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One of the reasons why we decided to do this Beaver Builder Review is because it has been around since the very beginning of drag and drop WordPress page builders. It was amongst the first we used way back then. Beaver Builder was and continues to remain amongst the Big 3 in the page builder space, and also happens to be the most widely used visual front-end builder for WordPress. As of late, the company has added a dedicated theme builder and beaver builder theme that works alongside this front-end page builder. The one distinguishing feature of Beaver Builder compared to the competition is the strong bond that the plugin has with the development community. Beaver Builder promises site builders and clients the ease and versatility of creating visually impactful websites.
In this Beaver Builder Review, we’ll only be looking at the page builder used as a standalone plugin. But we also will use the Beaver Builder theme. We’ll also touch about the extra you might choose to pay to get extra features and if it is worth it especially when compared to the competition.
Beaver Builder Overview
Beaver Builder is one of the most established WordPress plugins used to design WordPress pages and theme using drag & drop ease. Users can build and restructure websites via an easy to use front end interface, that does not require any coding knowledge. As a page builder, it was one of the first of its kind for WordPress.
Users don’t have to know anything about HTML, shortcodes, CSS, etc. The modules work right from the front end, with everything being easy to adjust with the ease of its drag and drop interface. Just about anyone who knows how to use a computer can use Beaver Builder to build websites. It helps you save time, money on hiring a professional and gives you the flexibility to edit or fine-tune an existing page as required.
Beaver Builder Features
Beaver Builder has a truckload of features to use, and as anyone who has used a front-end page builder will know that this is sort of a prerequisite to being a good page builder plugin in this space. However, there are a couple of things that stand out about the features offered by Beaver
Builder, and we’ll go over those when discussing each feature below.
Front-End Page Builder
A front end page builder for WordPress by its very definition means that you can edit the front end of the website from the front end! It also means that you are only working on a website via the front end, which is the case with Beaver Builder. You can add things like buttons, timers, headers, footers, etc. all without ever having to revert to the backend. Making it an easy to use WordPress page builder.
Unlike other WordPress builders, users don’t have to guess how their website will look, because they are using a WYSIWYG editor. So, there is no need to switch back and forth or click to preview every time a change is made to the website.
Beaver Builder’s page builder interface like other competing products shows you a live preview of the page, along with a selection of the most used tools on the right. You can start customizing by clicking on any place on the page. More content blocks, rows, widgets, accordions, etc. can all be added and removed just as easily from the website.
In addition to all the drag & drop ease, there is also support for shortcodes, and WordPress widgets baked into Beaver Builder. So, there is no need to do away with your favorite WordPress plugins like for Contact Forms, membership areas, etc.
The Beaver Builder theme and plugin come packaged with 30-page templates to get started. Now we weren’t able to check out each one of the templates for this Beaver Builder review, but we did go over each one briefly to see how the designs looked.
To start with, the Beaver Builder plugin is compatible with just about every WordPress theme out there. So, there is no need to install a specific builder theme for it to work. However, if you do run into compatibility issues, with the present Beaver Builder theme, Beaver Builder’s support should be able to help [more about their support later].
What we’ve discovered during our time with Beaver Builder is that as long as your theme is responsive, there will be no issues in terms of them being mobile-friendly. All pages we created with responsive WordPress themes worked perfectly on all mobile devices by scaling precisely like we expected them to. That’s something that has been standard regardless of the version of Beaver Builder.
Plus, you’re free to use all of Beaver Builder templates that accompany the premium plan, and there are no hidden costs associated with them.
We were able to find templates for law firms, restaurants, personal branding websites, etc. But these are only available with the paid version of Beaver Builder.
Inner page templates for the website are also packaged with the plugin like for newsletters, contact pages, about, and pricing pages. However, they were bland for our taste, and if we were to use them, a lot of effort would be put in spicing them up, but then again, that’s just us. We need the perfect website because, without it, it is hard to sleep!
