As WordPress has continued to grow in popularity, developers have constantly enhanced the options available to users through advanced themes and plugins. While WordPress is popular with designers and developers who are comfortable creating custom themes, it’s also a popular option for website owners and bloggers who want to be able to manage their own sites without needing any coding skills or experience.
There are currently a number of products available that make it possible for WordPress users to have control over the layouts and designs of their site without the need to be able to code custom themes, or to hire a designer to create one. In this post we’ll take a look at some of the leading options.
Divi is the most popular and most powerful theme available to Elegant Themes members. The Divi Builder gives you the power to create countless different layouts without touching any code. It comes with 18 pre-made layouts, or you can create your own or customize one of the pre-made layouts to suit your needs. All of the blocks that you’ll use to create your layouts are responsive, so your site will look great on any device. In addition to the drag-and-drop layout builder, Divi also includes a powerful theme options panel and full control over the colors of your site. Membership to Elegant Themes starts at $39 per year.
X is a popular theme available for $60 at ThemeForest. X includes three Stacks, which are essentially different designs. With several Stacks to choose from it’s like getting a few themes for the price of one. Each Stack is then endlessly customizable with a live preview that allows you to see changes on the fly. With X you’ll have options for different layouts, navigation menu configurations, and custom page layouts. X is responsive and retina ready. It also gives you 600+ fonts to choose from, unlimited backgrounds, and plenty of styling options. With all of the layout and styling options, you can create the site that you want with no coding required. On top of that, X is WooCommerce ready and also includes support for post formats and portfolio pages.
While Elegant Themes primarily focuses on creating great themes, they also have a plugin that can be pretty useful. With the plugin you can create advanced page layouts without touching any code. You can create columns, sliders, tabs, buttons, toggles, and boxes, and you can resize the elements as well.
To get an idea of what the plugin can do and how it works, check out the video at Elegant Themes. The Drag and Drop Builder Plugin is available to Elegant Themes members with a Developer account. The cost is $89 per year, which gives you access to all of their themes (currently 87 themes) in addition to the this plugin.
Ultimatum is a WordPress theme that was created to make it easy for users to have control over the design of their site without requiring any coding skills. You can create unlimited templates, take advantage of an advanced style editor, create forms, create slideshows, and more. You’ll use Ultimatum’s drag and drop editor to create the design that you want without the coding.
You can watch a video on their site to see what Ultimatum can do. The Starter license allows for use on one site with a lifetime membership for $65. Higher-priced plans are also available for use on unlimited sites.
PageLines is a drag and drop WordPress theme framework that has been popular for several years. In 2013 PageLines made major changes and launched their Design Management System (DMS) that will help you to have control over your site’s layout and design without the need for coding. PageLines is built with a responsive design to help make your site look great on tablets and smartphones. You can use the drag and drop editor to create layouts on a page-by-page basis. You’ll also be able to change things like colors and fonts.
A demo video is available through the tour at their site. The DMS can be downloaded for free, but an upgraded membership will be needed in order to get all of the pro features. Prices range from $8 – $24 per month.
Builder is a plugin from Themify allows you to create page layouts with a drag-and-drop editor. It creates responsive layouts that will work on any device. The Builder comes with all themes from Themify as a part of their framework, or it can be purchased separately for use with other themes. The Themify themes cost $49, and the plugin costs $49 if purchased separately. Builder works live on the front end, so you can create layouts visually very quickly.
Headway is another drag and drop theme builder. You can create layouts with its drag and drop layout grid. Headway’s design editor allows you to add things like background images, round corners, and more. Headway also uses a responsive layout.
The personal license will give you the drag and drop theme builder for use on one website for life (updates for 1 year) for $59.
Dynamik Website Builder from Cobalt Apps allows you to create drag-and-drop child themes for the popular Genesis framework from StudioPress. It uses HTML5 and creates responsive layouts. You can create static homepage layouts quickly, and you can create custom widget and content areas as needed. The cost of Dynamik is $79.95.
iThemes is another popular WordPress theme shop, and they also have a product to provide drag and drop functionality. Builder is a WordPress theme that allows you to insert different modules, like headers, navigation, content areas, images, widget bars, footers, and more. The Style Manager plugin that comes with Builder will allow you to change things like colors and fonts without touching the code.
At iThemes you can see demo videos for Builder, the Styles Manager, and Blocks (things like event calendars that can be created with Builder). Builder, 5 Foundation themes, and the Style Manager plugin can be purchased for $80. If you want a large selection of child themes and some additional plugins you can purchase one of the higher-priced plans.
Visual Composer is a WordPress plugin by WPBakery that is available at CodeCanyon. With Visual Composer you can create layouts for your posts and pages very easily with no coding. You can add columns, tabs, message boxes, image galleries, buttons, video players, Google maps and more.
A one-site license is available for $30, and an extended license for $150.