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Page Builders in 2018 — The Future of Beaver Builder

Hey all! I can't believe the holidays have come and gone already. I am super excited to share a bunch of news and updates. We hope you had a great holiday season! The end of the calendar year is always a good time to look back, reflect, and make some changes for the upcoming. We want to share a bit on our roadmap and talk about some future plans. Let's go!

Beaver Builder 2.0

We're just about finished rolling out Beaver Builder 2.0 and I think it's safe to say it's been an overwhelming success! Apart from a few surprised users, it really went off without a hitch.

The last and final stage of the rollout will be updating the free version of Beaver Builder and we're planning that in the next several days.

Blog and Newsletter Update

Before we get into the roadmap chat, I wanted to touch on our blog and newsletter. For the last few years, our blog has followed a very strict format. An update post almost every month with a spattering of guest posts here and there.

In 2018, we want to shake things up a bit. First, we'd like to move away from the monthly schedule and start posting news and updates when the timing is appropriate.

For our email newsletter, I usually just send out a shortened version of our blog posts. I realize, it takes a long time to do that and—while I hope people appreciate it—it would be a whole lot easier to just send a quick note with a link to the post. I think we're going to go in that direction.

If you're the type of person that doesn't want to miss a single word or update, be sure to sign up for our newsletter using the form in the footer! Also, we're considering bringing someone on the team part-time to help us manage and create content. If that sounds interesting to you, shoot us an email with the subject line “content manager.”

Beaver Builder Roadmap

With 2.0 in the wild, we're excited to start the discussion about what's next!

Inline Editing

We've been talking about inline editing for a long time, but always decided that it presented a number of really difficult challenges (think parsing shortcodes and markup while also supporting inline changes) and it didn't offer enough of a workflow improvement to justify.

Luckily, our friend Bradley Kirby decided to take on these challenges and he created a really cool add-on for Beaver Builder called Wallace Inline.

What happened next is a bit bittersweet. The first time I saw Gutenberg in action, I thought to myself, “gosh, their inline-text editing is really slick. I wish we could replace TinyMCE in Beaver Builder with that.” At the time, it seemed like a daydream, but then in WordPress 4.8 the core team updated TinyMCE and made it a reality.

With the 4.8 update, they added features that we can leverage to very easily implement inline editing. Like, in less than 100 lines of code we were able to get a proof of concept up and running.

I got the opportunity to meet Bradley in-person at WordCamp US and profusely apologize for our change of course. It does look like inline editing is coming to Beaver Builder core.

That said, we're planning a simple implementation and, after talking extensively with Bradley, it sounds like he has big plans to extend and add more value via Wallace Inline. We want to give Wallace Inline a really solid plug because we are huge supporters of folks building on top of Beaver Builder and we try to be considerate of them with our feature updates.

Undo / Redo

When I was building out the new Beaver Themer page, I created a row, added some modules, customized a bunch of settings, and dialed it in just the way I liked it. Then, I accidentally deleted it. Doh! I lost all the work, and because I hadn't been saving I couldn't restore it.

This is a real bummer and it's something we'd like to solve. In the last several updates, we've been rewriting many of the core, behind the scenes elements of Beaver Builder and laying the groundwork to implement undo. Justin might freak out if I say it's coming in 2.1, but I can safely say it's something we are (and have been) working on! 😉

Various Updates / Improvements

A few months ago, we started looking at our development roadmap through a three-pillar approach (sound familiar?), maintenance, market share, and innovation. In that discussion, we started planning how best to balance these moving forward. All three are important and we want to make efforts to improve on each one in every release.

We pride ourselves on our stability so bug-fixes and maintenance updates will always be a priority. We want Beaver Builder to be a platform you can trust with your business.

Beaver Builder is the platform you can trust with your business. Click To Tweet

For this reason, we're conservative with our approach to new features. We don't want to add fluff to Beaver Builder just because. We want Beaver Builder to be a dependable partner in your business and we put a lot of bandwidth towards ensuring that we stay lean, mean, and timeless.

