This has been a popular question in the Beaver Builder community. It’s also one I have been wrestling with for a year. Did I come up with an answer? No, of course not, but I made a decision. I’m starting to replace Genesis (my trusted theme for 5 years) with the Beaver Builder theme. Here, I’d like to share how that came about, but let me start with my understanding of what others are saying.
Discussions in Beaver Builder’s Facebook Group.
As you might expect the Beaver Builder theme is the most recommended theme on the Beaver Builder group. Even those devoted to other themes will say it is a good option to check out. Typically the Beaver Builder theme earns praise for its:
- Solid and lightweight structure
- Ease of use (numerous speedy options
convenientlyproperly placed in the WP customiser)
- Excellent support
- Compatibility with the Beaver Builder plugin
- Ability to give many professional design freelancers and agencies everything they need.
But, there are also these comments:
- The Beaver Builder theme is good for simple sites
- It’s a good choice if you’re not a developer (The Genesis Framework often gets a mention here)
- There are also free or cheaper themes (GeneratePress often gets a mention here).
Are these backhanded compliments? A hint there are better combinations out there? Let’s turn these comments into supplementary questions and try to answer them.
Is the Beaver Builder theme just for simple sites?
No, we can still do anything WordPress will allow. A simple theme like Beaver Builder won’t get in our way. It’s strength is in being able to apply commonly needed design elements. Good header and navigation options as well as some helpful ones for blogging and Woocommerce sites.
It’s not a theme that specializes in complex post or custom post type based sites. If you’re intending to create complex directory, blog or estate agent’s site with lots of custom fields and taxonomies there are no easy click button options. This is true of the other themes commonly used with Beaver Builder (Genesis/Dynamik Website Builder, GeneratePress and Headway)
Is Beaver Builder not the choice of Developers?
It’s fine for developers. Beaver Builder attracts developers and “wannabe” developers like me (by that, I mean those of us who understand WordPress, can modify code, but are not programmers).
A sizeable bunch of us have a longer history with the Genesis “framework”. A solid theme that allows speedy child theme building and is considered developer friendly. However a skilled developer does not need Genesis. They could just as easily work with the Beaver Builder theme.
The amount of Genesis talk in the Beaver Builder community is a reflection of this themes’ long-standing. It does not in itself indicate a better combination. Even if it is, Genesis comes with a learning curve. If starting today, with the knowledge I would be mostly working with a page builder, I would struggle to find a reason to learn Genesis. I don’t have the same need to work with widget areas.
Is the Beaver Builder theme expensive for what it is?
What stands out to many is the immediate value of the Beaver Builder plugin compared with its theme. If you are not a multi-site user you are paying double to get the theme. You also continue to pay yearly (with a 40% discount). If you are someone who needs unlimited license GeneratePress and Genesis would cost less in the long run, although Headway would cost more.
WordPress pricing and licensing is often difficult. Support (not always needed) and updates (always needed) get lumped together. Normally, I would argue to be able to get updates for life and to have the option to pay for support. Typically, I only report bugs.
However, Beaver Builder’s record for support has been exceptional. For me, it has been more like having a developer friend helping out on my projects. It goes beyond the usual liability a product owner has. If they had separated updates from support I would have probably missed out. I feel I have underpaid for the value I’ve got.
I have moved from trusting a WordPress product (Genesis) to trusting a WordPress company with Beaver Builder. I no longer value things on a feature list alone and have a preference for companies where there is a stable team.
Why I’m adopting the Beaver Builder theme now.
It was so tempting to go for a drama title like. “Why I’m quitting Genesis!” but that is not the case. I am still a Genesis fan. I am still a fan of Dynamik Website Builder (more on this later). My move to Beaver Builder has been a slow logical progression prompted by various developments.
The main thing is, I’m preparing to change the way I work. I would like to see my small business clients getting more involved in the handling of their content and rationalising of their design. I’d like to spend more time on the marketing and messaging that often gets neglected.
With the full Beaver Builder package it becomes possible to work alongside clients quicker and keep a focus on the bigger picture. It’s a move away from the usual “us” and “them”. A halfway house between DIY with SquareSpace (Wix or Weebly) and full agency style design processes which is beyond the budget of many. The things that tipped the balance were:
1. The Beaver Builder Shortcode
By Jan 2016 the Beaver Builder plugin gave us the ability to render Beaver Builder made templates in other areas of our chosen themes. That was great for Dynamik users as we had quick code-free options to be able to (conditionally) display that content to theme areas. It was not perfect. It took further work or another plugin to get the template editing area working at full-width.
