When I first came across Beaver Builder, my thoughts immediately jumped to its pun-worthiness (namely, “Dam, that’s a good WordPress builder.”) Puns aside, Beaver Builder is one of those popular WordPress page builders. However, when stacked up against alternatives like Elementor and OptimizePress, does this beaver-themed WordPress tool stack up?
To find out more, we ran a test drive on Beaver Builder to see how it works. So, if you are considering this for your website, check out our review before you put your money into it.
What is Beaver Builder?
Beaver Builder is a WordPress plugin page builder owned by Fastline Media. It’s headed by Billy Young and Justin Busa, both co-founders and partners, and partner (but not founder) Robby McCullough, who arrived three years after the groundwork of this company. The official founding date of Fastline Media (and Beaver Builder) was 2014.
Fastline Media is much smaller than many of the companies we feature, having anywhere between two to ten employees based on LinkedIn data. So, their growth hasn’t been quite as exponential as HubSpot or Sendinblue. But it seems the company is doing well enough, as Beaver Builder is supported on over one million WP sites.
The relatively small team seems pretty talented, as their site is well-designed. Their experience as web designers shows through their site. The team once provided design, maintenance, or web development projects before focusing all efforts on their beaver-themed flagship project.
The design experience does paint them in a good light for fellow web creatives. However, if you know anything about artists, they tend to develop quirks of design and editing that your average business owner might find less approachable. So, does Beaver Builder’s design preference hurt this visual builder? You’ll have to read the review to find out.
Who is Beaver Builder best for?
Based on our findings, Beaver Builder’s set of tools is best for solopreneurs to small-sized businesses that own existing WordPress websites. Using this tool saves you a good amount of money compared to other mainstream funnel-building tools like DropFunnels or ClickFunnels.
This brings us to a good alternative for Beaver Builder: OptimizePress. So, throughout this review, you’ll likely see more than a few comparisons between the two platforms.
You’ll also see comparisons between this and other well-known systems like Elementor or Divi Builder.
Beaver Builder has some noticeable differences that make it less suitable for businesses looking for more. You’ll find out more in our review.
Beaver Builder Pros and Cons
|30-Day Money Back Guarantee||Only for WordPress|
|Very Affordable||No Advanced Features (Email Marketing, Automation, Etc.)|
|Test Features Before Buying||Annual Plans Only|
|Plenty of Tutorials||No Free Trial|
|Ready Made Designs||Special Page Templates Cost Extra|
|Simple Drag and Drop Editor||WordPress Theme Compatibility Issues|
|Email Marketing and CRM Integrations||Customer Support Concerns Due to Lack of Staff|
|Incredibly Fast Builder (Even With Weaker Servers)||No Built-in Email Features|
|Less Powerful Than WP Builder Alternatives|
|Beaver Builder Theme Is Not Dynamic|
|Themer Is Not Worth the Price|
Beaver Builder Pricing and Plans
Because Beaver Builder’s system is part of WordPress, it’s much cheaper than the average page builder. Of course, its focus on being a page-building software means it also lacks some advanced features.
Below, we will review the four plans they have to offer:
The Standard Plan
The Standard Plan is easily the cheapest option, costing you a measly $99 per year. This averages to less than $10 per month, smashing the cost of non-WordPress page builders. The only drawback is that there’s no monthly option for those who prefer this.
Here are the features you get with this entry-level plan:
- Unlimited sites
- Access to the plugin
- Access to modules and templates
- Editing for one site
Of course, those who manage more than one site will likely find more use for the next-level plan.
The Pro Plan
The Pro Plan is also pretty cost-effective, costing $199 annually. As you might expect, it comes with everything from the Standard Plan and these additional features:
- Multisite capable
- Access to the Beaver Builder Theme for changing your entire website
The Pro Plan’s two main advantages come back to its multisite management. Those who own more than one website will want to purchase this level.
This level raises some confusion with the standard plan, which supports unlimited sites, but somehow isn’t multisite capable. Ultimately, what they mean by “sites” is pages, which will confuse most of your customers.
The Agency Plan
The Agency Plan is ideal for (you guessed it) marketing agencies. This plan costs $399 per year, which makes it a bit less cost-effective than most other plans on this list.
However, you do get the benefit of being able to white-label anything you make on Beaver Builder’s system, meaning it includes your unique branding. Its cost-benefit is somewhat questionable since you are paying for changed branding.
