Over the last twelve months or so, I’ve been asked the question well over a dozen times. “What is the easiest and most user-friendly website builder for WordPress?” In this post, I hope to share with you some of my thoughts and unbiased opinions on this topic, let’s dive right in.
Way back in 2010, there was no valid page builder or website builder for WordPress. And if there were any, I personally didn’t know about them.
I come from the era of the Genesis theme framework. I used to enjoy tweaking and building custom child themes for myself. Those days are now gone.
The first page-builder I ever came across was Thrive Architect, and then Thrive Theme Builder, followed by Elementor, before discovering Oxygen Builder in 2018. Around 2022, I added Bricks Builder to the list, and recently, Breakdance.
I’ve not had the chance to use Breakdance enough, so I can’t speak honestly about it, but I will certainly come back and update this post in the future.
So which is the most user-friendly page and theme builder for WordPress?
The answer isn’t as simple as picking one website builder. It depends on what kind of user you are.
Are you an entrepreneur looking to create a few websites or landing pages to promote and grow your brand? Or are you a freelance web designer/developer looking to dive deep into designing WordPress sites visually for your clients?
Oxygen Builder (Most user-friendly)
Let me start with Oxygen Builder, because, for me, this was the plugin that made me fall in love with WordPress all over again and thus helped me to grow my freelance web design business.
Oxygen Builder has been around for a while now, and in my opinion, remains the most straightforward website builder to use for WordPress.
Granted, things like templating can be a little daunting and confusing at first, but once you understand how to create and render templates in Oxygen, the rest is fairly easy.
Oxygen Builder has an attractive user interface, but some might disagree. It isn’t the most feature-rich interface out there, but it is extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate around the options, in my opinion. To be frank, the layout of all these builders is more or less the same across the board.
The components library and design options in Oxygen are vast and contain everything you need to build beautiful, feature-rich, pages for your website with a high level of customization. You can do all of this without coding or diving into a ton of advanced stuff.
Moreover, Oxygen has a vast library of design sets that can save you an enormous amount of time by not having to build sections and layouts from scratch. You simply drop a pre-designed section and make a few changes here and there.
one of the things I love about Oxygen is that it works seamlessly, or at least appears to work seamlessly, with third-party plugins such as MemberPress, LearnDash, and WooCommerce.
One of the many reasons why I decided to build Van Marciano Pro with Oxygen Builder is that it integrates well with SureCart, SureMembers, and LearnDash.
The bottom line is that if you are brand new to using a website builder for WordPress, then start with Oxygen.
Bricks Builder (Most advanced, dev-friendly)
Bricks Builder in my opinion is the most advanced builder available and gives users the power to build professional-grade, blazing-fast loading, responsive WordPress sites quickly.
Moreover, there are countless add-ons available for Bricks that can help to improve workflow and expand its capabilities.
All that being said, my feeling is that Bricks isn’t ideal for non-techies. It is far from the easiest builder to use as many of the features require some knowledge or basic understanding of web development.
Bricks Builder has a steep learning curve that seems to be getting steeper with each new update and features added. Not a bad thing if you are a dev working with Bricks. However, if you’re not remotely interested in learning about the complexities of modern web design standards, and you’re just looking for something you can use to get set up quickly with just a few clicks here and there, Bricks is not for you. I just have to be honest here.
Please don’t get me wrong, you can quite easily build a simple two or three-page website using the Bricks visual options alone, without writing a single line of code, installing any add-on plugins, or diving into the advanced features such as using the Query Loop Builder, Dynamic Data, Conditions, and Interactions.
You will also be limited as you start to look at adding advanced elements to your website, such as a WooCommerce store with product filtering, and styling with CSS because the styling options are limited in Bricks for WooCommerce.
If you want to add an online course integration with LearnDash and a payment system, membership access with MemberPress or SureMembers, custom booking forms, custom post types, custom fields, etc. You will need to understand how all these advanced features work.
The other turn-off for non-techies is the lack of pre-designed templates. Bricks doesn’t offer much in that region, but it is starting to. So, my impression is that for web developers who are creating websites for clients from scratch, Bricks Builder is a dream come true, but it can certainly be daunting and technically challenging for non-techies. Again, that’s my opinion.
That said, Bricks is the most exciting builder out there, with the most amount of potential. if you can dedicate some time to learning how to use it fully, you’ll have a head start and benefit from being able to build and manage every aspect of your WordPress site.
The bottom line is if you’re a web designer wanting to learn how to build WordPress sites visually and have the power of advanced dev-friendly features at your fingertips, Bricks Builder is for you.
Breakdance (User-friendly, highly customizable)
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’ve not had much experience with building real-world websites with Breakdance yet. I have tweaked around with it on a test site on my local computer for half a dozen hours or so, and my first impression was that this builder has tremendous potential.
Breakdance doesn’t compare itself with Bricks or Oxygen as much as it does with Elementor, Divi Builder (never used), and Gutenberg. But from what I’ve seen so far, if you are keen on a builder that has a user-friendly interface complete with advanced features, with the potential to become even more powerful in the future, then Breakdance could be an option to consider.
Will I ever use Breakdance properly?
I’m pretty sure I will. I have several website projects lined up for 2024 and I will certainly be using Breakdance for some of those projects, as well as creating a course and tutorial material for Van Marciano Pro 🙂
The most confusing factors of using website builders
As I said earlier, there are two types of users when it comes to website builders. Regardless of the builder you use or want to use, there is a lot of good advice and tutorials available online. Some are good, some not so much. What is hard to find are explainers and tutorials aimed at complete beginners.
In addition, everyone has different ways of learning and adapting and I refuse to believe there is one method that fits all solutions. If you want the basics, you should be able to focus on the basics and not worry about advanced stuff, and vice versa. However, you should also know the benefits of learning the advanced stuff.
Whenever I use Oxygen or Bricks for my clients, how I use it depends on the scope of the project and what the client wants. There are some standards to be maintained if you are looking to build clean, accessible, and maintainable websites with WordPress. That said, not everyone is interested in learning all the tech and marketing jargon, no matter how much you try and explain the benefits to them. That is what I’ve learned over the years.
Want to learn how to use Oxygen Builder or Bricks Builder?
Bricks, Oxygen, Breakdance, or whatever your builder preference may be, are powerful and can help you bring your website design ideas to life.
You don’t need to be a pro coder, gifted designer, or web developer to use any of these tools. However, to make the most of them, you will need to have some basic knowledge of web development. If you are not interested in web development, then pick a builder that you can use on the fly to get the job done quickly.
I can teach you how to build amazing websites with Oxygen or Bricks
If you are a non-techie and want to learn more about designing websites visually, I can teach you everything you need to know. Click here to learn more about my Oxygen and Bricks Builder Web Design Courses and Membership plans.