2. The theme developments of March 2016
They are summed up in this blog post announcing the beta. It also followed a request to the community to give feedback on what was needed. Apart from containing a number of things that were time consuming to implement with Dynamik/Genesis I was not used to having a say. Usually it has been the opposite where theme developers have been slow responding to their community.
3. Beaver Tunnels
The arrival of Beaver Tunnels makes using the Beaver Builder shortcode and modifying theme content area easier. It is nothing that can not be done with code, but here was a slick interface making everything quicker and easier. I would be able to make changes with a client present. They could manage it.
Of course It works perfectly with Genesis too, but the significance was an integrated Beaver Builder package was now more powerful.
4. Bootstrap’s popularity
This is a longer standing sense that I should be learning more about the (mobile first) Bootstrap framework used with the Beaver Builder theme.
5. Guesswork on where our industry is heading
We know StudioPress don’t intend to extend the functionality of Genesis. It’s stable and they are leaving that to other developers. We know Dynamik added a page builder template to make working with Beaver Builder easier, but the code was borrowed from the community. It’s since been a struggle to get any indication where Dynamik is heading. It’s many theme options are now not required with Beaver Builder (confusing for clients) and they are not placed in the WordPress customiser.
But does Google Trends (at least on some level) indicate how the Page Builder and Themes industries are faring?
Why I’m nervous about publishing this?
Well, I’m quite thin skinned and this could attract criticism, but mostly because things change fast. If I was writing this a year ago I may have strongly suggested that those with clients should check out Genesis and Dynamik Website Builder.
I also may be missing some important points. I have heard some claim better SEO with Genesis, but have not heard them substantiated. Others have mentioned accessibility benefits with Genesis. All I know there has been a recent accessibility improvement following some long-standing requests.
Finally I have skipped over GeneratePress and Headway. I don’t have enough experience of them to pass serious comment. GeneratePress certainly seems a strong candidate. Headway has long-standing respect as a site building theme, but for me, the move from Genesis to Beaver Builder is a decision to have better long term integration.
Update August 2017: Headway had problems and appears not to have recovered. I only see Headway fans in the Beaver Builder community who have moved on. GeneratePress has grown in strenth and is becoming both an obvious alternative for Genesis developers (who also want something more suited to page builder) and also a very good alternative for beginners watching their budget but not wanting compromise. Amazing support and work is being done over at GeneratePress (I have just become an affiliate as I often now recommend it)
If there is a general decline in theme sales (as indicated in various places) what will theme owners do? Will lifetime deals go to yearly (as most have)? Will they create their own Page Builders (as some have)? Will they close down when the sales decline (as happens often at ThemeForest)? My inclination to move my spending to the Beaver Builder community is a selfish one. It’s where I want to see further development. It’s where I have seen the greatest progress and possibly where WordPress is heading.
One last thing I would like to mention is Peter Luit’s work in rationalizing theme options. Please check out his collection of test sites and resources.
Over to you… What theme do you think is the perfect companion for your Beaver Builder projects?
I build websites at WP Corner Shop and travel. I also co-host a weekly WordPress podcast called WP Builds and make YouTube videos.
Great post!!! That graph is very telling!
Hey, thanks so much Clark. I’m preaching to the converted I think. It’s interesting times for sure. :-)
Another excellent bit of writing, David!
I think you’ve hit a very big nerve and your opinion is very valid. The Beaver Builder theme is plenty enough for 90% of small business websites and with the introduction of Beaver Tunnels, you could probably cover the other 10% too.
I totally agree with the feeling of “moving from a WordPress product to a WordPress company”. The Beaver Builder team won my heart a long time ago. I have never experienced the level of support and the amount of empathy they provide to their customers in my lifetime.
Have to run, but have to say that I’m really enjoying your new blog!
Thanks Colin. You know how I value your opinion so this is much appreciated :-)
I can imagine I would default to Genesis/Dynamik the moment a site looks tricky, but maybe it has been a crutch too long.
I think I need a “thinking aloud” category! Oh .. and plugin that allows folks to get follow ups on comments. Doh! Tricky this blogging malarkey isn’t it?
