Beaver Themer is a WordPress theme framework that expands on the excellent Beaver Builder in all the right ways. It takes all of the complexities of WordPress theming and wraps it up in a manageable interface that allows even beginners to build professional websites. We have been recently switching quite a few of our new sites to Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer and we genuinely wish we had opted to use them years ago!
Table of Contents
- What is Beaver Themer?
- Installation Guide
- Beaver Builder Themer User experience
- WordPress Theme Compatibility
- WooCommerce compatibility
- Beaver Themer Pricing
- Alternatives to Beaver Themer
- Final thoughts
What is Beaver Themer?
Beaver Themer takes the flexible page editing of Beaver Builder and expands it so you can edit entire WordPress themes. It’s an entire framework for designing a whole website rather than a single page and uses a similar intuitive interface to help you achieve it. You will need Beaver Builder for it to work though as it contains some dependencies essential for Beaver Themer.
Rather than having to code your template, you use a straightforward drag and drop builder. All page elements are wrapped up in self-contained elements and it’s up to you to pick and choose what elements you want to use and where to put them. Then drag and drop them onto that position within the builder. It really is that simple!
Here’s an overview video of it in action:
WordPress theme builders like these take all of the complications of WordPress development and crystallises it into a simple interface. You don’t need any developer skills, you don’t need to know CSS or HTML and you don’t need a degree in graphic design to achieve a professional design for any WordPress website.
You do need patience and a knowledge of how WordPress works and how it puts page elements together though. You will also require enough patience to want to read a lot and experiment even more until you get things just right. As far as web design goes, this is about as easy as it gets without having someone do it for you.
There are a few key elements to Beaver Themer. Theme Templates, Theme Parts, and Field Connections. You can use create Custom Layouts, making use of Reusable Elements. Let’s take a look at each.
1. Theme Templates
Theme Templates form standard design themes used by WordPress. When you create a template, you can use it on any page on your website and even on other websites. It is a self-contained design module that can be applied anywhere and can be customised for each different page or website.
If you have already used a template to theme WordPress, even one of the defaults, you will already be familiar with these.
2. Theme Parts
Theme Parts are the individual elements you add to a page. They can include things like contact forms, calls to action, image galleries, video placeholders, and other familiar elements of a WordPress page.
Theme Parts are explained further in this video from the developers:
3. Field Connections
Field Connections are an advanced page design feature that allows you to modify page content using dynamic links. This enables you to change page content dynamically depending on the situation and allows for a wide range of interactive features. Field Connections are compatible with standard WordPress fields as well as Custom Fields designed by you.
4. Custom Layouts
Beaver Themer offers the ability to customize your website to look truly original. That’s a tough ask for a mass-published template but it pulls it off.
The ability to use custom headers and footers and assign them anywhere in your design and even select what users see what header and footer is a very neat trick. You can customize the look so logged in users see different elements and the public browser see others or tweak them how you see fit.
Custom Theme Parts also lends itself to completely original designs. You can create custom parts such as calls to action, banners, forms, rich media, or pretty much anything else to make your site stand out, increase engagement, or just be different. Every element you create within Beaver Themer can be saved and used anywhere, for any reason on any page. That’s tough to beat.
5. Reusable Elements
Which leads nicely onto Reusable Elements. Beaver Themer has a library function where you can create elements and save them for future use. You can save any kind of module and use it anywhere within your design. If you have repeating sections throughout a build, this is a real time-saver. It isn’t unique in offering a library function but it makes it very easy to use.
Beaver Themer is a very flexible WordPress theme builder but is not compatible with some existing themes. To begin with, we would suggest experimenting on a clean local WordPress installation using Xampp. That way you can troubleshoot any issues without harming your live site.
We would then suggest loading your existing theme if you have one to pre-empt any compatibility issues. If it all works fine, you can export all your hard work from your Xampp installation to your live site without impacting service.
Beaver Themer is a premium product and not available through the usual WordPress methods. You need to visit the website to buy both Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer, pay the fee and download the files. You will then need to upload the zip file to your WordPress installation using the built-in installer or your favourite FTP program.
For Beaver Themer to work, you will need Beaver Builder too. To install using WordPress:
- Download Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer from the website.
- Log into your WordPress installation.
- Navigate to Plugins and Add New.
- Select Upload Plugin at the top of the page.
- Select Browser and select Beaver Builder.
- Activate Beaver Builder once uploaded and installed.
- Select Upload Plugin again and select Beaver Themer.
- Activate Beaver Themer.
