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A Better Planet - WordPress News News and updates from the world of WordPress http://abetterplanetwp.com 2016-09-30T06:25:36+01:00 text/html 2016-09-30T20:00:07+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet How to Add a Donation Page to Your Non-Profit or Charity WordPress Site https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/build-donation-page-wordpress/ <p>WordPress is the ideal platform for charities and non-profit organisations.</p> <p>It&#8217;s free and open source and you have access to a huge community of users and developers who can help you build and manage your site.</p> <p>But one of the most important functions of a website for many nonprofits is to encourage people to donate money.</p> <p>So in this post, I&#8217;ll show you just how to do that. We&#8217;ll go through five steps:</p> <ul> <li>Creating a site and customizing it</li> <li>Installing and configuring two plugins, including linking to Paypal.</li> <li>Creating a form with donation options.</li> <li>Creating a donation page and adding the form to it</li> <li>Improving the page and form to encourage people to donate.</li> </ul> <p>So let&#8217;s get started!<span id="more-159608"></span></p> <h3>Create and Customize Your Site</h3> <p>If you&#8217;re an established non-profit organisation, you&#8217;ll probably have already followed this step. I&#8217;ve created a simple <a href="http://rachelmccollin.co.uk/wpmu-donation-page/donate/">demo site</a> to demonstrate the techniques from this post, so you can check that to see what I&#8217;ve done.</p> <p>I&#8217;ll be using the twenty sixteen theme for my site, but you&#8217;ll probably have your own theme already installed. So you don&#8217;t need to use the same theme as me: this technique will work with any well-codd theme. But make sure your theme is responsive so people can donate on their mobile devices.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s my site. It&#8217;s got a home page and a donation page, and I&#8217;ve set the homepage as a static page:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/starting-site-1.png" alt="Site running twenty sixteen with a static home page" width="670" height="533" /> </div> <h3>Install the Plugins</h3> <p>The next step is to install and activate the plugins you need to add your donation page. I&#8217;m using the <a href="http://www.gravityforms.com">Gravity Forms</a> plugin. You&#8217;ll also need to install a plugin that links Gravity Forms up to Paypal &#8211; the <a href="http://www.gravityforms.com/add-ons/">Gravity Forms Paypal Add-on</a>.</p> <p>These are premium plugins and you will need a developer license for the Paypal add-on. However they include features that will encourage people to donate more and should pay for themselves over time. I tried to create a donation form using free plugins and just couldn&#8217;t get them to work well.</p> <p>Go ahead and install and activate your plugins by downloading them from the Gravity Forms site and then uploading them to your site. You do this by going to <strong>Plugins &gt; Add New</strong> and then clicking the <strong>Upload</strong> button. You&#8217;ll see a <strong>Forms</strong> item added to your admin menu:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/contact-menu.png" alt="A Forms item has been added to the admin menu" width="670" height="315" /> </div> <h4>Setting up Gravity Forms</h4> <p>First you&#8217;ll need to set Gravity Forms up and add your license key. Go to <strong>Forms &gt; Settings</strong> and you&#8217;ll see a field for your key. You were sent this when you registered for Gravity Forms. Add it to the field then click the <strong>Next</strong> button.</p> <p>On the updates screen, click <strong>Next</strong> to have the plugin auto-update, then on the following screen, add the currency you&#8217;re using. Click <strong>Next</strong> again.</p> <h4>Linking Gravity Forms to Paypal</h4> <p>Before you can add Paypal to your form you&#8217;ll need to configure the settings to link Paypal and Gravity Forms.</p> <p>Go to <strong>Gravity Forms &gt; Settings </strong>and then select <strong>PayPal</strong> from the tabs on the left to see the settings screen:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/paypal-form.png" alt="Instructions for linking paypal to gravity forms" width="670" height="388" /> </div> <p>This screen gives you instructions you need to follow in Paypal to link the two:</p> <ol> <li>Go to your PayPal IPN Settings page using the link provided.</li> <li>If IPN is already enabled, you will see your current IPN settings along with a button to turn off IPN. Just check the confirmation box.</li> <li>If IPN is not enabled, click the &#8216;Choose IPN Settings&#8217; button.</li> <li>Check the box to enable IPN and enter the Notification URL that&#8217;s provided on the screen in your Paypal settings (copy and paste it).</li> </ol> <p>Doing this lets Paypal and Gravity Forms talk to each other. Your screen in Paypal should look something like this:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/paypal-ipn.png" alt="paypal-ipn" width="670" height="249" /> </div> <p>When you&#8217;ve done all that, check the button to confirm that you&#8217;ve linked Paypal and Gravity Forms.</p> <p>Now you can create your page and your form.</p> <h3>Create the Donation Form</h3> <p>Now for the fun bit. You&#8217;ll need to create your form first and then add it to your donation page.</p> <h4>Creating the Form</h4> <p>In the admin screens, go to <strong>Forms &gt; New Form.</strong></p> <p>In the popup box that appears, ad the title and (optionally) the description for your form:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/add-contact-form1.png" alt="Adding a form - enter the name and description in the popup" width="670" height="274" /> </div> <p>You&#8217;ll now be taken to the screen for adding form fields.</p> <p>Go ahead and add any fields you need to capture data. Remember that the more you include, the less people will complete the form. So only add this fields you really need and make as few of them as possible mandatory.</p> <p>I&#8217;m adding the following fields:</p> <ul> <li>Name</li> <li>Email address</li> <li>Message of support</li> </ul> <p>Only the email address is required, so the system can send confirmation of receipt. You&#8217;ll find the fields for the name and email address in the <strong>Advanced Fields</strong> box and the text field in the <strong>Standard Fields</strong> box.</p> <p>To edit a form field (include changing its label and making it required), click on its name on the left hand side of the screen and use the editing metabox that appears.</p> <p>Finally click <strong>Update Form</strong> to save it.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s my form:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/add-contact-form2.png" alt="add-contact-form2" width="670" height="395" /> </div> <h4>Add Payment to Your Form</h4> <p>Now let&#8217;s add some payment details to the form. I&#8217;m going to add a few options for the amount people might like to donate &#8211; it often encourages people to donate more than they might have otherwise. I&#8217;ll also add a field where people can add their own amount if they want.</p> <p>From the <strong>Pricing Fields</strong> box on the right hand side, add the <strong>Product</strong> field type to your form.</p> <p>Now you need to edit the product itself. First give it a new name (mine is <strong>Donation</strong>). Then in the <strong>Field Type</strong> dropdown list, select <strong>Radio Buttons</strong>.</p> <p>This lets you define the values for your radio buttons, i.e. the suggested amounts. Add some amounts &#8211; don&#8217;t add too many or you might put people off. Your final option should be a zero amount with a label of <strong>Other</strong> (or something similar). If a user selects this they&#8217;ll be promoted to enter their own amount.</p> <p>Check the <strong>Required</strong> box for this field. Here&#8217;s my settings:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/amount-field.png" alt="Settings for the Amount field - three amounts have been added plus zero for 'other'" width="670" height="515" /> </div> <p>Now you need to add another field, which will be displayed if someone selects that &#8216;other&#8217; option. Again from the <strong>Pricing Fields</strong> box, select <strong>Product</strong>.</p> <p>Edit the new product, including a title and description that will help people understand what this form is for. In the <strong>Field Type</strong> dropdown, select <strong>User Defined Price</strong>.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s my field so far:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/user-defined-price.png" alt="User defined donation settings" width="670" height="456" /> </div> <p>Now click on the <strong>Advanced</strong> tab for that field. Check the <strong>Enable Conditional Logic</strong> checkbox. Edit the conditional logic statement to show this field if the previous field (<strong>Donation</strong>) is <strong>Other amount</strong>. This means that this field will only appear if someone hasn&#8217;t selected one of the predefined amounts in the previous field.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s my selection:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/conditional-logic.png" alt="Adding a form field with conditional logic" width="670" height="396" /> </div> <p>Now click the <strong>Update Form</strong> button to update your form.</p> </div><!-- end container --><div class="full-blogad full-blogad-support" id="full-blogad-156687"><div class="full-blogad-container"><div class="row"><div class="col-sm-24 col-md-11 col-md-offset-3"> <h3>24/7 SUPPORT</h3> <h4>Expert WordPress support when you need it</h4> <p>Our award-winning support team is filled with friendly folks who know their stuff and want to help you out. And since we live all over the world, there’s always someone available, whether it’s over live chat, email or in our forums.</p> <a href="#" class="ghost-button-arrow i-wpmudev-tail-arrow open-trial">TRY 24/7 SUPPORT FREE</a> <a href="https://premium.wpmudev.org/support/" class="no-button">Find out more</a> </div> <div class="col-sm-24 col-md-10"> <img src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/wp-content/themes/wpmudev-2015-1/assets/img/trial/support.svg"> </div></div><!-- end row --></div><!-- end full-blogad-container --></div><!-- end full-blogad --><div class="container"> <h3>Create a Donation Page</h3> <p>Next, create a new page and call it <strong>Donation</strong>. Do this by going to <strong>Pages &gt; Add New</strong> in the admin menu. Leave this page blank for now, but add it to your site&#8217;s main navigation menu by going to <strong>Appearance &gt; Menus</strong> or using the Customizer.</p> <h4>Add the Form to Your Donation Page</h4> <p>Now it&#8217;s time to add the form to the donation page you created.</p> <p>Go to the editing screen for that page by clicking <strong>Pages</strong> and then selecting it. In the page editing screen, click the <strong>Add Form</strong> button.</p> <p>Select the form you&#8217;ve created and check the title and/or description checkboxes if you want to display those:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/insert-form.png" alt="Select the form you want to insert" width="670" height="268" /> </div> <p>Then click the <strong>Insert Form</strong> button. This will add a shortcode to your page. Don&#8217;t edit that.</p> <p>Finally click <strong>Update</strong> to update your page. Here&#8217;s my page:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/donate-form-on-page.png" alt="The donation page with the form" width="670" height="505" /> </div> <p>And if I select the <strong>Other amount</strong> option in the radio buttons, it gives me the option to add my own amount:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 size-670x670" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/donation-amount.png" alt="A field for the donation amount is displayed if the users selects the 'other' option" width="670" height="399" /> </div> <h3>Improving the Page and Form</h3> <p>Let&#8217;s finish off by making some final tweaks to the form and the page.</p> <h4>Improving the Page to Encourage Donations</h4> <p>Start by editing the page. Add anything you can that will encourage people to donate &#8211; text, images or video. Make sure it doesn&#8217;t push the donation form out of the way, though.</p> <h4>Editing Confirmations</h4> <p>Now let&#8217;s edit the message someone sees after completing the form. Go back to the form editing screen and click the <strong>Settings</strong> option at the top. This will open the <strong>Form Settings </strong>tab. Scroll down and edit the button text for the submit button &#8211; I&#8217;m changing mine to <strong>Donate</strong>.</p> <p>Click <strong>Update Form Settings</strong> to save your changes, then click the the Conformations tab on the left. Select <strong>Default </strong><b>Confirmation</b>.</p> <p>Edit the message people will see after submitting the form. Instead of thanking them for contacting you, it&#8217;s better to thank them for their donation:</p> <div class="pic-full "> <img class="attachment-670x670 alignnone" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/confirmation-message.png" alt="Editing the confirmation message" width="670" height="304" /> </div> <p>Click <strong>Save Confirmation</strong> to save your changes.</p> <h4>Adding an Email Notification</h4> <p>Finally, let&#8217;s add an email to be sent when someone makes a donation. Click the <strong>Notifications</strong> tab and click the <strong>Add New</strong> button.</p> <p>You might want to add a message of thanks and some links to information about the charity&#8217;s work, plus links to your social media accounts.</p> <p>Fill out the options as follows:</p> <ol> <li>Add a name to the <strong>Name</strong> field that makes sense.</li> <li>In the <strong>Send To</strong> field, select the <strong>Select a Field</strong> radio button, then select the <strong>Email</strong> field. This will make sure the notification goes to the email address the donor has provided.</li> <li>In the <strong>From Name</strong> field, type the name of your organization.</li> <li>In the <strong>From Email</strong> field, keep it as the default admin email or add a do not reply email address.</li> <li>Add some text to the <strong>Subject</strong> field.</li> <li>Add some thank you text, images and links to the <strong>Message</strong> field. You can add anything here you&#8217;d add to a WordPress post.</li> </ol> <p>Finally click the <strong>Save Notification</strong> button to save your changes.</p> <h3>A Well Designed Donation Page will Get you More Donations</h3> <p>Adding a donation page to your website will give people an easy way to donate money when they&#8217;re visiting your site. Make sure you add plenty of links to it from elsewhere in your site, and maybe a nice big button on your home screen.</p> <p>By designing your donation page to encourage people to donate set amounts, you&#8217;ll find that you receive more. And by adding extra text and media and sending people a thank you email, you&#8217;ll encourage sharing and repeat donations.</p> <p>I hope your donation page makes you lots of money!</p> <div class='yarpp-related-rss'> <p>Related posts:</p><ol> <li><a href="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/20-beautiful-wordpress-themes-for-charities-churches-and-non-profits/" rel="bookmark" title="20 Beautiful WordPress Themes For Charities, Churches and Non-Profits">20 Beautiful WordPress Themes For Charities, Churches and Non-Profits </a> <small>As more and more developers move into creating websites for...</small></li> <li><a href="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-non-profits/" rel="bookmark" title="WordPress for Non-Profits: A Comprehensive Guide">WordPress for Non-Profits: A Comprehensive Guide </a> <small>From the $0 price tag to the robust community around...</small></li> <li><a href="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/10-top-quality-plugins-for-creating-custom-wordpress-forms/" rel="bookmark" title="10 Top Quality Plugins for Creating Custom WordPress Forms">10 Top Quality Plugins for Creating Custom WordPress Forms </a> <small>A good-looking form gives your site a professional appearance, and...</small></li> <li><a href="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/upfront-plugins/" rel="bookmark" title="Upfront Part 5: Adding Plugins and Styling Gravity Forms">Upfront Part 5: Adding Plugins and Styling Gravity Forms </a> <small>Adding plugins to a site using Upfront isn't any different...</small></li> </ol> </div> text/html 2016-09-30T19:03:48+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet 55+ Best WordPress Themes for Groups, Bands and Musicians (2016) http://winningwp.com/best-wordpress-themes-for-groups-bands-and-musicians/ text/html 2016-09-30T18:00:05+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet 15 Best eCommerce Plugins for WordPress http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WPMayor/~3/qjgDzMY6fC0/ text/html 2016-09-30T17:30:13+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Revealed: Why Building Your Email List is so Important Today! http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/why-you-should-start-building-your-email-list-right-away/ <p>Are you thinking about building an email list, but not sure why it is so important? Many bloggers and business owners don&#8217;t see the importance of building an email list right away until they see the impact email lists can have on website traffic and revenue. In this article, we will show you the top reasons why building your email list is important (with real case studies). We will also show you how to start building your email list &#8211; step by step.</p> <p>By the end of this article, you will have answers to all your questions about building an email list.</p> <p><img title="Why Build Email List" src="http://cdn.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/whybuildemaillist.jpg" alt="Why Build Email List" width="520" height="300" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-37381" srcset="http://cdn4.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/whybuildemaillist.jpg 520w, http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/whybuildemaillist-300x173.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 520px) 100vw, 520px" /></p> <h4>What is an Email List and Why is it so Important?</h4> <p>An email list is a list of names and email addresses of people who gave you permission to send them updates and promotions from your business via email.</p> <p>Why is this so important?</p> <p>Because these subscribers joined your email list from your website and verified their identity by clicking on a link (double-optin). They are extremely interested in what you have to offer. </p> <p>According to Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in USA.</p> <p>In our business, email lists get <strong>10 times higher conversions</strong> than social media campaigns. This makes sense if you think about these five advantages of email as a communication channel:</p> <p><strong>Email is Personal</strong> – Email allows you to land into a user’s inbox. There is no ranking system limiting your reach. It is very direct, personal, and casual.</p> <p><strong>Email is Purposeful</strong> – To get your email a user needs to signup for your email list and confirm their email address. Someone doing this much work is obviously interested in hearing from you, and they are much more receptive to your message.</p> <p><strong>Email is Targeted</strong> – As we mentioned earlier the user has already shown interest in your products / content. Since you already know what they like, you can deliver them highly relevant content and offers to get better results. This is called segmentation, and we will cover that later in the article.</p> <p><strong>You Own Your Email List</strong> &#8211; You do not own Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Your social media campaigns and SEO efforts can go to waste when these platform change their policies. On the other hand, you own your email list, and it is not influenced by decisions of other businesses. </p> <p><strong>Email is One-on-One</strong> – People read email in the privacy of their inbox. The message is not on a public timeline or newsfeed. They can ask you questions directly in private with confidence. This helps build trust and connection.</p> <p>This is precisely why every smart business in the world has an email list. </p> <p>Big name brands learned this lesson a long time ago, and that&#8217;s why they spend thousands of dollars on social media campaigns to get people to sign up for their email lists.</p> <p>They understand that email marketing is the best long term investment with a much higher return. Because people will continue to get their message at a very low cost for a longer period of time.</p> <h4>Social Media vs Email Marketing</h4> <p><img title="Social Media vs Email Marketing" src="http://cdn.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/socialvsemailmarketing.jpg" alt="Social Media vs Email Marketing" width="520" height="339" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-37380" srcset="http://cdn2.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/socialvsemailmarketing.jpg 520w, http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/socialvsemailmarketing-300x196.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 520px) 100vw, 520px" /></p> <p>Now you&#8217;re probably thinking, wait a minute. What about social media?</p> <p>A lot of social media experts and consultants, in an attempt to sell their services, downplay the importance of an email list.</p> <p>In fact, we have even been asked isn&#8217;t email marketing kind of dead with social media taking over everything?</p> <p>The best way to answer this question is to look at the information Twitter and Facebook ask you before you create an account:</p> <p><img title="Twitter and Facebook Signup Forms" src="http://cdn2.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/twitterfbsignup.jpg" alt="Twitter and Facebook Signup Forms" width="520" height="277" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-37378" srcset="http://cdn3.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/twitterfbsignup.jpg 520w, http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/twitterfbsignup-300x160.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 520px) 100vw, 520px" /></p> <p>Yup, it&#8217;s an email address. Because these companies know that emails are the most direct and reliable way of getting in touch.</p> <p>All social media platforms are building an email list because they are smart business owners. This helps their valuation when selling their business.</p> <p>While social media is a great way to reach your audience, it&#8217;s important to keep in perspective the timely nature of social media platforms.</p> <p>They come and go.</p> <p>Not too long ago we had MySpace, FriendFeed, Google Buzz, Plurk and countless others. Most of them are either dead now or irrelevant.</p> <p>Today we have Facebook and Twitter, but not everyone is as hooked up on these sites. Some prefer other places like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, etc.</p> <p>But studies show that at least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis.</p> <p>We are not saying that social media is not important. It is, and you should explore every opportunity to reach out to your audiences.</p> <p>However you should spend more time and effort into something that guarantees much higher results.</p> <h4>What You Need to Start Building an Email List?</h4> <p>Hopefully by now, you should know why building an email list is so important, and why ignoring it would be a HUGE mistake.</p> <p>So let&#8217;s take a look at what you need to start building your email list.</p> <p><strong>3 Things You Need to Build an Email List:</strong></p> <ol> <li>A website or blog.</li> <li>An email marketing service.</li> <li>High-converting opt-in forms</li> </ol> <p>All three of these are fairly easy to setup, and none of them require you to know how to code.</p> <p>For the sake of this article, we will only be focusing on the last two items in the list. If you don&#8217;t have a website or blog yet, then see our step by step guide on <a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/start-a-wordpress-blog/" title="Ultimate Guide: How to Start a WordPress Blog (Step by Step)">how to start a blog</a>.</p> <h4>Choosing the Best Email Marketing Service</h4> <p><img title="Best email marketing services" src="http://cdn3.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/emailmarketingservices.jpg" alt="Best email marketing services" width="520" height="340" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-36569" srcset="http://cdn4.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/emailmarketingservices.jpg 520w, http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/emailmarketingservices-300x196.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 520px) 100vw, 520px" /></p> <p>There are tons of email marketing services online. Often beginners use the free options to save cost, which is understandable. However, some of those free platforms are not the best option. Why?</p> <p>Services like FeedBurner or Jetpack Subscriptions offer <a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-add-email-subscriptions-for-your-wordpress-blog/" title="How to Add Email Subscriptions to Your WordPress Blog">blog subscription via email</a>. This allows your users to receive an email update every time you publish a new blog post. </p> <p>The downside to a blog notification service like this are:</p> <ul> <li>You will have to create a blog post to send an email. This means that information you want to share will have to be publicly available first. You can&#8217;t send out private email newsletters. </li> <li>You can&#8217;t personalize the email message. It will be delivered in the same format often with no branding or personalization.