Breakdancing up with Elementor

Readers of this blog will have seen since the beginning of this year a steady stream of pleadings for better stability from Elementor Builder. The most recent review, just a week ago, noted the continuing problems with flexbox, template code, and the debilitating collisions/conflicts  with Elementor’s own 3rdparty addons that take  hours if not days to debug.

Yes, Elementor works well with simple blog and shopping sites. It can also step up to tougher sites like membership groups, event-driven services, or mutitask workflows. But there are certainly challenges with these type of websites with templates, complex post types, and diverse collections of dynamic data. These are the type of apps that Elementors flexbox and templates are designed to address. But for nearly a year, working with these Elementor tools  have been stop and go.  So inevitably the need to at least look at candidates for the next great WordPress UI Builder beame a real  WP Futures Task.

Looking for the next Great WP UI Builder

First things, is to identify what  capabilities works well already among the existing PageBuilders/Theme Builders:
1 – Drag and drop page layout and styling  with responsive designs for common display and use on desktop, tablet and/or mobile devices;
2 – Creatable and customizable components with WYSIWYG styling engines and  “no coding required” custom post type as reusable building blocks;
3 – Templates collections of  blocks and components that are copyable, deletable, reusable across pages and websites;
4 – Interfaces  and integration  processes continues to  support Docker, Graphql, RestAPI, even RPC until methods of messaging and interprocess communication are well served;
5 – Layout frameworks meeting supporting diverse needs like Bootstrap 4 grids, Flexbox frameworks, CSS Grid layering, 3D modal/popup methods, etc;
6 – The new UI Builder delivers ample app securiy. bug free reliability and top tier performance speed.
Of course these attributes are in the process of being promised and offered in CyberMonday promotions and promise. So given the continuing UI Builders laborious and downright anguishing  changes, this developer has set  out again on the Don Quixote Trek for a Better Builder.

And the good people at Automattic and Gutenberg will say they have been working since 2015 on that Better WordPress Builder. But a Chimera History  of Gutenberg Editor, Blocks Builder, Block Themes, Block Patterns, FSE-Full Sight Editor has proven that the Gutenberg Editor 2.0/5  WordPress plugin rating underlines continued dissatisfaction with  Gutenberg tools. The problems with Gutenberg are threefold: First, there is a diificult to learn, complex and  constantly changing  Block Editor UI. Second, the Gutenberg Block Editor has a poor WYSWYG engine  with 3rd party block  tools like Cwicly and Kadence starting to fill the ease of styling gap. Third, Gutenberg has been a source of disruption for the ClassicEditor, Classic Widgets, plus customizer usage, shortcodes and metafile support.  So this developer continues to assess Gutenberg features and tools but with a look out for hidden “surprises”.

Elementor is not the onlyThemebuilder undergoing major change. ElegantThemes has announced a major investment in Divi 5 with a late 2023 rival on tap. And Bricks Builder continues to get rave reviews:

But our attention  was caught by this post by WPTuts Paul Charlton:

What Breakdance has on offer

First and foremost, our tests show that  Breakdance like OxyGenBuilder and BricksBuilder offer strong ratings in ourUI Builder capabilities. All 3 add to UB1 settings  with drag and drop responsive designs further enhanced with more media query options, display value settings, and fast layout performance. In UB2 creatable/customizable components again all three tools work well with ACF and other custom post type or have their ownCPT or Widget APIs. Also for its  WYSIWYG styling engine, BreakDance stands out – it was easy to create 1st BreakDance post shown below
Now of course this is by no means a complete check of BreakDance page layout and design features. For example, we found the default spacing and other styling features”awkward”. Also tests of the Mega Menu and Header Builder routines are yet to be done.

In contrast, BricksBuilder and Oxygen have generous free templates and the capability to manage templates both locally and in the Cloud. The other notable factor is  all three UIBuilders are are innovating at a breakneck pace – see BreakDance here, Bricks Builder here and OxygenBuilder here. Hope the documentation and video tutorials can keep up because this developer will be busy testing these UI Builders as a candidate for becoming an agency tool.

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