If you prefer using FTP, the process is largely the same. You need to upload and enable Beaver Builder first and then add Beaver Themer. Themer is dependent on Builder and will not appear in your Plugin list if you don’t already have Beaver Builder installed and activated. Even though the two plugins are supposedly independent of each other, we could not get Themer working without Builder present. It may be possible, but we’re not aware of how to do it…
You also have the option of installing a Beaver Theme. These are a shortcut to an impactful design that is fully compatible with Beaver Themer. This is optional though as you can build your own or use a compatible theme from elsewhere.
Once activated, you can use it however you want from the new Builder menu in your WordPress dashboard.
This installation video will have you up and running in a few minutes:
Beaver Builder Themer User experience
Once installed and working, Beaver Themer works a lot like other WordPress theme builders, only smoother. If you’re familiar with theming, you will have no trouble getting a design going within a few minutes. If you’re new to WordPress theming may we suggest just having a play around to see how everything works?
While Beaver Themer is simple to use compared to other frameworks there is still a learning curve involved. If you install it first on a local WordPress install as we suggested above, you can learn and experiment as much as you like without impacting your live site.
To get started:
- Select Builder from the left menu in your WordPress dashboard.
- Select Theme and Add New.
- Give your theme a name, a type, and a layout type. The Type can default to Theme Layout unless you need something special. Layout Type can be a single page or multi-page layout.
- Select Add Theme Layout to save your changes.
- Select Location from the next setup page to specify where you want this theme to appear. You can use Posts, Pages, and so on.
- Select Users to specify who can see this particular theme, you can choose by role or logged-in states. All Users is the default here.
- Select the blue Launch Page Builder button to save and move on.
Now the backbone of the theme has been created, the page builder interface loads. If you’re familiar with other design frameworks, this should be familiar. A theme page will load with the page elements in a menu on the right. You can drag and drop elements onto the page and arrange them exactly how you want them to appear.
Within each element are further options for colour, content, position, controls, and any interactive features they may be capable of.
Hover your cursor over a page element to see a blue square with a menu in the top left. Select the element and a grey popup box should appear where you can design that individual element. You can change almost every aspect of every element if you want to or leave them as default. Once complete, select Save in each element to save your changes otherwise it will return to its previous state!
Rinse and repeat for every element you want to feature on your page and then select Done in the top right to save the entire theme.
On the surface, Beaver Themer is a simple WordPress theme builder for designing pages or entire websites. The simple drag and drop interface is deceptively light. Yet dig just one step down to customise an individual element and you will quickly see just how deep the tool goes and just how much modification is possible with it.
WordPress Theme Compatibility
We mentioned earlier that Beaver Builder Themer was not compatible with some existing WordPress themes. The simplest way to get up and running is to use a Beaver Builder template which is guaranteed to be fully compatible. If you cannot find a template you like or can work with, you can use others.
The hugely successful Genesis framework is mostly compatible with Beaver Themer. So is StudioPress. We say mostly as there are some variables in each that may need a little tweaking to get them working perfectly.
Other themes may be compatible too. You will need to experiment a little to find out what works and what doesn’t. Given the many thousands of WordPress templates out there, it is impossible to provide a definitive list. If you have a local WordPress install, that’s the place to find out whether your existing theme is compatible. Beaver Builder does provide a list of those themes it has tested here if you want to check compatibility before trying it yourself.
Beaver Themer is fully WooCommerce compatible and the Beaver Builder website has a page full of tutorials on how to get the two to play nicely together. If you’re running a WooCommerce store, you should have no trouble integrating the two platforms together to work seamlessly.
WooCommerce and Beaver Themer are covered in-depth in this video:
Beaver Themer Pricing
Beaver Themer is a standalone framework offering powerful design tools that allow you to modify just about every aspect of your page design. You will need to purchase Beaver Builder for it to work though. With that comes a premium. Beaver Builder comes in three packages, Standard, Pro, and Agency.
Beaver Builder Standard is currently $99 and includes use on unlimited websites, one year of customer support, and any premium modules and templates. It includes the full Page Builder plugin.
Beaver Builder Pro is currently $199 and also includes unlimited installations, a year of customer support, premium modules and templates, and the Page Builder Plugin. It adds Beaver Builder themes and multisite capability for added value.
Beaver Builder Agency is currently $399 and also includes unlimited installations, a year of customer support, premium modules and templates, the Page Builder Plugin, Beaver Builder themes, and multisite capability. It adds the ability for multisite networks and the ability to white label the builder. This allows a web design agency to implement and use Beaver Builder while branding it as their own.
You will then need to add the $147 for the Beaver Themer to the price of the above to get your total.
