I'm sure by now you've heard about the news breaking in the WordPress website builder community, regarding Breakdance, the brand new website builder from Soflyy. Louis Reingold, the CEO, and founder of Oxygen dropped the bomb on the new 'Elementor challenger' out of the blue. This has ended up heaving a ton of chatter and cause of concern in the Oxygen community. So, what does all this actually mean for the future of Oxygen Builder? And how does this news impact my future plans for creating content using Oxygen?
I've been a big fan and user of Oxygen Builder since around 2018. I come from the Genesis Theme Framework years and that was an influential time for my business as a freelance web designer.
When Oxygen came along, it was a breath of fresh air. It literally helped to transform my business and made me fall in love with website design again.
Don't get me wrong, I still love writing front-end code, but Oxygen combines the best of both worlds, which is why I love it so much.
I started creating content using Oxygen Builder in 2019.
I've continued to build my business using Oxygen and for that, I am eternally grateful for the work Louis and his team of devs have done over the years.
My thoughts on Breakdance
Let's first quickly address the big 'yellow' elephant in the room, that being Breakdance. What's the deal with another website builder from the same company, Soflyy?
Just in case you were not aware, I'm sure you are. Breakdance is the website builder you always wanted. At least that's what it says on the tin.
My thoughts on a second website builder from the same company that built Oxygen, and one that brought together one of the most active communities in the WordPress community?
I don't have any other thoughts except for positive ones. I'm not going to jump on the whining bandwagon and start a rampage on social media demanding answers from Louis.
The future of Oxygen builder - Is this the end?
I don't believe for one moment that this means the end for Oxygen Builder. At least not for a very long time.
If anything, Louis has made it clear what his intentions are for Breakdance, which doesn't impact Oxygen. Unless, of course, I'm wrong and he's lying. But I'm prepared to give someone like Louis the benefit of the doubt.
If you haven't done so yet, I recommend watching the video interview, where Louis himself answers some questions about both his new builder, Breakdance, and Oxygen. The interview is available on Permaslug's YouTube Livestream.
Oxygen's official group on Facebook turned into a negative mosh pit
I've been watching and reading the responses from some of the folks in the Oxygen Facebook Community very carefully. I don't do much commenting there personally and don't get involved in the heated debates unless there is something of value I can contribute. I like to think of myself as the dark knight advocator of Oxygen Builder.
But just think about this:
Apple sells a Mac Studio, Pro, a Macbook Pro, a Mac Mini, and a Macbook Air, but, if you're an Apple fan or user, we don't complain about it. Each of those pieces of hardware suits our various needs and practicalities. Some of us will use several machines, in fact.
I use a Mac Studio for creating my online content, YouTube videos, etc. And I use a Macbook Air for all non-intensive productivity, blogging tasks, and to take my work on the road.
The point I'm trying to make with my dumb analogy here is that, how can anyone justify whinging about a software company, like Soflyy, for creating more than one product with close similarities, that does more or less the same damn job, maybe have some of the same features, but targeted at an entirely different market or audience?
There is very little justification for it. That's my opinion.
Yes, I absolutely get it that some supporters, users, and loyal customers of Oxygen feel somewhat betrayed or let down.
Yes, I agree that Louis could have done things better regarding the way he released a brand new website builder product.
But, seriously, why?
Louis said in the interview, it's paid for. Those customers aren't coming back to pay for something else, they've gotten their Oxygen license and therefore will continue to receive lifetime updates and new features.
So, should we not believe him when he says this? Has the distrust really sunk in now?
I just don't get it. I really don't.
And I'm not just saying that because I've built my business on Oxygen and therefore want to continue making money from it, building client websites, and selling my online courses. A lot of businesses and freelancers have too. I'm saying it because I honestly do not understand why it has gotten this intense. Why so many people have had the fear of hell and fire put into them by the announcement of a new website builder.
To add to the reassurance:
Elijah, from the Oxygen team, has clearly stated that Oxygen is going nowhere and that they have plans to continue supporting the community and releasing updates and new features for the software far ahead into the future.
