We’ve been working on version 2 for months and planning it since last year. I’m glad to be able to give you a sneak peek at the next generation of Page Builder. This update is far more than a small iterative update. It’s a complete rewrite and redesign of almost every key component. We’re hoping to release this as a free update early next month.
We’ve made lots of changes, but here are the few we think are really going to make you smile. Sign up to the Page Builder development newsletter if you’d like to follow this release.
A New Clean Design
We completely redesigned the Page Builder interface to make it look more at home in the modern WordPress admin. With retina icons and a flatter feel, Page Builder now looks like a plugin that would come standard with WordPress.
We simplified the design to show you only what’s essential. The reduced clutter brings a content-creation experience that’s clear and focused.
Performance and Reliability Enhancements
To execute on the vision we have for Page Builder 2.0 and beyond, we needed to rewrite the entire front-end interface. Thousands of lines of code later, the new version of Page Builder 2 is more developer-friendly than ever before.
Page Builder 2 is a full Backbone application. We’re working on new ways to allow plugin developers to tap into the builder application. A thriving developer ecosystem will nurture the longevity of Page Builder.
The Live Editor tool works in conjunction with the standard Page Builder interface to give you a live view of your content as you make changes. It’s a revolutionary way to build your content.
While in the Live Editor, you can click on a widget to bring up its edit dialogue. When you’re done editing, the preview window automatically refreshes.
Worry-Free Editing with the History Browser
Worry-free editing means having the freedom to experiment with layouts safely. The first thing we did was fix any past issues and conflicts that had caused content damage.
However, the biggest leap we made in version 2 is the history browser. This tool gives you the freedom to make changes, and if you’re not happy, view and undo those changes. You can go back to any point since your last save.
Sub-Layouts with Widget Inception
Page Builder 2 comes bundled with the Layout widget. It’s an entire Page Builder interface, within a widget. This widget gives you a way to create sub-layouts with entire row and column structures. It’s one of our more powerful features that allows you to create sophisticated column layouts.
Professional Column Layouts
For most layouts, the old row-adding dialog was adequate. Enter the number of cells you want, and you’re good to go.
With Page Builder 2, we’re introducing the row editor with automatic ratios like golden, even, thirds, and more. It takes the guesswork out of creating visually appealing layouts. We’ve also made it possible to set row widths by entering values — just in case you have a specific layout in mind.
Row Editing – Add/Remove Cells
Along with the new row editor, we’re giving you the ability to edit the number of cells in an existing row. This feature is a huge time-saver, and when you use it in conjunction with the History Browser, you can quickly prototype layouts with different column counts.
Widget and Layout Grouping
Up until now, we used search to make it easier for you to find the widget you want. In version 2, we’re introducing widget groups. These keep similar widgets grouped together, making browsing a lot easier.
We’ve given a similar treatment to inserting prebuilt layouts. Page Builder groups these into prebuilt layouts defined by your theme and clones of existing layouts.
Our aim was to add row duplication, but we didn’t want to clutter the interface or hack the code. The Page Builder 2 rewrite made the adding of row duplication easy. We kept the row duplicate button tucked away in the row edit dialog so that it’s easy to find when you need it, but it won’t get in the way.
Row and Widget Styling
We’re still working on this, so we don’t have anything to show at the present time. However, Page Builder now gives you full row and widget styling, enabling you to add custom classes and some default settings, like spacing and borders for rows and widgets.
Lots of Work to Do
We have a lot of work to do before the 2.0 release. Refining these new features, fixing bugs, and improving the overall experience of Page Builder will take some time. We want to make sure the 2.0 release is revolutionary.
If you’d like to come along for the last stage of the journey, we’ve set up a Page Builder development newsletter. We’re going to send to this list regularly, so only sign up if you’re interested in keeping track of what’s going on and giving your feedback on its development. Your early feedback will help make Page Builder the most powerful content creation plugin available.