Thanks David for mentioning my small project to bring it all together. I would also like to bring in my past ‘roadmap’ in finding the right tools. I must admit that I started long way back with the Atahualpa theme. That theme was – at least for me – the first one with a very impressive collection of CSS settings to make a site look like you wanted it to without the need for programming. As a consultnat I done a couple of pre-WordPress consulting jobs for companies who ‘programmed’ every line in HTML (the pre CMS period). In that time tools like Adobe SiteMill and Claris HomePage became the first so-called Wysiwyg editors. I tried to introduce those tools bacause they speeded up site development. The so called ‘programmers’ did not want them, because the tools made terrible code……..
Back to Atahualpa theme. The ‘programmers’ in het pre-WordPress period were not wrong in looking to the way HTMl was generated. But I did not care, also not with entering the WordPress area form the very fisrt beginning. Atahualpa seemed to generate terrible code and I did not know it, beacuse I was not looking. I just did that after someone pointed me on that aspect. That was my wake-up call.
My next way is looking for something with nice and clean code was not an easy roadmap. After trying a couple of stand-alone themes (I did not know about childthemes) I found out that it did cost me a lot of time trying to figure out the way the themes worked. Time not being paid by customers. The first time I saw Genesis, I was confused. It looked not nice at all, it was very basis and had ‘no options’ at all, at least in my first experience. So I did put it aside.
Unfortunatly PageLines just changed the way their so-called framework worked and from one day to another PlatformPro was ‘gone’ and replaced by something new. I did not like their approach on this and with me many left that product. What now?
I went back to looking at Genesis and because I learned about childthemes I started to use a couple of the basis Genesis childthems. They looked ‘kind of nice’, athought I did not have all nice parameters setting I was used to in PageLines. Because I learned some CSS, I strated digging in style.css and so I became more skilled in modifying childthemes. But I did not like this, because StudioPress also updates thier childthemes theirselfs. Again, many hours not getting paid, because customers don’t understand what you are doing with all this ‘stuff’.
I saw the Catalyst theme and I was impressed again with setting the various CSS parameters to get things done. But I did not want to step over, until I heart that Catalyst was ‘brought over’ to Genesis as a childtheme. GREAT! That was my step without doubt. Genesis for clean code and good basis SEO and Dynamik for CSS parameters setting where you can and programming (espacially with the nice Genesis hooks) where you needed to. And even exporting it all to a smalle code-effective childtheme itself!!
It used this combination for many great websites, but soon customers showed me al those fancy new themes from the big online stores with al those fancy features. Have a look at the Bridge theme for example. Great to look at. Many nice ‘shifting and dancing’ elements. Useful in the way a website communicates with the target groups? I don’ know, but people were asking for it. I went digging into this kind of developments. I am not a designer and I started to see my limitations in that area. Too many plugins to get that kind of stuff working was not the way to go. They did not stimulate my creativity at all.
I met the concept of Page Builders after Eric Hamm from Cobaltapps wrote an article about this. I tried to find out what they were. I started using Visual Composer, but ran away grom it, because of terrible code in the WordPress page content itself and not to mention the final output in HTML. To me it looked like back to Atahualpa. Eric pointed to Beaver Builder and I bought the Pro version (together with the them) and started using it. How wunderful, so much creative stuff that really stimulated me in making sites with effects like Bridge was having. Not because I like all this stuff, but my customers do, although as a consultant I do advice them not to use these features in the overkill mode. Most of them listen to those advices ;-)
Dynamik is great for setting up the basics of the site, but many things could be improved. Menu settings are more complex than needed. If I look at the Beaver Builder theme, many aspects are just more smoothly. The same can be saied for GeneratePress. Dynamik could stille be the greatest childtheme working together with Beaver Builder pagebuilder plugin. But I do agree with David that Beaver Builder is just more progressive, more open. Eric Hamm and his team could learn from that and his great product could become the next ‘big thing’ in working together with Beaver Builder PageBuilder plugin, one Eric looks at the BB theme and integrates many of those very easy to use features there to make the whole cycle complete. Eric know that many are waiting for his next big step. Until then many will look at the BB theme and/or GeneratePress. As David said, lot of things are changing at this moment. So fast that events doubts will appear around the progressivness of StudioPress.
Peter, thank you so much. That is an epic and fascinating comment. I love hearing people’s journeys. You and our chats were very much in my mind writing this. You gave a good hint to Eric Hamm about giving a road map to his promoters and fans. I guess he is considering it carefully – balancing the needs of non page builder users as well as ours. I still feel more comfortable with Dynamik, but repeatedly explaining to someone else (a designer/client) where their content areas are made me realise some shortfall.