Beaver Themer is not cheap but it does offer excellent value. There are few WordPress theme builders out there as powerful or that makes professional web design so accessible. Adding to the innovative design tools are those dynamic field connection features. Once you get to grips with them, they offer a seriously powerful platform to launch fully responsive websites with a fully customizable user experience.
That sounds like a lot of marketing speak but if you have spent any time at all in WordPress and use themes, you know how difficult it is to truly stand out from the thousands of other websites using the same theme. Beaver Themer provides unlimited opportunities to genuinely stand out from the crowd. If individuality is important, the premium price is a small price to pay!
We have tried to be as impartial as possible with my review of Beaver Themer but there’s no need to just take my word for it.
Abhijit Rawool, a web developer and blogger goes into a lot of detail about why he has used Beaver Themer for over three years and is still using it today.
‘If Beaver Builder had not remained Stable and Secure for so long as well as innovated at a pace that did not put stability and security at risk, I would have left Beaver Builder long ago.’
Joe Fylan over at Winning WP has been using Beaver Themer and also recommends it.
‘This tool gives you much more control over your WordPress website than almost any other page builder plugin available today.’
Fred Meyer over at WP Shout also likes Beaver Builder.
‘Beaver Builder empowers a WordPress developer by making layout creation simple and reliable across projects and needs. As simple as that sounds, it’s incredibly difficult, and the fact that Beaver Builder is nailing it (despite some ongoing slip-ups) makes it not only the best WordPress page builder, but probably the most impactful plugin of all time for me as a developer.’
See? It isn’t just us who love it!
Alternatives to Beaver Themer
There are dozens of very competent WordPress theme builders out there and Beaver Themer is just one of many. Alternatives include Divi, Elementor, Themify Builder, WPBakery, Thrive Architect, and many more. And if you’re looking for themes, the market is even more crowded (incidentally, have you looked at our Astra Pro article?)
Beaver Themer vs. Divi
Divi is a very accomplished WordPress theme builder that also has drag and drop functionality – besides being an excellent theme that we’ve featured in Beewit’s list of Divi theme examples here: https://www.beewits.com/divi-theme-examples-website/. It is easy to use, comes with its own themes, works with other themes, and makes short work of page or site design. It is also cheaper than Beaver Themer. Where it falls short is in usability. The interface isn’t quite as fluid and the dependency on shortcodes means exporting to other pages or sites can be tricky.
Beaver Themer vs. Elementor
Elementor is another very powerful WordPress theme builder that uses drag and drop design. It has a very similar front end to Beaver Themer with dynamic changes as you edit and is fast and easy to get to grips with. Sites are fully responsive and you have full control over the look and feel of every page. Beaver Themer and Elementor are very closely matched in terms of usability but it’s those Field Connections that allows Beaver Theme to pull ahead here.
Collectiveray.com cover the possibilities of using Elementor Pro in this extensive guide here while WP City also has a good article about using Elementor in this article here.
Beaver Themer vs. Themify Builder
Themify Builder is a very competent WordPress theme builder and also competes well. It comes with over 60 themes included and uses the same drag and drop design as the others. With hundreds of plugins, excellent compatibility and ease of use, it is hard to pick between them. However, newer users will find the steep learning curve and intricacies of Themify Builder off-putting.
Beaver Themer vs. WPBakery
WPBakery is one of the most well-established frameworks around and was previously known as Visual Composer. It uses a nice front end but doesn’t use drag and drop. All design is menu and option driven and while easy to get to grips with, takes some getting used to. It also has fewer templates, widgets, and design options. Those it has are very powerful but for true freedom of design, it falls behind its competition.
Beaver Themer vs. Thrive Architect
Thrive Architect is another excellent WordPress theme builder but there is a definite sale-oriented bias towards the themes and page elements. It is ideal for landing pages or conversion pages and that is definitely where its strength lies. Using it is a breeze and you will be creating pages in no time. However, if you’re not using the page to convert, Thrive Architect can leave you wanting something more.
We were initially not a fan of having to buy Beaver Builder in order to use Beaver Themer and paying for both. However, once we got over that and begin building, the true value of that purchase quickly came to light. The value here is in the ease of use, thriving support community, and that customer support.
Beaver Themer is not for those building hobbyist websites or blogs. It may be easy to get to grips with and simple to use but is definitely for more serious websites. Those building sites for small businesses, clubs, and those that require a more interactive approach to design will get the most out of it.
The true strength of Beaver Themer is in making WordPress theming and development accessible to all. Some of our team are not developers and we’ve had team members who were certainly not a very experienced web designer. Yet everyone was able to create a credible-looking, fully responsive website in an afternoon. If this can be achieved so easily, anyone can and that is the true value of Beaver Themer!