A website is the reflection of every owner. Having one simply means you have the freedom to showcase what the website is all about. There are a lot of themes, templates, and plugins to help you create a website. These will help you to get recognized in the market. We are here to introduce a beautiful way to design your website. That is, to create grids on WordPress by using the Essential Grid plugin.
In this review, we are going to review the overview, pros, and cons up to the installation and setup process. If you wanna know how, please continue reading our review.
Essential Grid: Overview
Essential Grid is a plugin developed by Theme Punch, which also produced a number of other plugins for WordPress. Including the incredibly successful Slider Revolution plugin that has become the industry standard slider for many premium WordPress themes available today. Essential Grid aims to be an all-purpose grid building solution for WordPress.
Once this plugin is installed on your site, you can create grids that are inserted into your posts and pages. It is also displayed in the sidebars of your site. Depending on how your site is configured, you can also display these grids on the homepage, making them an attractive way to showcase your content to visitors as they arrive at your site. The type of content that can be displayed in the grids created with this plugin includes posts, pages, products, images, videos, and many more types of WordPress content.
Essential Grid comes with many different layouts and skins for setting the appearance of the grids you create, and there is even a skin editor for even more customization possibilities. The plugin also includes lots of settings for determining which content is displayed in a particular grid and how it is presented.
Take note that you need to pay to use this plugin. You can easily purchase this at CodeCanyon for different price options:
- Regular License – $69 good for 6 mos. Add $24 to extend support up to 12 mos.
- Extended License – $170 good for 6 mos. Add $54.38 to extend support up to 12 mos.
Essential Grid Key Features
- Allows you to add grid layouts to your WordPress posts and pages
- Includes the ability to add grids to the sidebar areas via widget
- Comes with a large selection of layouts for the grid which can be fully customized to suit your preferences.
- Includes over 30 skins for quickly applying new appearance to grids
- Has a visual skin editor to help you customize together with the included skins + create something of your own
- Posts including custom post types
- WooCommerce compatible for products
- Image/Media Galleries
- Post type, category, and tags can be filtered.
- Variable width columns
- Price tables
- Full width
- Full screen
- The plugin is because of the amount of customization and flexibility it gives
- Straightforward and easy to use
- Too expensive for a grid plugin even at the Regular License
- The available documentation is too little
Essential Grid Installation & Setup
With so many features and options for adding a grid to your site, you might be wondering how easy this plugin is to use, and if the wealth of settings are more of a hindrance than a help when working with Essential Grid.
In this part of the review, we will take a look at how you can go about creating a grid and how the many options for customizing it are handled.
Once the plugin is installed, two new menu items are added to your WordPress dashboard entitled Ess. Grids and Ess. Grid. From the first option, you can manage any existing grids on your site, but from the second menu item further down the page, you can create the grids.
From the Ess. Grid control panel, clicking on the ‘Create New Ess. Grid’ button will take you to the grid builder.
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As you can see the interface for creating a grid is very clean and fairly similar to the standard WordPress user interface. The backend of the plugin is all responsive so if you are creating grids on a smaller screen device, you shouldn’t have too many problems.
The workflow for creating a grid is as follows:
- Name the grid
- Select a source for the content
- Set a source for the media
- Define the grid layout
- Add navigation controls to the grid
- Choose how the content will be sorted
- Select a skin for the styling of the grid
- Set the animations and rollover effects
- Add any videos
- Setup the lightbox effect
- Choose a loading spinner
- Save the grid
12 steps might sound like a lot but most of the steps don’t require much input from the user unless you really want to tweak and edit the existing settings. For each step you can also preview your grid as it develops, allowing you to easily see what effect the changes you are making to the settings are having.
The grid preview is displayed on the same page as the options, underneath the settings. This allows you to see the preview without switching windows or tabs, making it very convenient to use. The plugin comes with detailed documentation that covers each and every setting of Essential Grid so you can easily make sense of the different options on offer and start creating personalized responsive grids for your site.
The skin editor included with this plugin is a feature that those who are perhaps designing sites for clients or just want even more control over how their grids are displayed will really appreciate. With the skin editor, you can create a new skin or edit an existing one to give you a base to work from.
The skin editor features a drag and drop interface so you can easily add any of the available elements to your skin. These elements include items such as the buttons to read more, icons for previewing the content, and the text overlays which can be added to any grid content.
For even more control over how your skins look, you can bring up the CSS editor for the skin you are working on and make changes directly to the underlying CSS. This is a great feature to have access to if you really want to create your own grid layouts using this plugin.
These skins and the grids you create can be exported for use on other sites using this plugin or for including them in WordPress themes.
This is a really impressive plugin that anyone who has ever thought about adding grids to their site which can display many different types of content should definitely check out.
The developers of Essential Grid have done a really good job of creating something that is easy enough to use so that a beginner can quickly start using it to add a great looking grid to their site; as well as building something that has enough settings, options, and flexibility on offer to keep developers and power users happy.
If you are happy to use the default settings, you can still create a fairly unique and personalized grid layout for your site. However, if you are willing to explore the settings in more depth and perhaps even use the skin editor, there are really no limits to how personalized your grids can be.
This is an excellent value plugin that does a very good job of doing what it set out to do, which is adding content grids to your site with countless configuration options. The fact that it’s available from a reputable developer means it’s very likely to continue to be improved and upgraded for the foreseeable future. However, we cannot recommend it for starters as it is a bit expensive.
If you want to add grids that contain posts, products, images, or videos, to your site that will work with any theme and most devices, then Essential Grid comes highly recommended.