</li> <li>You can&#8217;t categorize subscribers by interests, demographics, or content type.</li> <li>There is no reporting. You don&#8217;t know how many people got email, what percentage of users opened it, and how many of them clicked on links.</li> <li>If you later tried to move to a paid service, your users will have to re-confirm their subscription. Many of them will not do it, and you will end up losing subscribers.</li> </ul> <p>This is why we ALWAYS recommend using a professional email marketing service. Yes, they cost a little bit of money, but they are an investment in your business which pays huge returns.</p> <p>The benefit of professional email marketing services are: </p> <ul> <li>You can send private mass emails to your subscribers.</li> <li>You can see subscriber activity and group your subscribers based on actions they take.</li> <li>You can run A/B split tests to see which email subject line, content, and offers work best with your subscribers.</li> <li>With reporting tools, you can see which country you have the most subscribers from. You can adjust your timezone preferences, and send emails at the right time. </li> <li>Last, but definitely the most important, you can see the email addresses of all your subscribers.</li> </ul> <p>There are hundreds of professional email marketing services available, but we have compiled a list of the <a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-email-marketing-services/" title="7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business (2016)">best email marketing services</a>.</p> <p>For small businesses, we recommend using <a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/refer/constant-contact/" target="_blank" title="Constant Contact" rel="nofollow">Constant Contact</a> because they are one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing services in the world. </p> <p>They offer a 60 day free trial. This gives you plenty of time to setup and start seeing the results. At the end of 60 days, your email list would likely be paying for itself (cost $20 / month). <a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/refer/constant-contact/" target="_blank" title="Constant Contact" rel="nofollow">Start your free trial.</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/refer/constant-contact/" target="_blank" title="Constant Contact" rel="nofollow"><img title="Constant Contact" src="http://cdn4.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/constant-contact.jpg" alt="Constant Contact" width="520" height="340" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-36985" srcset="http://cdn3.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/constant-contact.jpg 520w, http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/constant-contact-300x196.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 520px) 100vw, 520px" /></a></p> <p>Because we know people often like to see options before they make a decision, we also recommend <a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/refer/aweber/" target="_blank" title="Aweber" rel="nofollow">AWeber</a>. They are another popular email marketing service provider, and they offer our users a 30-day free trial.</p> <p>Once you have signed up with an email marketing service, the next step is to add opt-in forms to your website to allow your users to subscribe.</p> <h4>Growing Your Email List and Getting More Subscribers</h4> <p>While choosing the right email marketing service is important, getting more subscribers is even more important because this is how you make money.</p> <p>The biggest mistake beginners make is not strategically placing high-converting opt-in forms.</p> <p>While some WordPress themes come with built-in sidebar widgets, they don&#8217;t convert as well. Your email marketing service may also provide you with codes to embed in your theme, but that requires you to know how to code.</p> <p>This is why we recommend our users to use <a href="http://optinmonster.com/" target="_blank" title="OptinMonster">OptinMonster</a>. It is the most powerful conversion optimization software that helps you convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers.</p> <p>You can easily create high-converting optin forms such as lightbox popups, floating header and footer bars, slide-in scroll boxes, fullscreen welcome mat, after post and inline forms, and more.</p> <p><img title="Add beautiful signup forms" src="http://cdn2.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/beautifuloptins.jpg" alt="Add beautiful signup forms" width="520" height="326" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-36762" srcset="http://cdn.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/beautifuloptins.jpg 520w, http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/beautifuloptins-300x188.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 520px) 100vw, 520px" /></p> <p>But what makes OptinMonster really powerful is the behavior automation and personalization features. OptinMonster allows you to automatically show different opt-in forms based on where the user is coming from, which page they are visiting, and what they are doing on your website.</p> <p>For example, the <a href="http://optinmonster.com/features/exit-intent/" target="_blank" title="Exit-Intent® Technology">Exit-Intent® feature</a> track your users mouse behavior and show them a targeted opt-in form at the precise moment they are about to leave. This helps you convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.</p> <p>This is important because over 70% of people leaving your website will never return.</p> <p>That&#8217;s why influencers like Michael Hyatt, Neil Patel, and Social Media Examiner use exit-intent on their websites. It helped Social Media Examiner add over 95,000 new subscribers in 7 months. </p> <p>But for smaller businesses, this is even more crucial. Nicolas Gagne, a small business owner, combined Constant Contact with a single exit-intent optin to grow his email list by 500%. This helped him triple his revenue from his online store (see the <a href="http://optinmonster.com/case-study-how-win-in-health-used-optinmonster-to-increase-revenue-by-300/" target="_blank" title="[Case Study] How Win In Health Used OptinMonster to Increase Revenue by 300%">full case study</a>). </p> <p>There are tons more <a href="http://optinmonster.com/category/case-studies/" target="_blank" title="OptinMonster Case Studies">case studies</a> and <a href="http://optinmonster.com/testimonials/" target="_blank" title="OptinMonster Customer Reviews">OptinMonster reviews</a> that you can read as well.</p> <p><a href="http://optinmonster.com/" target="_blank" title="Get started with OptinMonster today">Get started with OptinMonster today</a> &#8212; Use the coupon <strong>WPB10</strong> to get 10% off.</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong> OptinMonster was started by WPBeginner&#8217;s founder, <a href="https://syedbalkhi.com/" target="_blank" title="Syed Balkhi">Syed Balkhi</a>, because he wanted to get more email subscribers, faster. It helped us increase our email signups by 600%. Due to popular request, we released this tool for public, and now it&#8217;s the most recommended lead generation software in the market.</p> <h4>List Building Strategies and Resources</h4> <p><img title="Email Marketing Strategies" src="http://cdn3.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/emailstrategies.jpg" alt="Email Marketing Strategies" width="520" height="300" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-37383" srcset="http://cdn.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/emailstrategies.jpg 520w, http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/emailstrategies-300x173.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 520px) 100vw, 520px" /></p> <p>Having the right tools is crucial, but knowing how to use them properly is what makes the most difference. </p> <p>In your email marketing strategy, the most important thing you should plan out is segmentation. This is the process of grouping your subscribers, so you can better personalize your emails based on interest. It helps you get higher open rates and click-through rates. This <a href="http://optinmonster.com/beginners-guide-to-email-marketing/" target="_blank" title="The Definitive Guide to Email Marketing (2016)">definitive guide to email marketing</a> has all the information you need to segment your email list like a pro. </p> <p>Content Upgrades are the highest converting opt-in forms. It&#8217;s a technique where you give your users bonus content at the end of your popular blog posts. These usually convert 5 times higher than a regular opt-in. Here are some <a href="http://optinmonster.com/30-content-upgrade-ideas-to-grow-your-email-list/" target="_blank" title="30 Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your Email List">content upgrade ideas</a> that you should check out. We have written a guide on <a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-add-content-upgrades-in-wordpress-and-grow-your-email-list/" target="_blank" title="How to Add Content Upgrades in WordPress and Grow Your Email List">how to add content upgrades in WordPress</a>.</p> <p>If you&#8217;re not sure how to create an opt-in form, then use this <a href="http://optinmonster.com/63-point-checklist-for-creating-the-ultimate-optin-form/" target="_blank" title="63-Point Checklist for Creating the Ultimate Optin Form (with Examples)">63-point checklist</a> for creating a high-converting optin form.</p> <p>You may want to check out Kevin Duncan&#8217;s article on 16 ridiculously simple ways to <a href="http://optinmonster.com/16-ridiculously-simple-ways-to-get-more-email-subscribers-in-less-than-5-minutes/" target="_blank" title="16 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Get More Email Subscribers in Less than 5 Minutes">get more email subscribers</a> in less than 5 minutes. </p> <p>In case you want more ideas, Mary Fernandez also shared <a href="http://optinmonster.com/73-proven-and-simple-ways-to-grow-your-email-list/" target="_blank" title="73 Proven and Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List">73 proven and simple ways to grow your email list</a> that should get you going.</p> <h4>Conclusion</h4> <p>It does not matter what kind of business you run, what kind of website you have, or what industry you are in. </p> <p>If you have a website, and you want to turn your visitors into returning customers, then you need to get them in your email list.</p> <p>We hope this article helped you understand why building an email list is important and helped you get started on the right foot.</p> <p>If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our <a href="http://youtube.com/wpbeginner?sub_confirmation=1" title="WPBeginner on YouTube" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">YouTube Channel</a> for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on <a href="http://twitter.com/wpbeginner" title="WPBeginner on Twitter" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/wpbeginner" title="WPBeginner on Facebook" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a>.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/why-you-should-start-building-your-email-list-right-away/">Revealed: Why Building Your Email List is so Important Today!</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wpbeginner.com">WPBeginner</a>.</p> text/html 2016-09-30T15:22:58+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Weekly WordPress News: ThemeForest Pricing, Page Builders, and More Security http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Wplift/~3/R6bxmXjEJVU/themeforest-pricing-page-builders-and-more-security text/html 2016-09-30T06:09:51+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Happy Birthday Om! https://ma.tt/2016/09/happy-birthday-om/ <p>Today the legendary <a href="http://om.co/">Om Malik</a> celebrates his 50th time around the sun. For many that know him, Om defies definition: He&#8217;s first a writer, and finally always a true friend, but in between he&#8217;s an investor, photographer, oenophile, closet Bollywood fan, critical thinker, and sartorialist. He&#8217;s also been my friend and confidant for over a decade now, and I cannot wait to see what his next 50 years bring for him and the world.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s some snaps of Om over the years, from 2008 to just a few weeks ago when he was blonde for a few days. Happy birthday, buddy. <img src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/2/72x72/1f600.png" alt="😀" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /></p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46807" src="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?resize=604%2C402&#038;ssl=1" alt="MAT_2822" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?w=4256 4256w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?resize=195%2C130 195w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?resize=840%2C559 840w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?resize=768%2C511 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?resize=1024%2C681 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?resize=691%2C460 691w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_2822.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46808" src="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?resize=604%2C402&#038;ssl=1" alt="MAT_3038" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?w=4256 4256w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?resize=195%2C130 195w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?resize=840%2C559 840w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?resize=768%2C511 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?resize=1024%2C681 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?resize=691%2C460 691w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MAT_3038.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46809" src="https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5436.jpg?resize=604%2C402&#038;ssl=1" alt="MCM_5436" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5436.jpg?w=4256 4256w, 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https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_9460.jpg?resize=768%2C511 768w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_9460.jpg?resize=1024%2C681 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_9460.jpg?resize=691%2C460 691w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_9460.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_9460.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46804" src="https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?resize=604%2C453&#038;ssl=1" alt="IMG_4856" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?w=3264 3264w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?resize=195%2C146 195w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?resize=840%2C630 840w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?resize=768%2C576 768w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?resize=1024%2C768 1024w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?resize=613%2C460 613w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4856.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46805" src="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?resize=604%2C402&#038;ssl=1" alt="MCM_5807" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?w=3956 3956w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?resize=195%2C130 195w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?resize=840%2C559 840w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?resize=768%2C511 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?resize=1024%2C682 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?resize=691%2C460 691w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_5807.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46801" src="https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?resize=604%2C402&#038;ssl=1" alt="FullSizeRender" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?w=4467 4467w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?resize=195%2C130 195w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?resize=840%2C559 840w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?resize=768%2C511 768w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?resize=1024%2C682 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?resize=691%2C460 691w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/FullSizeRender.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46802" src="https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?resize=604%2C453&#038;ssl=1" alt="IMG_8178" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?w=3264 3264w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?resize=195%2C146 195w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?resize=840%2C630 840w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?resize=768%2C576 768w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?resize=1024%2C768 1024w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?resize=613%2C460 613w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8178.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46803" src="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9322.jpg?resize=604%2C453&#038;ssl=1" alt="IMG_9322" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9322.jpg?w=3264 3264w, 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https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_2343.jpg?resize=768%2C576 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_2343.jpg?resize=1024%2C768 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_2343.jpg?resize=613%2C460 613w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_2343.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_2343.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46796" src="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4620.jpg?resize=604%2C453&#038;ssl=1" alt="IMG_4620" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4620.jpg?w=3264 3264w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4620.jpg?resize=195%2C146 195w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4620.jpg?resize=840%2C630 840w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4620.jpg?resize=768%2C576 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4620.jpg?resize=1024%2C768 1024w, 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sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46799" src="https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9214.jpg?resize=604%2C453&#038;ssl=1" alt="IMG_9214" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9214.jpg?w=1280 1280w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9214.jpg?resize=195%2C146 195w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9214.jpg?resize=840%2C630 840w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9214.jpg?resize=768%2C576 768w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9214.jpg?resize=1024%2C768 1024w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9214.jpg?resize=613%2C460 613w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_9214.jpg?w=1208 1208w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46793" src="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?resize=604%2C453&#038;ssl=1" alt="OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?w=4608 4608w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?resize=195%2C146 195w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?resize=840%2C630 840w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?resize=768%2C576 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?resize=1024%2C768 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?resize=613%2C460 613w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_1076.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46810" src="https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_2852-1.jpg?resize=604%2C453&#038;ssl=1" alt="IMG_2852" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_2852-1.jpg?w=4032 4032w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_2852-1.jpg?resize=195%2C146 195w, 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https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4566.jpg?resize=1024%2C768 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4566.jpg?resize=613%2C460 613w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4566.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i1.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_4566.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46792" src="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?resize=604%2C403&#038;ssl=1" alt="Shot with DXO ONE Camera" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?w=3508 3508w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?resize=195%2C130 195w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?resize=840%2C560 840w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?resize=768%2C512 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?resize=1024%2C682 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?resize=690%2C460 690w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i0.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/IMG_8461.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46797" src="https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?resize=604%2C403&#038;ssl=1" alt="MCM_0056" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?w=5568 5568w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?resize=195%2C130 195w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?resize=840%2C560 840w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?resize=768%2C512 768w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?resize=1024%2C683 1024w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?resize=690%2C460 690w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?w=1208 1208w, https://i2.wp.com/ma.tt/files/2016/09/MCM_0056.jpg?w=1812 1812w" sizes="(max-width: 604px) 100vw, 604px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> text/html 2016-09-30T04:31:41+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Twitter Moments Now Open to All Users, WordPress 4.5+ Supports Embedding https://wptavern.com/twitter-moments-now-open-to-all-users-wordpress-4-5-supports-embedding <p>Twitter rolled out its Moments feature to the common folk yesterday. <a href="https://about.twitter.com/company/moments-guidelines" target="_blank">Moments</a>, a collection of tweets that tell a story, were originally made available to a select group of high profile accounts. In August, Twitter <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/2016/opening-up-moments-to-more-creators" target="_blank">expanded access to Moments</a> and announced that Moments would soon be open to all users. As of today, anyone can visit the Moments tab on their profile and select tweets to include:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">For everyone who wants to make a Moment – starting today you can! Creators everywhere can now tell stories with Tweets. <a href="https://t.co/ZJtNBoTPWf">pic.twitter.com/ZJtNBoTPWf</a></p> <p>&mdash; Twitter (@twitter) <a href="https://twitter.com/twitter/status/781160119358763008">September 28, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>Twitter curates and reviews every Moment that is featured in the Moments tab to ensure that they meet its style guidelines: &#8220;The best Moments include Tweets that come directly from the scene or a source, and reflect the perspective, timeliness or voice in order to capitalize on the unique content that Twitter enables.&#8221;</p> <p>Twitter content such as current events, hashtags, or even tweetstorms are possible candidates for the format the Moments feature provides. Incidentally, this kind of content is also well-suited to inclusion in blog posts.</p> <p>Creating a Moment is actually a more involved process than embedding it in your content. WordPress has <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-4-5-to-add-oembed-support-for-twitter-moments-and-timelines" target="_blank">offered oEmbed Support for Moments since version 4.5</a> when the feature was first introduced on Twitter. This means all you have to do is copy the Moment URL and paste it into the editor.</p> <p>Check out the example below to see how WordPress embeds Moments:</p> <p><a class="twitter-moment" data-width="1025" href="https://twitter.com/i/moments/752605779379781634">Unlimited Future: Baby Photos</a><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <div id="epoch-width-sniffer"></div> text/html 2016-09-30T03:37:53+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Dev Chat Summary: September 28 (4.7 week 6) https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/29/dev-chat-summary-september-28-4-7-week-6/ <p>This post summarizes the dev chat meeting from September 21st (<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/28/dev-chat-agenda-for-september-28-4-7-week-6/">agenda</a>, <a href="https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/core/p1475092870002924">Slack archive</a>).</p> <h3>Reminders</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/4-7/">Schedule</a>: We are 3 weeks from the <strong>final</strong> chance to merge in major features. This includes Twenty Seventeen.</li> <li>Tickets: There are currently <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/report/6">196 tickets in the 4.7 milestone</a>. This is 14 more than last week. In just 6 short weeks, this needs to be zero. <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/report/61">For any tickets you’ve moved into the milestone</a>, please make sure these are active tickets, with some kind of activity in the last 10 days.