The Ultimate Plan
The Ultimate Plan takes the Agency Plan’s white-label bonus and adds a few more features. The extra features cost $546 per year but are ideal for marketing agencies who build entire websites.
The reason it’s ideal for building whole websites is because it supports custom pages. For example, custom 404s, layout archives, post templates, search pages, and website parts (like headers and footers). Up to this point, paying for the regular plans allows you to use pre-built templates, which is somewhat frustrating.
The Ultimate Plan also comes with Assistant Pro, which lets you export, import, and save page templates and other digital assets. You only get six months, meaning you’ll have to pay $5 per month for the remaining six months to keep it. If you decide to move between page builders (but want to keep your design), you can pay for this tool to help. However, the extra cost seems needless and inconvenient for long-term users.
The Beaver Themer Addon (page builder plugin)
The Beaver Themer addon is included with the Ultimate Plan but is sold separately for those who want the website customization (without paying for agency features). By itself, the extra add-on costs $147 per year and is lumped into your standard plan.
Separating this plan means you don’t have to pay for features you don’t need. However, combined with other elements, this generally makes it more expensive than alternative options, like OptimizePress or Elementor.
You’ll also note there’s no free trial, which comes from it being a WordPress-based tool. It is common for these WP tools to request payment before use. The good news is you have 30 days to test those features before taking advantage of that money-back guarantee.
What happened to Beaver Builder Lite? (The free version)
Despite not being advertised on the website, Beaver Builder has a free version. However, the company doesn’t like to draw attention to it on its site, and you must do some digging to find out if it exists.
You get the editing interface you can expect from the standard version, but you lose many modules and advanced editing tools. Below is an excerpt list of free features you can find on Beaver Builder’s knowledge base:
The free version can be as powerful as the paid version but has less built-in customization. You’ll need to rely on custom HTML to fill in the lack of options.
Ultimately, the premium version of Beaver Builder can save you time, while the free version will save you money.
Does Beaver Builder have a free trial?
Because of the nature of WordPress plugins, Beaver Builder does not have a free trial. This isn’t uncommon for WP plugins, as OptimizePress has the same policy.
However, you can try the building software under the demo tab on Beaver Builder’s website. It’s a cool solution to offering a free trial without giving up everything. So be sure to test out Beaver Builder before downloading it to your site.
So that you know, it likely won’t look the same on your site because each WP theme is different. So, in using the system, there will be some differences depending on the width and height settings of various site elements.
Installing Beaver Builder on your WordPress website (Step-By-Step)
After clicking the “get started” button on Beaver Builder, you’ll be brought to a simple sign-up screen. From there, you’ll enter some basic information and have to pay the upfront costs. In our case, we are starting with the standard plan.
After paying, you’ll be brought to your invoice screen. Scrolling down a bit, you’ll find a “Beaver Builder plugin” button. Click it to download your files.
Once you download the file, go to your WP site and click “add new” under the left-hand “plugins.” link. Next, you’ll want to click “upload plugin” on the top of the screen.
Once you click it, the next screen will allow you to choose your file. This is where you select the plugin you just downloaded. Clicking “Install now” will start the process.
You’ll want to wait a few minutes for an “activate plugin” button to appear. Click it to move on to the next phase.
Once you activate the builder, you’ll be brought to a welcome page.
The installation process is identical to OptimizePress. The difference is that OptimizePress has more things to install, meaning it’s a bit more time-consuming. The beaver keeps things simple, leaving you with one item (and admittedly fewer features).
Beaver Builder’s first required step is to activate your license key. You’ll see a text box pop up by clicking “license” under the welcome screen. From there, you’ll click the link to your key, and it will open up your license page, which you can copy and paste into the text box.
Once you get through these steps, you can start using the system. We recommend following the tutorial, so go back to the welcome page and click the “pages -> add new” button.
Adding your first page
Before anything, Beaver Builder offers you a built-in tour to familiarize yourself with the platform. It’s relatively simple and tells you where to find everything, so take the time to use it.
The page builder is unique in that it appears on your current page theme (rather than its separate environment). For more consistency, you can also install the included theme, which requires an extra $100 per year, which isn’t worth it to those who want to edit one website.
Instead, we recommend browsing a free WP theme if you have a limited budget. There’s no reason to pay for theme rental if you can find something else.
Navigating the page-building tool
Unlike other page-building software, most things are found on the top. There’s no persistent dashboard, but you can click one of the elements up top to have things dragged down.