I do think the earlier pioneers in WordPress lack one thing the new product makers have. That is, the experience of being a long term customer. FastLine (the Beaver Builder team) were a web design agency serving clients. In this they will have more experience than me. I am just a small scale freelancer (long-term hobbyist) trying move things up a notch, but I have come to value relationships as I have matured.
I wonder if in my planned future I will be able to control the overkill desire in clients (and the one in me too). I do like to pull things back to why we build sites though.
Thank you again Peter for sharing so much here. I feel it should be a post of your own. (incidentally, sorry it went in to spam – I rushed this blog out and need to get things a bit slicker).
I don’t know why people don’t talk about Headway a lot more.
Headway is basically a web designer’s dream come true – for simple, AND complex sites.
The thing that I like the most about Headway is that it complements Beaver Builder in the areas where Beaver Builder ( and the BB theme ) lacks: blog customization and custom post types.
Hi Ivan, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yeah, sadly I don’t know much about Headway. I tried it many years ago and liked it, but I went the Genesis route. It’s really only came to my attention again because of some Beaver Builder and Headway fans.
A developer friend of mine who recently bought it was saying the same as you! My only reservation with it (other than it not being made for Beaver Builder) is it does more than I may need. In that way similar to Dynamik Website Builder.
It must be a good combination judging the people I know who chose it. I dare not look at it again in case I have another theme dilemma :-)
Hi David, interesting discussion. I personally feel that a Genesis child theme is the best option for Beaver Builder, and the Beaver theme is 2nd-best.
I’m not a developer, but I guess I’m more advanced in PHP than most “wannabe” developers, so I’m very comfortable with Genesis. I feel that I can bend Genesis to my will with what I have in my head and the many tutorials out there on the web. I’m just a Google search and a code snippet away from solving most problems.
On the other hand, if I get stuck doing something in the Beaver theme, I may not be able to find the answer.
Using the Dynamik theme feels like it adds too many fiddly options, and there’s an extra between Genesis and Beaver Builder. And both Dynamik and Beaver theme expose a lot of the settings to the end-user which may result in user overwhelm and accidents.
I’ve settled on Genesis and it will take a lot to get me to move. My advice to others asking the same questions is to spend a little time learning Genesis more deeply. The larger community and flexibility of Genesis will make it pay off and worth the time.
Hi David, great to see you here. So cool to see familiar faces. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this.
I completely agree there is so much out there to help with Genesis. Beaver Builder is just getting started with code snippet sharing.
I expect I will still use Genesis particularly If a job comes up that gets me using WP types toolset for Custom Post Types and Custom fields where I know the compatibility is good (although, I think I heard the BB team where opening talks there). I think, maybe, you do more complex stuff than me.
I’ve always felt proud of using Genesis. I liked learning it and it took a while to think that page builder were OK.
Now, thinking of my target audience, the Beaver Builder combination seems logical to help with their self managing. (Client self managing – now there’s a post of it’s own!)
I wonder what we will all be saying in a year’s time?
Interesting post once again, thank you. You and I are going through a very similar (paradigm) shift. I started with Genesis and find it awesome but complex projects can be tough with having to learn both Genesis and WordPress. Enter BeaverBuilder theme, I’m starting to build more sites with BeaverBuilder theme and I’m considering moving to it full-time.
The idea is to learn one tool, and learn it well. Add to that the BeaverBuilder community is very helpful, and I must mention the BeaverBuilder staff and support are second to none, truly the most friendly helpful bunch of guys I’ve ever come across online.
I look forward to future posts. Take care.
Thanks for dropping by. It’s great to hear I’m not alone.. It is hard, I think, to move from Genesis when you built up a load of snippets to do stuff, but I can see this exploding in the Beaver Builder space soon.
I completely relate to what you say about learning one tool and learning it well. It’s my aim too, but It’s so easy to get distracted with such great options around.
All the best :-)
Thank you so much David for writing about this dilemma that many of us are experiencing. I use Canvas by Woo themes but like many of our electronic gadgets I probably only use 30 percent of its functionality. I just want something that’s dead easy to use yet does not compromise too much on what you can or cannot alter on a Word Press site. So, I am with you – I’m moving over to the Beaver Builder theme along with the BB plug in. Thanks for a great post.
PS I’m a web dabbler not developer. I’m sure there are loads of people out there like me.
Great to hear from you Ramesh,
So interesting too. Canvas gets so few mentions in the Beaver Builder space. I remember Canvas fans experimenting the Site Origin page builder early so I expected to see more moving to the Beaver Builder plugin. Maybe they did and feel less of a need to shout about it. I got Canvas when the life deal were on and thought it would be my “go to” WooCommerce theme. I got to know it quite well, but Woo changed their mind (again) and pushed the new Storefront theme.
