You can now have all the typical fancy WordPress pagebuilder animations you want, but without any of the bloat!
- This Gutenberg pagebuilder, gives your site endless animation capabilities but none of the bloat!
- Your site will still have lightweight code and high page scores!
- Yes…you can have all the fancy effects from those bloated Elementor sites, but your site will load fast!
It almost sounds too good to be true. Is there a catch? Let’s take a look…
History of bloated pagebuilders
Why traditional pagebuilders (Elementor, DIVI, WPBakery, etc) sucked…
The biggest complaint was that they were bloated. They might have looked fancy and had cool fancy/flashy effects but they loaded tons of heavy JS and CSS files on the frontend. Causing your site to take forever to load and getting low page scores.
And for what seemed like a decade, you had endless debates back and forth between developers and end users.
- Developers wanted to stick to building only essentials. A cleaner-looking site that was coded simpler, ran smoother, and was easier to maintain.
- Users wanted to have the coolest-looking site possible. The more flashy, the more they would standout from their competitors (it was believed).
And then you had many people in the middle who tried to satisfy both through a variety of compromises:
- Hardcoding sites – they look great and run well, but more work for both users and devs to maintain. They also cost much more and took longer to build.
- Building only essentials – this was a compromise that satisfied no one. Users were sad about giving up their “cool designs”. Devs were frustrated about not being able to give users the cool features they wanted. Or losing clients because they switched to another developer who sold them on fancy promises.
- Caching and hosting – many people tried to offset the site bloat by paying for cache plugins or even faster webhosting.
Still to this day, there are a dozen solutions on the market to try and make a bloated site somehow run faster. But almost all of them have one major flaw…they’re only bandaid solutions at best.
The solution was to compromise.
This made the most sense. Simply don’t put effects on your site that trigger unnecessary JS/CSS load…and then you won’t have to deal with trying to optimize all that later. It made the most sense to developers. It made the most sense to users.
Sure…it killed the fun for many people, especially daydreaming clients who don’t understand web technology. They just see “cool things” out there on other sites, and now want their site to have the same.
But anyway…the compromise made the most sense. And best of all, it worked. Minimalism really does work.
But is it really what users wanted? *devil laughing on the shoulder*
Greenshift created blocks WITH animations
Yes…imagine a whole library of Gutenberg blocks with endless animation capabilities.
- Text blocks (titles, paragraphs) – where you could make words (all or just selected ones) animate.
- Media (images, videos, galleries) – that flip or slide, or carousel around.
- Objects (counters, icons, buttons) – that change design state upon engagement.
- Containers (sections, tabs, tables, panels) – that flip and reveal content in dozens of creating ways.
- And more – mouse effects, 3d modeling, and more!
I saw the list and it was crazy. They have a ton of blocks! All the gimmicky “bloated” features that your neighborhood speed-expert said you couldn’t have (sliders, parallax, etc)…well, now you can!
The Greenshift blocks are fast!
Yes…that’s the first question everyone wants to know. Are they actually fast loading? Yes, they are! Your site will load super fast and still have high page scores!
I know, I know. It seems too good to be true, right?!
How the heck are they doing this? It’s actually pretty easy. I assume they wrote their own lightweight animation libraries (instead of giant jQuery) and then applied automatic speed optimizations. Conditionally loading on pages only when used, and automatically lazy loading them. Your initial waterfall impact for having a dozen cool effects might only be an extra 20kbs of CSS/JS on the frontend instead of 400kbs (like with those old school bloated pagebuilders)…but after the first second, it’ll load the other 200kb of assets. Which isn’t totally lightweight but at least will FEEL lightweight.
Greenshift blocks are easy to use!
This also really impressed. Usually when plugins have tons of features, they take a while to figure out. But these guys did a great job. I didn’t have to use any documentation and right away I understood how to make things animate. It was quite fun to play around with!
They have really interesting things in the works. Follow their discussions and website to get more info.
- layers, tables, charts, ACF integrations, forms, WooCommerce stuff, and more!
Reservations about Greenshift?