The upper-left corner has a picture of their mascot (just in case you forgot the builder you are using) and a drop-down menu with general settings.
Responsive editing, the only thing not obvious, lets you view edits between desktop, tablet, and mobile views. Because these edits are done within a WP editor, the change you make here will only be partially accurate everywhere. WP is notorious for only being “somewhat accurate” with its page editor (depending on the browser).
On the left of this drop-down menu is access to the latest news and updates. The little bell notifies you when you have unread updates, which is good if you want to stay up-to-date with major changes.
Adding modules, templates, and page elements
The upper-right corner is where you’ll spend most of your time when adding new page elements, templates, and combinations of rows and columns.
Here’s a breakdown of what each tab represents:
- Modules – This lets you add individual page items (buttons, custom HTML, text, video) as part of your content blocks. You can also save templates here and add WordPress widgets.
- Rows – Allows you to add a new row broken down into different columns (one to five, right sidebar, left sidebar, etc.).
- Templates – Includes various pre-designed combinations of content modules. Ideal for those who do not want to start from scratch.
- Saved – Has saved digital assets from the other modules and templates.
Selecting from your different webpage templates
Typically, you’ll want to start by digging through the different page templates, which are broken down into landing pages, content pages, and micro pages (minimalist displays are usually for mobile phones).
You’ll find that there is a below-average number of templates when looking at most other builders. Instead, you’ll need to use Beaver Builder’s customization tools to make your page unique, or it won’t take much effort to identify you as one of Beaver Builder’s users.
I also learned quickly that you need to worry about theme compatibility. Beaver Builder might not work with some WP themes, which you don’t need to worry about with most other page builders. I had to change my theme to make it work. Below is the new theme with one of the home page templates.
Adding page modules and rows
If you prefer more customization, you can choose instead to add rows, columns, and individual modules.
Starting with the rows tab, you can choose between one and six columns or build your site using a sidebar. This is similar to how Clickfunnels does it. So, Beaver Builder doesn’t use a freeform editor, meaning all your website contents are built around these column and row constraints.
Alternatively, you can choose to build website content based on prebuilt rows. You can consider these smaller forms of your templates, affecting one area instead of giving you customization for your entire site. Prebuilt row examples include FAQs, testimonials, lead generation, and pricing tables.
You can choose to have a series of blank columns and rows for deeper customization. Within those rows, you can place individual website modules. These modules are broken down into the following sections:
- Basic – Allows you to insert photos, audio elements, videos, and various text elements.
- Media – A content slider for multiple images, icons, map data (for a physical business), and testimonials.
- Actions – A section built around lead generation activities like a callout, call to action, subscribe form, or login form.
- Layout – A section built for a small number of content formats: accordions, sidebars, tabs, and pricing tables.
- Info – Contains a countdown timer and a website visitor counter (number counter)
- Posts – Contains information from your blogs, such as a post carousel or slider.
Additional modules from the drop-down menu include one for your WP widgets and one for your saved modules. With this combination, you can create dynamic content very quickly.
Editing the details of your new page
Once you have some general elements down, you can start to edit your page details. This can be done by hovering your mouse over the element, clicking it, and selecting one of five options in the upper-left corner of the element.
Here is what you can do:
- The four arrows icon lets you reposition the page elements among your current rows and columns.
- The wrench icon lets you adjust some settings of your modules, columns, or rows.
- The two papers icon lets you duplicate everything in the module
- The three-line icon lets you modify the row or column width
- The X icon lets you remove the element
The wrench icon is likely where you will do most of your editing. You’ll find most of your style editing with the wrench icon affecting buttons, styles, padding, and text sizes.
If you want to change action elements, like buttons, you can find this under the “general” tab. This brings up a new window in the editor that displays what the button does.
The small popups windows are movable, allowing you to adjust your view depending on the interface.
For many of these modules, you’ll need to integrate them with a third-party service. For example, the email subscription module will send customer data to a third-party email automation service. These include services like Mailchimp, Sendy, Sendinblue, and a wide range of options.
The more interesting module you won’t see everywhere is a login option, which lets you build members-only content for your site. To use this function, you’ll need to use a third-party tool, like MemberPress, to set up your membership-only pages.
Is the Beaver Builder page developer worth your money?
When looking at the page builder, it has a lot of similarities to other website builders. However, what makes it different is is closer to sales funnel-building software. So, those more familiar with this kind of software will find a lot of value there.
