Well, first of all I have to make my apologies here, for being ‘away’ so long. As I mentioned in my video interview with David Waumsley, I was spending to many business hours in research & development.
I am excited about all what is going on in the Beaver communities, but yes, I have some things to do for my customers and running my three on-line publications and I also just started to follow the WP Elevation training, which also consumes a lot of my time.
But I cannot stay away from the very exciting developments at Beaver Builder. While we are all waiting for the 2.0 version of the BB plug-in, insiders already knew that Beaver Themer would come first. Although it lives in an early alpha state, there already is a lot of excitement around the product. In just a couple of days about 10 small intro movies made it to YouTube and Vimeo, to get some idea of all of its featured.
Our first steps with Beaver Themer (testmode only)
What is it?
The frequent visitors of this blog know that I would like to make ‘difficult thing’ as clear and easy as possile for everyone to understand. I will give it a try for Beaver Themer and I am thing about making a kind of 3D drawing to illustrate my thoughts. But be patient, I did not even start yet……
Well first of all, the Beaver Builder theme is in itself a powerful hookable framework. Users of Genesis from StudioPress understand that concept and also understand why the theme in itself does not show a whole stack of creative tools like many commercial ‘ready to use’ themes on the market. It is a building/development environment. The BB team created a pagebuilder which can be used on ‘top’ of the theme. A pagebuilder adds power to the creative process of creating pages. So, not the header, the footer, the menu and the sidebars. It is for pages.
Flexible database publishing is the future of WordPress
The Beaver Builder theme is the foundation, the plug-in is for creating pages and Beaver Themer if for ‘everything else’. Although this explains the basics of the three products, there are some things, which need te be explained more deeply to understand the way they are used.
In the BeaverBuilder plug-in we can create templates for:
- templates (a design of a page with rows and modules)
- individual rows (a row with one or more used modules)
- modules (a modules set up with your own settings)
In Beaver Themer we can create theme layouts for:
- archive pages (also for custom post types)
- single post pages (also for custom post types)
- 404 page
- conditional parts
Beaver Themer also (and perhaps this is its most important feature) can work with fields. Fields can come from WordPress custom fields of from the Advanced Custom Field (PRO) plug-in. The plug-in can work on pages, posts and custom post types. Beaver Themer together wirh ACF will ‘convert’ WordPress in a powerful database driven content management system.
What about ACF Template Builder?
I know, I did make an article last november on a very nice development from Didou Schol from the Netherlands. I was one of his beta testers and supplied him with a couple of suggestions which made him decide to commercialize his plug-in. This very light weight plugin is very powerful in ‘just’ making the connection between ACF and the creation of layouts. And it still has a couple of advantages over Beaver Themer for just that part:
- it shows a list of fields in use for the type you want to pick, in the alpha version of Beaver Themer you have to remember the fieldnames yourself
- ACF Template Builder picks up the advanced fields (like repeater fields) for the ACF PRO version
Slowly some shortcodes ‘walk in’
Many people use the Toolkit combination. Types is the free product for creating CPT’s and CF’s. With ACF you need either a small plug-in like Custom Post UI, or manually type in the code for creating the CPT in your childthemes function.php file. The paid Views is the plugin the make templates. The made the connection with Beaver Builder plug-in in such a way that you are forced to buy Toolkit completely, since Views is needed to make the connection work. Toolkit is a great product, but Views looks to me a bit overload for just making that connection. With ACF you don’t need such a workaround. Now with Beaver Themer (or with ACF Template Builder) you can connect any CPT/CF structure to fit into any layout you want for eithetr archive of single pages.
Toolkit noy yet officially tested within Themer but through shortcodes it is expected to work
Other database tools
Looking at THE POST around Beaver Themer, lots of reactions, requests, bugs and other integrations have been posted by many people around the globe. Pods is also a very popular CPT/CF free plug-in and a couple of comments already seem to proof that Pods works fine with Beaver Themer.
With Beaver Themer the development team just outplaced many pagebuilders. The alpha release is impressive already. If they add the PRO fields and list the used field and add the sidebars in the CPT archive and single custom post types views, this will be a great product and will fit perfectly in their portfolio. Prices have not been anounced yet.