Godddamnit. Another supposedly life-changing product. Is Bricks the real deal or not?
Lets start off first with….wtf is it?
- It’s a theme!
- It’s a pagebuilder!
- It’s a theme for pagebuilders!
Nope! It’s a theme with a built-in pagebuilder. Why would anybody need this? Do we really need another theme? And haha—if you know me—do we really need another pagebuilder? And again—if you really know me—do we really need a franken-monster combo of theme AND pagebuilder?!!!!
If this was built by anybody else, I woulda just scrolled right past and finished my beer. But fuck…it’s Thomas Ehrig. So let’s take a look…
The (genius) guy behind Bricksbuilder…Thomas Ehrig
I really ain’t got time for any of this. I’m enjoying (digital nomad) life in Mexico and focusing my time only on critical clients. But then I heard Thomas Ehrig launched something new and exciting in the community and of course, I had to take a look.
Thomas Ehrig created Happy Files, along with other awesome work I probably don’t remember right now. As a fellow developer, his work is absolutely distinct for me. Coded well, sure. But more importantly, he truly is a pioneer in the WordPress. Creating unique solutions that actually solve real world problems in simple ways. He’s not one of those annoying me-too businesses simply doing spinoffs of existing products. He’s actually unique! (And God Bless us all for having him.)
What is the Bricks theme-pagebuilder?
“Bricks” is a WordPress theme with built-in pagebuilder.
If you’re skeptical right now, you should be. Because before now, I haven’t seen any themes with built-in pagebuilders that I liked. AVADA, DIVI, etc, etc. They were all horrible. Feels like you’re trapped in an eco-system of awful with nowhere to escape. Try to change away any part of it and your site breaks or the design looks neutered. Their stupid theme-and-pagebuilder combo never quite worked together, but also never worked apart. *face palm*
What are the advantages of a theme/pagebuilder combo?
Theoretically…having a 2-in-1 theme and pagebuilder combo is great because they’re closely related with many overlapping functions and will have less conflict than if you were to have a separate theme and pagebuilder plugin. If you’ve used Elementor before with different themes, you might remember having to wrestle back and forth figuring out which one controlled the styling such as fonts, colors, content widths, and more.
What can the Bricks built-in pagebuilder do?
Almost everything your regular pagebuilders can do. Build custom content layouts, style, reshape, resize things. Build custom theme sections (header, footer, sidebar). Reuse templates. The Bricks builder interface even looks a pagebuilder editor. You see a panel on the left with different elements and blocks to choose from, and then a big visual canvas on the right that looks exactly how your frontend would appear. Hovering over different design elements makes little toolbars appear that look similar to how traditional pagebuilders look.
There’s like a couple dozen other useful features too.
- Can edit content in Bricks or default Gutenberg editor
- Can convert existing content from Gutenberg to Bricks, and also the opposite (no lock-in!)
- Edit other pages without leaving the builder
- Image editing
- Stock photos
- Dynamic content
- Create your own elements and styles
- Create your own templates to reuse
- Can also share your templates on the cloud for public use, or only privately with your other sites
- Developer stuff like hooks & filters
- I forgot what else… go look it up yourself.
What makes Bricks special?
Bricks allows you to build custom content and theme elements, with a visual editing interface (like traditional pagebuilders), using native WordPress Gutenberg blocks.
I honestly should have just wrote that as my intro because that’s really what Bricks is. It’s a clever pagebuilder using only default Gutenberg blocks to deliver 98% of the things users like in pagebuilders.
Essentially…Bricks gives you that fancy, fun visual editing experience AND super fast speeds and pages cores cuz Gutenberg is so much less bloated than all the giant CSS/JS libraries that come in your traditional pagebuilder. There’s also the added benefit of the theme being easier to build custom page templates for, and a more harmonious full-site-editing (FSE) experience.
What’s the problem with current theme and pagebuilder solutions?
- Themes – don’t integrate so seamlessly with pagebuilders. Awkward or overly technical way of building custom page templates.
- Pagebuilders – slow, bloated, horrible speeds and page scores. Built for newbies.
- Gutenberg – not such a rich visual-editing experience. Hard for people who are accustomed to traditional pagebuilders.
- Gutenberg 3rd party blocks – they improve Gutenberg a lot but still not as rich as a full-page pagebuilder.
How does Bricks compare against existing themes?
What I liked most about the Bricks theme and pagebuilder.
I love many things about it. It stands out by solving a very unique problem….the many people who want to convert to Gutenberg for faster loads and pages scores, but don’t want to move away from the visual-editing experience of their pagebuilders.
But Bricks is really more than that simple description. The onboarding is very easy and not overwhelming. Despite the hundreds of things you can do with it, you feel like you can learn Bricks within 10 minutes. Things like the page navigator within the builder will save so much time. The settings areas are laid out so intuitively. I figured out where everything was within seconds.
There are also tons of incredible features that make life easier for regular users and developers alike. Quite simply, Bricks makes building custom content, custom pages, and custom themes super fun!
Comparing Bricks workflow against existing solutions.
Really important to cover this as Bricks covers a wide range of solutions and even many holes in the industry where no other solution exists.
- VS Genesis – if you had to ask, Bricks is better for you. With that said, I can see diehard Genesis developers appreciating the time-savings that Bricks provides.
- VS GeneratePress – GeneratePress is awesome and my 2nd favorite theme behind Genesis. I love the new GP with its simpler custom theming experience. Bricks would be a totally different workflow, perhaps faster whereas GP is probably more modular.
- VS Blocksy/Kadence/Astra – these guys are standard minimalist themes that come with their own header/footer builder and minimal Gutenberg block libraries. Great choice if you like their built-in templates.
- VS traditional pagebuilders – Bricks is going to give much faster page loads and page scores. If you’re
- VS Oxygen – Oxygen is far more powerful and polished but can feel like too much overkill or only meant for devs. Bricks might also feel safer in case you have to do custom templates and don’t want something so far from a default WordPress theming system.
Where Bricks is “short” right now…
- Not so many polished starter designs. (Honestly, this doesn’t bother me at all but can be a problem for those not wanting to start from scratch.)
- I wish there was pre-designed themes. Currently, I see only pre-designed block layouts. Not hard at all to manage but would be nice to have everything pre-import all at once.
- Not a big developer community. Not a problem for others but definitely a problem for me. I like being part of a theme community with tons of A-level devs.
- I wasn’t sure how to customize WordPress page templates (I’m not talking about Gutenberg pattern templates). Maybe it could be figured out by asking support or spending more than an hour playing with things….or is this not possible? I don’t know.
- I can’t think of anything else….if you see something, let me know.
Should you buy Bricks?
The million dollar question right there. For the current price of $149 for lifetime use on 1000 sites….I think the answer is yes. You’re getting a very fun and powerful unique sitebuilder tool that’s never existed before. It pays for itself within one client site.
Get Bricks if…
- You love pagebuilders, but want faster page loads and scores.
- You’re converting from pagebuilders (want to use Gutenberg), but hate the default Gutenberg editor.
- You’re already using Gutenberg pagebuilders (Qubely, Stackable) but want more of a true “pagebuilder experience” and not just a template builder shoved into Gutenberg.
- You like the visual editing experience (of Oxygen), but feel Oxygen is overkill for your needs.
- You want to avoid FOMO after the price goes up.
Ok I said it…you should get it. Get Bricks. (40% off right now until I don’t know when.)