Definitely agree that there must be a load of dabblers. I think of myself as one. I still mostly help out on other people’s web design businesses rather than my own. Moving forward now to setting up more of a business than freelancing I am very pleased to have Beaver Builder. I can’t think of a better tool to be able to offer value and not end up working for peanuts.
All the best :-)
At the end….one should use products (meaning themes) which fall in their comfort zone. If you are good at php + css play, Genesis is still the best option and pairing it with “Beaver plugin” makes a killer combination.
However, for new set of business owners wanting quick project roll-overs and not wanting to learn code play – “Beaver theme” is no non-sense option by far. Grab GeneratePress if you want to do more than what “Beaver theme” does (currently!).
For complex feature laden websites: go for Genesis + Beaver plugin (provided you are comfortable at code play).
For simple brochure websites: go for Beaver Theme + Beaver plugin combo.
Really great to see you here. Thanks for your view and I love what you are doing over at ProBeaver.com.
What about good coders who chose the Beaver Builder theme and also do complex work? Is there anything specific you think they are missing for not using Genesis? There seems to be plently of Beaver Builder theme users who do more than simple brochure sites.
Nice and simply put. Thanks Davinder.
Great post thanks for putting in the time, I would love to ask you a question if that’s ok? I’m not a developer, but I do build lead generation sites for small businesses; plumbers, roofers etc so would the beaver builder theme be ok for me building small 5 to 10 page websites but with a blog I update weekly as part of my SEO strategy.
I like the idea of Genesis but dont want to put in the time to get good with it and I know there are small SEO benefits to Genesis but I’m pretty good with SEO so can get most themes to where I want in terms of on-page.
Would the BB theme be fine? I love the idea of building templates for the certain niches I’m and then just adding in the content and then I have a great looking site up FAST, then optimizing after that. Any advice would be great! Cheers
Hey Mark, sorry for the delay. I am always nervous about suggesting any theme for someone else, but it does sound like the Beaver Builder plugin and theme would be the best fit. It is mainly because we do mostly sites like you describe that we have swapped.
The blogging side of the Beaver Builder theme has been underwhelming, but things are on their road map for this – like adding author section to the single posts. Mainly when they bring the “Theme Builder” to the Beaver Builder plugin things look to get more exciting than I have ever known.
I’m not really sure on the SEO advantages.I know there are some WPSite titling and schema differences, but I not sure where Genesis actually wins there.
Here is the the BB roadmap – https://trello.com/b/pqdibDqC/beaver-builder-roadmap
Good luck and thanks for the comment.
From the point of view of a website owner…not a developer or designer, and don’t know code ( and don’t plan to learn, since I am creating content) I am trying to decide between Beaver Builder and Generate Press. I have used Make theme on my blog (Catholictravelblog.com) and got halfway decent results, but not even sure how I got there. I want a simple but good theme to take my main site to the next level ( my main site is built on the outdated Homestead platform) at http://www.thecatholictravelguide.com. But many of these themes are not as simple as advertised….not their fault, but the designers often forget that terms like css or most anything else is beyond a beginner’s knowledge.
Right now GeneratePress could have a small edge over the Beaver Builder theme for a non-coder. Things like a one click transparent header is often cited as a reason for liking GeneratePress. The other big one was the one off payment, but that has changed recently and GP is yearly now.
The Beaver Builder theme is getting some serious attention and by a bigger team (about 10 of them now) with a much larger community that is solely focussed on the best all over Beaver Builder experience.
For me it come down to compatibility in the long term. GeneratePress is brilliant theme, but is a one man company. I personally can not risk that as I have see too many disappear. It’s also getting adopted by other Page Builder users so they will have their demands on how GP works and progresses.
Both themes are more developer focussed and will often require CSS or PHP snippets to do what you want, but support is there for that.
In my experience there is no way to get around this. Most non coders try buying Themeforest themes that promise to deliver everything but they are slow, bloated and ultimately become impossible to maintain. Authors close them down when sales decline and start again with a new set of newbie buyers.
It is a difficult one this. You have the best two options there. The BB theme is more expensive, but unlike GP, BB started knowing they had to charge to be a sustainable business that could give good support long term.
Another no-coder option is the Elementor page builder and Generate Press. Both are great but again too risky for me to consider.
