred theme and ensure your builder complements it well.
All About WPBakery Page Builder
WPBakery’s interface is one of its major benefits, providing a simple and easy to understand building tool that can be used on any page. To access the builder, simply choose either “backend editor” or “frontend editor” from the backend of any page on your site.
The backend editor creates a wireframe of the site, organizing each element in a simple list but without providing a visual representation of the design itself. This can be good for staying organized or tracking down an element that got lost, but doesn’t make the most of the interactive page builder.
Choosing the frontend builder will bring you to your page just as visitors will see it. Here there is a content area that is where you can begin building by adding elements with the “+” symbol in the top left. Simply click the element you want to add and it will place it in the topmost available space. Or, if you have open spaces in your page’s section, row, or column, you can click the “+” in that area to add an element directly.
Once in the editing area, the elements can be dragged with the arrows, edited with the pencil to add content, styling, and formatting, copied, or deleted. You’ll also see the highlighted structural block that the element is in so you can be sure that you’re interacting with the right element, or so you can edit the area your element is occupying to increase the size or flesh out the formatting.
Alternatively, if you want to use one of WPBakery’s many templates, you can import them with the template button to the right of the “+”. This will add your chosen template to your content area with unlocked elements that allow you to edit them as you need.
Also located on the top bar are the undo and redo buttons, which make editing easy. The gear icon can be used to access the individual page’s settings, which allows you to set the title or implement CSS just for the specific page you are working on. To their right is the responsive editing interface, allowing you to choose your screen size so that you can design for all different devices, ensuring all visitors can access and enjoy your site. Finally, once your page is ready to go live you can update it in the top right to publish it.
One unfortunate aspect of the interface, however, is that the elements don’t update in real time – you have to save your changes first and close the setting box to see them update. This adds an extra step when making changes, and can be time-consuming when changing details like fonts, sizing, or other styles that you need to see firsthand.
WPBakery Page Builder is a frontend and backend page builder plugin that allows you to add individual elements to your page’s content area either through dragging into place, or adding directly into open content areas. This allows each web page to be organized and designed to look good and work well.
A major benefit of the builder is that it makes all aspects of customizing a web page easier. All elements and templates that are provided as part of WPBakery are built with responsiveness, SEO, and translation in mind. This means that with little input from you, your content can be seen by all kinds of visitors. You are also able to use the plugin with any WordPress theme, so if you find one that really works for your business, WPBakery will add no complications.
The element list includes many of the most popular element types, and even includes custom grids and carousel elements that can be used to make your blog post or portfolio stand out without having to worry about individual styling. Plus, if WPBakery doesn’t have an element or feature you need, the third-party integration marketplace can help extend the functionality of the plugin so that it can fit most use cases. The plugin is entirely WooCommerce-compliant as well, so stores can enjoy the perks of creating custom product or catalog pages – no more default templates and editing child themes just to make your product pages look good.
If you build a page or template that you like, you can copy and reuse it on other pages, set custom post types to use that template, and maintain uniformity between pages. The skin builder also helps to keep your brand cohesive by allowing you to change the global color of individual elements and their styling settings from a single location, which makes branding color changes easy across the entire site at once.
A template is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to get started with a new page. With a template, your content is already formatted for responsiveness and conversion so all you have to do is add your own content. Alternatively, if you want to further customize it, the template provides a great starting place to save you the time it would take starting from scratch.
WPBakery Page Builder includes a library of layout templates to choose from that both include full page layouts and individual sections that can be pieced together to build a page. Full-screen designs, about us and contact pages, team member sections, hero sections, and unique column layouts are just a few of the 80+ templates you can import on the builder. You can also get more templates in the marketplace.
To add a layout, click the icon next to the “+” for adding elements, choose one of your saved layouts, or browse the included library in the “template library” tab.
WPBakery’s elements are what you will use to create content on your website. Each element is a piece of code that allows you to use it wherever you want without touching any code. Without the elements, you would need to code each piece of your site. More elements means more creative possibilities that you can make without writing any code – the main purpose of a page builder app.
The library of available elements includes structural elements that allow you to create sections, rows, or columns to group elements together as well as content like text, images, carousels, buttons, sliders, WooCommerce elements, and more. In all, there are about 60 different elements available for use – all with settings, styling, and content that can be customized to fit your needs and website’s layout.
You can also extend the element library further with add-ons for various elements that are available on the marketplace.
In order for WPBakery Page Builder to create the elements on your website, it needs to place unique code on your website. This code tells WordPress what to display on your website – translated by the plugin. As a result, the elements you are building with do not come in simple HTML or CSS format, which means that they cannot be used without WPBakery. If WPBakery isn’t there to decipher the code, you’ll just see that code – and a broken page.
While this isn’t a problem if you plan to stick with WPBakery for the duration of your site, changing page builders may require a full rebuild of the design.
WPBakery has a straightforward pricing model, which helps make it easy to decide if it’s worth investing in. Unfortunately there is no free version of the plugin to test on your site, but you can get a demo on the WPBakery website.
All memberships are single-license and require no renewal, so each new site will require a separate purchase. However, if you buy it once, you’ll have access and full support for the plugin indefinitely. This is ideal for single-business owners, but doesn’t lend itself especially well to designers.
Developers who want to integrate WPBakery Page Builder into their theme can purchase an extended license, which is about 5-6 times the price of an individual license. However, each purchase of the theme will have the full version of WPBakery, making it a great way to add value to theme users.
While WPBakery is easy to use and beginner-friendly, it’s still easy to get stuck. With so many different elements, integrations with themes and add-ons, and settings to play with, professional support can go a long way towards building your own site without hiccups.
Fortunately, with all WPBakery Page Builder purchases you get professional online support that is available from Monday-Saturday. There is also a wide variety of self-use help available through the knowledge center, FAQ, Video Academy, and community resources.
Visual Composer was one of the first and most popular page builders, and even after the rebrand to WPBakery Page Builder, they continue to be one of the most used page builders there is. With a focus on simplicity in use and a wide (and extendable) element library, it allows designers of all skill levels to build a functioning website without code. But if you want to add code yourself, it integrates well with custom CSS or custom elements.
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