It’s a brand new entrant to the WordPress page builder market (though it’s been around longer as a page builder for Joomla).
In my Blox Page Builder review, I’ll go hands-on with this plugin and give you a look at how the interface works. Then, I’ll highlight some of the specific things that I like and dislike about Blox Page Builder.
Blox Page Builder Review: The Feature List
Blox Page Builder is a visual drag and drop page builder. If you’re not familiar with that terminology, it basically means that you can build your design on a live preview of your site using simple drag and drop controls. No code required!
Beyond that core functionality, Blox Page Builder offers:
- 700+ elements to build your designs with (Blox Page Builder calls these addons)
- ~100 premade page templates
- Detailed CSS controls
- Helpful responsive settings
- Global page controls
- Easy live page testing
And a whole lot more!
Seriously, it’s impossible to compress something as deep as a page builder into a simple feature list, so join me as I go hands-on and give you a tour of the Blox Page Builder interface.
Hands-on With Blox Page Builder: Touring The Interface
In this section, I’m just going to show you how the Blox Page Builder interface works at a high level. Then, in the next two sections, I’ll talk about the specific things that I either liked or disliked about Blox Page Builder.
Here’s what the basic Blox Page Builder interface looks like:
- 1 – this hamburger menu expands to give you access to various high-level controls, like importing a page or saving your draft.
- 2 – these let you quickly see how your design will look on different devices.
- 3 – these icons let you manage sections, rows, columns, and addons.
- 4 – this is the live preview of your site. It’s what makes Blox Page Builder “visual”.
Like the Divi Builder plugin, the options to add new elements are color-coded:
- Blue – adds a new section (you can then add rows and columns inside that section).
- Grey – adds a new addon.
If you opt to insert a new addon, it will open up a popup where you can select your desired addon:
You can then control that addon using the sidebar on the left. The styling options that you see in that sidebar depend on the specific addon that you’re using:
You can also similarly access style settings for sections, rows, or columns in this sidebar:
And if you don’t want to build your design from scratch, you can also import one of the ~100 page templates:
There are lots of other smaller features that I can’t touch on, but hopefully that gives you a good high-level look at how Blox Page Builder functions. Now, let’s dig into some specific things that I like and dislike.
5 Things I like About Blox Page Builder
1. A Huge Number Of Widgets (Addons) To Build From (Plus Modular Approach)
I don’t know if you caught it in the screenshot above, but Blox page Builder comes with 749 potential addons for your designs divided into a number of categories (though not all of these are free).
I think this is probably the biggest unique selling proposition for Blox Page Builder.
What’s nice is that these are all modular. That is, you can pick and choose which ones you want to install on your site, which helps prevent the huge library from adding bloat:
The sheer amount of choice that you have here is pretty impressive.
2. Great CSS Controls, Especially For A Free Page Builder
One of the nice things about Blox Page Builder is that it lets you add both CSS classes and actual CSS styles to the sections, rows, columns, or widgets in your designs. Even in the free version.
Here’s what the CSS options look like:
Being able to add CSS classes is pretty common. But not all page builders let you add CSS styles directly to elements. To my knowledge, SiteOrigin Page Builder is the only other one that lets you do it for free. And while Elementor does also offer this feature, it’s only available in Elementor Pro.
3. Good Responsive Controls And Previews
I already showed you the easily accessible responsive previews in the Blox Page Builder interface. But it also comes with controls that make it easy to change the font size on specific devices.
And for settings, you get an option to hide a section on certain devices (because you can add CSS styles directly to all elements, it’s also easy to hide anything else if you know some basic media queries):
4. Global Page Controls
Another thing I liked is Blox Page Builder’s global page settings. Here, you can add CSS for specific devices (or all devices), enable smooth scrolling, set up your grid, and other page-level settings.
The options are pretty detailed and convenient:
5. The Test Design Mode Feature Is Handy
This one isn’t a huge deal because it’s not like the built-in WordPress preview functionality is a huge pain to work with. But I do like how Blox Page Builder has incorporated something called Test Design Mode.
This gives you a quick toggle that lets you interact with your page as an end user would with the click of a button (no new tabs or page reloads required). That is, you can click on buttons in your page, interact with elements, etc:
It’s a small thing, but it’s actually pretty convenient.
3 Things I Didn’t Like About Blox Page Builder
Note – the developer told us they plan to fix all of these issues in the next update. So these might not be an issue in the near future.
1. Awkward To Move Widgets Around
This is probably my biggest pet peeve:
No matter which widget you’re trying to move, you have to hover over it and click on the “four arrow” icon if you want to move it – even images. That means you not only need to find a small icon, you need to wait for the additional options to expand before you can start moving it.
Compare this with something like Elementor where you can:
- Drag some elements just by clicking anywhere on them (e.g. images)
- Drag other elements by hovering over the initial icon (no need to wait for the extra set of options to expand)
- 1 – you have to hover over this
- 2 – then click on this to actually move things
2. No Custom Column Widths
Blox Page Builder doesn’t seem to give you any option to set up custom column widths. You can choose from a variety of prebuilt layouts, but you can’t manually customize the widths:
3. No Way To Save Individual Sections/Addons
Blox lets you import, export, or duplicate entire pages. But right now, there’s no way to save individual sections, rows, or addons to reuse later.
You can duplicate things within the same design. You just can’t save them to a template library to reuse in a different design.
How Much Does Blox Page Builder Cost?
The core Blox Page Builder is 100% free at WordPress.org.
For a free page builder, it’s pretty generous with the features that it offers.
For access to all of the addons, templates, and other extra features, you can purchase the premium add-on for just $25 at CodeCanyon, which is definitely affordable for a page builder.
Final Thoughts On Blox Page Builder
Launching a new page builder in 2018 is a steep hill to climb. Not only do you have Gutenberg on the horizon, you also have tough entrenched competition in Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, Visual Composer Website Builder, and more.
In the end, Blox Page Builder has some pros like the deep addon library, easy CSS controls, and the nice test design mode, so it’s worth testing out. But right now, I’m not sure that you’ll feel compelled to switch if you’re already happily using another page builder.
Blox Page Builder is brand new, though, so it will be interesting to see how it grows over the upcoming months.
Like I said, the core version is pretty generous with its functionality, so give it a try and see what you think – you’re not risking anything. You can also see it in action at the Blox Page Builder YouTube channel.