David…thanks so much for your reply. You have cut through much of my confusion and helped me make my decision. I will definitely go with Beaver Builder themes. I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, just good coding and BB seems to be the best. That plus the BB plug-in working with their own theme seems the simplest solution.
I agree that a one-man company can be risky.
And as far as Elementor goes, I tried it and it seems OK, but then a new update seems to have caused problems for its users (according to one of the support forums), so I prefer to stay away from it. And the one thing I have learned is to try to minimize the number of plug-ins, since they do not always play nice with the theme you are using.
As regards cost, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is probably just as true with WP themes as with anything else. I don’t expect a free theme to fill my every wish and don’t mind paying for quality.
Thanks Gloria, I really hope it is right for you.
It was interesting recently as I set up two installs for my non-coder wife – one with BB plus the BB theme and one with Elementor and GP pro. She was not experienced with either. I thought she might get on better with the Elementor set up, but she preferred BB and ended up making two pretty OK sites.
Did you tell your wife they were “pretty OK”? May not be much in your Christmas stocking this year!
LOL – I probably did, but to be fair all get for my efforts is “not bad”. Merry Christmas Gloria :-)
Same to you! Thanks a lot for your help. Hope I can do as good as your wife.
Great post! Recently I have been using the WP Page Builder framework – http://wp-pagebuilderframework.com/. This has been amazing for me because I am not a very good developer. So David and the framework have leveraged the customizer to add as many items in there as possible ( and still growing).
Thanks Grant. I had forgotten about this. Yes, by David Vongries. I was going to try it but so much happened. I suspect having made the switch to the Beaver Builder theme I will not get the chance to test much, but this is good to know.
Hi David – You said “but the code was borrowed from the community” – I wonder if you were referring to Russell’s code in Genesis Dambuster there.
No, there was someone (I think) called Junior Atoms in the Dynamik forum who offered the PHP and CSS needed to integrate BB and DWB. I think Eric acknowledge him in the code.
For me the Junior Atoms solution was actually less problematic. When it was added to DWB I had to adjust the CSS to stop bullet points appearing on BB modules and also a margin left from throwing out the alignment of BB sliders.
Ah thank you! I wondered as I know Eric used Russell’s code elsewhere (and acknowledged it) so I wondered if this was something I didn’t know about.
I am late to the party.I don’t have anything to really add to the discussion except to say that i love beaver builder, but kept on hearing good stuff about genesis / dynamic web builder. Keep on feel like i am missing a trick with only using beaver theme, so this was an informative read. I guess the only real way to know is to dive in and test genesis out for myself when i am feeling flush. Thanks for the great article David, it was a great read, as were trawling through the various opinions in the=is comments section!
Hi Darryl, always good to see you mate – even if late. I feel like this post really needs an update with Beaver Themer coming out. It is a really significant plugin and it’s making theme choices less relevant all the time. We had a good chat with Eric Hamm for Dynamik about this here:
For new Beaver Builder users I think the theme to be most affected by this is Genesis. Why bother with it’s steep learning curve (that’s not a transferable skill) when you can do it all so much quicker with Beaver Themer?
When I started Genesis was the number one choice with Beaver Builder. Now even with its long history and standing it is falling behind BB GP and now Ocean (Astra and WP Page Builder framework are also gaining momentum as they are designed for Page Builders where Genesis boxed layouts works against them).
One thing I mentioned above as a positive of moving was adopting the Bootstrap CSS framework, but now with CSS grids layouts about to become the standard things are changing again.
Hi, thank you for this post it has been very helpful in a sea of confusion I’ve been through lately. I started building a new small woocommerce site in Divi, then discovered the shortcode mess it would leave and difficulties changing to a different theme etc if I wanted to later.
So I started researching the best methods, I’m an animator and designer not a coder, although I can do a bit of css and hack my way round. I first found the new Thrive architect builder which boasted that if you disable it it would keep most of the design, but they really didn’t care much for woocommerce. I then started reading about Genesis with Dynamik builder and was just about to go that route till I found your post. I watched a few tutorials and though it was a bit slow compared to what I’m used to…but on the quest for clean code was ready to take on the challenge.
I had not researched about Beaver builder (maybe the name, doesn’t sound very professional! ) but after your post and looking into it, it looks like the only true clean code visual editor that does not work with shortcodes… amazing!
My only confusion left now is do I go with Beaver builder with a Genesis / Dynamik framework… or just go Beaver Theme route. ? I’m edging more towards the beaver theme now, seems less hassle and still clean. I have also seen their Beaver themer plugin allowing for global templates etc tutorials which means anything is possible really, although this functionality should come as part of the builder possibly and not have to purchase separately at an extra $147.00
Any last minute advice before purchasing most welcome, thanks again :)
It really difficult isn’t? You have made me very conscious of how out of date this post is getting.
