Robby McCullough from Beaver Builder joined us on December 20th to give a demo of his product and answer questions from skeptics and enthusiasts alike.
Meetup members wanted to know how Beaver Builder ($99 for personal license) differs from Visual Composer ($34 for single-site license), apart from the fact that you can use Beaver Builder on unlimited sites. Robby said that people who had used both had told him the Beaver Builder interface was nicer and easier to grasp, but that the biggest thing is that if you deactivate or uninstall the plugin, your page is not left full of meaningless shortcodes.
Instead, Beaver Builder converts your content into HTML within the WordPress editor, removing all divs and layout information but retaining heading tags, italics, lists, and media.
There was some discussion about whether it might be possible to export specific layouts for use in building themes, without requiring the plugin. (ACF does something like this.)
As there are several Genesis fans in the group, people wanted to know about using Beaver Builder with Genesis. Lots of people in fact do this, and some also use Beaver Builder with the Dynamik website builder for Genesis. (Beaver builder aims to modify the content within a post or a page, rather than your theme as a whole, which is what Dynamik tweaks.) There is a free plugin called Genesis Dambuster to make integration easier.
You will, however, have to use the Beaver Builder theme in order to take advantage of the pre-made templates.
Sallie found she was able to create a simple landing page for a client based on one of said pre-made templates after the 5-minute tour, though she needed help with turning off the sticky header. Fortunately there’s a helpful Beaver Builder community on Slack to answer questions like that.
Chris Burbridge is actually teaching classes on using Beaver Builder, for anyone interested.
Thanks to A2 Hosting for the pizza, Pagely for the hosting, and O’Reilly for their partner discounts.