It has a healthy number of modules and pre-built templates, although most of these are found under the rows and columns section, which is a bit unusual. However, it has a limited selection of themes for your entire site, as those appeal to users that prefer to grab a funnel template and only edit the copy.
Where it wins is its overall focus on basic drag-and-drop functionality. It’s more powerful than the default WP but not so overwhelming that you need to be a technical expert to use it. Given you can use it to build an entire site, that’s saying a lot about its ease of use.
This means that there are more powerful tools out there. DropFunnels is better, given its focus on freeform positioning. Clickfunnels is better because it offers more customization options. However, the beaver trumps everything in the event you have a WordPress website and want to save money.
How does the page builder compare to WordPress alternatives?
Beaver Builder vs. OptimizePress
When you compare this to OptimizePress, Beaver Builder has a lot of catching up to do. OptimizePress has more tools geared toward specific lead-generation activities (such as funnel pages) for customers who seek marketing funnels. The bear isn’t geared toward creating a higher conversion rate.
Why you might prefer Beaver Builder comes back to its server load. OptimizePress is generally slower because it has higher requirements. Meanwhile, Beaver Builder’s software is faster and simpler, which is ideal if you pay for a shared server.
Beaver Builder vs. Divi Builder
Divi Builder is considered one of the go-to options for building WP pages. It offers massive customization options and an elegant way to make complete WordPress themes. There’s also a more extensive template library for those who use Divi Builder.
Once again, the beaver generally wins because it is lightweight and cheaper. Divi tends to load slower and create a higher load. Both systems offer free versions if you want to compare.
Beaver Builder vs. Elementor Pro
Elementor is easily the most popular WordPress site builder on the market. It supports over five million websites, five times larger than Beaver Builder’s audience. As a result, its template selection and customization options are far more powerful.
Elementor even has something that this beaver-themed WordPress plugin desperately needs: a popup builder. These have become commonplace among site builders. So, maybe take the time to shoot them a message on Twitter about this requested update.
Otherwise, Beaver Builder has the same advantage here: being faster. It’s also generally simpler to use, as its focus on a less complex interface means less work understanding it.
Navigating the WordPress-side functions of Beaver Builder
After you familiarize yourself with the building tool, you should go ahead and return to the WordPress admin screen. From here, you’ll be able to adjust the program’s settings and sort through different saved pages, rows, and templates.
The settings menu
Beaver Builder’s settings are alongside the settings of other programs. This area is technically where you started, as clicking it will reveal the welcome page again. Below the license page, you’ll find these additional areas:
- Modules – This section controls what modules appear when using the program. You can uncheck it here if you don’t like seeing a module on the list and want to save your screen space.
- Post Types – This section lets you control what pages you would like the building software to work with. You can choose between blog posts, pages, and my library pages.
- Templates – This section lets you control what templates will appear.
- User Access – This allows you to control the level of access to the builder software and the admin menu. It’s sorted by current WP levels (Administrator, Contributor, Author, etc.)
- Icons – This lets you control what icons appear on the editing tool and upload custom icons.
- Tools – This section has various settings for tools like cache cleaning, debut mode, prerelease updates, sending usage data, and uninstalling your plugin.
- Advanced. This section lets you control advanced settings for the builder user interface, the WP admin page, the assets that appear, and the frontend appearance of CSS scripts.
- Import/Export – Allows you to import, export, and reset all of your settings.
The beaver builder admin pages
Moving higher on the left-hand navigation bar reveals various saved templates, categories, and the ability to create new building page elements. The first four sections are categorization tools.
The saved templates, rows, columns, and modules all bring up your general WP page management page. When you click “add new,” it creates a new page for you to make these saved rows, columns, or templates. So, clicking on any of them will lead you to the same editor.
Clicking on any of the pages will bring up your standard WP admin pages. This lets you edit various SEO settings. Within these pages, you click the “launch Beaver Builder” button to bring you back to the building software.
Below that is the categories tab, which allows you to sort the pages you develop under your saved section into further areas. You can easily pull these sections up with further sorting data. For example, if you wanted to put all your lead generation tools under a category, you might create a category for that.
Below the categories tab is the “add new” button, another way to add a new page.
Beaver Builder has an unusual habit of repeating itself in many ways throughout this tool. You could have put the settings under here and eliminated most of these sections. The redundancy makes it easy to sort through these pages, but it feels like a poor design choice.