I am a still very much a Beaver Theme fan and user. I can’t see me changing there, but I must admit that the new Beaver Themer plugin (which allow you style theme areas using the Beaver Builder plugin) can change the extent to which your choice in theme matters. I really replaces Beaver Tunnels as well.
The problem though is that Beaver Themer (as game changing as it is) is it’s another subscription. The only reason I mention it is that it allows you to customize WooCommerce pages product and product archive pages.
I think it is worth checking out before deciding on the theme. I have a live demo here and on the home page links to the official and my own early videos on it.
The thing is, if you see value in Beaver Themer you may find you only need a cheaper theme. The free version of the Astra theme is now (by the same people who make the Ultimate addons for Beaver Builder) and is made with Page Builders in mind.
I’m so sorry as I think I have only complicated the matter more, but certainly I think it worth looking at Beaver Themer, before committing to a particular theme now.
For me it’s simple, I make money building sites so I go for all the BB products as I trust them the most, but for one site I may do it differently and put my Beaver Theme money toward Beaver Themer instead…..actually probably not, but worth thinking about.
Good Luck David and thank for reading this.
Hi David, thanks for your great post and sorry for another late reply. :)
I´m not a dev o coder, but part of our team does. The big question it would be about the seo. ¿Does the BB theme works as well as Genesis?
We certanly do have great results in seo working with Genesis, DWB and BB plugin, without installing third party seo plugins.
I have tested the demo of Themer BB and I haven´t found on the pages and post sections, the metadescription, kewords, header and footer boxes to insert analytics and marketing (convertion) codes. In Genesis you can just throw the lines and codes for each page/post and publish.
The BB theme does not have this feature or do we have to install another plugin for this purpouse?
Thank you in advance for sharing your expertise and knowledge.
Yeah, Genesis added its own SEO functionality to the theme rather than leave this to a dedicated SEO plugin like Yoast SEO. I used the Genesis defaults, but now think it was a mistake to add this to the Genesis core! Most themes don’t.
Now I prefer Yoast SEO as it has more options than the Genesis default. (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/) and has over 5 million users,
I occasionally hear folk saying they chose Genesis for SEO, but no-one has yet been able to point to an advantage it has over the BB theme with Yoast.
I’m no expert on this but, the BB theme is marked up correctly (with Schema.org added) and they have done much to make it accessible (Genesis was quite slow on doing this). I think because Genesis has been trusted by many pros for such a long time the halo effect starts to kick in – maybe?
Hope that helps and thanks for commenting,
The only good question is here is how much the author gets from BB for every visitor going on their site from his pages ? OR maybe a monthly fee, I don’t know… Nah, I’m too cynical… Am I ?
I think that is always a very important question. I am a sceptical person. I have affiliate links here so if someone (who has not already clicked on another affiliate link) buys from that I get 25% of what they pay.
Most of my content (on YouTube) is aimed at people who have already bought. As such financially I’d be much better off doing other things, but I love Beaver Builder, being in that community. I am always very grateful to those who have bought from my links.
It is very cynical. David has produced a lot of great, informative content, it really helped me to become established as a web designer. There is nothing wrong with getting some commission from affiliate links, they exist for the purpose!
Darryl, you are being too kind. Thank you, but hey I thought I was learning from you!
I struggle with affiliate links myself. They can dent your integrity, but I guess I would happen without them. It’s probably healthy. When I look at the most recommended hosting I can see the downside to affiliate links.
It will be many years until i have something worthwhile to contribute!. I honestly don’t understand how you have the time to create articles such as this plus all of your videos in addition to actually working. My head hurts most days with some issue or other arising. Sometimes i surprise myself than i am making a living out of all this website malarkey! Still, i am working with an Australian web agency long term at the moment and they seem happy with my work
Appreciate your content, it really helped me when i was starting out, i need to stay up to date with your podcasts etc as well as try to understand PHP, but after each day working at my laptop i just want to go outside!
I just came across your great article today.
I have been using Genesis since I started building websites 5 years ago. I added Dynamik and BB 3 years ago. I should say that I’m not a coder (apart from small bits of HTML & CSS).
