The Oxygen WordPress plugin is the fastest, most customizable page builder that I have ever worked with. Historically, page builders are clunky and counter-intuitive, pushing bloated code into your website design. In 2018 the developers at Soflyy released Oxygen version 2, which I have used on multiple client websites and has exceeded my expectations from the beginning. Those familiar with page builders will feel right at home, but you will have much greater control over all of your elements and layouts.
I've used a half dozen page builders in various projects before, and I've always felt they were clunky to use (looking at you Cornerstone). After the initial page load, averaging 2 to 3 seconds, the tools are responsive and easy to control. Elements are created using flexbox, allowing minimal code for fluid layouts. If you haven't been using flex in your CSS layouts, I'd recommend giving it a try. Although flexbox browser support is not too shabby, I'd recommend testing your designs if your project requires ancient browser support. Overall, I am extremely pleased with how quickly I can create content or make changes.
While in the editor, I ran into several compatibility issues with other plugins. Nothing that I experienced so far was unfixable, but given enough time, you will run into a conflict. Typically it ends with two developers pointing at each other for a fix. It happens.
Below is a sample of the HTML generated from section tag in the GIF above. Clean, unbloated HTML created by the Oxygen WordPress Page Builder.
The ability to create templates lets the designer style posts or pages that maintain the same layout. This mimics the use of using a theme, while giving you layout freedom. You can have templates for Posts, Pages, Custom Types, Blog Posts, 404 Pages, and more.
In addition to templates, you can store reusable elements that can be shared across your entire website. Make the change once and the update will apply to every instance of that element. You can also create reusable elements that you can customize without affecting any other page.
Access global CSS styles right from the editor, allowing you to make changes on the fly. Although you can change the styles of each element through the panel, I find it is sometimes quicker (and sometimes necessary) to modify the stylesheet directly.
Finally, there are global colors, fancy effects, blend modes, and modal boxes. You can save as many colors as you would like and quickly access them when styling elements. Global colors were released in version 2.1, this was a great quality of life improvement. From 2.2 and onwards, you can easily animate elements and use blend modes on elements. Some great features have been added, and the pending release of version 2.3 looks exciting as well.
Adding elements is incredibly simple and is broken up into five categories.
Sections, divs, columns, headings, text, links, images, videos and more.
Social icons, sliders, testimonials, price blocks, Google maps, etc.
Menus, shortcodes, dynamic data (titles, authors, etc.), comment form, widgets.
Great looking, pre-designed templates for contact forms, call to action, headers, and more.
Content that you create and reuse throughout the site, including headers, footers, and the like.
There are plenty of elements to play with, but most are pretty standard for most page builders. I do like that you can have dynamic data and insert the page title, author, or featured image anywhere on the page without having to hard code it.
When comparing the page builder features to competitors, I find that Oxygen is one of the fastest, most responsive tools available. If I have trouble with drag-and-drop, I can open the structure panel and reorganize elements that way. It works as you expect, but gives you options to modify way more than just margins.
Oxygen disables your WordPress theme. What does this mean? Well, it means that you can have any layout that you can dream up for any particular page. You are not restricted to the layouts forced by all-in-one themes and other page builders. This is a huge plus for me, however, it comes with a big downside. If you disable the plugin, your page will be nothing but shortcodes.
A theme has a standard structure depending on the type of page being displayed. Within that structure, WordPress sets a header, footer, and the content in between based on a template. This does not apply to a website built with Oxygen. Disable the Oxygen WordPress plugin and your layout goes poof. You will not be able to switch to a theme and keep your content because your page is stored as a bunch of nested shortcodes.
In the back of my head I am wondering how long the developers can maintain their current price structure of a one time fee of $99. I do believe that they are committed to the project, as incremental updates happen just about once per quarter. More popular builders such as Elementor are charging $199 per year. Time will tell, but hopefully they can sustain large volumes of sales to maintain the costs of development.
Overall, I have definitely gotten my monies worth out of the Oxygen WordPress plugin. I have used it on a few client websites and was pleasantly surprised at the freedom I had versus a more traditional approach. Give it a shot, and if it doesn't work out there is a 60-day money back guarantee. As an aside, I am in no way affiliated with Oxygen Builder and have provided this review based on my experience using the plugin for real clients.
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