If you're a member of the Oxygen User Group, you'll see the post here.
So, again I beg the question:
Why are so many people flapping their wings in despair? Surely there are more pressing concerns to be thinking about in this world.
OK, maybe I'm just being too relaxed about it all, I don't know.
The problem I see with people casting their negative comments and opinions all over social media about Oxygen and Breakdance is that it's doing nothing to add value to the groups. What it is doing is scaremongering the living tripe out of people.
It only takes a dozen or so individuals to start whining, and boom, we have a chain reaction setting off a tidal wave of complete panic. Unleashing a barrage of fragmented views from Oxygen Builder users and keyboard warriors. And, I know. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, their 2 cents, and what not. But why is it always negative, or would seem like it?
The effect that this is having is, that it's making some Oxygen users feel they should no longer trust, or be using Oxygen and move on to the next best thing, whether that's Bricks, Breakdance, Unicorn, or whatever.
There's always going to be the next best thing. What are we, Magpies? Whatever happened to loyalty to a cause?
The moment something else comes along, or there's something we don't particularly like about a new situation, we leave and go elsewhere. But we can't seem to do it quietly either, we have to create a path of destruction along the way, slating, disrespecting, throwing out negativity, influencing others to do the same, and whatnot.
That's human nature I suppose.
Look, what's wrong with owning and using more than one website builder for WordPress? After all, a mechanic doesn't just have one tool in his toolbox. An artist doesn't just use one brush to create a masterpiece.
I've always said: If something works for you, then you use it and that's the end of it, regardless of the politics of what is happening in that ecosystem. Every website project that I've worked on demanded something unique, whether that was Oxygen Builder, Divi, Thrive Theme Builder, or whatever.
There is no such thing, in my book, as "Well you can't use XYZ tool because it's not professional. Devs don't use these tools because of XYZ..."
I really don't care... If it works then nothing else matters.
Recently I had someone email to tell me that I shouldn't be teaching about using WPForms or Gravity Forms in my Oxygen Builder Course lesson about creating a contact page and web form. Why? Because apparently, few devs use WPForms.
Here's my answer to that:
I couldn't give a rat's arse what other devs think I should be doing or using. WPForms and Gravity Forms have worked for me for many years, and therefore I'll continue to use them and recommend them.
Anyway, I'm going off track a bit here. I have no idea where I was going with that. But seriously, regarding the future of Oxygen, I don't think we should be panicking like this.
I believe Oxygen will be around for many, many years to come, so if your website is built on it. Or, if you plan to build your website using Oxygen, stick with your plan and don't be influenced by irrationality.
My future plans as an Oxygen user
My plans as an Oxygen Builder user, advocator, and content creator have not changed.
It has been quiet on my channel for a few months, that's because I've been up to my eyeballs with multiple designs and content projects. But I've already edited a batch of new Oxygen tutorials that will be unleashed on the 29th of June.
The scaremongering is sadly going to continue casting a lot of doubts in the Oxygen community. But there's nothing anyone can do about that. Some folks will believe whatever they want to read, no matter how much you try and convince them that they're blowing things out of proportion.
As for Breakdance? I welcome it with a smile. I'm excited about testing it, and who knows, maybe I'll be creating content for it someday. Just as I'm confident I'll be creating content using other website builder tools and solutions.
On that note, if you're reading this and are one of the skeptical ones that are running for the freakin hills regarding the future of Oxygen Builder. Calm the 'you know what' down and get a grip. The sky has not fallen. The earth is still rotating. Your website built with Oxygen is not going to suddenly become obsolete.
Stop reading the negative community comments in the Facebook groups and pacing around your living room or office in despair. Jumping from one platform to the next just because someone else is doing it is not the solution. Calming the f*** down is the solution. But that's entirely up to you. It will all be okay in the end.
Regards - Fabrizio.
Don't forget to check out my Oxygen Builder Website Design Video Course!