The arrival of Beaver Themer has been a game changer for me, to the extent that I am moving all of my sites to Beaver Theme + Themer. The primary reason for this is the reduction in the plugins needed and the improvement in PageSpeed & YSlow I have achieved. This isn’t 100% down to Beaver. The decision to change the underlying theme has triggered a wide review of my work practice.
Thanks for being a great support.
Thanks so much John. Yeah, it’s a big move isn’t it?
This post is starting to age a bit now, but I am still such a fan of all the Beaver Builder products. So solid and nicely integrated with each other. I can’t wait for the next updates to be out and then a period of stability updates for a while.
Awesome guide. I am planning to buy a new premium theme for my blog & finally, found your post. Thanks a lot for narrating everything in detail.
Thanks for sharing!
Things have move on significantly, even since your last post in August. We now have Elementor on the scene, which would feature very strongly if it were added to your historic performance chart, but more on this in a moment.
With the rise of themes like Astra, OceanWP, Hello and GeneratePress, Genesis has a whole new generation of competition which has suddenly caught up. Add to this scenario, Beaver Themer and Elementor Pro, which allow Header, Footer and Parts customisation / integration, then Genesis (in my opinion) doesn’t any longer offer any significant benefits, since their main advantage (and the reason I purchased it) of hooking into the theme is now gone.
Like yourself, we find ourselves using BB products for all new projects, but we’re also keeping a close eye on Elementor, since they way they are continuously improving, I feel they may even surpass BB. Of course a lot of this is subjective and personal choice, but where would you stand (a staunch BB fan) should Elementor rise unarguably above BB)?
My guess is you would make the switch, since it is the most logical decision, plus you’ve already done so in the past from other products which have become outdated.
Don’t feel any need to provide an answer, it’s just something I would ask if we were sat in a pub somewhere as web professionals and the discussion came up
Such good points. Indeed Elementor has completely overtaken Beaver Builder in popularity. They have introduced a lot of great things that many want. Even before they arrived I regretted using that graph above. Divi was rising much faster and perhaps still outnumbers Elementor.
I did not really consider Divi then as I saw it as a populist solution. Resource heavy and prone to issues through trying to be everything to everyone too quickly. I considered Elementor the same. Particularly as they originally said they wanted it to be for all and highlighted the how they were adding new features weekly.
With influencers and affiliate marketers converting Beaver Builder users to Elementor and Elementor’s marketing moving toward Beaver Builder’s concentration on professional Agencies and Freelancers it had become all about BB and Elementor…
Although, I am sure if you are a Divi users it is probably all about Divi and Elementor.
There is bound to come a time when I move from Beaver Builder, but for now (and increasingly so ) it is a much better solution than Elementor for me.
I agree with all of that David and since we’re pushing hard to move away from brochure sites to concentrate on higher end projects, for us it comes down to BB or Elementor (Genesis now by request only) with BB holding the advantage unless Elementor comes out with a significant game changer.
As for Divi, it is quite possible they wind up going the Nokia route given the clumsy architecture it’s founded upon and I think their biggest competitor will likely end up being Gutenberg..
Thanks Iain, Yep, that’s how I see it too. The next likely move for me will probably depend on or be Gutenberg.
I keep a look out for the next major thing to disrupt the industry ( as page builders have), but being focus on low cost care and hosting I’m always likely to stick with what has proven lightweight (server resource wise) and reliable until then. That said, I had to gamble based on what I thought the BB teams values were back when I adopted.
I can’t say have seen anything truly innovative (at least for my needs) since Beaver Themer, but I think Elementor have given the BB team a good nudge to look at usability. Personally what I don’t want is a page builder that is aiming to be all in one solution.
I’m also getting too old to learn 2 systems well so really it an easy choice for me. Now I know the BB team a bit my suggestions are given good consideration.
I agree with David on all points. I will probably not be switching to Elementor myself as my research has indicated that BB is still more stable, especially considering I’m delivering and maintaining a product for clients, this factor becomes key.
I am also not looking for a pagebuilder with every single feature in it, in fact I find myself using less and less of the “bells and whistles” and relying more on the core modules, especially with mobile viewers in mind.
Having said that the point David made about Elementor giving BB a nudge with respect to usability is spot on. BB was a bit stagnant in that regard until Elementor came along. Competition is always good for us the consumer, thanks Elementor.
My two-cents, find a reliable stack, learn to use it very competently and delivery solid offerings to your clients, and keep an eye out for anything else reliable that may come up in future to improve your business offering.
Cheers Athlone. Your advice is worth much more than two-cents! Thank you.
An article by my blog contains lots of useful information for me.
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