</li> <li>Bug Scrubs: We&#8217;re looking for people to help run a bug scrub, please reach out to <a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/jorbin' class='mention'>@jorbin</a> if you have interest (details here). <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/27/bug-scrubs-this-week/">Bug scrubs this week</a> plus one on Monday and one on Wednesday next week at yet to be scheduled times.</li> </ul> <h3>Components &amp; Features</h3> <ul> <li>Twenty Seventeen (<a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/davidakennedy">@davidakennedy</a>, <a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/melchoyce">@melchoyce</a>) <ul> <li><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/27/twenty-seventeen-features-meeting-notes-sept-27-2016/">Latest update</a></li> <li><strong>Add multi-panel feature to pages through add_theme_support</strong> (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/37974">#37974</a>) &amp; <strong>Enable Video Headers in Custom Headers</strong> (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/38172">#38172</a>) need eyes and help the most</li> <li>Additional i18n eyes on <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/twentyseventeen/issues/59">Better support for non-latin font fallbacks</a> especially designers who use non-latin alphabets natively to hear suggestions for non-latin font stacks that would look good in the theme</li> <li>Next meeting Friday at 18:00UTC (theme-focused), Tuesday (feature-focused)</li> </ul> </li> <li>Media (<a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/mikeschroder">@mikeschroder</a>, <a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/joemcgill">@joemcgill</a>) <ul> <li><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/23/media-weekly-update-sept-22/">Latest update</a></li> <li><strong>Unexpected change to media title behavior in WP 4.6.1</strong> (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/37989">#37989</a>) – Looks like <a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/sergey' class='mention'>@sergey</a> added a patch that fixes the remaining issues with some UTF-8 characters. Should be committed soon.</li> <li><strong>Media search doesn&#8217;t include file name</strong> (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/22744">#22744</a>) – The current implementation is trampling any preexisting JOINs. Should have a patch a new patch ready to test soon.</li> <li>Also looking at pursuing additional media organization improvements through a feature plugin, details still need discussion, <a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/karmatosed' class='mention'>@karmatosed</a> on board to help with design</li> <li>Next meeting Friday at 17:00 UTC</li> </ul> </li> <li>Customize (<a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/westonruter">@westonruter</a>, <a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/celloexpressions">@celloexpressions</a>) <ul> <li><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/23/customize-update-2016-09-22/">Latest update</a></li> <li>Primary commit for <strong>Harden panel/section UI code by removing contents from being logically nested (read: goodbye margin-top hacks)</strong> (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/34391">#34391</a>) is in, and a dev note is scheduled to be published after today&#8217;s dev chat <ul> <li>Some major changes here, so we need plugin and theme authors to test</li> </ul> </li> <li>Received design feedback on <strong>A New Experience for Discovering, Installing, and Previewing Themes in the Customizer</strong> (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/37661">#37661</a>) and working on making those revisions by the end of this week and planning to publish a feature proposal on Friday <ul> <li>Need to discuss themes again during tomorrow&#8217;s #design meeting for final approval before the changes are made</li> </ul> </li> <li>Need attention on <strong>Provide a better gateway for code-based theme customizations with the Customizer</strong> (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/35395">#35395</a>) <ul> <li>Discussion of whether this direction is appropriate lead to tentative consensus that this is likely appropriate for core</li> <li>Next steps will be to loop <a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/folletto' class='mention'>@folletto</a> in to improve the design and polish up the patch</li> <li>Big other block discussed: sanitizing and validating the CSS &amp; most appropriate corresponding capability <ul> <li>Currently rudimentary validation in the patch for balanced braces and comments. Need improvement if relying on it heavily, but it provides instant user feedback</li> <li>Capability solution needs to work for multisite if at all possible, since that&#8217;s a primary use case</li> <li>Discussion to continue on the Trac ticket and/or #core-customize</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> <li>i18n (<a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/swissspidy">@swissspidy</a>) <ul> <li>Feedback/help on <strong>Introduce a locale-switching function</strong> (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/26511">#26511</a>) would be appreciated <ul> <li>The problem is that labels of custom post types and taxonomies are only evaluated once, so switching locales wouldn&#8217;t properly translate those.</li> <li>There&#8217;s a proposed fix for built-in types and taxonomies, but we prefer a better solution that works for all of these.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> <li>Editor (<a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/azaozz">@azaozz</a>, <a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/iseulde">@iseulde</a>) <ul> <li>Would like to help with a survey (<a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ThqOCXmnTxHxPUJhFsjurbnKpTKotM431XhS3sNrGvY/edit">scratchpad/draft</a>). Need to start gathering user usage stats, should be opt-in, start with a plugin first, and release the aggregated data</li> <li>Weekly data tracking (back-end) meeting Wednesday at 1900 UTC</li> </ul> </li> <li>HTTPS (<a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/johnbillion">@johnbillion</a>) <ul> <li><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/21/https-working-group/">Announcement post</a></li> </ul> </li> <li>REST API (<a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/krogsgard">@krogsgard</a>, <a class="mention" href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/kadamwhite">@kadamwhite</a> ) <ul> <li><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/27/api-team-update-sept-27-2016-the-api/">Latest update</a></li> <li><a href="https://github.com/WP-API/WP-API/issues/2629">Whether the API should follow core behavior and save a revision every time a post is updated</a> <ul> <li>Right now every update to a post creates a revision and can be a bit painful for some clients, so: 1) should that always happen? 2) should we have the ability to turn it off?</li> <li>Decided on: 1) Yes.  2) The ability to use auto-drafts like in core makes sense, but doesn&#8217;t need to block merge.</li> </ul> </li> <li><a href="https://github.com/WP-API/WP-API/issues/1987">How to handle image permissions</a>, specifically for the case where an image is attached (uploaded) to a private post and then featured in a public post <ul> <li>Specifically, if I upload an attachment to a private post, its visibility is governed by that post, so it too is private but, in wp-admin I can add it as featured media to another public post. When that public post is queried: what happens!?</li> <li><a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/joemcgill' class='mention'>@joemcgill</a> summary: I happen to think it&#8217;s an oversight in WordPress that we allow an image attached to a private post to be set as the featured image of another post (and by an author without permission to view the private parent post). We should probably either close this loophole or detach the attachment from the private post whenever it&#8217;s set as a featured image on another post.</li> <li><a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/kadamwhite' class='mention'>@kadamwhite</a> to document decision, <a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/rmccue' class='mention'>@rmccue</a> <a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/joemcgill' class='mention'>@joemcgill</a> <a href='https://profiles.wordpress.org/helen' class='mention'>@helen</a> et al will identify core tickets that should be opened.</li> </ul> </li> <li><a href="https://github.com/WP-API/WP-API/issues/2225">Whether (and how) to expose edit locks</a> through the API <ul> <li>Main thing here is whether this is a blocker? Decision: edit locks are great, but doesn&#8217;t need to block merge.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Next bug scrub is Thursday 1400 UTC; next team meeting is 1400 UTC on Monday, October 3rd</li> </ul> </li> </ul> text/html 2016-09-30T02:01:56+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Changing How Your WordPress Post Titles Appear, A First Filter Hook Tutorial http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Nometech/~3/Iq4QvcWKTkg/ <p>This week, we explain how to write your first filter hook in WordPress. If you like it, video&#8217;s right here:</p> <p><iframe id="_ytid_90242" width="480" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0fog-eqbp-4?enablejsapi=1&#038;autoplay=0&#038;cc_load_policy=0&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;loop=0&#038;modestbranding=0&#038;rel=1&#038;showinfo=1&#038;playsinline=0&#038;autohide=2&#038;theme=dark&#038;color=red&#038;wmode=opaque&#038;vq=&#038;controls=2&#038;" frameborder="0" class="__youtube_prefs__" allowfullscreen data-no-lazy="1"></iframe></p> <p>If you prefer words, here&#8217;s what we did. We&#8217;re trying to change <em>all</em> post titles on the site to include a word or symbol. It&#8217;s little bit of a contrived and silly example, but we&#8217;re mostly trying to make the simplest filter example we can. So if you know all about hooks and specifically filters, you just need this little code snippet, which can be found in <a href="https://wpshout.com/wordpress-hooks-actions-filters-work/">our big article on action and filter hooks</a>:</p> <pre><code class=" language-php">add_filter('the_title', 'wpshout_filter_example'); function wpshout_filter_example($title) { return 'Hooked: '.$title; } </code></pre> <h2>The Steps to Change Your Titles</h2> <p>If you need a bit more explanation, here&#8217;s what this does step-by-step:</p> <ol> <li>We use the <code>add_filter</code> function provided to WordPress that when it &#8220;applies&#8221; the <code>'the_title'</code> filter we want our function to be called. That&#8217;s the second thing we&#8217;re giving it: the name of our function.</li> <li>Then our function is taking the value passed to it by the <code>'the_title'</code> filter, that&#8217;s the whole next line.</li> <li>Finally, we added the word &#8220;Hooked: &#8221; to the front of the passed value <code>$title</code> and pass it back with the <code>return</code> keyword.</li> </ol> <p>The code we don&#8217;t need to write is what WordPress does with this. WordPress handles that. Basically our code has taken something that WordPress will otherwise use unmodified, and modified it. WordPress uses our modified version in the place of the title, and we don&#8217;t have to write any more than these four lines. It&#8217;s a really powerful system!</p> <p>There&#8217;s a great deal more to know and understand hooks and filters in WordPress well, and <a href="https://wpshout.com/wordpress-hooks-actions-filters-work/">our article on them is a great overview of the core distinctions and important details</a>. Happy hacking!</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?a=Iq4QvcWKTkg:rtY2BFFcqUc:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?a=Iq4QvcWKTkg:rtY2BFFcqUc:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?i=Iq4QvcWKTkg:rtY2BFFcqUc:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?a=Iq4QvcWKTkg:rtY2BFFcqUc:D7DqB2pKExk"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?i=Iq4QvcWKTkg:rtY2BFFcqUc:D7DqB2pKExk" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?a=Iq4QvcWKTkg:rtY2BFFcqUc:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?i=Iq4QvcWKTkg:rtY2BFFcqUc:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?a=Iq4QvcWKTkg:rtY2BFFcqUc:I9og5sOYxJI"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Nometech?d=I9og5sOYxJI" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Nometech/~4/Iq4QvcWKTkg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> text/html 2016-09-30T00:30:33+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet 5 Takeaways From This Week’s AMA With Luca Sartoni http://torquemag.io/2016/09/5-takeaways-weeks-ama-luca-sartoni/ <p>This week, Growth Engineer at Automattic <a href="https://twitter.com/lucasartoni">Luca Sartoni</a> took over the <a href="https://managewp.org/articles/13486/i-m-luca-sartoni-growth-engineer-at-automattic-ask-me-anything">ManageWP AMA</a>. Sartoni began as a developer and soon fell in love with the connection between software and marketing.</p> <p>He&#8217;s been working at Automattic for two years and helped organize WordCamp Europe. Community members stopped by to ask about public speaking, marketing, and as always, the future of WordPress.</p> <p>Here are five takeaways.</p> <h2>Beware the illusion of knowledge.</h2> <p>Though there are several pitfalls to growing the engineering process, the worst is the &#8220;illusion of knowledge.&#8221; Being overly certain about something can leave room for error.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;We should not fear what we don&#8217;t know, but what we think we know and we don&#8217;t. Always make sure that you are not too sure about things,&#8221; Sartoni said.</p></blockquote> <p>This can be applied to any kind of business. There is always more to learn about something.</p> <h2>Experience doesn&#8217;t remove the fear of public speaking.</h2> <p>Sartoni is no stranger to public speaking and even hosted a workshop on the subject in Belgrade. That doesn&#8217;t, however, make it easier.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;Don&#8217;t worry, it&#8217;s scary for everyone. Experience will not remove the fear, it will just help manage it,&#8221; he said.</p></blockquote> <p>Preparation and practice will also make the experience much less painful. Make sure you&#8217;ve done a lot of research so you really know your topic. Then rehearse again and again. You&#8217;ll feel much less nervous if you know exactly what you have to do.</p> <h2>We need to open up the web.</h2> <p>Sartoni believes the biggest problem facing WordPress is a closed down web,.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;We need to work for an open web where ideas can flow freely across platforms and not be confined to the shiny new app, website, or service,&#8221; he said.</p></blockquote> <h2>Distributed work requires trust.</h2> <p>According to Sartoni, distributed work is a type of work that doesn&#8217;t require a certain time or place. This allows people to work anytime and from anywhere. There are a few things you have to do to make it work.</p> <p>Because you can&#8217;t count success by the hours worked, you have to look at the work your employees are completing. With that, you need to completely trust your staff.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;You need to trust blindly your complete workforce because micro-management cannot be performed,&#8221; Sartoni said.</p></blockquote> <p>It&#8217;s also crucial to have stellar communication.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;You cannot synchronize asynchronous work if you don&#8217;t have a crystal clear communication process,&#8221; Sartoni said.</p></blockquote> <h2>F1 has amazing napping powers.</h2> <p>When asked what his favorite sport is, Sartoni revealed he has practiced Aikido for many years and also has an interest in cricket.</p> <p>However, there is one sport that will always put him to sleep.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;I&#8217;m intrigued by the napping power of F1. It must be the soothing sound of the engines, or something like that. I remember the Monaco GP as the best way to sleep thought my summer Sunday afternoon when I was younger,&#8221; Sartoni said.</p></blockquote> <p><i>The new season of ManageWP AMA&#8217;s is set to go through the end of the year. </i></p> <div id="author-bio-box" style="background: #f8f8f8; border-top: 2px solid #cccccc; border-bottom: 2px solid #cccccc; color: #333333"><h3><a style="color: #555555;" href="http://torquemag.io/author/eschiola/" title="All posts by Emily Schiola" rel="author">Emily Schiola</a></h3><div class="bio-gravatar"><img alt='Emily Schiola' src='http://s3-torquehhvm.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/uploads/2015/10/Emily-Schiola_avatar_1444674499-70x70.jpg' class='avatar avatar-70 photo' height='70' width='70' /></div><a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/ESchiola" class="bio-icon bio-icon-twitter"></a><p class="bio-description">Emily Schiola is a Staff Writer at Torque. She loves good beer, bad movies, and cats.</p></div> <div class='ctx-subscribe-container ctx-clearfix ctx_default_placement'></div><div class='ctx-social-container ctx-clearfix ctx_default_placement'></div><div class='ctx-module-container ctx-clearfix ctx_default_placement'></div><div id="epoch-width-sniffer"></div><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://torquemag.io/2016/09/5-takeaways-weeks-ama-luca-sartoni/">5 Takeaways From This Week&#8217;s AMA With Luca Sartoni</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://torquemag.io">Torque</a>.</p> text/html 2016-09-29T02:14:31+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet wpMail.me issue#274 http://wpmail.me/newsletter/wpmail-me-issue274/ text/html 2016-09-29T02:12:18+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet WordPress Page builder plugins: a critical review https://pippinsplugins.com/wordpress-page-builder-plugins-critical-review/ <p>Before starting this, I need to be completely honest: I really dislike page builders. In the last few years, page builder plugins (and those built into themes) have quite possibly caused more headaches for me and my support team than any other single category of plugins available for WordPress. This overall experience, and one too many support tickets related to a builder in a week, culminated in the following Twitter rant:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I’m sorry is this hurts anyone feelings, but seriously, all of the majorly popular page builders for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WordPress?src=hash">#WordPress</a> are terrible.</p> <p>&mdash; Pippinsplugins (@pippinsplugins) <a href="https://twitter.com/pippinsplugins/status/776169605299597314">September 14, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Not only do they typically have incredibly subpar user experiences, they are easily the biggest compatibility problem for other plugins</p> <p>&mdash; Pippinsplugins (@pippinsplugins) <a href="https://twitter.com/pippinsplugins/status/776169718659051521">September 14, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The sheer number of tickets that would NOT land in my system every week if they weren’t a thing is crazy.</p> <p>&mdash; Pippinsplugins (@pippinsplugins) <a href="https://twitter.com/pippinsplugins/status/776169827828391936">September 14, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">They break other plugins every day through their incredibly non-standard methods of content “building&quot;</p> <p>&mdash; Pippinsplugins (@pippinsplugins) <a href="https://twitter.com/pippinsplugins/status/776169965422514181">September 14, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I’m all for a good page builder, but if that means screwing over compatibility with other plugins’ ability to use standard WP features, stop</p> <p>&mdash; Pippinsplugins (@pippinsplugins) <a href="https://twitter.com/pippinsplugins/status/776170152262004736">September 14, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>These tweets garnered a fair amount of attention in the form of agreements, questions, and denial. Throughout the various small conversations that followed, I began to realize that I had never once truly used any of the page builder plugins that I was moaning about. Sure I had seem them countless times in our support system–usually in a negative light–but I hadn’t actually used one.</p> <p>With that realization, it only seemed right that I take the time to truly try each one and give them a full review, so here we are.</p> <h3>Why page builders exist</h3> <p>There are many different answers to the question of “why?” but I think they can generally be summed up to this: <em>people want them</em>.</p> <p>As much as they often cause difficulties for me and my team, I cannot deny that page builders have a huge audience of eager customers. Clearly they exist and thrive because the market demands them.</p> <p>Chris Lema answered “why?” well in his recent <a href="http://chrislema.com/want-wordpress-page-builders/">blog post</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>Simple. They offer customers a solution for personalization that mass-produced themes can’t offer, while at a lower price than working with a professional web developer and web designer.</p></blockquote> <p>I cannot argue with the utilitarian and economical purpose of page builders. I do feel, however, that page builders currently pose a severe problem to the WordPress ecosystem. They have become so ubiquitous that many site owners do not even realize that page builders are not part of WordPress.</p> <p>On one hand this is great! It clearly shows value and demand for page builders. On the other hand, however, it can be detrimental to the overall WordPress project and user experience.</p> <h3>The problem with page builders</h3> <p>Last week I had a customer open a support ticket and say that the interface shown in our getting started videos did not match what he was seeing. At first I figured this was simply due to the natural progression of user interfaces overtime. We had made some changes recently so some of the options shown had different labels, different appearances, etc. What I discovered, however, was that the “difference” he was seeing was due to a popular page builder plugin. His edit screen had a visual page builder. Our getting started video did not. His sole experience with WordPress began with a theme that included a page builder, making him naturally believe that was the standard for all WordPress sites.</p> <p>There are several prominent themes for WordPress that have a <em>huge </em>market share. Because of the sheer scale of their market share, these themes have extraordinary power to influence the expectations of a sizable percentage of WordPress users. When these players introduce extensive page builders, and other non-standard features, it is easy for their user base, who are typically non-power users of WordPress, to obtain a skewed perspective of what is “default” in WordPress.</p> <p>I do not intend to say that we shouldn’t be influencing “default” perspectives–doing that is how we push forward improvements–but I do firmly believe that the creators of these page builders have a responsibility to be very careful. Unfortunately these themes, and the associated page builders, are not particularly known for incredibly high quality products or for actively participating in development of WordPress itself. This is not typically a direct concern for non-power users, but it does greatly affect them when these products result in problems with other WordPress products.</p> <p>The page builder ecosystem is a wild west right now and is in a gold rush. A lot of different players are building their own versions and many are reaping good rewards for their efforts. I am all for teams building solid products and being rewarded for their efforts.</p> <p>What the page builder industry is severely lacking is standardization. There is <em>zero </em>standard to how page builders should work. This shouldn’t surprise anyone as this is exactly what happens in every ecosystem that experiences a gold rush. Just look back a year or three to the commercial theme industry to see an excellent example of this. Thankfully these lacking standards tend to work themselves out as products mature.</p> <p>In any large ecosystem where developers are free to build their own visions of products and openly offer those to the world, it should be expected to have a lot of variation. It is the incredible diversity in page builders that I believe is one of the primary sources of problems right now.</p> <p>Okay enough of that, let’s get into the reviews.</p> <h3>The review process</h3> <p>For this review process, I felt there were several important factors that needed to be looked at for each of the plugins:</p> <ol> <li>How easy are they to use.</li> <li>How well do the builder interfaces translate into the final presentation.</li> <li>How much do they lock users into the system once used? Does the content display properly if the builder is deactivated? Does the content even exist after deactivating the plugin?</li> <li>Can filters such as <a href="https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Filter_Reference/the_content">the_content</a> still be used to affect the final page content? This is incredibly important for compatibility with many other plugins.</li> <li>Are there any compatibility issues with frequently used methods in plugins (such as we see in our support systems)?</li> </ol> <p>While not a super definitive list, I felt that these five criteria provided a fairly robust baseline for judging each plugin. With each plugin being different and them each offering their own unique feature set, I opted not to judge any of the plugins on the features they had or didn’t have and, instead, judged purely based on these five points.