Furthermore, Beaver Builder allows you to save a template you create. There is no limitation on how many templates you can create and or save in the builder. Also, you can save both modules and raw within the builder for later use as you want.
Beaver Builder is compatible with all the standard set of WordPress Widgets. Shortcodes are supported, for widgets like the Contact Form, plugins for membership areas, etc.
While we didn’t throw a whole bunch of widgets at Beaver Builder, the ones that we did use worked perfectly. However, if you are in the market for a paid widget and are not sure if it will be compatible with Beaver Builder, you should contact the company’s support, something we did for this review.
Content Editing with the Module Library
Beaver Builder allows you to edit various types of content, i.e., visual, and written content, in real-time. The editing is made possible via a collection of elements that are also used to build the page. Commonly used modules include text blocks, images, buttons, etc. There is also support for advanced modules like sliders, pricing tables, and accordions.
Speaking of content, use Beaver Builder to add a couple of conversion elements like the subscribe form, testimonial slider, and countdown timer. So, all the basics are pretty much covered. Unfortunately, it does not go beyond the basics for Beaver Builder.
Unlike other builders, there are no modules for portfolio, pricing, forms, flip box, etc. Though you can still add all of this but only via third-party plugins, which takes you away from the otherwise uniform visual page building experience that makes Beaver Builder so sought after. But to use Beaver Builder the way it should those extra plugins are needed.
Compared to Elementor and Thrive Architect, we found that the modules lacked styling variations. One reason for this after we dug a little deeper is that the platform relies heavily on CSS. The severe limitation in the way of styling options may turn off people who want to make, for instance, a sales page that stands out from a competitor’s page in the same niche using the same page builder. Unfortunately, builder Beaver is one of those page builders that makes it impossible to stand out.
The somewhat good news is that you can upgrade the module library by shelling out some extra cash. Beaver Builder sells what’s called “Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder.” Paying for it will inject another 40 modules and over 200 template elements. Every one of these has multiple styling options.
But they can’t be added to the free version or “Lite” version as it is called of the Beaver Builder plugin.
The bad news is that you’ll be paying an additional $69 for a year’s license on top of what you’re paying for the Beaver Builder plugin. If you are already committed to Beaver Builder, the investment may make sense; if not, then it is better to look elsewhere.
Everyone wants a mobile compatible or scalable website. Scalable websites get the desired love from Google, which announced that mobile search volume had surpassed desktop search volume by a large margin. Not to mention that Google rolled out mobile-friendly labels for websites as part of their search results. That means people searching for you will know if your website is scalable or mobile-friendly and decide to use it based on that.
Fortunately, web page layouts built using Beaver Builder, even the free version is mobile compatible. However, the only thing you need to make sure of is that the underlying theme is mobile responsive. That’s something we’ve discussed above. The best way to know this is to view your website on a mobile device and see if it looks as though it has been scaled to fit the screen. If you have to pan around with your fingers, then the website hasn’t been scaled.
If the theme isn’t scalable, then use one that is before using Beaver Builder to layout the page.
One of the standout things about Beaver Builder (both the free version and paid version) is that you don’t need a specific beaver themer for it to work. Whether you’re using the default WordPress beaver themer or a custom one you picked up online, so as long as the theme is scalable, it will be compatible with Beaver Builder.
During our Beaver Builder Review, we tested it across 12 different themes, all free and at random. We were able to easily build pages, and it looked perfectly OK on mobile devices. However, in our personal experience, you’d want to stay clear of themes with loads of graphics, charts, menus, etc.
One reason for this is that it slows down the overall page loading time. Why that happens is something we don’t know for sure. Our guess is that Beaver Builder makes an already hefty page heftier.
Beaver Builder Pros
- Beginner-friendly thanks to an intuitive user interface, and helpful tooltips.
- A pretty good selection of Beaver Builder page templates makes getting started easy.
- Templates can be created, then saved and reused later.
