Drag and-Drop WordPress Themes


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Sallie Goetsch provides a whirlwind tour of some of the available free and premium drag-and-drop (or, in some cases, click-and-add) WordPress themes, frameworks, and plugins, for the August 2013 East Bay WordPress Meetup.

Of the themes she actually analyzed, iThemes Builder is the only one that uses child themes (though it is not really drag and drop) and Themify Builder has the most intriguing interface, with front-end editing, though it is extremely heavy on the JavaScript and engages in some questionable practices, like adjusting your PHP memory without telling you it's going to do this.

The themes from Site Origin and CyberChimps offer limited drag-and-drop layout options that are easy for beginners to use, though they are designed to work within the existing styles of those themes.

In most cases, developers with any knowledge of PHP, HTML, and CSS will want to avoid these themes. Beginners with little knowledge of code may find the learning curve for some of these themes (e.g. PageLines DMS) too overwhelming. In all cases, the use of one of these themes may make it extremely difficult to change themes in the future, because they store content in special database tables.

And no ability to drag elements around a grid or select fonts or colors from a drop-down will teach you design skills, so if you don't know the principles of good design, your site could end up looking like a flyer from the early 1990s, when desktop publishing software first became popular.

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Drag and-Drop WordPress Themes

  1. 1. August 18, 2013
  2. 2. EastBayWP.com
  3. 3. Our Meetup.com Page http://www.meetup.com/Eastbay-WordPress-Meetup/
  4. 4. Ongoing Sponsor: Page.ly http://page.ly/
  5. 5. Drag & Drop WordPress Themes Sallie Goetsch
  7. 7. MiniMax Page Layout Builder http://wordpress.org/plugins/page-layout-builder/
  8. 8. Page Layout Builder Settings
  9. 9. MiniMax Layout Tab: Columns
  10. 10. MiniMax Add Modules
  11. 11. MiniMax Page with Modules
  12. 12. MiniMax Page: Front End
  13. 13. MiniMax Layout Builder: Conclusion • Reasonably intuitive • Limited selection of modules in free version • Some conflicts with normal WordPress functions, e.g. media library • Could still be useful, but I wasn’t that impressed.
  14. 14. iFeature (CyberChimps)
  15. 15. iFeature Options
  16. 16. iFeature Header Layout
  17. 17. iFeature Blog Layout
  18. 18. iFeature +Portfolio -Slider
  19. 19. iFeature: Conclusion • Partly drag-and-drop • Easy to use • Can create a home page without posts • Minimal control over styling • Limited layout options • Suitable for beginners
  20. 20. PageLines Lite
  21. 21. PageLines Site Options
  22. 22. PageLines Layout Editor
  23. 23. PageLines Layout Editor 2
  24. 24. PageLines Drag and Drop
  25. 25. Applying a PageLines Template
  26. 26. PageLines: Conclusion • Fairly flexible even in free version • Not immediately intuitive—lots of different settings pages • Combination of drag-and-drop and other selectors • Modify templates on a per-page basis • Can be used by beginners, but there’s a learning curve
  27. 27. Snapshot (SiteOrigin)
  28. 28. SiteOrigin Page Builder
  29. 29. SiteOrigin Page Builder Settings
  30. 30. Site Origin Widgets
  31. 31. SiteOrigin Home Page Builder
  32. 32. PageBuilder Tab
  33. 33. SiteOrigin: Conclusion • Widget-based • More click-and-add than drag-and-drop • Allows page-based and post-based layouts • Assumes you already have site content (post categories, etc.) • Designed to work within the styling of the SiteOrigin themes
  35. 35. iThemes Builder
  36. 36. Builder Layouts and Views
  37. 37. Add New Builder Layout
  38. 38. New Layout Applied Error message due to lack of posts to feature
  39. 39. Custom Builder Layout Metabox Select a Builder Layout instead of a page template when creating a new page.
  40. 40. Builder Style Manager
  41. 41. iThemes Builder: Conclusion • Not really drag-and-drop • Very well-documented • Page-by-page layout options • Modules for restaurants, churches, events, audio • Style manager plugin • Many child themes available
  42. 42. Themify Builder
  43. 43. Themify Default Layouts
  44. 44. Themify Page Builder Settings
  45. 45. Themify Custom Panel: Page Options
  46. 46. Themify Custom Panel: Post Query
  47. 47. Themify Custom Panel: Builder
  48. 48. Themify Page with Modules
  49. 49. Themify Front-end Editing
  50. 50. Themify Builder: Conclusion • Good number of modules • Fairly intuitive to use • Front-end editing is cool • Themes are resource-intensive • Can add custom CSS classes for custom styling • Test it with free “Basic” theme
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