</p> <p>In reviewing these plugins, it would be very easy to fall into a rabbit hole and spend hours upon hours setting up test sites and building sample page layouts. It may seem counter-productive to review page builders and <em>not </em>test building extensive layouts, but I really wanted to cover the basics and identify each plugin that suffered from or caused some of the common compatibility issues we see.</p> <p>For each plugin, I did the following:</p> <ol> <li>Activated the plugin in a fresh install using a default theme without any other plugins active.</li> <li>Obtained a quick opinion of the overall interface of the plugin. Does it clash with standard WordPress interfaces? Is it obtrusive? Does it flow and feel natural?</li> <li>Tested the builder on the default <em>Sample Page </em>created by WordPress to get a quick feel for the overall interface and feature set of the plugin. This included using the builder to create a quick layout with several different elements to confirm the builder displayed properly in the default WordPress theme. As surprising as it might be, there are a huge number of plugins that display poorly in the default themes so this is always one of my first tests. If the plugin doesn’t work well in a default theme, how can we expect it to work well in other themes?</li> <li>From the edit screen of the <em>Sample Page</em>, I toggled the builder interface on and off in order to ascertain how well the builder supported using the standard WordPress editor and the builder simultaneously.</li> <li>Deactivated the builder plugin and then re-visited the <em>Sample Page </em>to determine what extent of content-loss deactivating the plugin caused. Ideally there should be zero content lost.</li> <li>Activated <a href="https://affiliatewp.com/">AffiliateWP</a>, <a href="https://affiliatewp.com/add-ons/official-free/affiliate-area-shortcodes/">AffiliateWP – Affiliate Area Shortcodes</a>, and <a href="https://restrictcontentpro.com/">Restrict Content Pro</a> and then tested some of the features within these plugins that were known to fail frequently with page builders. I chose these plugins because I am intimately familiar with them, am aware of several compatibility issues with page builders, and I know that I have already taken serious effort to resolve many compatibility issues.</li> <li>Wrote down quick notes for each plugin for “good” and “bad” items based on the steps outlined here.</li> </ol> <h3>Common compatibility issues</h3> <p>In our support queues, we see several common problems with page builders, each of which I wanted to test for in this review.</p> <p>First, we see a lot of cases where inline scripts loaded in a shortcode fail. For example, our <form id="rcp_registration_form" class="rcp_form" method="POST" action="https://pippinsplugins.com/blog/feed/"> <section class="columns columns-2 clear"> <div class="col"> <input type="hidden" name="rcp_sugar_pot" value=""/> <fieldset class="rcp_user_fieldset"> <p id="rcp_user_login_wrap"> <label for="rcp_user_Login">Username</label> <input name="rcp_user_login" id="rcp_user_login" class="required" type="text" /> <span class="description">Usernames may not contain spaces, capital letters, or special characters.</span> </p> <p id="rcp_user_email_wrap"> <label for="rcp_user_email">Email</label> <input name="rcp_user_email" id="rcp_user_email" class="required" type="text" /> </p> <p id="rcp_user_first_wrap"> <label for="rcp_user_first">First Name</label> <input name="rcp_user_first" id="rcp_user_first" type="text" /> </p> <p id="rcp_user_last_wrap"> <label for="rcp_user_last">Last Name</label> <input name="rcp_user_last" id="rcp_user_last" type="text" /> </p> <p id="rcp_password_wrap"> <label for="password">Password</label> <input name="rcp_user_pass" id="rcp_password" class="required" type="password"/> </p> <p id="rcp_password_again_wrap"> <label for="password_again">Password Again</label> <input name="rcp_user_pass_confirm" id="rcp_password_again" class="required" type="password"/> </p> </fieldset> <fieldset class="rcp_discounts_fieldset"> <p id="rcp_discount_code_wrap"> <label for="rcp_discount_code"> Discount Code <span class="rcp_discount_valid" style="display: none;"> - Valid</span> <span class="rcp_discount_invalid" style="display: none;"> - Invalid</span> </label> <input type="text" id="rcp_discount_code" name="rcp_discount" class="rcp_discount_code" value=""/> <button class="rcp_button" id="rcp_apply_discount">Apply</button> </p> </fieldset> </div> <div class="col"> <fieldset class="rcp_subscription_fieldset"> <p class="rcp_subscription_message">Choose your subscription level</p> <ul id="rcp_subscription_levels"> <li id="rcp_subscription_level_1" class="rcp_subscription_level"> <label for="level-1"> <input id="level-1" type="radio" class="required rcp_level" name="rcp_level" rel="6" value="1" /> <span class="label"> <span class="rcp_subscription_level_name">Hobby Coder</span> <span class="rcp_separator">&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;</span> <span class="rcp_price" rel="6"> &#36;6 </span> and <span class="rcp_level_duration"> 1&nbsp;Month </span> <span class="rcp_level_description"> Like to code WordPress in your spare time?</span> </span> </label> </li> <li id="rcp_subscription_level_2" class="rcp_subscription_level"> <label for="level-2"> <input id="level-2" type="radio" class="required rcp_level" name="rcp_level" rel="16" value="2" /> <span class="label"> <span class="rcp_subscription_level_name">Coder by Night</span> <span class="rcp_separator">&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;</span> <span class="rcp_price" rel="16"> &#36;16 </span> for <span class="rcp_level_duration"> 3&nbsp;Months </span> <span class="rcp_level_description"> Stay up late drinking in coffee and WordPress</span> </span> </label> </li> <li id="rcp_subscription_level_3" class="rcp_subscription_level"> <label for="level-3"> <input id="level-3" type="radio" class="required rcp_level" name="rcp_level" rel="60" value="3" /> <span class="label"> <span class="rcp_subscription_level_name">Code Monkey</span> <span class="rcp_separator">&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;</span> <span class="rcp_price" rel="60"> &#36;60 </span> for <span class="rcp_level_duration"> 1&nbsp;Year </span> <span class="rcp_level_description"> Spend so much time in code you start thinking in IF / ELSE statements?</span> </span> </label> </li> </ul> </fieldset> </div> </section> <div class="rcp_registration_total"></div> <fieldset class="rcp_gateways_fieldset"> <p id="rcp_payment_gateways"> <label for="rcp_gateway">Choose Your Payment Method</label> <select name="rcp_gateway" id="rcp_gateway"> <option value="paypal">PayPal</option> <option value="stripe_checkout">Credit / Debit Card</option> </select> </p> </fieldset> <p><input id="rcp_mailchimp_pro_signup" name="rcp_mailchimp_pro_signup" type="checkbox" checked="checked" /><label for="rcp_mailchimp_pro_signup">Signup for my Newsletter</label></p> <p id="rcp_submit_wrap"> <input type="hidden" name="rcp_register_nonce" value="6ef380b166"/> <input type="submit" name="rcp_submit_registration" id="rcp_submit" class="button" value="Register"/> </p> </form> shortcode in Restrict Content Pro conditionally loads javascript and CSS files on the page the shortcode is included on. We sometimes see the files fail to load due to the way the builder plugins modify the content of the page, which breaks some of the standard WordPress shortcode detection methods, such as <a href="https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/has_shortcode/">has_shortcode()</a>.</p> <p>Second, we see site owners often try and use opening and closing shortcodes across page builder elements. This is common with the <a href="http://docs.pippinsplugins.com/article/436-restrict">restrict shortcode</a> in Restrict Content Pro. A lot of page builders are not able to adequately support opening and closing shortcodes when they are placed in different rows or columns in the builder.</p> <p>Third, we see a lot of cases where plugins, such as Restrict Content Pro, are unable the modify the page content through the <a href="https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/hooks/the_content/">the_content</a> filter when a page builder is used. As filtering the content is an incredibly common thing for plugins to do, I wanted to thoroughly test this with each page builder.</p> <p>Fourth, we see frequent instances where page builders mess with content formatting of shortcodes added to builder elements. For example, some builders will cause extra paragraph tags to be added around HTML output by a shortcode, resulting in very poor frontend display of the shortcode that is completely different from what it would be if added directly to a page not using a builder.</p> <h3>The plugins reviewed</h3> <p>When I first started working on this, I planned to review all page builders, including those built into themes, but I backtracked on that idea once I realized judging a theme-specific page builder against a theme-agnostic page builder made as a plugin was not a fair nor accurate comparison. It’s for this reason that <a href="https://thethemefoundry.com/wordpress-themes/make/">Make</a>, <a href="http://headwaythemes.com/">Headway</a>, <a href="https://www.layerswp.com/">Layers</a>, and some others are not included.</p> <p>I originally planned to review only the builder plugins I was aware of (typically those that cause problems in our support queues) but then opted to review as many as I could find in order to be as pragmatic as possible. Perhaps some of the builder plugins never made appearances in our support queues because they were awesome and didn’t cause any problems.</p> <p>With the sheer number of plugins available, I know for a fact that I was not able to include every page builder plugin, but I do believe I managed a fairly extensive list that includes all of the most prominent players in the market.</p> <p>Here are the plugins included in this review:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://beaverbuilder.com/">Beaver Builder</a></li> <li><a href="https://codecanyon.net/item/visual-composer-page-builder-for-wordpress/242431">Visual Composer</a></li> <li><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/tailor/">Tailor</a></li> <li><a href="http://avada.theme-fusion.com/fusion-builder-2/">Fusion Builder</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.elegantthemes.com/plugins/divi-builder/">Divi Builder</a></li> <li><a href="https://thrivethemes.com/landingpages/">Thrive Themes Content Builder</a></li> <li><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/page-builder-sandwich/">PageBuilderSandwich</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.brixbuilder.com/">Brix Builder</a></li> <li><a href="https://conductorplugin.com/">Conductor</a></li> <li><a href="https://siteorigin.com/page-builder/">Site Origin Page Builder</a></li> <li><a href="https://elementor.com/">Elementor</a></li> <li><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/pootle-page-builder/">Pootle Page Builder</a></li> <li><a href="https://livecomposerplugin.com/">Live Composer</a></li> </ul> <p>I feel it is important to mention that the reviews and opinions expressed here are solely my own. No sponsorships were requested or accepted for these reviews and the license costs for all plugins (when necessary) was paid in full from my own pocket.</p> <p class="notice">There are no affiliate links on this page.</p> <p>Alrighty, let’s get on to the actual reviews!</p> <h3>Beaver Builder</h3> <p>Over the last few years I’ve heard nothing but great things about <a href="https://www.wpbeaverbuilder.com/">Beaver Builder</a>. It is a commercial plugin that constantly gets great reviews and has been doing very well on the commercial front. I’ve read many of the reviews of the plugin over time but this was my first opportunity to use it.</p> <p>I am a firm believer in first impressions. The good news for Beaver Builder is that they have a strong reputation as a high quality product, leading me to have good expectations for it. Unfortunately for Beaver Builder, my first experience with it was immediately tarnished by this:</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-15-at-10.29.19-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93265" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-15-at-10.29.19-AM-1024x124.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-15-at-10.29.19-AM-1024x124.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-15-at-10.29.19-AM-480x58.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-15-at-10.29.19-AM-300x36.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-15-at-10.29.19-AM-768x93.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-15-at-10.29.19-AM.png 1421w" alt="Beaver Builder Fatal Error" width="592" height="72" /></a></p> <p>I had purchased a <em>Standard </em>license, which, as it turns out, does not include support for WordPress multisite. I have found multisite to be one of the greatest assets in quickly spinning up fresh WordPress sites for testing. I understand that this limitation was done intentionally to prevent customers from activating the plugin on numerous sites within a single network, but the user experience here was quite poor.</p> <p>Being a developer, I said “like hell I can’t use it on multisite” and quickly found the logic inside of the plugin, removed it, and went on with testing.</p> <p>Thankfully, the rest of my experience with Beaver Builder was much better than my first impression.</p> <p>Upon loading the page edit screen, I was pleased to see a clean, unobtrusive interface. Too many page builders include massive, colorful buttons that just stick out like a sore thumb. Beaver Builder added theirs in a nice, tasteful manner.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.06.52-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93266" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.06.52-PM.png" sizes="(max-width: 975px) 100vw, 975px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.06.52-PM.png 975w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.06.52-PM-480x324.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.06.52-PM-300x202.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.06.52-PM-768x518.png 768w" alt="Beaver Builder Edit Page" width="975" height="658" /></a></p> <p>Clicking on <em>Page Builder </em>takes the user into a front-end interface that feels relatively similar to the customizer.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.09.11-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93267" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.09.11-PM-1024x681.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.09.11-PM-1024x681.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.09.11-PM-480x319.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.09.11-PM-300x199.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.09.11-PM-768x510.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.09.11-PM.png 1452w" alt="Beaver Builder frontend" width="592" height="394" /></a></p> <p>The overall interface of the builder was pretty intuitive and worked well. I especially liked that it all felt pretty native to WordPress.</p> <p>I went ahead and used the builder to create a few simple layouts and each worked well. I then proceeded to test the plugin with the steps outlined above in the review process.</p> <p>Overall, very few problems were found and none of the common compatibility issues I detailed above appeared to be present in Beaver Builder. This is very good so far.</p> <p>One of the great things about Beaver Builder is how well it retains content when switching the page builder off or deactivating the plugin. Retaining content is incredibly important for a good user experience. Imagine the anguish it could cause if a user was to construct an extensive page, decide to use a different builder, and then discovered that all of the content placed within the builder was lost completely when it was switched off.</p> <p>I did, however, find a few pain points that I would like to mention. Some of these are not inherently bad, but, depending on the scenario, could result in unpleasant user experiences.</p> <p>My first criticism for the plugin has already been mentioned, and that is the lack of support for WordPress multisite in the standard license. I’m entirely fine with limiting the number of domains the plugin is activated on but this limitation should not affect my ability to use a core WordPress feature.</p> <p>Second, I found that a large number of the builder elements, such as contact forms, are not retained when the plugin is deactivated. This is because Beaver Builder includes its own proprietary contact forms, testimonial blocks, subscribe forms, image sliders, and many other content types. While it makes perfect sense to include these, it is important that users be aware of how they will be locked into using Beaver Builder once opting to add these kind of elements to their pages. This is where the separation between layout building and content creation becomes very blurry.</p> <p>Third, Beaver Builder makes heavy use of icons through out its interface. Inherently icons are not bad, but when not combined with proper labels, icons can be disastrous for accessibility and are, overall, not very intuitive. In numerous cases it took trial and error for me to figure out exactly what each icon used did.</p> <p>Overall, I was very pleased with Beaver Builder, especially as it did not present any of our known compatibility issues.</p> <h3>Visual Composer</h3> <p>Perhaps one of the most widely used page builders, Visual Composer is a commercial plugin created by WPBakery and is available from <a href="https://codecanyon.net/item/visual-composer-page-builder-for-wordpress/242431">Code Canyon.net</a>. Aside from being one of the earliest page builders, a large part of its popularity comes from it being bundled in a huge number of commercial themes on <a href="https://themeforest.net/">Theme Forest.net</a>.</p> <p>On one hand, Visual Composer has been perhaps one of the most challenging for me and my support team as it has had frequent compatibility issues with our plugins and others. Yet on the other hand, Visual Composer is also very good at building plugin-specific add-ons that add feature sets for other popular plugins, especially eCommerce plugins.</p> <p>When activated, Visual Composer adds a large blue block with several buttons to the top of the edit screen. This block provides toggles for enabling the visual editor, classic mode (default WordPress), and a frontend editor.</p> <p>I don’t particular care for the obtrusive format or style of these buttons. They just feel unnatural and are too much “in your face”.</p> <p>Once enabled, the visual builder is pretty intuitive.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.37.05-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93268" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.37.05-PM-804x1024.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.37.05-PM-804x1024.png 804w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.37.05-PM-283x360.png 283w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.37.05-PM-236x300.png 236w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.37.05-PM-768x978.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.37.05-PM.png 975w" alt="Visual Composer builder" width="592" height="754" /></a></p> <p>There are a few things I like about this interface. First, the icons, while still a bit too heavily used, are simple and have pretty clear meanings. Second, the interface does not feel cramped. Even though there is a lot going on, everything still has space to breath. It’s quite well laid out.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.57.30-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93270" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.57.30-PM-1024x718.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.57.30-PM-1024x718.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.57.30-PM-480x337.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.57.30-PM-300x210.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.57.30-PM-768x539.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.57.30-PM.png 1453w" alt="Visual Composer Add Element" width="592" height="415" /></a></p> <p>From a user perspective, it is nice to get a pretty accurate What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get view. The developers at WPBakery have done a good job with the drag-and-drop aspects of the builder as well. Too often drag-and-drop interfaces end up being choppy and jagged, but the one in Visual Composer is pretty smooth and works reliably.</p> <p>In the same vein as a good WYSIWYG on the backend, Visual Composer also provides a complete frontend editing interface that truly is a WYSIWYG experience.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.45.48-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93269" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.45.48-PM-1024x918.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.45.48-PM-1024x918.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.45.48-PM-402x360.png 402w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.45.48-PM-300x269.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.45.48-PM-768x688.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.45.48-PM.png 1466w" alt="Visual Composer Frontend" width="592" height="531" /></a></p> <p>When strictly using the visual editors, the Visual Composer experience is quite good. I don’t personally care for much of the stylistic decisions made with the Visual Composer interface as they really don’t blend well with native WordPress interfaces, but that’s largely just personal preference.</p> <p>It is an overly broad generalization, but I’ve found that most developers that do not take the time to blend their own interfaces with the native WordPress interface, do not typically have great care for the overall user experience nor do they care greatly for WordPress itself. I cannot say if this holds true for the Visual Composer developers and, like I said, it is a very broad generalization, but it’s one I’ve found to be pretty accurate in my own experiences. It is one thing to strike out against standard user interfaces in order to create something better, and it is entirely something else to go drastically against style choices simply for the sake of it.</p> <p>Along with my own personal distaste for the lack of style continuity in Visual Composer, there are two primary issues I found with it.</p> <p>First, Visual Composer has a really, really strong lock-in effect due to its use of shortcodes for layout construction. Here’s a screenshot of the page editor after switching back to Classic editing mode (default WordPress):</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.05.58-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93271" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.05.58-PM.png" sizes="(max-width: 986px) 100vw, 986px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.05.58-PM.png 986w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.05.58-PM-480x235.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.05.58-PM-300x147.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.05.58-PM-768x375.png 768w" alt="Visual Composer Classic" width="986" height="482" /></a></p> <p>Notice all the shortcodes? For this screenshot, I built a very simple page with three rows and two columns. For that, three separate shortcodes were added to the page in order to create the layout. Now imagine a much more advanced layout that includes numerous columns, many rows, and a lot of other builder elements, such as buttons, contact forms, images, etc. The sheer number of shortcodes added to the page makes it nearly impossible to comfortably edit the page in the classic editor. For anyone that wishes or needs to switch back and forth between editing modes, this is a very poor experience.</p> <p>The heavy use of shortcodes also makes it a serious chore to ever disable Visual Composer and use something else, even just default WordPress. The site editors would be required to go through and remove the countless shortcodes from every single page that Visual Composer ever touched.</p> <p>Non-technical users may not care how it works behind the scenes, but they will care about the amount of work removing Visual Composer if that ever become necessary.</p> <p>The second issue I found is one of the common compatibility issues I mentioned above related to shortcodes.</p> <p>Opening and closing shortcodes work properly within individual elements but they do not work across elements. Take the following screenshot as an example.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.49.10-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93272" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.49.10-PM-1024x729.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.49.10-PM-1024x729.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.49.10-PM-480x342.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.49.10-PM-300x214.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.49.10-PM-768x547.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-12.49.10-PM.png 1365w" alt="Visual Composer Shortcode Problem" width="592" height="421" /></a></p> <p>The edit window is editing the contents of the very first row. You can see I added a <div class="rcp_restricted"><p><span style="color: red;"> <form id="rcp_login_form" class="rcp_form" method="POST" action="https://pippinsplugins.com/blog/feed/"> <fieldset class="rcp_login_data"> <p> <label for="rcp_user_Login">Username</label> <input name="rcp_user_login" id="rcp_user_login" class="required" type="text"/> </p> <p> <label for="rcp_user_pass">Password</label> <input name="rcp_user_pass" id="rcp_user_pass" class="required" type="password"/> </p> <p> <label for="rcp_user_remember"> <input type="checkbox" name="rcp_user_remember" id="rcp_user_remember" value="1" /> Remember Me </label> </p> <p class="rcp_lost_password"><a href="https://pippinsplugins.com/wp-login.php?action=lostpassword&#038;redirect_to=https://pippinsplugins.com/blog/feed/">Lost your password?