Drag and drop page builders are a new trend in the WordPress and website building world, since they provide modules for developers, and average people, to drop into a builder and create a website from scratch. These page builders have one huge selling point: You can design your own website without any coding knowledge or development experience.
This is all fine and dandy, but many of them don’t work as promised, or they still require you to have a basic understanding of web design in order to make a halfway decent website.
That’s not to say they all stink, because solutions like Divi, Themify, and Beaver Builder all provide clear tools for simply dragging and dropping elements from author boxes to animated sliders in your website pages.
The problem with those is that you have to fork over a little cash to acquire them. One drag and drop editor by the name of Page Builder comes for free. The solution is built by SiteOrigin and it works as a nifty, lightweight plugin to either install on the backend of your WordPress site or to download directly from the developer’s website.
The reviews for the Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin are off the charts, with people raving about its simplicity and mobile adaptibility. That’s why we wanted to take a deeper look into the Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin to see if it’s worth your time, based on all the hype. Is it a viable solution for developers to cut down on time spent building client sites? Are beginners finding it simple enough to use? Let’s find out.
What Makes Page Builder by SiteOrigin Different from Other Drag and Drop Editors?
Besides the fact that Page Builder is completely free, three areas make Page Builder standout from the other competitors, both free and premium, on the market. These unique areas include:
- The use of widgets for the drag and drop components.
- The plugin is enhanced by the SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle plugin.
- All modules generated and placed on your site are responsive.
To start, the use of widgets may not seem like that big of a deal to the average user. So what? You utilize widgets all the time through WordPress. That’s the point. Widgets are so familiar that SiteOrigin thought, “Why change something that people know how to use so well?”
With other drag and drop editors you generally have to use a completely different page builder with custom modules. The short story is that you’re presented with a brand new system, which regardless of user friendliness, will have some sort of learning curve. Page Builder forgets about that and says that you only need to sit in one area to build your entire site. Drag and drop the widgets like a regular premium plugin and remain comfortable with your favorite widgets like Search, Calendar, Text and Categories.
The SiteOrigins Widgets Bundle is a whole other benefit since it provides everything from buttons to images and maps to sliders. Once again, this all comes for free, so if you can’t find a feature or tool in the standard widgets, you can make your site look pretty with the extra add-ons.
Finally, mobile responsiveness is a tough game with drag and drop builders, and this handy free plugin does the job. Not only can users view your site on tablets and phones, but you don’t have to worry about Google penalizing your website for not following mobile rules.
What are the Primary Features You Can Find with Page Builder by SiteOrigin?
Drag and drop editing has been discussed above, and so has mobile responsiveness. So, what else comes along when you download the Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin?
Search Engine Friendly
The Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin uses lightweight and SEO friendly code so that your users and the search engines love your content. The idea is to utilize the drag and drop editor and let Page Builder modify the code needed in the background. None of the work is completed on your end.
It Works With Any WordPress Theme
From free to premium WordPress themes, it doesn’t matter if you already have a professional website up and running online, because Page Builder by SiteOrigin only requires a quick installation. The code is so clean that it doesn’t conflict with other plugins or themes, and it doesn’t require a certain type of theme to work on the backend.
Work From One Area
Since the Page Builder plugin implements the use of plugins, you no longer have to jump around all over your WordPress dashboard to simply design your homepage, or any of the many other pages on your site. Remain on a single page to create your site, and forget about using a third-party builder that overtakes your clean WordPress dashboard.
Your Content Loads Super Fast
The Page Builder plugin is considered up to 100 times lighter than other popular grid systems, which means that your content is ready for delivery when a user stops by. The cool part is that when you modify a widget or move a piece on a page, Page Builder generates and optimizes the code so that you can make any layout you desire and not worry about how long it takes to load when visitors come knocking.
There’s nothing more annoying than changing around elements on a WordPress page then having to click on the Preview button to see how it looks. Although it’s just a removal of a single step, it’s surprisingly helpful for cutting down on the time spent designing, and to prevent you from throwing your keyboard out the window.
The live editing feature works by letting you move around elements in real-time. Every move you make is reflected on the website frontend, but you can simply stick around on the same backend page to see how the changes look on your website.
Let’s say you moved an image slider and it looks terrible now. Mistakes are common when developing WordPress sites, so it’s nice to have a little safety net. With the Page Builder history browsing feature you can click back and forth between versions, similar to a Step Back feature you may find in a tool like Microsoft Word or Photoshop.
Modify Row and Widget Styles
Rows and widgets don’t have many customization features when you use them alone in WordPress, but upon installing Page Builder by SiteOrigin this suddenly changes. Feel free to modify paddings, borders and spacings with a quick input field. This delivers the ultimate branding environment, since there is no limit to what you can change. Not to mention, custom CSS and class fields are included for the more experienced folks.
Do You Ever Have to Pay Money to Use the Page Builder by SiteOrigin Plugin?
Many free plugin and theme companies try to push additional products on you after downloading the free tool. The basic money-making model for a free plugin is to offer a free version with one or two premium upgrades to receive more functionality.
That’s not the case with Page Builder by SiteOrigin, as the company website is strictly populated with free themes and plugins. Scroll through the entire theme library to find useful WordPress themes that work nicely with the Page Builder plugin, and see that in the Page Builder dashboard you never have to upgrade in order to receive the best features.
It’s all free. Simple as that.
Is the Page Builder by SiteOrigin Support Any Good?
With free WordPress plugins you’re not guaranteed quality support, since developers often fall off the face of the earth or they simply don’t have the time to respond to your questions.
Page Builder is a little different, since it offers a busy forum area for you to search for topics talked about in the past and even submit your own questions. Speak with other people discussing the Page Builder plugin and receive responses from developers at SiteOrigin.
You’ll also see that SiteOrigin has a handy blog with tips on how to include components on your site and updates to its plugins and themes. Along with a developer documentation area and a newsletter for developers, you don’t have to worry much about any of your problems going unattended to. I will say, no clear phone number or email address is provided, so the personalized support you would receive from a premium plugin or theme company is not there.
Over to You…
Overall, the Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin serves its purpose rather well, using widgets to make things easier for beginners and clean code adjustments to keep the true developers at peace. In terms of the best free drag and drop editor plugins on the market, this is by far the top dog. What’s interesting is that when you compare Page Builder with premium drag and drop plugins, it’s just as good, if not better.
That’s it for our Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin review. Let us know in the comments section below if you have any questions. Have you had a chance to play around with Page Builder? How does it work on your site?