That said, we still want to bring new users to the Beaver Builder family and enhance the experience for existing users. It's important to branch out into adjacent markets and continue growing. If we don't keep growing, we can't guarantee will be here for you tomorrow. We're a bootstrapped and profitable company and, while that may sound like a brag, we consider it a badge of honor. You don't have to worry about us closing down shop because we ran out of venture capital.

Lastly, innovation. I mentioned in our Gutenberg blog post that, a few years ago when we were getting started, “page builder” was a dirty word in the WordPress space. No one took them seriously. We take a lot of pride in how far we've pushed that envelope and we want to continue experimenting and pushing it further.

Beaver Builder Labs

On the subject of innovation, with and all the changes coming to the WordPress ecosystem in 2018, we're thinking about mimicking Google and other company's idea of “labs” projects. These would be experimental features and branches that we'll release and make available on a “testing the waters” basis. What do you think?

Beaver Themer 1.1 Coming Soon

Themer launched with a deep integration for WooCommerce. Building and managing Woo sites with multiple products, categories, and nuances can be a real pain. Themer provides an interface and an abstraction to make the process much less time-consuming.

We have two new integrations coming in 1.1, Events Calendar and Easy Digital Downloads. If you use either of these plugins and would like to get early access to test, you can find an alpha version of 1.1 today on your account page. You can also check out our Knowledge Base docs on the two new integrations.

The Events Calendar plugin enables you or your site's users to schedule and plan events, sell tickets, and manage a calendar of said events.

Easy Digital Downloads, as the title implies, is an eCommerce platform for digital goods. With the success of Beaver Themer and WooCommerce, this was a natural next step. If the name is not familiar, all of the plugin offerings from Pippin's plugins are fantastic and we've been getting business tips from their blog since day 1.

Beaver Builder Theme

Don't worry! We're planning to give the Beaver Builder Theme some love this year too. Of our three products, the theme is one of the more challenging to update for backward compatibility reason. Changing CSS and markup can cause a lot of site owners a lot of headaches, but we have improvements in the pipeline. Sometimes, it feels like we should create a brand new version of the Beaver Builder theme. Hmmm…

Footnotes

Gutenberg

In case you missed it, we posted an article about Gutenberg—WordPress' new editor project—with some thoughts on how we're planning to handle the upcoming transition.

CampPress Iceland

If you've ever been to a WordCamp there's a good chance you've bumped into Mendel Kurland. He works at GoDaddy, but in his spare time, he's been working on a project called CampPress. It's a “digital detox.” I'm thrilled to be joining him for CampPress Iceland in April. If you're looking for an excuse to go camping and talk shop, he's hosting several events this year.

Embracing Page Builders

Another good friend, Tyler from CyberSprout, wrote up a great piece on how he and his agency adopted page builders as part of their workflow.

Smart Slider 3 BB Integration

The team at Smart Slider 3 wrote a very nice article about Beaver Builder 2.0 and how well it integrates with Smart Slider 3. If you were like me, you might be wondering, “who uses sliders any more?” On that note, I found their article about how the research suggesting sliders don't work is wrong super interesting!

Justin on the WP Tonic Podcast

Justin joined the crew of the WP Tonic Podcast for a chat about Beaver Builder 2.0, Beaver Themer, and some future plans for Beaver Builder.

WPML and Toolset Updates

The team at OnTheGoSystems has been hard at work hardening and improving the integration between Beaver Builder and Toolset. They also announced that they're working on Beaver Themer support in WPML! Woo-hoo! That's been a big feature request from both sides. You can read more about the toolset integration here, and the existing Beaver Builder +WPML integration here. Thanks, OnTheGo!

In Closing

It must be the cold weather. I get a lot more verbose during the winter months. I wanted to keep writing and writing, but I am cutting it off here.