</a></p> <p> <input type="hidden" name="rcp_action" value="login"/> <input type="hidden" name="rcp_redirect" value="https://pippinsplugins.com/blog/feed/"/> <input type="hidden" name="rcp_login_nonce" value="4c25ebf8b2"/> <input id="rcp_login_submit" class="button" type="submit" value="Login"/> </p> </fieldset> </form> </span></p> </div> shortcode. We’ve found this to be a very common practice with these kinds of shortcodes because site owners want to restrict a portion of the page while still retaining control of the layout within the shortcodes.</p> <p>When rendered, the shortcode parsing breaks as shown in this screenshot:</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.17.58-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93273" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.17.58-PM.png" sizes="(max-width: 953px) 100vw, 953px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.17.58-PM.png 953w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.17.58-PM-480x158.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.17.58-PM-300x99.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-19-at-1.17.58-PM-768x252.png 768w" alt="Visual Composer Broken Shortcode" width="953" height="313" /></a></p> <p>Visual Composer has some really nice aspects to it and is overall a very well functioning page builder, but I would personally avoid it due to the severe lock-in effect.</p> <h3>Tailor</h3> <p>This was a page builder I had not heard of until several people recommended it in response to my Twitter posts. It is available for free on <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/tailor/">WordPress.org</a> and is built by Andrew Worsfold.</p> <p>After activating Tailor, one of the very first things that caught my eye was the level of care with which Andrew integrated his plugin’s interface with the native WordPress UI.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.07.52-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93280" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.07.52-AM.png" sizes="(max-width: 993px) 100vw, 993px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.07.52-AM.png 993w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.07.52-AM-480x119.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.07.52-AM-300x75.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.07.52-AM-768x191.png 768w" alt="Tailor Page" width="993" height="247" /></a></p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.09.11-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93281" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.09.11-AM-1024x931.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.09.11-AM-1024x931.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.09.11-AM-396x360.png 396w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.09.11-AM-300x273.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.09.11-AM-768x698.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.09.11-AM.png 1452w" alt="Tailor UI" width="592" height="538" /></a></p> <p>It looks and feels <em>exactly</em> like native WordPress. I love that. It uses a Customizer-like interface that gets out of the way while still being very intuitive.</p> <p>Another positive note for Tailor is the lack of icons for actionable items, making it easier for a site editor to quickly understand what each option does.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.11.29-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93282" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.11.29-AM.png" sizes="(max-width: 794px) 100vw, 794px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.11.29-AM.png 794w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.11.29-AM-480x125.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.11.29-AM-300x78.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.11.29-AM-768x199.png 768w" alt="Tailor edit buttons" width="794" height="206" /></a></p> <p>One of the few “complaints” I’ve found from other users of Tailor is that it’s not as feature rich as many of the other builders. After thinking about this for a while, I’ve decided that the fewer features offered by Tailor is actually a hugely positive note for the plugin. So often people get caught up on whether a plugin has tons of features or is an all-in-one package without stopping to think if the plugin <em>should </em>offer those features.</p> <p>Many of the other page builder plugins include options for contact forms, testimonials, post sliders, and so much more. Tailor offers a few of those items but it distinctly limits them to a few more basic ones. Personally I really like this because I don’t believe page builders should be providing contact forms and other major feature sets. A builder should be for creating layouts, not handling email submissions. Those features should be handled through other plugins, such as a real form builder or image slider plugin, and then simply added to and displayed within the page builder’s layout.</p> <p>Tailor walks the fine line between layout building and content creation / collection very well.</p> <p>Another thing Tailor does well is content retention when the plugin is deactivated. None of the content is lost. It also has a really excellent admin-side representation of the frontend layout, giving it a great WYSIWYG experience.</p> <p>There were only two negatives I found with Tailor, one being a compatibility issue and one just being a minor quirk.</p> <p>First, shortcode openings and closures do not work properly across rows and columns. Look at my first screenshot above and you’ll see [/restrict] at the bottom. The first content block has the opening shortcode.</p> <p>The second problem is simply that the drag-and-drop is sometimes a little rough. Elements tend to jump around a bit while trying to place a new one on the page. This is pretty minor but a smoother drag-and-drop would be excellent.</p> <p>Overall, Tailor is a really excellent page builder that I would not hesitate to recommend to users.</p> <h3>Thrive Visual Editor</h3> <p>The <a href="https://thrivethemes.com/contentbuilder/">Thrive Visual Editor plugin</a> is built by Thrive Themes but is theme-agnostic, so it works with more than just their own themes. It is a commercial plugin that seems to have a pretty large customer base.</p> <p>I’ve run into Thrive Visual Editor numerous times in our customer support channels but have not had any real experience with it before purchasing a license to test for this review.</p> <p>The first thing I notice about the builder is it’s pretty reserved in how it adds its interface to the edit page screen. It’s not perfectly smooth and does stick about a bit, but it&#8217;s much more minimal than many of the other builder plugins.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.22.15-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93338" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.22.15-PM-1024x590.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.22.15-PM-1024x590.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.22.15-PM-480x276.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.22.15-PM-300x173.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.22.15-PM-768x442.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.22.15-PM.png 1158w" alt="Thrive builder" width="592" height="341" /></a></p> <p>Clicking on the <em>Edit with Thrive Content Builder </em>button takes us to a new, frontend builder that looks like this:</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.23.52-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93339" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.23.52-PM-1024x819.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.23.52-PM-1024x819.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.23.52-PM-450x360.png 450w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.23.52-PM-300x240.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.23.52-PM-768x614.png 768w" alt="Thrive Content Builder" width="592" height="473" /></a></p> <p>Hovering over an element on the page shows an outline with three options: drag-and-drop ordering, duplicate, and close.</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.28.24-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93340" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.28.24-PM.png" sizes="(max-width: 907px) 100vw, 907px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.28.24-PM.png 907w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.28.24-PM-480x202.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.28.24-PM-300x126.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.28.24-PM-768x323.png 768w" alt="screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-28-24-pm" width="907" height="382" /></a></p> <p>I rather like this because it stays away from abundant, hard-to-grok icons.</p> <p>Adding new elements to the page is quick and quite intuitive. I really like the interface they’ve created for adding column layouts. Instead of using weird icons or other mechanisms for controlling the number of columns, they simply give you options for each division option:</p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.33.09-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93341" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.33.09-PM.png" sizes="(max-width: 824px) 100vw, 824px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.33.09-PM.png 824w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.33.09-PM-480x191.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.33.09-PM-300x119.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.33.09-PM-768x306.png 768w" alt="Thrive column options" width="824" height="328" /></a></p> <p>It’s simple and intuitive. While all page builders strive to build an intuitive layout builder, I think Thrive Visual Editor has possibly done it the best of all, or very close to it.</p> <p>There is really only one problem I found with the plugin. Shortcode parsing works, script loading works, everything works great in fact, but there is one major issue that, for me at least, is serious.</p> <p>The Thrive Visual Editor plugin has 100% content lock in. Let’s compare the admin edit screen to the frontend edit screen for the same page.</p> <p><strong>Admin:</strong></p> <p><a class="zoom" href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.39.04-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93342" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.39.04-PM-1024x641.png" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.39.04-PM-1024x641.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.39.04-PM-480x301.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.39.04-PM-300x188.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.39.04-PM-768x481.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-2.39.04-PM.png 1169w" alt="screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-39-04-pm" width="592" height="371" /></a></p> <p><strong>Frontend:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://cldup.com/u4i6I1eZgg-600x600.png"><img class="alignnone" src="https://cldup.com/u4i6I1eZgg-600x600.png" alt="Screen Shot" width="502" height="600" /></a></p> <p>Notice the difference? <em>None </em>of the content added through the visual editor is shown in the admin. Instead of working with the existing page content, Thrive Visual Editor simply overwrites the page content. That also means that if you deactivate the plugin, <em>all </em>of the content added through the plugin is gone. Poof, vanished.</p> <p>All page builders should strive to retain as much standard behavior as possible. Unfortunately, <em>Thrive Visual Editor </em>fails badly here, which is really too bad because if they had avoided the complete content lock-in, this would be one of the best page builders available. Unlike nearly all of the other page builders, <em>Thrive Visual Editor </em>does not suffer from a <em>single </em>common conflict that I could find, but the content lock-in is dangerous. For that reason alone, I would avoid using the plugin.</p> <h3>Fusion Builder</h3> <p><a href="http://avada.theme-fusion.com/fusion-builder-2/">Fusion</a> is the page builder from Theme Fusion, the creators of the notoriously popular <a href="https://themeforest.net/item/avada-responsive-multipurpose-theme/2833226">Avada</a> theme. It is quite possibly one of the most wide spread page builders due to its inclusion in the Avada theme, which is the most widely used commercial theme of all time.</p> <p>Before going further, I need to include a reminder about one of the conditions for being included in this review. I chose to review only theme-agnostic page builders made as a plugin. So it needs to be a plugin and it needs to work with all themes.</p> <p>The Fusion Builder appeared to fit this criteria as it is built as a plugin, so I went ahead and continued the review of it. That is, however, about as far as I got because, as it turns out, Fusion Builder <em>is </em>built as a plugin that can be activated on any theme, <strong>but</strong> it fails drastically if it is used on any theme other than Avada.</p> <p>Here is the builder with Avada activated:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.06.28-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93343" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.06.28-PM-992x1024.png" alt="Fusion with Avada" width="592" height="611" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.06.28-PM-992x1024.png 992w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.06.28-PM-349x360.png 349w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.06.28-PM-290x300.png 290w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.06.28-PM-768x793.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.06.28-PM.png 1160w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>And here it is without Avada activated:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.07.49-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93344" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.07.49-PM-953x1024.png" alt="Fusion without Avada" width="592" height="636" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.07.49-PM-953x1024.png 953w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.07.49-PM-335x360.png 335w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.07.49-PM-279x300.png 279w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.07.49-PM-768x825.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.07.49-PM.png 1157w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>The builder shows up and sort of functions. The options at the top for selecting elements all work and new elements can be added to the page, but none of the icons show up and you cannot actually edit any of the content.</p> <p>The frontend view is even worse, however, because it doesn&#8217;t function at all. None of the layout elements show up. Zip, zero, zilch.</p> <p>Without Avada, Fusion Builder becomes a car without an engine.</p> <p>I understand building a theme-specific builder but why on earth would you build a theme-specific builder <em>plugin </em>that only works with one theme? At that point you&#8217;ve simply made it harder for your customers to get all the features of your theme without any added benefit. If Theme Fusion offered a whole suite of themes, having a builder plugin that works exclusively with their themes would make sense, but they don&#8217;t! They make one theme: Avada.</p> <p>In my mind, this is a fatal flaw that automatically discounts Fusion Builder as a viable option, unless of course you&#8217;re using Avada.</p> <p>Now, all of that being said, I&#8217;d like to still give the builder a full review like the other plugins so I went ahead and activated Avada and tested out the builder.</p> <p>Easily one of Fusion Builder&#8217;s greatest strength is its interface design. It is incredibly smooth and overall pretty intuitive. I really like that the entire builder experience is inside of the standard WordPress edit screen. Its design even blends into WordPress quite nicely.</p> <p>I tested for each of the common compatibility issues we encountered and found mixed results. Standard shortcode parsing and script loading worked perfectly fine, as did filtering on <em>the_content</em>, a very common method employed by countless other plugins.</p> <p>There were, however, some additional negative sides to the plugin beyond the reliance on Avada mentioned above. First, layouts are constructed using shortcodes, making the possibility of editing outside of the page builder an excruciatingly painful experience. Have fun editing this:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.38.50-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93345" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.38.50-PM-1024x723.png" alt="Fusion Builder inactive" width="592" height="418" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.38.50-PM-1024x723.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.38.50-PM-480x339.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.38.50-PM-300x212.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.38.50-PM-768x542.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.38.50-PM.png 1153w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>Aside from the painful text editing experience using shortcodes like this creates, it also results in bad content lock-in. If a user deactivates Fusion Builder and is then met with the mess above, they&#8217;re probably just going to reactivate the plugin instead of trying to clean it up.</p> <p>Like most of the other page builders, shortcode enclosures also do not work across builder elements. In an ideal world, the following should work but does not:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.39.49-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93346" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.39.49-PM-1024x559.png" alt="Shortcode enclosures" width="592" height="323" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.39.49-PM-1024x559.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.39.49-PM-480x262.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.39.49-PM-300x164.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.39.49-PM-768x419.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.39.49-PM.png 1105w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>Before finishing this review post, Theme Fusion reached out to me to let me know that they are actively working on a new version of Avada and also a new version of the Fusion Builder plugin and, reportedly, the new version is actually theme agnostic. I was also provided with a copy of the new versions but some technical issues prevented me from fully testing them so I cannot say how substantial the improvements are, but it is something watch out for if you are an Avada customer or interested in Fusion Builder.</p> <h3>Page Builder Sandwich</h3> <p>I was not aware of <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/page-builder-sandwich/">Page Builder Sandwich</a> before my posts on Twitter but several people said I should take a look at it. There is a free version available on WordPress.org and a premium version available from the developer&#8217;s website. For this review, I chose to stick with the free version as it covered all of the necessary basis for the review.</p> <p>Once activated, Page Builder Sandwich adds a new metabox to the edit screen with a <em>Edit with Page Builder Sandwich</em> button. While I don&#8217;t love the color scheme (I don&#8217;t see a reason to not match the WordPress colors)<i>, </i>the button is otherwise not intrusive so I have no issues with it.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.19.25-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93464" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.19.25-AM.png" alt="Page Builder Sandwich" width="968" height="253" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.19.25-AM.png 968w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.19.25-AM-480x125.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.19.25-AM-300x78.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.19.25-AM-768x201.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 968px) 100vw, 968px" /></a></p> <p>Clicking the new edit button takes us to the frontend where we&#8217;re presented with a WYSIWYG editor:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.56.52-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93347" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.56.52-PM-1024x824.png" alt="Page Builder Sandwich" width="592" height="476" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.56.52-PM-1024x824.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.56.52-PM-447x360.png 447w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.56.52-PM-300x241.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-3.56.52-PM-768x618.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>This view does jump drastically outside of the WordPress look-and-feel, something I&#8217;m really not fond of. It&#8217;s a rainbow of unnecessary colors.</p> <p>The <em>Referral URL Generator</em> form you see comes from <a href="https://affiliatewp.com">AffiliateWP</a> and was used as a test to see how well shortcodes that load CSS/JS work inside of the builder. Page Builder Sandwich got top marks here as everything worked perfectly, even the WYSIWYG aspect.</p> <p>The layout editing interface is pretty intuitive and quite powerful. One of my favorite aspects is how the exact spacing between any and all elements can be easily controlled with a simple drag bar. It&#8217;s quite nice.</p> <p>When adding a new layout element to the page, the toolbar on the left expands with additional options:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.00.51-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93348" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.00.51-PM-1024x961.png" alt="Page Builder Sandwich layout builder" width="592" height="556" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.00.51-PM-1024x961.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.00.51-PM-383x360.png 383w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.00.51-PM-300x282.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.00.51-PM-768x721.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.00.51-PM.png 1127w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>Page Builder Sandwich has a few other strong points going for it.</p> <p>First, shortcode enclosures work properly across elements. Unlike most of the builder plugins, opening and then closing a shortcode with columns, rows, etc, in between all works properly.</p> <p>Second, there is zero content lock-in with Page Builder Sandwich. The plugin can be deactivated and all content is still available. Users can even continue to edit their content in the standard WordPress page editor if they wish.</p> <p>There are really just two issues I have with the plugin. A couple of times I found myself in trouble as some of the layout elements got jumbled (for unknown reasons) and were sitting on top of each other. When this happened I couldn&#8217;t figure out how to delete the problem elements. I suspect this is due to a minor javascript issue that could be easily resolved once identified.</p> <p>The second issue I have is very minor but still important in my view. I really don&#8217;t care for the aggressive color schemes. As I&#8217;d mentioned numerous times here and in other posts, I care greatly for maintaining the WordPress color scheme and style choices. The interface in Page Builder Sandwich is a stark contrast to the standard WordPress UI. In my mind, it creates an unnecessarily jarring experience.</p> <p>Beyond those two items, it is an excellent page builder.</p> <h3>Brix Builder</h3> <p>Next on the list is <a href="https://www.brixbuilder.com/">Brix Builder</a>. This was another new one to me but came recommended by several folks on Twitter so I gave it a go. It&#8217;s a premium plugin and starts at $69.</p> <p>This is an aside but one I feel is important. One of my very first impressions of Brix Builder was quite negative, not because of their sales page, the price, or anything else about the product, but because I could not find out anything about the people behind the product. It is built and sold by a company called <em>Evolve s.n.c </em>but beyond that, there&#8217;s nothing. I believe greatly in the importance of trust and the willingness to put your face and name on your product. While it could be a simple oversight, I always question if there is an ulterior motive behind the decision to not publicly state the names of company owners.</p> <p>Tip: put your face and name on it. To those whom trust is important, it can make all the difference.</p> <p>I did go ahead and purchase a license and began playing with the plugin. Unfortunately, I was immediately greeted with a second poor impression as soon as I activated the plugin.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-8.58.24-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93403" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-8.58.24-AM.png" alt="Brix Builder Framework Required" width="826" height="165" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-8.58.24-AM.png 826w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-8.58.24-AM-480x96.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-8.58.24-AM-300x60.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-8.58.24-AM-768x153.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 826px) 100vw, 826px" /></a></p> <p>So immediately after installing the stand-alone plugin, I&#8217;m asked to install a separate framework plugin in order for Brix Builder to run. This is just a poor user experience with very little real benefit. I&#8217;ve seen a few companies do this but I&#8217;ve never been convinced it is a good idea. The standard argument for this approach is that the company can have multiple plugins that all use the same framework without requiring that each plugin bundle their own versions.