Because no page layout tool, no matter how good, turns you into a designer, Pieter Hartsook invited Stacy Lehrer of Studio 571 to open his presentation on using Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer with the Genesis Theme Framework. Stacy explained her process for working with Pieter on the redesign of his WordPress consultancy website:
- User Experience (UX), including user interviews, creating personas, developing a sitemap, and userflows
- Taking a Content Inventory of the existing site
- Producing Low-fidelity Wireframes
- Integrating Beaver Builder by exploring available modules (including those from third parties)
- Producing High-fidelity Wireframes
Pieter himself focused on the way he’s using Beaver Builder for his own site, and also why he uses Beaver Builder for the sites he builds for his clients, most of whom are small businesses with small budgets. He chose Beaver Builder as the best-in-class page builder, and Genesis as the best-in-class framework. Although the Beaver Builder team does produce its own theme, the company is focused on creating plugins, whereas StudioPress, the makers of Genesis, is focused on creating themes.
A base theme for a page builder should be as simple as possible–you don’t want a lot of styling to get in your way. So Pieter prefers to use the most basic of the Genesis child themes, Genesis Sample, which is included when you buy the Genesis Framework itself ($59.95 at the time of writing).
The presentation includes a huge list of additional plugins to supercharge the Beaver Builder + Genesis Framework combination, with the most important ones (like Genesis Dambuster, Genesis Super Customizer, PowerPack for Beaver Builder, and Ultimate Addon for Beaver Builder) highlighted.
Pieter also demonstrated the use of Beaver Themer, which allows you to create elements like headers, footers, and archive pages in addition to templates for regular WordPress pages, and gave us a preview of the upcoming Beaver Builder 2.0 release.
Pieter’s clients love using Beaver Builder. It is possible to enable only certain modules for clients, to prevent them from using it to turn the site you build them into GeoCities.
It’s clear that Beaver Builder has come a long way since they sponsored our December 2015 meetup, and meetup members were very favorably impressed.