Recently we’ve found a number of drag and drop style plugins that extend WordPress page layout capabilities. They range from the simple to the complex, free and paid, easy and well… not so much.
Probably the best thing about most of these plugins is that they do not lock your content into a specific theme – allowing you to experiment with other themes without losing your content layout.
Some of the these plugins however, do lock you into their plugin, in that if you disable or delete the plugin, then the content itself can get lost. That’s bad news of course and in most cases there should be a fallback to unstyled content.
Here’s our current list of released WordPress Page Layout plugins:
VelocityPage is the single Premium Only Paid plugin on this list. Time will tell how this approach works. For now, it’s looking very slick and developed by some pretty big names.
Direct Site: http://velocitypage.com/
Aqua Page Builder
WordPress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/aqua-page-builder/
Direct Site: http://aquagraphite.com/2012/10/aqua-page-builder/
WordPress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/motopress/
Direct Site: http://www.getmotopress.com/content-editor/
Page Layout Builder
WordPress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/page-layout-builder/
Page Builder by SiteOrigin
WordPress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/siteorigin-panels/
Direct site: http://siteorigin.com/page-builder/
(UPDATE: 2014-12-15 – Previously IG Page Builder)
WordPress Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wr-pagebuilder/
Direct Site: http://www.woorockets.com/plugins/wr-pagebuilder/
WordPress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/pixgridder/
Direct Site: http://www.pixedelic.com/plugins/pixgridder/
Bonus: A Post Editor that allows Page Layout.
Sir Trevor WP
This one is a bit odd in that it’s listed itself as an alternative Post editor.
WordPress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/sir-trevor-wp/
Direct Site: https://github.com/neyre/sir-trevor-wp
Themes do it too.
Additionally, there are now quite a few WordPress themes that also offer page layout capabilities as a built-in feature. These too have a mix of open and locked content depending upon the theme. Here’s a nicely designed premium theme called “Basis” from The Theme Foundry that includes a custom page builder (it’s not a plugin).
The Future is Now.
We’d love to see a consistent page layout editor built into the WordPress core – allowing for theme authors, plugin authors and all developers to extend much in the same way that the WooThemes WooNav menu system was integrated into WordPress 3.0. It’s a big task to be sure, but look what the WordPress community has done so far.