</p> <p>After getting the main plugin and the framework installed and activated, the builder looks like this:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.28.34-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93349" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.28.34-PM-1024x873.png" alt="Brix Builder" width="592" height="505" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.28.34-PM-1024x873.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.28.34-PM-422x360.png 422w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.28.34-PM-300x256.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.28.34-PM-768x655.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.28.34-PM.png 1509w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>The very first thing that I noticed (you may see a trend here) is that the editor interface is wildly outside of WordPress standards. A lot of people would call me a stickler here but I really do believe it matters a <em>lot </em>for overall user experience. The best experiences are always going to be the seamless ones. Brix Builder, like many of the other page builders, is definitely not a seamless experience.</p> <p>Aside from my initial distaste for the design decisions of the editor, the editing interface is nice and smooth and seems to work very reliably. Here&#8217;s a few more shots of the various screens:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.29.55-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93350" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.29.55-PM.png" alt="Brix Builder" width="1005" height="306" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.29.55-PM.png 1005w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.29.55-PM-480x146.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.29.55-PM-300x91.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.29.55-PM-768x234.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1005px) 100vw, 1005px" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.07-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93351" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.07-PM-1024x722.png" alt="Brix Builder" width="592" height="417" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.07-PM-1024x722.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.07-PM-480x339.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.07-PM-300x212.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.07-PM-768x542.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.07-PM.png 1110w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.18-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93352" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.18-PM-1024x555.png" alt="Brix Builder" width="592" height="321" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.18-PM-1024x555.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.18-PM-480x260.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.18-PM-300x163.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.18-PM-768x416.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-23-at-4.30.18-PM.png 1099w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>In terms of usability and intuitiveness, I&#8217;d put Brix Builder near the top of the list of the builder plugins reviewed here. It&#8217;s quite good. They make liberal use of tooltips and help text, which can really help beginner users get acclimated.</p> <p>After building a few simple layouts to get a feel for the plugin, I dove into my compatibility tests. Some of the tests passed with flying colors while others, unfortunately, broke down pretty poorly. There were three major compatibility issues.</p> <p>First, shortcode enclosures do not work across builder elements. Putting an opening and closing shortcode in one element works, but trying to span multiple elements fails. For plugins like Restrict Content Pro, or any other that uses shortcode enclosures, this is a major problem that results in tickets landing in our support queues.</p> <p>Second, once the page builder has been enabled, site admins <em>cannot </em>switch back to the default page editor without losing their layout. If a site editor was to build a layout, temporarily switch to the default page editor (perhaps to add HTML directly in the Text view), save the page, and then switch back to the builder, the complete layout would be gone. This is <em>really, really </em>bad. Imagine spending a few hours building a great layout then needing to use the <em>default </em>editor for a moment, only to discover that all of your work is now gone.</p> <p>Third, due to the way that Brix Builder modifies the page content, it completely breaks other plugins ability to also modify the page content through the <a href="https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Filter_Reference/the_content">the_content filter</a>, which is a critical piece of functionality that thousands of plugins depend on.</p> <p>These three issues are significant enough that I cannot recommend Brix Builder as a good option, which is really too bad because the plugin works very well on all other fronts.</p> <h3>Conductor</h3> <p>Of all the page builder plugins, <a href="https://conductorplugin.com/">Conductor</a> is one of the most unique. Rather than being a layout builder for the content area of pages, it is a layout builder for the <em>entire </em>page. Most builders are designed to work within a theme&#8217;s content area, but Conductor is different. Conductor takes over the complete layout of the page, including sidebars and allows site editors to control everything between the header and footer of the site.</p> <p>Conductor first gives site editors the option to choose a layout. This can be done for each page of the site, including all public post types.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-10.22.59-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93413" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-10.22.59-AM-1024x460.png" alt="Conductor layout" width="592" height="266" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-10.22.59-AM-1024x460.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-10.22.59-AM-480x216.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-10.22.59-AM-300x135.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-10.22.59-AM-768x345.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-10.22.59-AM.png 1365w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>Once a layout is chosen, you&#8217;re put into the builder interface, which is very similar to the Customizer. From here, page elements and style options are controlled. Content is added to the page through widgets and &#8220;Conductors&#8221;, which is really just a custom widget with special options.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.51.57-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93408" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.51.57-AM-1024x485.png" alt="Conductor editor" width="592" height="280" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.51.57-AM-1024x485.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.51.57-AM-480x227.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.51.57-AM-300x142.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.51.57-AM-768x364.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.51.57-AM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.52.27-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93409" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.52.27-AM-1024x484.png" alt="Conductor editor" width="592" height="280" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.52.27-AM-1024x484.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.52.27-AM-480x227.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.52.27-AM-300x142.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.52.27-AM-768x363.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.52.27-AM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.09-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93410" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.09-AM.png" alt="Conductor editor" width="675" height="648" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.09-AM.png 675w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.09-AM-375x360.png 375w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.09-AM-300x288.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 675px) 100vw, 675px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.28-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93411" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.28-AM.png" alt="Conductor editor" width="669" height="555" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.28-AM.png 669w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.28-AM-434x360.png 434w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.28-AM-300x249.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 669px) 100vw, 669px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.49-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93412" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.49-AM-1024x487.png" alt="Conductor editor" width="592" height="282" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.49-AM-1024x487.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.49-AM-480x228.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.49-AM-300x143.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.49-AM-768x365.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-9.57.49-AM.png 1364w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>It took me a little longer to get used to how Conductor worked than it did the other page builders, but I think that&#8217;s largely due to my predisposed expectations of how page builders work.</p> <p>One of the other major differences between Conductor and other page builders, is the lack of &#8220;bells and whistles&#8221;. In many page builder plugins you will find contact forms, testimonial widgets, tabbed content options, section toggle, and more. Conductor does not have these and, frankly, I think that&#8217;s a positive. I&#8217;m a strong advocate for keeping a plugin&#8217;s focus narrow, which Conductor does well. Too many builder plugins try to be an all-in-one solution.</p> <p>I did find one compatibility issue and one primary weakness of Conductor.</p> <p>First, inline scripts loaded directly from shortcodes do not work properly. It seems that the way Conductor loads the content and layouts prevents script loading from behaving like it would on a standard WordPress page. This causes problems for some plugins, including some of our <a href="https://affiliatewp.com/add-ons/">AffiliateWP</a> add-ons.</p> <p>Second, due to the content being stored in widgets, the content of layouts created through Conductor will become inaccessible if Conductor is deactivated. All builder plugins should strive for 100% content retention when the plugin is removed to aide site owners in migrating to or from plugins.</p> <p>At the end, I&#8217;m not entirely certain how I feel about Conductor. I do really enjoy their approach with a Customizer-like interface (similar to the Tailor builder above) and they have provided a feature that very few other builders have: complete control of the page instead of just the content area. This level of control does at times make Conductor more difficult to use because it means the site editor has to build everything, instead of just the content area. For some site editors, this will be a hurdle, but for others it will be a huge win.</p> <h3>Site Origin</h3> <p>A free offering from Site Origin, a plugin and theme development shop, the <a href="https://siteorigin.com/page-builder/">SiteOrigin Page Builder</a> is one that I rarely hear anything but good about. For that reason, and it being commonly seen in our support channels, I wanted to give it a run for its money.</p> <p>Once activated, a simple, elegant tab is added to the page editor:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.05-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93414" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.05-AM.png" alt="SiteOrigin Editor" width="890" height="361" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.05-AM.png 890w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.05-AM-480x195.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.05-AM-300x122.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.05-AM-768x312.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 890px) 100vw, 890px" /></a></p> <p>Clicking on the <em>Page Builder </em>button opens a prompt asking if we&#8217;d like to copy the existing page content over to the builder and then, once the prompt is accepted, we&#8217;re greeted with a similar interface to that of many page builders:<br /> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.47-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93415" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.47-AM.png" alt="SiteOrigin Builder" width="892" height="373" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.47-AM.png 892w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.47-AM-480x201.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.47-AM-300x125.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.57.47-AM-768x321.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 892px) 100vw, 892px" /></a></p> <p>So far this seems pretty intuitive. We can add widgets, rows, and existing layouts with the tool bar at the top and edit the existing content by hovering over the element. There is even a live editor that provides a WYSIWYG view.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.00.33-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93416" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.00.33-PM-1024x486.png" alt="SiteOrigin Widgets" width="592" height="281" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.00.33-PM-1024x486.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.00.33-PM-480x228.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.00.33-PM-300x142.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.00.33-PM-768x364.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.00.33-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.44-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93417" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.44-PM-1024x485.png" alt="SiteOrigin Rows" width="592" height="280" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.44-PM-1024x485.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.44-PM-480x227.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.44-PM-300x142.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.44-PM-768x364.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.44-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.50-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93418" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.50-PM-1024x486.png" alt="SiteOrigin Layouts" width="592" height="281" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.50-PM-1024x486.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.50-PM-480x228.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.50-PM-300x142.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.50-PM-768x364.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.01.50-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.02.05-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93419" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.02.05-PM-1024x487.png" alt="SiteOrigin Frontend" width="592" height="282" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.02.05-PM-1024x487.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.02.05-PM-480x228.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.02.05-PM-300x143.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.02.05-PM-768x365.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.02.05-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>Overall, I really like the interface in SiteOrigin&#8217;s Page Builder. I did, however, run into a rather strange development decision.</p> <p>Once the page builder was enabled and the existing content was copied over to an element inside the builder interface, I clicked <em>Edit </em>on the default element and was presented with this:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.47.46-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93420" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.47.46-AM-1024x478.png" alt="SiteOrigin Plugin Required" width="592" height="276" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.47.46-AM-1024x478.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.47.46-AM-480x224.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.47.46-AM-300x140.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.47.46-AM-768x358.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-11.47.46-AM.png 1331w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>In order to edit the default content of the page, we&#8217;re required to install a separate plugin called <em>SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle</em>. What? Why? It appears that the plugin contains a series of widgets, which is fine, but seriously, site admins should not be required to install a second plugin just to edit the default content of the page, especially when all other aspects of the builder function without it.</p> <p>Once the widget bundle is installed, we can go back to editing the page layout as normal. Just weird though. Now our editor for the default page content looks like this:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.15.09-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93421" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.15.09-PM-1024x485.png" alt="SiteOrigin Page Builder" width="592" height="280" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.15.09-PM-1024x485.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.15.09-PM-480x227.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.15.09-PM-300x142.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.15.09-PM-768x364.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.15.09-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>After playing with the builder for a bit and getting a good feel for it, I have to say that I <em>really </em>like the user experience. The interface is great. It&#8217;s snappy, intuitive, and just works really well.</p> <p>Sadly, all good things have to come to an end. Once I was done testing the default functionality of the plugin, which is superb, I dove into the compatibility tests. Some of the tests worked great and others failed. During these tests, I found a few other issues with the builder as well.</p> <p>The first problem, just like almost all of the other builders, is that shortcode enclosures do not work across elements. This <em>needs </em>to work and is not difficult to do.</p> <p>The second problem is that the builder interface and the standard page editor <em>cannot </em>be used simultaneously. If a site editor tries to switch to the regular editor, they are given a prompt:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.31.15-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93422" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.31.15-PM.png" alt="SiteOrigin Prompt" width="590" height="257" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.31.15-PM.png 590w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.31.15-PM-480x209.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.31.15-PM-300x131.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 590px) 100vw, 590px" /></a></p> <p>Clicking OK takes you to the standard WP page editor, but something really odd has happened. Take a look at the text editor now:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.33.17-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93423" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.33.17-PM.png" alt="SiteOrigin - Text Editor" width="891" height="611" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.33.17-PM.png 891w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.33.17-PM-480x329.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.33.17-PM-300x206.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-12.33.17-PM-768x527.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 891px) 100vw, 891px" /></a></p> <p>See all the JavaScript? That&#8217;s not supposed to be there. That JavaScript is the result of the [pw_map] shortcode, which you can see in the screenshots above. Switching from the builder to the standard editor preserved the content but instead of keeping the shortcode as it should, it <em>rendered </em>the shortcode and then saved the output. That means my shortcode is <em>gone</em>, <em>poof</em>, <em>vanished. </em>I cannot edit it or adjust the parameters of the shortcode anymore because the shortcode isn&#8217;t there, just the HTML of the shortcode is.</p> <p>The third issue I found was that SiteOrgin Page Builder creates pretty significant content lock in. Most of the elements, and any content associated with them, added to a page are completely lost when deactivating the builder on a page or when deactivating the complete plugin.</p> <p>These three problems are pretty significant, though they won&#8217;t affect everyone, perhaps not even a sizable percentage of the SiteOrigin user base, but they are problems nonetheless.</p> <h3>Divi Builder</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.elegantthemes.com/plugins/divi-builder/">Divi Builder</a> from Elegant Themes is one of the more widely used builder plugins, at least gauging by my own impressions based on how often it shows up in our support channels. I&#8217;ve always had mixed feelings on it as it has always seemed to cause compatibility issues with some of our plugins.</p> <p>Once activated, a giant purple button is added to the page editor:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.14.09-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93424" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.14.09-PM.png" alt="Divi Builder" width="882" height="455" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.14.09-PM.png 882w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.14.09-PM-480x248.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.14.09-PM-300x155.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.14.09-PM-768x396.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 882px) 100vw, 882px" /></a></p> <p>I will not hide it; I hate this button. It&#8217;s huge and purple for no reason other than to be blatantly obvious. It&#8217;s distracting and takes away from the fluidness of the standard WordPress interface.</p> <p>Know what I like even less than the button? The rainbow of colors in the builder itself.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.31.49-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93425" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.31.49-PM.png" alt="Divi Builder" width="885" height="510" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.31.49-PM.png 885w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.31.49-PM-480x277.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.31.49-PM-300x173.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.31.49-PM-768x443.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 885px) 100vw, 885px" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.16-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93426" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.16-PM-1024x462.png" alt="Divi Builder" width="592" height="267" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.16-PM-1024x462.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.16-PM-480x216.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.16-PM-300x135.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.16-PM-768x346.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.16-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.33-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93427" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.33-PM-1024x462.png" alt="Divi Builder" width="592" height="267" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.33-PM-1024x462.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.33-PM-480x216.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.33-PM-300x135.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.33-PM-768x346.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.36.33-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.37.51-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93428" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.37.51-PM-1024x463.png" alt="Divi Builder" width="592" height="268" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.37.51-PM-1024x463.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.37.51-PM-480x217.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.37.51-PM-300x136.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.37.51-PM-768x347.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.37.51-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>Beyond my distaste for the builder&#8217;s stylistic choices, it does work quite well. The interface is overall pretty intuitive, though it is pretty heavy handed on the use of icons.</p> <p>Once I had a few sample layouts built, I again tested for compatibility issues and quickly found several.</p> <p>First, the builder is overly aggressive with its frontend CSS. To test this, I added a registration form from Restrict Content Pro to the page. Here you can see first the form without Divi Builder active and then the same form with the builder active:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.45.13-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93429" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.45.13-PM.png" alt="RCP Registration" width="701" height="524" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.45.13-PM.png 701w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.45.13-PM-480x360.