- Good overall support via multiple mediums so anyone can get started.
- Beaver Builders allows a single plan that can be used across unlimited sites.
- Rows and modules can be saved and reused globally.
- Compatible with all WordPress themes.
Beaver Builder Cons
- A limited selection of modules and customization options for those modules.
- Every action is followed by a considerable loading time or refresh.
- Flexibility isn’t it’s strong suit with a clunky user interface.
Beaver Builder Pricing
Now Beaver Builder, unlike the competition like Thrive Architect has a lite version, which is free to download and use via the WordPress plugin library. We like the lite version because it offers just enough for people who can’t afford the regular version to build a pretty decent website. Though there are limitations to this version of Beaver Builder but then again, it is also free.
The premium or paid version of Beaver Builder is available in three different pricing tiers. You have the Standard, Pro, and Agency tier. All three plans allow you to use the Beaver Builder page builder across as many websites as you want, but their support is available for only a year.
The only difference between all three plans is that with the Standard Plan, you don’t get the Beaver Builder theme and multi-site capability. Now that’ isn’t exactly a deal-breaker but good to know regardless.
The Pro plan comes with the theme and with its multi-site feature for those who own more than one website. The Agency plan has everything that the Pro plan does, but with the ability to white label Beaver Builder. So, people or agencies can build websites for clients and change all instances of elements that reflect that Beaver Builder was used like “page builder,” “Beaver Builder,” etc. You should check their website’s pricing tables for updated prices and discounts. Below is the pricing for Beaver Builder as of writing this..
- The Standard Plan is $99
- Pro costs $199
- Agency is $399
Beaver Builder Free vs. Pro Edition
Now before we dive into what the major differences are between the Free and Pro versions, let’s just start by saying that they are huge. We’ll try to cover all bases when comparing features between both versions, so you’ll want to read this section carefully.
Availability of Basic Modules
The ‘Lite’ version of the Beaver Builder Page Builder comes with a couple of basic modules that are just enough to build a website. However, there is a limited set of basic modules. The ‘Pro’ version has a complete set of basic modules. The ‘Lite’ version gives you:
- Text editor
The ‘Pro’ version throws in three additional basic modules, i.e., Heading, Button, and Separator, which adds flexibility to your website.
Modules Only Available with the ‘Pro’ Version
Most of the advanced modules are available with the ‘Pro’ version of the Beaver Builder plugin. The ‘Lite’ version has just a single module, i.e., the sidebar. However, by paying extra for the ‘Pro,’ you get around 20 additional modules.
‘Pro’ Version Only
Perhaps this is one of the biggest differences. The ‘Lite’ version does not have any website templates, so there is no option of a pre-designed layout here. The ‘Pro’ version comes with numerous pre-designed templates that are fully editable. The templates include landing pages, and content pages, and post types.
Create Custom Templates
You can create your own theme templates, which are then saved for later use. However, this feature, too, is only limited to the ‘Pro’ version of the plugin. Even if you create a killer page using the ‘Lite’ version, the inability to save it when you want for reuse is a shame.
Theme templates cannot be shared across multiple websites with the ‘Lite’ version. That means if you want to create multiple pages that look similar, across multiple websites, that can’t be done with the ‘Lite’ version. However, with the Pro version, you’ll save a great deal of time and effort, creating a theme or website. So, if you have multiple websites, you will want the “Pro,” and we certainly recommended.
The Global Rows feature allows you to display it across every page. So, it saves you from hours of work having to create the row across every page. Updating a single row when you want means that all rows are updated, making it a major time saver. However, this feature, too, is only limited to the ‘Pro’ version.
Other features that are limited to the ‘Pro’ version include:
Background Options – The Lite version theme builder only has three options for the background, i.e., video, photo, and color. However, the Pro version adds Parallax scroll, Slideshow, and Gradient if you want to those types of options.
