Want to quickly and easily create complex page layouts with columns, widgets, and more? Give the Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin a try. In our Page Builder by SiteOrigin review, find out how this free plugin can help you build responsive page layouts using widgets, no coding necessary.
Why Use Page Builder by SiteOrigin?
If you’ve ever tried to create a more complex page than a text-focused blog post, you know that the built-in WordPress visual editor is not up to the task.
Want to break out your content into responsive columns, use widgets directly on your pages, or create your own layout templates?
You need a plugin like Page Builder by SiteOrigin.
SiteOrigin’s Page Builder plugin is a drag and drop tool that allows you to create complex page layouts using WordPress’s own built in widgets, plus a number of widgets from SiteOrigin. You can set up your widgets in rows and columns which you control the size and ratio of.
Available widgets include:
- text editor
- list of features with Font Awesome icons
- Google maps
- post carousel
- image and video slider
- post content
- customizable post loop
SiteOrigin creates themes and plugins for WordPress. They also have a number of free themes available that are designed to work will with the Page Builder plugin.
How to Get Started With Page Builder
Install and activate the plugin, which is available for free in the WordPress.org directory.
By default, you can use it on posts or pages (you can change this under Settings » Page Builder if you want).
You can get started by creating a new post or page. On the visual editor, you’ll see a new tab on the right, next to the usual Visual and Text tabs.
Click the Page Builder tab, and you’ll be prompted to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout.
You can choose from your existing WordPress widgets, or widget included with the Page Builder plugin such as post content, images, or sliders. Choosing to add a widget will automatically insert it in a new row by itself.
If you select a SiteOrigin widget, you’ll be prompted to install the SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle plugin, which is also free.
To create a row with more than one column, click the Add Row button. You can choose the number of columns and their ratio to each other.
You can also edit a row to add columns. Just click the wrench icon above the row to edit it. You can also hover over any widget to edit or delete it.
If you want to use layouts, you’ll have to enable the directory. This will give you access to 16 different prebuilt layouts. You can also import and export your own layouts.
To edit a page from the front end of your site, you can click the Live Editor button while editing the page or while viewing it. The live editor also allows you to preview the site in three different screen sizes.
Documentation and Support
SiteOrigin provides a lot of great videos and tutorials with screenshots to help you get started. They also have articles on theme integration and more advanced settings and features.
Page Builder is actively developed, and they welcome contributors on GitHub. SiteOrigin commits to always making the plugin available for free.
They also offer free support on the official SiteOrigin forums, and you can get email support included with SiteOrigin Premium.
Get More With SiteOrigin Premium
SiteOrigin also offers a premium membership that grants you access to add-on plugins and fast email support.
SiteOrigin Premium includes:
- Enhanced Page Builder: Build custom post types, add CSS animations and more.
- Widgets Bundle Extras: Includes more widgets for your layouts, including contact form fields, enhanced social widgets, etc.
- Theme Enhancements: Remove SiteOrigin attributions, get ajax comments, and more.
There are various one-year licenses available depending on how many sites you want to use it on.
Page Builder by SiteOrigin vs. Visual Composer
Page Builder by SiteOrigin and Visual Composer are the two most popular drag and drop page building plugins for WordPress.
Visual Composer is a premium plugin available on CodeCanyon. It works very similarly to Page Builder, with “elements” instead of “widgets.” It also allows you to edit your page from the front or back end of your site.
Visual Composer does include a lot more elements than Page Builder has widgets, and it gives you more advanced options for many of those elements. There are also hundreds of add-on plugins available to expand the features and add more elements and options.
Visual Composer also seems to be a little more user-friendly and has a more modern flat design. Compare the look of their buttons, for example:
All the options in Visual Composer can be a little overwhelming, but they do come in handy if you want to build more complex pages.
For more details, check out our Visual Composer review.
If you just need a basic free page building tool, Page Builder by SiteOrigin is a good option. It’s actively developed and supported, and the user interface is intuitive enough to get started quickly. They also have detailed documentation, in both video and tutorial form.
We give Page Builder by SiteOrigin 4 out of 5 stars. Here is the breakdown of our review scores:
Ease of Use