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.45.13-PM-300x224.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 701px) 100vw, 701px" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.30-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93430" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.30-PM.png" alt="RCP Registration" width="699" height="448" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.30-PM.png 699w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.30-PM-480x308.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.30-PM-300x192.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 699px) 100vw, 699px" /></a></p> <p>Notice how the second image has lost a lot of its margins and button styling. Those button styles shown in the first image do not come from Restrict Content Pro; they come from the theme. That means Divi Builder is applying its CSS to elements that are not part of the builder.</p> <p>As with all plugins, CSS in plugins should be written such that it only affects elements it is designed to target.</p> <p>The second issue I found has to do with content lock in. Each builder has some form of content lock in, but Divi Builder is 100%.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.43-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93431" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.43-PM.png" alt="Divi Builder" width="765" height="517" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.43-PM.png 765w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.43-PM-480x324.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-1.44.43-PM-300x203.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 765px) 100vw, 765px" /></a></p> <p>At least they are nice enough to restore the original content. As we&#8217;ve seen with a very select few of the builders, avoiding content lock in is not impossible. Too bad so few achieve it.</p> <p>Next, shortcode enclosures do not work across elements. You have probably noticed that this is a very common trend in builders.</p> <p>Divi Builder is definitely not my least favorite of the builders but it&#8217;s far from my favorite as well.</p> <h3>Elementor</h3> <p>This was another new builder to me that came recommended by a few people on Twitter. Elementor is free on <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/elementor/">WordPress.org</a>.</p> <p>Like some of the others above, Elementor adds a large colored button to the edit screen. If you&#8217;ve read this far, you know my opinions on it.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.07.06-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93432" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.07.06-PM.png" alt="Elementor button" width="881" height="296" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.07.06-PM.png 881w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.07.06-PM-480x161.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.07.06-PM-300x101.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.07.06-PM-768x258.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 881px) 100vw, 881px" /></a></p> <p>Clicking on it takes us to a frontend WYSIWYG editor, similar to the Customizer but with its own stylistic choices.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.08.22-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93433" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.08.22-PM-1024x486.png" alt="Elementor editor" width="592" height="281" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.08.22-PM-1024x486.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.08.22-PM-480x228.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.08.22-PM-300x142.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.08.22-PM-768x364.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.08.22-PM.png 1366w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.10.04-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93434" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.10.04-PM-1024x487.png" alt="Elementor" width="592" height="282" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.10.04-PM-1024x487.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.10.04-PM-480x228.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.10.04-PM-300x143.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.10.04-PM-768x365.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.10.04-PM.png 1361w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>Adding new elements and widgets to the page is pretty nice and simple.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.04-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93435" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.04-PM.png" alt="Elementor" width="558" height="225" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.04-PM.png 558w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.04-PM-480x194.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.04-PM-300x121.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 558px) 100vw, 558px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.11-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93436" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.11-PM.png" alt="Elementor" width="541" height="309" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.11-PM.png 541w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.11-PM-480x274.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.11-PM-300x171.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 541px) 100vw, 541px" /></a> <a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.20-PM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93437" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.20-PM.png" alt="Elementor" width="584" height="413" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.20-PM.png 584w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.20-PM-480x339.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-27-at-2.28.20-PM-300x212.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px" /></a></p> <p>Overall, Elementor works quite nicely. There were a couple of weird quirks when editing the content of element blocks. Switching back to the element index wasn&#8217;t very intuitive, but clicking around a bit took care of it.</p> <p>Aside from the big red button that I mentioned above, I only found two issues with Elementor, and they&#8217;re two of the same issues we&#8217;ve seen with most of the builders.</p> <p>First, inline scripts loaded by shortcodes do not seem to work properly. The files simply do not get loaded when the shortcode that calls them is included inside a builder element.</p> <p>Second, shortcode enclosures cannot be used across builder elements. Within individual elements they work fine, but trying to encapsulate multiple elements in a single shortcode breaks.</p> <p>The builder is pretty nice but could use with a few improvements to make the editing experience smoother and to address the compatibility issues mentioned above.</p> <h3>Pootle Page Builder</h3> <p>A free plugin from <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/pootle-page-builder/">WordPress.org</a> with premium upgrades, Pootle Page Builder has crossed my radar a few times but this was my first opportunity to play with with it.</p> <p>First, I just have to say their mascot makes me happy. That doesn&#8217;t mean much for how well the plugin will work, but it&#8217;s still a great touch.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/banner-772x250.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93456" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/banner-772x250.png" alt="banner-772x250" width="772" height="250" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/banner-772x250.png 772w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/banner-772x250-480x155.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/banner-772x250-300x97.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/banner-772x250-768x249.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 772px) 100vw, 772px" /></a></p> <p>Alright, let&#8217;s see what kind of monsters we&#8217;re dealing with in Pootle Page Builder.</p> <p>After activation, users are presented with a nice welcome screen with helpful walk through videos. I skipped right past these but beginner users would very likely find them valuable.</p> <p>On the page edit screen, we see a nicely placed <em>Page Builder </em>button.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.36.11-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93457" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.36.11-AM.png" alt="Pootle Page Builder button" width="884" height="253" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.36.11-AM.png 884w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.36.11-AM-480x137.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.36.11-AM-300x86.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.36.11-AM-768x220.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 884px) 100vw, 884px" /></a></p> <p>The red doesn&#8217;t bother me too much here because it&#8217;s well placed with the existing Visual and Text button options. I do wish, however, that the button color would match the selected color scheme of the currently logged in user. That would be a nice touch.</p> <p>Clicking on the <em>Page Builder </em>button is where we see our first downside to the plugin.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.42.58-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93458" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.42.58-AM.png" alt="Pootle Page Builder warning" width="712" height="314" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.42.58-AM.png 712w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.42.58-AM-480x212.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.42.58-AM-300x132.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 712px) 100vw, 712px" /></a></p> <p>Thankfully they warn us before deleting any content but I really do not feel this should be necessary. Page builders should always automatically pick up the existing content or, at minimum, provide a way to import the existing content. Some of the builders seen above support this properly.</p> <p>I went ahead and clicked <em>I know what I&#8217;m doing </em>and was presented with this:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.44.41-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93459" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.44.41-AM.png" alt="Pootle Page Builder" width="884" height="349" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.44.41-AM.png 884w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.44.41-AM-480x190.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.44.41-AM-300x118.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.44.41-AM-768x303.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 884px) 100vw, 884px" /></a></p> <p>I immediately noticed two things:</p> <ol> <li>At the bottom it shows <em>Word count: 239</em></li> <li>The top right shows a <em>Default Editor </em>button</li> </ol> <p>So I wondered what would happen if I clicked back to the default editor. Would my content be gone? Hurray! The content was still there. Pootle Page Builder did not delete my content, it was just being overly cautious to ensure the user knows that the content seen in the default editor is not the content seen in the page builder. While that could be improved to synchronize the two views, this was much better than I initially thought.</p> <p>The builder interface was very straight forward and easy to use.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.49.35-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93463" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.49.35-AM.png" alt="Pootle Page Builder interface" width="883" height="287" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.49.35-AM.png 883w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.49.35-AM-480x156.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.49.35-AM-300x98.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-9.49.35-AM-768x250.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 883px) 100vw, 883px" /></a></p> <p>I was able to quickly add a multi-column row and add text elements to it. This all worked fine and displayed as expected on the frontend.</p> <p>One thing that became immediately apparent about Pootle Page Builder is that it has a much more minimal approach to the builder concept than most plugins. Rather than offer builder elements for all different kinds of content types, it simply provides the tools to build a layout, in which users can then add whatever they wish from other plugins or their theme. I <em>really </em>like this. Far too many builder plugins go for the all-in-one approach that, while very valuable to many, result in a lot of bloat. A minimal plugin isn&#8217;t suited for everyone but for those that just want layout control, it&#8217;s perfect.</p> <p>Aside from the issue I pointed out above with switching back and forth between the editor views, Pootle Page Builder only had two compatibility issues I could find.</p> <p>First, shortcode enclosures do not work across elements, just like nearly all of the page builders above.</p> <p>Second, inline scripts loaded by a shortcode do not appear to work, at least not in the scenarios that I tested.</p> <p>If I was to use a page builder on one of my sites, Pootle Page Builder would be in the running for my top choice.</p> <h3>Live Composer</h3> <p>Another builder I was not aware of before this post, <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/live-composer-page-builder/">Live Composer</a> is a free plugin on WordPress.org with free and premium add-on plugins. Based on the reviews and the active site count (more than 30,000), it seems Live Composer is quite popular and has a strong user base.</p> <p>After activation, a welcome screen is show with information about upcoming add-ons and existing add-ons that can be used to extend the plugin&#8217;s functionality. I skipped right past this page and went straight to the page editor. Before I got there, however, I noticed that Live Composer and registered several new menus in my admin area:</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.27.38-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93465" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.27.38-AM.png" alt="Love Composer menus" width="627" height="474" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.27.38-AM.png 627w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.27.38-AM-476x360.png 476w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.27.38-AM-300x227.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 627px) 100vw, 627px" /></a></p> <p>That immediately told me that Live Composer is playing the all-in-one game and offering both content <em>and </em>layout creation. Personally I feel page builders should stick closer to the layout-only side.</p> <p>When we get to the page edit screen, we&#8217;re presented with a nicely done <em>Open in Live Composer </em>button that fits perfectly inside of WordPress&#8217; UI.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.23.55-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93466" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.23.55-AM-1024x236.png" alt="Live Composer edit button" width="592" height="136" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.23.55-AM-1024x236.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.23.55-AM-480x111.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.23.55-AM-300x69.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.23.55-AM-768x177.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.23.55-AM.png 1053w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>Interestingly, the developers chose to add two buttons, one next to the page permalink and one called <em>Page Builder </em>next to the <em>Visual </em>and <em>Text </em>buttons. Both do the same thing and direct us to a frontend editor.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.24.10-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93467" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.24.10-AM-1024x453.png" alt="Live Composer open dialog" width="592" height="262" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.24.10-AM-1024x453.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.24.10-AM-480x212.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.24.10-AM-300x133.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.24.10-AM-768x340.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.24.10-AM-1038x462.png 1038w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.24.10-AM.png 1044w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.32.01-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93468" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.32.01-AM-1024x626.png" alt="Live Composer editor" width="592" height="362" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.32.01-AM-1024x626.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.32.01-AM-480x293.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.32.01-AM-300x183.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.32.01-AM-768x470.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.32.01-AM.png 1271w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>I really liked how well the developers integrated their editor into the page edit screen, but all of that happiness went down the drain when I saw this.</p> <p>I personally dislike the color scheme of the builder, but that&#8217;s the smallest of the issues here. The biggest problem I see is that the builder interface becomes clumsy on anything less than a large screen. The builder elements are placed in a scrollable container without any quick way to find specific elements. The arrows on the right move the view port to the left and right but they&#8217;re incredibly slow. You&#8217;re forced to move the view port one click at a time. Most of the time, interfaces like this would allow the user to click and hold on the scroll bar to move quickly through the options, but not here. It only accepts single clicks, so if the element you need is 25 spaces to the right, you have to click at least 25 times to get there. Keyboard navigation is not an option either. This just screams accessibility (and usability) nightmare.</p> <p>Once we get past the interface problems with adding elements, the builder itself works quite well. Adding new elements is pretty smooth and editing existing ones works nicely. There were some occasional quirks that caused issues, however. For example, I added a text field and then tried to split it into two columns. When doing this, the column controls went underneath the text element below it, making the column controls inaccessible.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.39.29-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-93469" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.39.29-AM.png" alt="Live Composer editor glitch" width="668" height="328" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.39.29-AM.png 668w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.39.29-AM-480x236.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.39.29-AM-300x147.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 668px) 100vw, 668px" /></a></p> <p>Another example of poorly thought-out UI is the editor control panel for module rows. Again we are faced with a situation where there are a lot of controls to utilize, but they&#8217;re mostly hidden away in a scrollable horizontal container.</p> <p><a href="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.42.51-AM.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-93470" src="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.42.51-AM-1024x189.png" alt="Live Composer row module editor" width="592" height="109" srcset="https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.42.51-AM-1024x189.png 1024w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.42.51-AM-480x89.png 480w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.42.51-AM-300x55.png 300w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.42.51-AM-768x142.png 768w, https://pippinspluginscom.c.presscdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-11.42.51-AM.png 1418w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" /></a></p> <p>I spent some more time playing with the editor and found more of the same kind of issue so I decided to move on and test for the common compatibility problems. Here things broke down even further with five major compatibility problems.</p> <p>First, the page builder completely ignores the existing content of the page. I&#8217;m really not sure why so many builders do this. It is not hard to import basic content in to a full-width text field and then let the site editor take it from there.</p> <p>Second, shortcode enclosures do not work across columns and rows. I really wish page builder developers would spend more time ensuring compatibility for standard shortcode functionality.</p> <p>Third, inline scripts loaded by shortcodes do not work at all. The scripts simply do not get loaded like they would in the standard WordPress editor.</p> <p>Fourth, plugins that adjust content through the <em>the_content </em>filter break completely. Live Composer completely overrides the ability for plugins to adjust the page content, meaning the primarily functionality of plugins like Restrict Content Pro is completely useless when using Live Composer.</p> <p>And last, if the page builder is deactivated, every bit of content put into the builder is lost. It&#8217;s 100% gone.</p> <p>Considering the number of 5-star reviews and the high active site count for Live Composer, I was really expecting a very different experience.</p> <h3>Conclusions</h3> <p>I am jaded, I will not deny it. I&#8217;ve had too many poor experiences with page builder plugins to not have a bad taste in my mouth.</p> <p>One of the main reasons I chose to do this review was to try and be objective about it to see if my opinion was justified. I am really, really happy to say that a few builders here have won over my complete support. Those include <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/tailor/">Tailor</a>, <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/pootle-page-builder/">Pootle Page Builder</a>, and <a href="https://www.wpbeaverbuilder.com/">Beaver Builder</a>. Those three are easily my favorites that I would happily recommend to any of my customers. Sure they each have a quirk or two of their own, but what product doesn&#8217;t?</p> <p>After going through each of the plugins in this review, I feel there are a few items that builder plugin developers should work to address.</p> <p>First, compatibility with standard shortcode functionality is a must. Unless a plugin&#8217;s purpose is to explicitly disable a piece of functionality, all native WordPress features should remain 100% functional.</p> <p>Second, avoiding content lock in should be considered a top priority. WordPress has been built upon freedoms and the philosophy of owning your content. What good is content ownership if it&#8217;s lost due to a negligent plugin?</p> <p>Third, I would love to see more builders give greater care to the playground in which they play. Respect native interfaces and design decisions and leverage them. Hands down the greatest user experiences will always be those that successfully blend functionality and interface design seamlessly into the environment in which they live (WordPress).</p> <p>I would love page builders to be a consistently <em>good </em>tool for site owners to rely on, but in order for that to happen, there <em>must </em>be stronger compatibility with the wider plugin ecosystem. Not all of the builders are weak in this area, but the majority of them have at least one major weak point when it comes to plugin compatibility.</p> <p>Let&#8217;s return now to the Tweet that started all of this:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I’m sorry is this hurts anyone feelings, but seriously, all of the majorly popular page builders for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WordPress?src=hash">#WordPress</a> are terrible.</p> <p>&mdash; Pippinsplugins (@pippinsplugins) <a href="https://twitter.com/pippinsplugins/status/776169605299597314">September 14, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>Are they all terrible? No, definitely not, some are even great! I hope that the opinions expressed here and the select compatibility issues pointed out help developers to create better page builders. I would be thrilled if this post was entirely obsolete in the near future.</p> text/html 2016-09-29T00:06:03+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Lessons Learned from My First Commercial WordPress Plugin http://www.wpexplorer.com/lessons-learned-wordpress-plugin/ text/html 2016-09-26T19:00:51+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Get Your WordPress Theme How You Want It: Introduction To WordPress Customization https://www.wpkube.com/introduction-to-wordpress-customization/ text/html 2016-09-25T09:20:03+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Why I’m sticking with Rainmaker after that other product launched…. http://chrislema.com/sticking-with-rainmaker/ <p><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-43905" src="http://chrislema.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/shutterstock87326485-650x449.jpg" alt="sticking with Rainmaker" width="650" height="449" /></p> <h2>Have you ever seen a house get built?</h2> <p>If you&#8217;ve never been part of building a house, or watched a house or building get built, then the metaphor or illustration I am about to use won&#8217;t make much sense.