Custom Rows – If you’ve created an impressive header row for all the postsand want to keep the same style across all, this is the tool to do it. Unfortunately, this one, too, is limited to the ‘Pro’ version.
Support – Only premium customers or ‘Pro’ customers get priority support. That means faster response times when you want it.
Should You Upgrade to Beaver Builder Pro?
If the above reasons aren’t reason enough to upgrade to Beaver Builder Pro, then we are not sure what will motivate you to do it. In our experience testing both the ‘Pro’ and ‘Lite’ version, we found that the latter is severely limited in terms of features and functionality. So, designing what you want is difficult.
The ‘Lite’ version is for people who may be working on a personal project on a budget, or they don’t expect or want to make any money from it.
Perhaps a website offering information about a product. That said, if you are running multiple websites, design matters to what you are selling or offering, then it is certainly worth upgrading to the ‘Pro’ version.
One of the things that we’ve heard Beaver Builder boasts about is their support. So, we decided to put that to the test for this review.
We contacted support via email and were surprised to get a response within the hour. Not to mention that the response we received to our query was detailed and easy to understand, something we like very much.
However, because there is no contact form something we don’t like! The best way to contact them is either via the dedicated support form or email.
The community Facebook group is just as helpful, and with 6000 members, newbie users should be able to get all their questions answered. Most of all, we like that the answers here come from other people who are using Beaver Builder, who offer alternatives, workarounds, etc., stuff you wouldn’t normally get from regular official support.
The Facebook group isn’t populated by only diehard fans of the plugin. So, you’ll also receive a lot of unbiased advice, like we did when asking the community if it was worth it.
Beaver Builder: Popular Questions & Answers
Q. How much does Beaver Builder cost?
Beaver Builder’s Lite version is free to download and use. However, the paid version starts at $99 a year; the Pro costs $199 a year, and $399 a year for the Agency version.
Q. How does Beaver Builder work?
The Beaver Builder WordPress plugin is a front end page builder that uses a drag and drop interface. Elements like pictures, backgrounds, sidebars, etc., can all be dragged, dropped, and resized with the click of a mouse button. You can use it to build web pages, or entire website themes with drag and drop ease.
Q. Does Beaver Builder work with WooCommerce?
Beaver Builder does work with WooCommerce and can be used to show several subsets of products on a WooCommerce page. Shop and product pages can easily be customized with the same drag and drop ease as you’d expect when building any other page.
Beaver Builder Review: Conclusion
When the Beaver Builder plugin for WordPress first came out, it was perhaps the only one of its kind. People were wooed by the fact that they could create their own WordPress pages without knowing a shred of code.
However, over a period of several years, the plugin improved, but new competition from the likes of Thrive Architect, Elementor, and Divi has meant that Beaver Builder up its game, which it, unfortunately, hasn’t.
During our time testing Beaver Builder and comparing it to all other similar page builders, we couldn’t help but notice that it struggles to outdo the competition, especially for what it costs. It is a fierce marketplace, and Beaver Builder isn’t doing enough in our opinion to merit what we think is a high price for what it offers. While others are offering lifetime subscriptions, this isn’t the case here, which makes the page builder more expensive to use.
Divi 3.0, Elementor, and Thrive Architect all offer, better, and more features for a flat fee, without needing to buy more upgrades. They work exactly as they should right out of the box. The fact that the competition is so good means we can’t make a case for Beaver Builder unless…
If you understand CSS, are already using Beaver Builder across multiple websites and don’t mind investing in addons to unlock the real power that it promises, then it is worth it. You’ll also have a different opinion, mainly because you might not have tried newer, competing plugins.
We have to conclude our Beaver Builder review by saying that it probably isn’t going to be as good as competing products for most people.
However, if you white-label websites for clients, the $399 for the Agency version is a good deal, most of all because it will make you money. Everyone else will want to try out the Lite version and the competition before deciding.
People on a tight budget should shop around because there are better paid options with more features.