After two years in development, I am super happy to announce that the first version of Bricks, a new visual website builder for WordPress, is now online.
Yes, there are plenty of WordPress site builders available. They do a good job letting you create your site visually to some extent, and without any coding. But that’s where it ends. When the layout is really just the visual foundation of your website.
There is no complete website building solution for WordPress that handles all major aspects of building and running unique, well designed and performant websites. So I built one myself.
Bricks’ mission is to help you save money, time and headaches building and running your WordPress sites. Let’s dive right into the details.
Stop The Plugin Madness
I don’t know about you, but I am fed up researching, installing, getting familiar and paying for a different plugin for every teeny, tiny bit of extra functionality.
Before you know it, your site slows down, things break, plugins are no longer maintained or supported. Not to mention the security risks you expose your site to by running outdated, abandoned or simply poorly coded plugins.
Bricks is a theme for a reason. This entire website is built with nothing, but the Bricks theme. No plugins. Performance and SEO are built-in features, that you can tweak right within the builder.
A lot of builders claim to have great performance, yet I couldn’t find one builder that outperforms Bricks’ metrics:
- Speed test rating: 98/100 (Pingdom, Nov 4th, 2019)
- Total file requests: 5
- Page size: 159.3KB
- Load time: 178ms
Those numbers were measured on a $10/mo hosting plan without caching.
Bricks lazy loads all images and videos out of the box. Meaning those assets are only loaded when they are required by the user as he/she scrolls down the page. This greatly reduces your load time.
Why Speed Matters
A slow loading site hurts your brand, revenue and user engagement: But don’t take my word for it. Akamai concluded in their performance study from 2017:
- A 0.1s delay in load time can hurt conversion rates by 7%
- A 2s delay in load time increase bounce rates by 103%
- 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than 3s to load
High bounce rates negatively affect your rankings. And Google uses load times as a ranking signal since 2010.
I could go on and on, but I think you got the idea. Performance is crucial. And Bricks passes with the highest marks.
Design Your Entire Site Visually In Real-Time
Bricks lets you design every aspect of your site from header to footer, search results, archive pages, 404 pages, blog and custom post type layouts.
There are too many design features to explore all of them in detail. But let me give you a brief overview:
- Mobile editing for pixel-perfect mobile layouts
- Adjust the default styling of every aspect and element to your needs with your own presets
- Full control over where to show which template or preset by setting conditions
- CSS filters like blur, brightness, contrast, hue, invert, opacity, saturation, and sepia to tweak your images right within the builder
- Apply unlimited gradients to text, background, and overlays
- Shape divider: Mix and match horizontal & vertical shapes to break up your content in engaging units
- Web-safe and 800+ Google fonts
- Multiple icon fonts (2000+ icons in total)
- SVG support
- One page websites
- Custom dimensions
- Full-width and boxed site layouts
- Fully customizable hover styles and animations
- Custom color palette (save your own colors)
- Parallax background effect
Commercially Free Photos At Your Fingertips
Finding authentic, high-quality photos for your website, that you can use commercially without any attribution used to be a nightmare. And quite expensive if you relied on stock photography.
Bricks integrates with Unsplash. So you can browse their library of more than 1.300.000 authentic, high-quality commercially free photos and insert any photo right from the builder.
Build Sites Faster Than Ever
As much fun as it is to create sites with Bricks I wanted to make sure that you can create highly customizable sites as fast as possible. Let’s check out some of the builder features:
- Do everything right in the builder (browse and download images, create and switch editing between posts, pages, and templates
- Edit your site like a document via click and type
- Resize columns via drag and drop
- Custom right-click menu to clone, delete, and copy styles of any content block (even between different browser tabs)
- Restore any previously saved version with revisions
- Quick nav to easily switch editing between element, column, row, and section
- Unlimited sidebars (no plugin needed)
- Custom CSS for every element, column, row, and section (CSS filters, ID, classes, and transitions)
- Global elements (change one instance automatically updates every other element instance throughout your site)
- Undo every change with a single click
- Hover styles
- Reset styles
- Custom color palette (add common/brand colors for quick reuse)
- Little gems like customizable save messages
So Much More Customizable
To create truly unique sites you need a tool that allows you to change more than just the basics.
That is why Bricks comes with more than 50 extremely customizable elements. Each has a large variety of specific settings tailored just to this element.
The nav menu element opens on mobile in an overlay or off-canvas layout. Both layouts are highly customizable.
Forms can be used to send emails, newsletter signups, user login & register, or any custom event of your choice.
There are list, grid, masonry and metro layouts for your posts and images.
If you are a developer you can extend Bricks event further via various standard WordPress and Bricks-specific actions and filters.
Add your own endpoints to the Bricks API, and create your own elements using the child theme.
Make sure to check out at the official Bricks developer documentation to get an idea of what’s possible.
Ever Growing Template Library
There are currently around 70 pre-made templates, which you can access and insert right in the builder with a single click, and start editing your site from there.
Templates range from headers, footers, individual sections to entire multi-page template bundles. I am constantly adding new templates.
Choose to insert a template after a specific section or to replace your existing content. Templates can be imported with or without images.
The smart image import detects if you have previously imported the same image and won’t download it again, to avoid image duplicates in your media library.
Any Bricks-created content (or individual section) can be saved as a template, and imported/exported with one click.
Another unique Bricks feature is the option to browse and insert your templates between your Bricks installations. No import/export required.
Try Bricks For Free
While Bricks is in beta you can register and download Bricks for free. I’ve set up a referral program as well. You’ll get a $10 discount for every beta user that you refer.