This is the biggest thing lacking. You can’t just give users a giant set of tools. They need more examples of how to tastefully use things. So I’d say they need to have this up ASAP. Same with how Elementor and DIVI have tons and tons of nice examples. This matters to me more than all the other cool features they have coming up.
Right now their design library doesn’t have many examples. And the designs look super generic and not really showing off all their capabilities (in a professional manner) . I didn’t see a single layout in there showing a full page layout with carousel or slider. Definitely makes me go “hmmmm….are they afraid their demo won’t score a high page score?”
Some demos scored poorly on PageSpeed Insights
One of their demos, when I plugged it into PSI…it scored like 53. These horrible scores can be seen on many other example templates I checked, too. And they were quite basic, too: just snippets of a carousel or one animation instead of an entire page loaded with them. However, you can still admit that the page loaded fast and was very lightweight. (Which…if you know who I am, then you know that’s fine by me since I don’t care about pagescores too much anyway. But am still irked that they don’t live up to their promises.)
Not a fan of their comparison page
I don’t like their biased comparison page, showing how they have faster page scores than everybody else. They didn’t even show what the pages looked like. It’s not a very good or very fair comparison. And looks shady to do comparisons this way.
Their about page doesn’t feature any face or personal name. Feels very unprofessional and perhaps not trustworthy. Is this a new-and-shy developer? Or perhaps someone not proud of their work to claim it?
What problem are we really solving?
My biggest issue, and this is really only just for me personally, is that it doesn’t help many people. Sure…there are legitimate cases for having all these cool animations at your disposal. Maybe you’re doing a really cool site for a video game or movie, or museum. Or want to have an extremely interactive experience for whatever reason. I get it. Perhaps even to show off your online portfolio in a very immersive creative way. THIS is the only legitimate reason for all these effects.
And I know damn well most people wanting this plugin are not that. They’re foolish business owners thinking every extra flashy animation is gonna bring their visitors that much closer to making a purchase. And they’re freaken wrong!
But who am I to judge anyway? This plugin is a whole lotta fun. And while I don’t think most (98%) of you should be messing it…I’m also here to say, it wouldn’t hurt for you to have a little fun and push your limits of creativity. For the truly professional creatives out there, you’re going to be oh-so-surprised about Greenshift. It’s that cool.
Should you try Greenshift?
I think it’s fun and can be useful. Some of you true professionals may have a legitimate use for its cool features and know how to use it tastefully. Newbies wanting crazy effects will at least experience less bloat with this plugin than with others. It’s a win-win all around.
Play around and see where this goes. Although the plugin doesn’t fulfill its pagescore promises, it’s still a step in the right direction for Gutenberg animations.
- Curious to try out Greenshift? Use my affiliate link.
Nguyen Minh Hung
I’m glad you posted back recently.
I very often visit your blog to see if there is something new. At least once a week.
Hi. I am from Greenshift team. Thank you for review. I agree with most of things and I want let you know that we are in active development and of course many of mentioned negative sides will be changed.
I want to point on few things
1. Animation size. Well, it’s indeed, we built own super light on fly library for animation. And it takes just few kb. It doesn’t load anything else. But if you enabled GSAP animation, then yes, it will be more size because it has another level of possibilities. But even if you use this, we have special option to delay such scripts
2. Score on demos. Yes, some our pages have Twitter iframes and this makes score very bad. We will try to replace them
3. Company and no face. Well, we have About Us page with faces and information who we are
4. Comparison page. That page was about general server loading. It’s not about frontend page but more about memory usage. In future we plan to make also frontend page comparison
5. Design library – agree. We have already many templates but of course even not close to show full power. Why? Because we didn’t finish some functions, especially Layer Interactions, relative styles, css grid builder. And these options will be one of most used on demos. So, we want to finish them first. But template library is in progress, currently half is ready
Thank you for fresh look, it gives us some points where to concentrate more efforts
When full new template library will be ready? Waiting for it 🙂
We don’t plan to release it at once. Starting from April, we will add it one by one.