We've had fantastic growth and we're extremely proud of the work and innovation we've done in 2017. Getting the opportunity to release a new product and crafting a beautiful new user experience are really dreams come true for a product team like ours. There's no way we could have done any of this with you and your ongoing support. Thank you. On behalf of the whole team, we wish you Happy New Year and the best in 2018!

Robby McCullough's Bio

31 Comments

  1. Dan Burtan on December 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Brand New Version of BB Theme sounds great 🙂

  2. Luis on December 28, 2017 at 10:57 am

    When EDD 3.0 is released it should still be compatible with Themer correct?

    https://easydigitaldownloads.com/development/2017/12/27/3-0-dev-plans/

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Yup. We’re committing to supporting and maintaining that integration.

  3. Thomas Skipper on December 28, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Thank you for this post. Is was a delight reading it.

    And yes I am a very happy user of Beaver builder.

  4. David Waumsley on December 28, 2017 at 11:12 am

    This get my vote every time “We don’t want to add fluff to Beaver Builder just because”.

    Excellent update Robby. Thanks

  5. Milind Wagh on December 28, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Delightful Update! Great way to go BB Team!

  6. Arif Dalvi on December 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Dear BB Theme,

    BB Roadmap sound too cool. Actually, i had not purchased Beaver Builder but i had always follow it closely. Some BB features like relationship & CPT layouts are exploring the new possibilities in wordpress.

    There are 2 suggestions, that BB should do.

    1. Video Tutorials compared to other Page Builder community BB is lacking behind. Even BB has excellent features & addons are best in market. Non-Techie feels it tougher to use them. Like BB youtube channel is also dull. BB should not depends on third party or other experts for their tutorials. Beaver Junction is one of big joke as the tutorials says too less on BB. Just BB needs a comprehensive video tutorials by its own team.

    2. Nested columns & rows are seems missing in BB. Which provides a more design capabilities & flexibilty to users/developers.

    3. BB has very less interaction users through on Social Media or Blogs. Third party interaction doesn’t work always.

    Hope BB will improve this things to provides us the Best tools to explore the magic of wordpress extensively.

    Thanks

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Good points. We deliberately avoided doing video work last year because of the big UI change that was coming in 2.0. This year we’re hoping to do a lot more there.

      I personally struggle with how much time to spend on social media, but we want to create more content around BB.

      Regarding nested columns, we do have that feature! See here for details:

      http://kb.wpbeaverbuilder.com/article/46-column-layouts-overview

      Thanks for the comment and the feedback!

  7. Fayaz Ahmed on December 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Happy New Year and all the best Robby.
    Love every single update, but especially the Lab idea – Bring it on!

  8. Roy Randolph on December 28, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    “On the subject of innovation, with and all the changes coming to the WordPress ecosystem in 2018, we’re thinking about mimicking Google and other company’s idea of “labs” projects. These would be experimental features and branches that we’ll release and make available on a “testing the waters” basis. What do you think?”
    Excellent idea.

  9. Samu Parra on December 28, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Robby! Thanks for the update!

    I’d love to see new predesigned templates in 2018. 😀

    Samu

  10. Tyler on December 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I love the idea of the events calendar support for Themer. It’ll be super useful for our team!

    Ps thanks for the shout out 🙂

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Excellent to hear! Let us know how it goes. 🙂

  11. Jake on December 29, 2017 at 7:36 am

    I would be interested in hearing or reading about using BB with CSSGrid and Flexbox. In other words how BB can be implemented into progressive web design. File this under the labs possibly.

    • Desmond Williams on December 29, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      I agree. I’d like to see BB start utilizing Flexbox features more in the grid system (or perhaps even CSSGrid). I always end up writing custom classes to get a Flexbox feature to work — it would be great if these features were more integrated.

      • jonathan on February 17, 2018 at 6:45 am

        I would second this and add that with CSS Grid support in all modern browsers it’s not going to be long before it becomes a necessity (if it isn’t already).