</p> <p>But if you&#8217;ve ever seen it or been part of a home-building project, you know that it moves in phases. The first phase is really boring. There&#8217;s no house at all. It&#8217;s dirt. And even the dirt is bored. Because it needs to get dug up, cleaned up, and made sure that it can be turned into the proper foundation to support the building you&#8217;ll put on it.</p> <p>After that you&#8217;ll see concrete poured. The excitement bursts as you think it&#8217;s all running full speed ahead. Until you realize that&#8217;s actually the foundation and you&#8217;ll have to wait a bit more.</p> <p>Only then do you see the framing work and a house takes shape. Unfortunately, and you&#8217;ll have to take my word for it, when you walk thru the house when it&#8217;s just framed, it feels much smaller than when you walked thru the model home. You start to worry that it won&#8217;t meet all your needs &#8211; that all your stuff won&#8217;t find a place there.</p> <p>And then comes the series of iterations &#8211; from plumbing to wiring to ventilation. Series of efforts that don&#8217;t make your house look anything more like the house you bought than the initial framing.</p> <p>But suddenly the drywall goes up and the rooms feel bigger and you get excited. The last bits move pretty quickly and suddenly the house is now ready to transition to a home.</p> <p>I have been using Rainmaker since it launched. So I&#8217;ve watched it take shape. I&#8217;ve experienced the little issues and wished for certain features. I&#8217;ve worried that it might not fit all my stuff and my needs.</p> <p>In short, it feels like its product development is very similar to how a house gets built (at least my experiences of it).</p> <h2>Did you notice the most recent product launch?</h2> <p>If you got twenty emails from folks pitching you <strong>SamCart</strong> in the last week or two, you know what I&#8217;m talking about.</p> <p>But if you didn&#8217;t get those, maybe a few weeks ago you got the emails from <strong>ZippyCourses</strong> as they launched a new hosted solution.</p> <p>Maybe you didn&#8217;t get those emails, but you got word of Drip&#8217;s purchase by LeadPages. Or their <strong>Center</strong> product&#8230;</p> <p>Or was it emails and videos from the <strong>NewKajabi</strong>?</p> <p>Or the webinars from <strong>ConvertKit</strong>?</p> <p>Don&#8217;t forget <strong>ClickFunnels</strong>.</p> <p>There is no question that there are a lot of tools out there. Tons of new products launching all the time. And each one offers you something amazing!</p> <h2>This is what&#8217;s hot right now&#8230;</h2> <p>If you look at all these products, they all fall into one of these categories:</p> <ol> <li>eCommerce</li> <li>Email marketing</li> <li>Marketing automation</li> <li>Online courseware</li> <li>Hosted membership sites</li> </ol> <p>These are the hot spaces out there right now. And all those products offer you the help you need.</p> <p>It&#8217;s not just their marketing (which is good). It&#8217;s the reality. <strong>They can all help you. Every one of them.</strong></p> <p>In fact, my prediction over the next five years is that they&#8217;ll all slowly add any of the features that the others have. Because no matter where they started from, they&#8217;re all in it to help you and me.</p> <p>And we want it all, don&#8217;t we?</p> <h2>Every time one of those products launches something&#8230;.</h2> <p>Every time one of those products launches something I get the same questions.</p> <ul> <li>What do you think this means for Rainmaker?</li> <li>Do you still think Rainmaker is a good call?</li> <li>Would you still recommend Rainmaker for someone like me?</li> <li>Does Rainmaker have that feature? Won&#8217;t I need it?</li> <li>Should I buy that product too? Will Rainmaker integrate with it?</li> </ul> <p>These are all great questions.</p> <p>But my replies are never about Rainmaker. They&#8217;re always a different set of questions back to the person that I&#8217;m talking to.</p> <ul> <li>How many products have you purchased that you didn&#8217;t put to use?</li> <li>How are you using the products you&#8217;ve already purchased?</li> <li>What is working with your current business model? How can  you improve it?</li> <li>Where are you focused that is distracting you from the work you really need to do?</li> </ul> <h2>Here&#8217;s the reality of the situation</h2> <p>In one conversation I had this past week about the latest SamCart launch, I heard tons about one-click upsells. I&#8217;ve been talking about one-time-offers (OTOs) and how to do them with the technology that&#8217;s out there for a couple years. It&#8217;s a staple in internet marketing circles but not one that a lot of people in the WordPress community have used. So the concept isn&#8217;t new to me.</p> <p>But my question to the person I was talking to &#8211; who was seriously jonesing about buying the new SamCart &#8211; was whether they had all their upsell offers already? My follow up was how they were trying and testing the viability of that model for their existing audience. Neither question was answered. Because the reality was that the shiny new feature sounded great but the hard work of getting everything ready to use it wasn&#8217;t in place.</p> <p><strong>The reality of the situation is that no pop-up, no one-click offer, no landing page template, no optin box, no autoresponder, and no tagging feature is going to turn a lame product into a great one.</strong></p> <p>And if you&#8217;re making a killing with your great product already, you don&#8217;t ever feel as desperate to buy the next shiny tool.</p> <h2>Why I&#8217;m sticking with Rainmaker&#8230;</h2> <p>In several conversations over the last month, I&#8217;ve reiterated my logic for why I&#8217;m sticking with Rainmaker.</p> <p>Remember that list I showed you above:</p> <ol> <li>eCommerce</li> <li>Email marketing</li> <li>Marketing automation</li> <li>Online courseware</li> <li>Hosted membership sites</li> </ol> <p>Did you know that I can do all of these things already with Rainmaker?</p> <p>It&#8217;s not perfect. The house isn&#8217;t completely built yet. There&#8217;s more to come.</p> <p>But my site is working hard for me, and doing what I want and need it to do (financially), and I can honestly say I&#8217;m not using all of Rainmaker like I can. There&#8217;s still more to do to leverage everything that&#8217;s there.</p> <p>Sure, some of their features are wasted on me. I don&#8217;t plan to publish on Medium. But I know others who might need that to get their content discovered. I don&#8217;t host a podcast&#8230;yet.</p> <p>But I know where they&#8217;re headed, and I know what it can do already.</p> <p>And right now, with what they offer, I get:</p> <ul> <li>better SEO than many of those solutions</li> <li>better design than many of those solutions</li> <li>easier to use features than many of those solutions</li> </ul> <p>And I get it all in one product. Even before I start using any integrations.</p> <h2>One last note</h2> <p>I wanted to end on one last note. Most of the products listed at the top are products I&#8217;ve purchased. Pretty much all of them. I have an account with ZippyCourses, Center, ClickFunnels, NewKajabi, SamCart, and ConvertKit. Of all them, I regularly use <a href="http://chrislema.com/convertkit" target="_blank">ConvertKit</a>. I purchased the rest so I can understand them and help others who need the help.</p> <p>My note is that I&#8217;ve been on the inside of those products. They&#8217;re great. Absolutely nothing wrong with them. But here&#8217;s the deal. None of them have magic on the inside. As much as you watch promo and launch videos and they sound amazing. <strong>The reality is every one of them requires that you do work. I looked. There&#8217;s no magic button that says, &#8220;make me rich.&#8221;</strong></p> <p>So no matter how awesome the marketing is, just know that they&#8217;ll help improve you but they won&#8217;t transform you. The hard work &#8211; from ideation to product development to product launch &#8211; is still all on you.</p> <p>And that&#8217;s true with <a href="http://chrislema.com/newrainmaker" target="_blank">Rainmaker</a> too. It&#8217;s not magic.</p> <p>But the foundation is there. The framing is there. <em>It&#8217;s taking shape and I continue to be excited to turn it into my home.</em></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://chrislema.com/sticking-with-rainmaker/">Why I&#8217;m sticking with Rainmaker after that other product launched&#8230;.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://chrislema.com">ChrisLema.com</a>.</p> text/html 2016-09-24T22:05:55+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet The art of being a self-employed web consultant — Draft podcast https://poststatus.com/art-self-employed-web-consultant-draft-podcast/ <p>Welcome to the Post Status <a href="https://poststatus.com/category/draft">Draft podcast</a>, which you can find <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/post-status-draft-wordpress/id976403008">on iTunes</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/music/m/Ih5egfxskgcec4qadr3f4zfpzzm?t=Post_Status__Draft_WordPress_Podcast">Google Play</a>, <a href="http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/krogsgard/post-status-draft-wordpress-podcast">Stitcher</a>, and <a href="http://simplecast.fm/podcasts/1061/rss">via RSS</a> for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Brian Krogsgard and this week&#8217;s special guest host, Diane Kinney.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Diane is a web professional and solo practitioner based in Florida. She’s writing a book with Carrie Dils called Real World Freelancing, and I thought it’d be fun to chat with her about freelancing.</span></p> <!--[if lt IE 9]><script>document.createElement('audio');</script><![endif]--> <audio class="wp-audio-shortcode" id="audio-27006-1" preload="none" style="width: 100%; visibility: hidden;" controls="controls"><source type="audio/mpeg" src="http://audio.simplecast.com/48334.mp3?_=1" /><a href="http://audio.simplecast.com/48334.mp3">http://audio.simplecast.com/48334.mp3</a></audio> <p><a href="http://audio.simplecast.com/48334.mp3">Direct Download</a></p> <h3>Links and Topics</h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://realworldfreelancing.com/">Real World Freelancing</a></li> <li><a href="http://theversatilitygroup.com/">The Versatility Group</a>, Diane&#8217;s primary business</li> <li><a href="https://poststatus.com/wordpress-website-cost/">How much should a website cost?</a></li> <li><a href="http://dianekinney.com/">DianeKinney.com</a>, a blog in development. It will focus on business topics, WordPress, and beyond</li> </ul> <h3>Sponsor: Yoast</h3> <p><a href="https://yoast.com/">Yoast</a> SEO Premium gives you 24/7 support from a dedicated support team and extra features such as a redirect manager, tutorial videos and integration with Google Webmaster Tools! Go to <a href="https://yoast.com/">yoast.com</a> for more information, and thanks to Yoast for being a Post Status partner</p> text/html 2016-09-23T23:13:34+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet 6 Actionable steps to launching a product w/ Nathan Barry of ConvertKit https://mattreport.com/6-steps-launch-product-nathan-barry-convertkit/ text/html 2016-09-22T10:05:41+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet BuddyPress 2.7.0 Beta 1 https://buddypress.org/2016/09/buddypress-2-7-0-beta-1/ <p>BuddyPress 2.7.0 Beta 1 is lovingly packed with new features and enhancements and is now available for testing. You can download the <a href="https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/buddypress.2.7.0-beta1.zip">BP 2.7.0-beta1</a> zip or get a copy via our Subversion repository. We’d love to have your feedback and testing help.</p> <p><strong>N.B.</strong>If you are still using WordPress 4.1, we remind you that <a href="https://bpdevel.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/in-accordance-with-our-wp/">BuddyPress 2.7.0 will require at least WordPress 4.2</a>.</p> <p>A detailed changelog will be part of our official release notes, but, until then, here’s a tasty list of some of our favorite changes. (Check out <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=closed&amp;group=resolution&amp;milestone=2.7">this report</a> on Trac for the full list.)</p> <ul> <li>Groups query overhaul (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/5451">#5451</a>)</li> <li>Improved extended profile date field (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/5500">#5500</a>)</li> <li>Localized timestamps (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/5757">#5757</a>)</li> <li>Easy unsubscribe from email links (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/6932">#6932</a>)</li> <li>Front-end group types integration (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7210">#7210</a>)</li> <li>Member type and group type filters in Users and Groups admin screens (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/6060">#6060</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7175">#7175</a>)</li> <li>Use WP page names for BP directory pages headings (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/6765">#6765</a>)</li> <li>Accessibility updates for the front-end and back-end screens (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/6871">#6871</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7105">#6881</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7090">#7090</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7222">#7222</a>, and many others!)</li> <li>Templating enhancements (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/6844">#6884</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7132">#7132</a>)</li> <li>Improvements to a single group&#8217;s management screens (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7079">#7079</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/6385">#6385</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7105">#7105</a>)</li> <li>Many, many performance improvements (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7120">#7120</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/6978">#6978</a>, <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/7208">#7208</a>, and more!)</li> <li>Support for querying for groups by new column <code>parent_id</code> (<a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/3961">#3961</a>)</li> </ul> <p>BP 2.7.0 is almost ready, but please do not run it in a production environment just yet. Let us know of any issues you find in the <a href="https://buddypress.org/support/">support forums</a> and/or <a href="https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/">development tracker</a>.</p> <p>Thanks everyone for all your help to date. We are excited to release BuddyPress 2.7.0 in mid-October!</p> text/html 2016-09-07T22:52:09+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet WordPress 4.6.1 Security and Maintenance Release https://wordpress.org/news/2016/09/wordpress-4-6-1-security-and-maintenance-release/ <p>WordPress 4.6.1 is now available. This is a <strong>security release</strong> for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.</p> <p>WordPress versions 4.6 and earlier are affected by two security issues: a cross-site scripting vulnerability via image filename, reported by SumOfPwn researcher <a href="https://twitter.com/cengizhansahin">Cengiz Han Sahin</a>; and a path traversal vulnerability in the upgrade package uploader, reported by <a href="https://dominikschilling.de/">Dominik Schilling</a> from the WordPress security team.</p> <p>Thank you to the reporters for practicing <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/testing/reporting-security-vulnerabilities/">responsible disclosure</a>.</p> <p>In addition to the security issues above, WordPress 4.6.1 fixes 15 bugs from 4.6. For more information, see the <a href="https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.6.1">release notes</a> or consult the <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?milestone=4.6.1">list of changes</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://wordpress.org/download/">Download WordPress 4.6.1</a> or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and simply click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update to WordPress 4.6.1.</p> <p>Thanks to everyone who contributed to 4.6.1:</p> <p><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/azaozz">Andrew Ozz</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/gitlost">bonger</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/boonebgorges">Boone Gorges</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/chaos-engine">Chaos Engine</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/danielkanchev">Daniel Kanchev</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/dd32">Dion Hulse</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/drewapicture">Drew Jaynes</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/flixos90">Felix Arntz</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/frozzare">Fredrik Forsmo</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/pento">Gary Pendergast</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/geminorum">geminorum</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/iandunn">Ian Dunn</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/ionutst">Ionut Stanciu</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/jeremyfelt">Jeremy Felt</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/joemcgill">Joe McGill</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/clorith">Marius L. J. (Clorith)</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/swissspidy">Pascal Birchler</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/rpayne7264">Robert D Payne</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/sergeybiryukov">Sergey Biryukov</a>, and <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/nmt90">Triet Minh</a>.</p> text/html 2016-09-02T01:33:28+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet What We Look for in Themes for WordPress.com https://themeshaper.com/2016/09/01/what-we-look-for-in-themes/ A text/html 2016-09-01T17:14:22+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Responsive Images In WordPress With Art Direction https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/responsive-images-in-wordpress-with-art-direction/ text/html 2016-08-29T12:56:53+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Commercial theme suppliers selling themselves short… http://wpandlegalstuff.com/commercial-theme-suppliers-selling-themselves-short/ text/html 2016-08-23T21:40:45+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet .blog https://konstantin.blog/2016/dot-blog/ <p>As you may have heard, Automattic <a href="https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/coming-soon-new-blog-domains-for-websites/" target="_blank">recently</a> secured the rights to operate the sale and registration of .blog &#8212; a new top-level domain, which is currently in the Sunrise period, where trademark owners can apply.</p> <p><img src="https://konstantin.blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/08/get-dot-blog.png" alt="get.blog" width="2080" height="772" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-8259" srcset="https://konstantin.blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/08/get-dot-blog.png 2080w, https://konstantin.blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/08/get-dot-blog-300x111.png 300w, https://konstantin.blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/08/get-dot-blog-768x285.png 768w, https://konstantin.blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/08/get-dot-blog-680x252.png 680w" sizes="(max-width: 2080px) 100vw, 2080px" /></p> <p>The Landrush period, where anyone can apply for their desired .blog domains, is scheduled for November 2nd, and public launch is expected on November 21st. However, a few select bloggers were granted the possibility to get .blog domains sooner as part of the Founders Program, and I was very lucky to be one of them.</p> <p>Welcome to <strong>konstantin.blog</strong> &#8212; a new home for my archive of <a href="https://konstantin.blog/?order=asc" target="_blank">almost eight years</a> worth of writing on many topics, including SEO (yeah&#8230;), AWS, Twitter, robotics, Linux, PHP, WordCamps and WordPress.</p> <p>I admit I have neglected this place for a while, haven&#8217;t posted as much as I should have, and I can probably come up with plenty of excuses. But this new domain comes with a little string attached &#8212; I have to write more frequently, which I intend to do, so watch out for fresh thoughts, ideas, tips and hacks, and a lot of WordPress of course.</p> <p>If you&#8217;re looking for your own .blog domain, head over to <a href="https://get.blog/" target="_blank">get.blog</a> for more information and updates.</p> <h3>More from Konstantin Kovshenin</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://konstantin.blog/2016/wordcamp-moscow-2016-recap/?utm_source=feed&#038;utm_medium=latest_posts&#038;utm_campaign=feed">WordCamp Moscow 2016 Recap</a></a></li> <li><a href="https://konstantin.blog/2016/what-the-queries/?utm_source=feed&#038;utm_medium=latest_posts&#038;utm_campaign=feed">What the Queries</a></a></li> <li><a href="https://konstantin.blog/2015/wordcamp-russia-2015-recap/?utm_source=feed&#038;utm_medium=latest_posts&#038;utm_campaign=feed">WordCamp Russia 2015 Recap</a></a></li> <li><a href="https://konstantin.blog/2015/ctf-ota-2015/?utm_source=feed&#038;utm_medium=latest_posts&#038;utm_campaign=feed">Capture the Flag / OTA 2015</a></a></li> <li><a href="https://konstantin.blog/2014/color-options-vs-decisions/?utm_source=feed&#038;utm_medium=latest_posts&#038;utm_campaign=feed">Color Options vs. Decisions in WordPress Themes</a></a></li> </ul> text/html 2016-08-12T02:12:14+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Blame WordPress For the World’s Problems https://lorelle.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/blame-wordpress-for-the-worlds-problems/ text/html 2016-07-13T23:06:51+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet bbPress 2.5.10 – Security Release https://bbpress.org/blog/2016/07/bbpress-2-5-10-security-release/ <p>bbPress 2.5.10 is out, and is a security release for all previous 2.x versions. 2.5.10 includes additional escaping on user display names in places where names &amp; avatars are commonly displayed together.</p> <p><em>These changes are internal to bbPress and do not affect any third-party themes or modifications to bbPress template parts. If you are using a third-party theme or template parts, you will inherit these fixes automatically.</em></p> <p>If you&#8217;re using any version of bbPress 2.x and have not yet updated, please take a moment to update your bbPress installations to 2.5.10. If you&#8217;re using WordPress&#8217;s built-in updater, it should only take a click or two. If you need help, please reach out in our <a href="https://bbpress.org/forums/">support forums</a> and someone will be happy to assist you.</p> <p>These fixes have also been ported over to 2.6, which we continue to run here at bbPress.org and BuddyPress.org.</p> <p>Thank you to HackerOne user psych0tr1a for identifying (and <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/testing/reporting-security-vulnerabilities/">responsibly disclosing</a>) these findings to the WordPress security team, who worked to get 2.5.10 out within a few hours from when the original report came in.</p> <hr /> <p>Speaking of bbPress 2.6, we&#8217;re working on refactoring per-forum moderators now, and we&#8217;ll have a beta ready for everyone to try shortly!</p> text/html 2016-06-14T18:48:34+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Understanding the Motivators, Tactics and Impacts of Hackers http://wphunt.co/out?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wpshrug.com%2Fblog%2Funderstanding-motivators-tactics-impacts-hackers%2F text/html 2015-12-30T03:16:41+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Downsize your WordPress database by removing transients http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Wprecipes/~3/sYtvpIfp_pw/downsize-your-database-by-removing-transients <p>First of it all, login to your phpmyadmin and choose your WordPress database. Once done, click on the sql button to open the sql command window.<br /> Then, simply paste the following sql command and execute it.</p> <pre> DELETE FROM `wp_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE ('%\_transient\_%'); </pre> <p>Credit: <a href="http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10422574/can-i-remove-transients-in-the-wp-options-table-of-my-wordpress-install/11995022#11995022" target="blank">Stack Overflow</a></p> <p>Want more super useful SQL queries? <a href="http://www.catswhocode.com/blog/using-sql-to-manage-wordpress-the-definitive-guide" target="blank">Check out this article on Cats Who Code</a>.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Wprecipes/~4/sYtvpIfp_pw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> text/html 2015-04-14T09:08:24+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Tips for Hosting WordPress on Pantheon https://markjaquith.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/wordpress-on-pantheon/ A text/html 2015-01-07T22:23:01+01:00 http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Universal Typography with Tim Brown http://build.codepoet.com/2015/01/07/universal-typography-tim-brown/ A text/html http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet Building a Welcome Page for Your WordPress Product: Code Part 2 https://code.tutsplus.com/articles/building-a-welcome-page-for-your-wordpress-product-code-part-2--cms-26059 text/html http://abetterplanetwp.com A Better Planet WordPress Page builder plugins: a critical review - Pippins Plugins https://managewp.org/articles/13492/wordpress-page-builder-plugins-a-critical-review-pippins-plugins