LayoutPress: A Drag & Drop Starter Theme for WordPress
Lately there have been quite a few new Drag & Drop page editors for WordPress, this is the third one we have looked at since last week! Launched recently, LayoutPress is a brand new starter theme, based on the Underscores theme and Bootstrap which allows you to visually create page layouts using WordPress widgets.
LayoutPress is a WordPress starter theme with an intuitive interface for visually creating page layouts with WordPress widgets, helping to rapidly prototype, design and develop WordPress themes.
As a theme developer myself, this theme intrigued me so I will be taking a look at what it has to offer.
Installation & Usage
Once you have uploaded and activated the theme you will see a new menu item added named “LayoutPress” and you can visit this to start building customized pages.
LayoutPress uses the templates in the WordPress Template Hierarchy so that you can customize one template for similar post types (such as posts, pages, archives, etc.). You can also add more specific templates within the Hierachy or custom templates that can be applied to any post or page.
Visit the “LayoutPress” menu item under “Appearance” and you will see all the theme templates listed and clicking “Edit” on one will allow you to go and begin making changes.
On the Edit screen you can begin laying out your page quite easily by adding columns and rows as required, once you have designed the required columns and rows you can simply drag widgets over as you would on the regular WordPress widget screen. All the default widgets are included by default along with a number of new ones specific for the LayoutPress theme.
The extra widgets are as follows :
- LP Site Title – Automatically displays the Site Title
- LP Site Description – Automatically displays the Site Tagline
- LP Site Menu – Automatically displays the default WordPress site menu with links to all Pages
- LP Loop – Automatically displays the default WordPress loop for displaying content for Posts, Pages, etc.
- LP Image – Upload an image or select an existing image with the WordPress Media Uploader.
- LP Carousel – Displays a Bootstrap Carousel with animating slides, pictures and captions.
- LP Site Generator – A common footer element that displays “Powered by WordPress”.
As you can see, it should be possible to build custom pages quite easily, adding in the Loop, uploaded images etc.
While editing templates, you have the option to “Clone” another template which is a nice touch should you want to build similar layouts. Once you are done editing your template you can hit “Save Layout” and go the front-end to see your template in action.
As expected with any starter or blank theme there is minimal styling – this product is intended to be used by developers as a starting point for creating their own themes with the added bonus of the drag and drop template editing being included.
LayoutPress also makes use of the Theme Customizer and includes extra options for Typography and live CSS editing in addition to Site Title & Tagline, Backgrounds, Navigation and Static Homepage.
As listed on the site, the main features of LayoutPress are as follows :
- Drag and drop page layout editor with no code required.
- Edit templates in the template hierarchy or create custom page templates.
- Use any WordPress or LayoutPress widget.
- Extended site customizer with live CSS editing.
- Lightweight with no bloated extra features.
- Built on Underscores, the Automattic Theme Team starter theme.
- Uses Bootstrap, the most popular front-end framework.
- Automatically responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Rapid theme prototyping, design and development.
Pricing starts at $48 per year for a personal license which is good for updates on one website, The “Plus” tier is $98 a year and is for 3 sites and finally, the “Professional” tier is $148 per year for unlimited sites.
I liked LayoutPress quite a bit – it was easy to use and should be a good tool for theme developers to have in their arsenal. What impressed me was how it felt quite native to WordPress – there is nothing fancy about it, it uses the default UI so feels right at home, it could almost be a part of WordPress core.
This should be easy for your clients to use – if they are used to using widgets they will be able to use this without any problems at all. The trick for you as a developer is building a good theme with this as a base and including styling for widgets etc. It’s also easy to add in custom widgets that might be required for extra functionality, and you will be able to make this part of the drag and drop editing experience.
Check it out if you are a theme developer who wants to include drag and drop functionality for your clients.