Customizing the Beaver Builder Theme
For those who want the “more” premium version of Beaver Builder, the $200 pro level comes with the addition of a theme. This, alongside multisite support, makes the pro version a bit beefier. You can also test the theme editor before moving it to your website.
The theme editor starts by asking you to select preset theme elements, which give you a few design options based on color combinations.
The default theme is straightforward. The demo doesn’t do it much justice, as most other WordPress themes show you how a theme can look with various designs. Beaver Builder could do with a second look at this theme choice.
Beaver Builder also doesn’t add any unique editing elements to themes within this software. Everything is what you get with WP basic, meaning we won’t get into the same deep explanation as we’ve had before. You know what to expect if you’ve customized a typical WP theme.
OptimizePress scores big by comparison, offering an incredibly professional-looking theme you can easily integrate. When testing the theme, I was almost sad to see it go. But I don’t have that same feeling here.
Using the Beaver Themer and more website customization options
The pages list you see above is an element of the Beaver Themer. The Themer works as a way to replace some of your default page layouts. You can find it above your saved templates on the standard WP admin menu.
The layouts you get include the following pages:
- 404 Page
- Post Archives (old pages not in use anymore)
This is useful when you want a unique design in non-standard areas. For example, a custom 404 page can improve your technical SEO, giving you better results. The other page types they support don’t get any benefits beyond being able to take advantage of the builder.
The footers and headers are the most useful of this bunch, providing you with a way to customize all areas of your page. Before this point, you would have to rely on WP’s default footers and headers, which aren’t as dynamic. You also get a few new templates for these pages.
The one frustrating thing is that the Themer isn’t worth its cost. Having to pay nearly an extra $150 bucks for a glorified footer and header editor isn’t worth it. You can also use the other custom page elements for free with some WP themes.
Using the Assistant Pro
Beaver Builder lets you take a demo look at their other optional tool: The Assistant Pro. As you recall, this one is more reasonably priced at an extra $5 per month. Those who pay for the ultimate version get it free for the first six months.
The Assistant Pro is ideal for two reasons:
First, it is an overall content storage manager. This means you can save and use your digital assets using this tool. When you manage the same digital assets to be used across multiple sites, this can be handy. You can also save website templates to be used across various websites.
It also works as a tool for coordination. For example, if you are building websites for clients, you can send an invite to your clients with this tool to get them to leave direct comments. Beyond client sites, you can also use the tool to communicate with team members.
You wouldn’t call it a total replacement for Slack, but it is an excellent tool to have in your back pocket. In cases where you want to reuse a proven design template, it’s handy.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Yes, Beaver Builder is a highly regarded drag-and-drop website builder that is known for its user-friendliness, flexibility, and customization options. It offers a wide range of features and tools that allow users to create custom web pages and content without any coding or web design experience. Overall, it’s a great option for individuals and businesses looking to create professional-looking websites with ease.
Both Beaver Builder and Elementor are highly regarded drag-and-drop website builders, and the choice between the two will depend on personal preference and specific website needs. Some users prefer Beaver Builder for its intuitive interface, customization options, and codeless editing. Others prefer Elementor for its wider range of features, design options, and compatibility with other tools. Ultimately, it’s recommended to try both and see which one works best for you.
Yes, Beaver Builder is designed to work with WordPress and can be easily integrated into an existing WordPress site.
Is Beaver Builder the ultimate WordPress page builder?
After looking at everything this tool offers, I can confidently say that it isn’t bad. However, the small team shows through when you look at some elements of this building software. So, Beaver Builder is less likely to be a long-term solution in its current form.
As a general page builder for small businesses and solopreneurs with a small budget, it’s a real gem. The number of modules you get for making a unique website is great. With a few more complete website templates, it might appeal more to those who like to do almost no editing to their site.
What makes it generally weak is the unusual segmentation of tools and design of the admin pages. The WP dashboard is the same set of pages four times in a road. Also, the Themer feels way overpriced for what you get.
Also, ultimate customers should get the Assistant Pro for the entire year. It doesn’t feel really “ultimate” if you’ve got to stop to pay $30 halfway through your subscription.
The WordPress theme could also use a total overhaul.
Ultimately, Beaver Builder feels a bit like the Walmart of the page builder industry. You can get everything there, and it’s all pretty convenient, but it requires a bit of work to get everything you want out of it. Ultimately, the team is young and small, so let’s hope for the best for their future.