Quick review after watching the 60min tutorial and playing with it for 15mins.
- How “good” is Builderius?
- What things can it build?
- What features does it have?
- How easy is it to use?
- What users or user cases are recommended for Builderius?
All your surface questions will be answered in this short (and shallow) article.
Builderius is a developer tool
Really cool sitebuilder/templatebuilder, extremely detailed and built specifically for devs!
It’s not a “pagebuilder” that helps you design content. It’s more of a “site builder” or “template-builder”, that designs all the non-content stuff that your theme usually handles. It’s to help devs visually-code their site to every specific detail…rather than wrestling with their theme code, hooking and filtering, reading endless documentation to do basic things they already know how to code from scratch!
And by “devs”, I mean people with a coding background and understanding of programming terminology. I don’t mean “the guy who charges $2k to install Elementor”. Because if you ain’t a dev, trust me…you are not gonna know where to even begin. Not even with the tutorial videos.
I thought this tool was a potential challenger to Oxygen Builder (as it was marketed to be by the founder). But it’s not quite. It’s easily a step even more technical than Oxygen. More coding-related features, and less visual-design features. Read the Builderius manifesto.
Builderius is more technical than Oxygen?!!!
Yeah, I’m serious. Like if you’ve never worked in IDE’s before…this thing will feel like jumping into an airplane cockpit in Russian (and not knowing Russian).
Hahaha, if you thought this was a free alternative to Oxygen or pagebuilders…and that you could just fire it up and drag some boxes and push Lego pieces around…trust me, this ain’t it! You’ll have to get used to lots of terminology and text-based labels, rather than cute kid-friendly images. (Oh and please don’t use this thinking it’s easier than Gutenberg. It’s not.)
And really, the GUI is meant to help you speed through developer-tasks….picking modules, datasets, media queries, etc. Builderius is not a “design-by-drawing” tool. At least Oxygen is still quite understandable even if you don’t know how to code. Its user interface is way more polished and user-friendly and arguably still easy enough for non-coders. Builderius really is a coders-only clubhouse.
Top strengths of Builderius
1. Super fast interface. Like yes….rapid fast. Doesn’t feel like you’re trying to load Photoshop in your WordPress editor (hahaha). Making changes feels fun because you’re in and out quickly.
2. Outputs clean code. About as close as you can get to raw hard-coding but with a convenient graphical interface. It definitely outputs cleaner than OxygenBuilder (not so many divs, ID’s, CSS). Does that cleanliness actually result in faster load time? No, probably not. But the code is cleaner to look at and work with…which is worth a million dollars if you like to work in code!
3. Lots of coder goodies. All the data variables and CSS variables stuff. Easy import/export of templates and objects. Versioning. Soon to have UI for creating CPT’s and meta fields. Ooooooh!
4. Selective theme hijack. LMAO, what a terrible way to describe this. Anyway…this builder doesn’t become your theme (like Oxygen does). So you can decide which pages to still use your theme and which ones to use this builder. Making it perfect to deploy this builder alongside any theme for very specific custom pages.
5. Extremely modern. The founder (Vitaly Kiiko) has clearly used enough tools to know how he likes to build as well as how others like to build. I like his neutral yet still opinionated approach to developing this powerful tool and keeping things streamlined and essential. Not every feature and button needs to exist everywhere. Thank you, man!
Areas of opportunity for Builderius
My biggest (and only) complaint is the UI color scheme! Argh… there are 5-6 colors in there that are supposed to contrast each other but actually all look kinda same-ish and kinda different at the same time. (Green, blue-green, light blue, grey, purple, red.) It makes the panel really hard to differentiate things…and that much harder to work with when your icons are really small and ambiguous.
Navigating through the different builder panels was slightly unclear. You should make an icon to get back to that main panel that shows “module tree” (instead of making us look for the ambiguous “Save/Close” circle button). We need better visual separation between the top and bottom parts of the panel. The hover effects also not clear. Anyway…these are all things I’m sure they know and will clean up some day. All the important stuff is there and if you take time to get familiar with the UI, I think any coder can really enjoy this!
The only other thing I think about…is how handing off a Builderius-site to clients will be. Could we possibly make things any easier for them? Maybe an easier way for them to know which pages are using the theme, and which ones are using Builderius (and which templates). Looking up template-use by clicking through template rules is not so friendly to me. Can’t we have a Builderius-template column in the posts/pages list?
Best use-cases for Builderius
Use cases for non-coders
Sorry, but coders only! (I’m serious.) Builderius is really not at all useable for non-coders. Not even if you take time to get the hang of it. You can’t overcome the learning curve unless you learn how to code and how to work in a coding environment (IDE). This alone even makes it less useable for handing off client sites. Especially the ones that are going to try making changes to things.
Another distinction to make is that Builderius is more of a SITE BUILDER (or TEMPLATE BUILDER), than a PAGEBUILDER. It is basically to design any part of your website that isn’t the content. Whereas many of you use pagebuilders because you don’t know how to design your content.
Use cases for developers
Even if you are a coder, there are still use-case limitations. I can’t imagine using this for everything. Sometimes a quick GeneratePress theme install, and quick CSS customizations along with custom ACF blocks is all I need. Because design customizations really isn’t all that hard. A flexible WordPress theme can do more than plenty for you if all you’re really customizing is DESIGN.
Where Builderius really shines IMO, is when you’re starting to customize away from typical WordPress page architecture and data organization. Suppose you’re showing content from more than one post type per page (like spitting bits of CPT’s on the bottom of every blog post)…or just doing unconventional shit like having menus and widgets in unexpected/irregular places. Or doing anything that you typically had to write your own plugin for. Builderius is great for visually-coding things and doing things that recently could only be done by code.
I imagine it ultimately comes down to the 2 all-or-nothing use cases:
- OPTION #1 – use Builderius everywhere and go crazy hardcoding your entire WordPress site as if it were your own hacky CMS.
- OPTION #2 – use Builderius very selectively on pages where you want something custom but didn’t want to install Oxygen or a whole pagebuilder just for one page.
Ready to try Builderius? Get (free) Builderius now…
While I won’t be using it, I think Builderius is truly awesome and worth a look for any diehard coder. You get to work right from your site and skip all that “push from local” mess. Building in WordPress backend can get even more fun for devs now!