Recently, Soflyy, the same developers who created the Oxygen WordPress Builder, announced a new page builder called Breakdance. Breakdance is an easy to use drag & drop WordPress page editor similar to WPBakery, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Visual Composer. If you are looking into creating your own WordPress website from scratch that can combine the power of both light and heavy page builders, then we recommend checking out Breakdance. The unparalleled speed and user-friendly visual interface makes for a great platform to those who are not familiar with coding. We'll go over some key Breakdance features and show you how to install the page builder.
What is the Breakdance Website Builder?
Breakdance is a website builder that was created to compete with similar WordPress page builders such as Elementor, Visual Composer, and Divi. Unlike those other builders, Breakdance is designed to be lightweight and fast while still providing tons of elements to design with.
At its core, the Page Builder is a drag and drop interface that allows you to add, remove, and rearrange elements on your pages. In addition to the standard WordPress content elements (such as text, images, and videos), the Page Builder includes 100+ custom elements that can be used to create complex layouts.
Why Use Breakdance over Alternatives?
Breakdance is a lightweight page builder that doesn’t bog down your website with unnecessary bloat. It's meant to be used as an easy to use builder comparable to those like Elementor and WPBakery.
Elementor is a popular page builder, but can be slow on larger sites. It includes extra CSS, JS, fonts, and wrappers that can cause compatibility issues with themes and other plugins. Elementor, WPBakery, and Visual Composer can use pre-built, purchased WordPress themes from websites like Themeforest. Currently, there are no pre-built themes for Breakdance. If you're looking for a lightweight, fast, and beginner page builder, then Breakdance might be the WordPress page builder for you. Designing your own website from scratch is a great way to customize your brand website without paying thousands of dollars to a web agency, while not sacrificing speed for your SEO.
Currently, breakdance is in Beta. This means it's available for free and there are bound to be updates and changes made before the final release. Louis, the CEO, is active in their development group on Facebook and are responsive to user feedback, requests, and bug fixes.
How Much Does a Breakdance Subscription Cost?
If you want to try out Breakdance, you can currently download the beta for free on the Breakdance website. Once released, it will be available with an annual $149 subscription. You currently cannot download it on the WordPress plugin repository. The builder is aimed to be launched sometime in September or October of 2022 (according to some posts by Louis in the Facebook group)
Setup a Local WordPress Server
If you're looking to install Breakdance on an offline server, you'll have to install WordPress on your machine using Local or MAMP. Once this is done, you can start installing and using Breakdance. If you already have a web host or server with WordPress installed, you can upload and activate the plugin directly with it.
Download and Install Breakdance
Once creating an account, navigate to their customer portal to download the plugin zip file. Installation is simple, Login to your WordPress website, go to plugins > add new, and upload the plugin. We currently recommend installing it locally using a WordPress hosting program like local or using a managed WordPress host like Flywheel. In the next few weeks, the builder will begin to stabilize and can be used with greater confidence for client website production. As for now, don't make anything too important with it!
Breakdance Builder Setup Instructions
Once installed and activated, you will see a new menu item for Breakdance. You have two options, to disable the default WordPress theme or to keep it. We recommend disabling the theme since most themes are not currently compatible/meant to be used with Breakdance. If you do decide to keep the theme, certain custom theme integration features may not work as intended. Louis stated it's best to design websites with Breakdance from scratch, especially from a performance perspective.
Build a Website with Breakdance
From here, you can start creating pages with the drag and drop editor. The interface is very intuitive and easy to use. You have a variety of elements to choose from to add to your page. Simply click and drag the element to the desired location and start customizing. There are a variety of specific tutorials we've posted on our YouTube channel, for more generalized content, check out the Official Breakdance YouTube Channel
Breakdance has a goal, to be the lightweight yet most powerful page builder for the average WordPress user. It's still in beta, but it has potential to give Elementor and other top page builders a run for their money. Breakdance doesn't have the same goal as more complex editors like Oxygen, it's meant to work as a lightweight but advanced editor in comparison to competitors like Elementor and Divi. Soflyy states they have separate teams working on both products, with one being marketed towards WordPress beginners and one with more customizability for developers.
If you're just getting started with WordPress and are looking for an easy to use page builder, we recommend checking out Breakdance. It's a great way to design a really beautiful without having to get too technical. If you're looking to design a website for your business without spending thousands of dollars on an agency, this might be the builder for you. The product is still in beta, but we think it shows a lot of promise and can't wait to see what is done with it in the future.