        As an added benefit I would hope we would seen a leaner code base dropping the extra div’s in the mark up and therefore making it easier to read and style.

      • Robby McCullough on February 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

        Good feedback, guys. Thank you. My hope is that up-and-coming web technologies like CSS Grid will be something we can phase in incrementally. We still need to maintain backward compatibility with existing BB sites and that always makes shifting to new technologies more of a challenge. That said, it’s something we’re looking into as well! 🙂

  12. Andrew on December 29, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Awesome. 🙂 Looking forward to the theme updates!

    I know so many are looking for bells and whistles but talk about sustainability and no optimization over fluff does it for me every time! I’d rather have a solid house than a cottontail mansion!

    Any chance of getting all the plans added back to the Trello board?

  13. bradleykirby on December 29, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for the shout Robby! Looking forward to growing with you guys in 2018 🙂

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Right back at ya!

  14. Desmond Williams on December 29, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I’d love to see a more bare-bones BB theme that is meant to be used with the Beaver Themer exclusively. There are plenty of custom themes that are built with this purpose in mind on Github, but I’d love to see one built by the BB Team :). Thanks guys as always.

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Hey Desmond. Good to see you. We appreciate the feedback.

  15. Koen Adams on December 30, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Looking forward to the integration with The Events Calendar plugin. In a few weeks I’ll be starting a new project partially based on that plugin 🙂
    And, in my opinion, being dedicated to stay lean and mean is exactly the reason for your success.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Awesome timing! Let us know how it goes.

  16. Melanie Richards on January 5, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Great update and happy new year Robby! Excited to see what’s coming down the pipe for this year.

    I’m curious how you decide to implement features that could drastically improve BB vs let a 3rd party dev handle it. I understand you want to be friendly to the BB community, but sometimes wonder if you see a cool solution, if you would implement it in the base code or leave it as a plugin in order to not piss off the creator -e.g. this inline editor. I would wish to just this be native one day, and not have to install yet ANOTHER plugin, further slowing down my sites. UX is really important, and hope great ideas/features aren’t left out for the sake of politics. 😉

    Is there a place for the community to vote on new features? I too would love to see a public roadmap that includes community participation too.

    Updated video tutorials would also be really great!

    • Robby McCullough on January 8, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Hey Mel! Long time. Good to hear from ya. 🙂

      We tend to take a case-by-case approach to feature development. We prioritize stability and keeping a lean core codebase. We’ve learned a lot from the WordPress project itself and tried to adopt a similar approach. Features that cater to a specific niche or vertical would go into add-ons (like extended module options, templates, etc) and features that benefit everyone go in core (like inline editing, undo/redo).

      To your point, I would love to see some of the 3rd party add-ons make their products more modular. And we’re hoping to take a stab at more add-ons and niche features through our labs push.

      We don’t maintain a voting system and, honestly, our public roadmaps tend to get stale pretty quickly. We could improve there. There’s a lot more competition than when we first started, so we don’t get to talk quite as much about our future plans and ideas. The voting board was nice in the beginning, but as it grew..the top 5 or so most-requested features got all the attention. We shifting more towards surveys and spending more time talking with customers (and with that, thanks again for your comment. It’s super helpful).

  17. Veronica Wasek on January 6, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Hi. I’m a new Beaver Builder user and so far I’m impressed! I was able to mame changes to my home page really fast. I would definitely appreciate the Undo feature. Keep up the good work!

  18. Daniel Morrow on January 17, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Excellent post! Love to read the plans, thoughts, and all that good stuff. Keep it verbose!

    • Robby McCullough on January 17, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Right on! Thanks, Daniel! 🙂

  19. Brian England on January 25, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Is the free version no longer available for use? I just tried to edit my website and I don’t seem to be able to get the template rows and such that used to be available.

    • Robby McCullough on January 25, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      The free version is still available. Are you using GoDaddy? They have some additional features that may not be available if you change plans or change hosts? Otherwise, everything should be the same.

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