Two of the hottest & newer WordPress builders – Breakdance and Bricks. Both very powerful, but intended for different audiences. Both do the job, but definitely offer very different mediums of doing so.
Many designers/developers who tried both builders agree in the waves of comments about lesser dependency on plugins like Framez or ACSS with Bricks, as it is a very capable builder and can create complete sites with no add-ons. You'll just need to be a bit more of a seasoned developer to get the most out.
Bricks is still young and growing constantly with new add-ons becoming available every few months or so. You'll have to put in some work to get good. As I read somebody say on reddit: “Don’t expect to build sites with zero knowledge…just as we don't expect to build computers, apps, cars, or houses without any knowledge.” Same logic for Bricks & BD. You have to adjust to a new tool before you can make incredible sites with them.
Breakdance and Bricks are marvelous if you don't overload them with extra plugins, which you don't really need to anyways. They're built for speed & great right out of the box. Plus they have such a new team behind them that they will ultimately be here for years. They're both yearly subscriptions [Bricks will be soon], meaning these developers will get supported for a very long time (something Soflyy did wrong with Oxygen)
Breakdance is a very solid product that needs a bit more work but is enjoying substantial popularity and a growing community. Both builders are praised for their ease of use, intuitive features, universal WordPress compatibility, and beautiful templates to streamline your page designs.
Why Compare Breakdance and Bricks?
You might be asking why we need to compare Breakdance and Bricks when they serve somewhat of a different purpose – right?
To be transparent... they're some of the newest builders on the market that seem to really have potential. They have different uses but can both be used to complete some very powerful, custom websites. If you can build it with WordPress, you can most likely do it with either of these builders.
Breakdance vs Bricks
Breakdance Builder was mainly advertised for beginners, non-techie users, and people wanting a WordPress site that worked, quickly. While I think (and know by being in the FB group) they are now expanding to a more "intermediate" audience, the builder really holds many hats and serves a ton of purposes for both new or advanced developers. It seems like the line between Oxygen and Breakdance become seemingly more blurry as the weeks go on. But Oxygen is still getting updated, so I'm not quite sure.
Since its design is focused on usability & speed, it also caters to developers, small business owners, and agencies. Breakdance is really for anyone who wants to build stunning websites or an online WordPress store with less effort. I love it for WooCommerce (I'm actually releasing a course sometime in the coming months because of how effortless it is). You can just get things going.
Bricks is targeting a different audience. Although it can be used by first-timers, there's 100% a learning curve. Bricks also works as a theme, not a plugin. This really just means it's meant strictly for the design of your site & not really meant to control anything else. I really think they took all the bad that existed in page builders & created something that squashed all of the negatives.
Breakdance is the second page builder created by Soflyy, the same company that created the Oxygen Builder. Some Oxygen users have ditched the product when Breakdance came out in 2022 thinking Soflyy abandoned them for the new product. There's still a bit of controversy in the community, but I think it's healing with time. Louis is a good guy and just seemed to botch the announcement. I do think they care about their users/community.
Bricks came out in March 2021 and was the light at the end of the tunnel. Created by Thomas Ehrig, the same WordPress developer behind the WordPress media folder plugin, HappyFiles. They have a feature roadmap and a lot more of a professional community that seem to be really invested in the product.
What does friendliness even mean? I think many like a drag-and-drop user interface and customizable options in a WordPress builder. If a builders user interface is the reason people aren't using it, that's really bad. Like horrible. It's the first step in a good builder.
Breakdance has a super easy drag & drop interface but can get a little annoying with all the windows that pop up when customizing things.
Bricks also has a drag & drop UI and doesn't have a bunch of windows that open up in each other. I also find it a lot quicker (or snappier?) to use. It really does remind me of Oxygen. I've been learning bricks over the last few months & for a beginner, I'd say it has a steeper learning curve than Breakdance. It's still super easy to use, just harder to master.
Generally speaking, Breakdance and Bricks have similar features. Both of them have a full theme builder, a form builder, and a built-in popup builder. It's also pretty intuitive to get WooCommerce set up on both. Bricks also seems a bit easier to add pre-built blocks & widgets, but Breakdance has flexibility to completely edit everything in the Element Studio. They honestly have so many similar features & requested ones. Check out the Breakdance and Bricks roadmap.
Full Theme Builder
Drag and Drop Editor
Built-in Popup Builder
Add-Ons / Extensions
With Breakdance, you’re not required to use a theme. If you already have one, Breakdance recommends disabling it and letting it pretty much design your entire site. This includes your headers, footers, pages, archives, 404 pages, and more. If you don't want to disable the theme you can use it with another prebuilt theme, it just might not work properly.
Breakdance offers 130+ premium elements, which are based on seven categories – Advanced, Basic, Blocks, Dynamic, Forms, Site, and WooCommerce. Each category has a dropdown menu that lets you choose the elements you need. For actual design layout elements, you can choose from: Sections, Columns, Divs, Text, Buttons, and more.
There is also a Search Bar to help you find the elements faster. To bring any element to the canvas, just click or drag it. More importantly, Breakdance only shows you the settings that are relevant to a particular element. To help you save time, you can add elements to multiple pages using the right-click function or keyboard shortcuts.
To edit an element such as the heading, simply click that element and perform inline text editing. As you do the editing on the panel, you will notice that the same content will also appear on the canvas.
When creating a header or footer, you can choose which pages you want it to apply. You can apply it to all your pages or a specific page, and choose the conditions you want. You can also set the priority, which is usually 1 (if you only have a single template). Breakdance makes it fairly intuitive and removes any of the questions you might have. It's kind of like the Apple of page builders. You really only get what you need with Breakdance. That's both a good & bad thing depending on who you are.
Breakdance also offers a lot of customization options via the Global Settings, which you can find on the right sidebar. This includes color schemes, font styles, and layout options that you can set and apply across multiple pages or throughout your website.
With Breakdance, you can add dynamic data to your posts, pages, or any element you want. These data are split into 9 category fields - Featured Image, Archive, Site Info, Author, Current User, WooCommerce, URL & Query, and Utility.
And last but definitely not least; Breakdance has 35+ WooCommerce elements that you can customize. Each element is fully customizable and applicable to any kind of online store. Among the popular elements that are readily available are Account Page, Payments, Product Builder, Product Information, Shopping Cart, and Shipping Form.
As mentioned earlier, Bricks page builder gets implemented as a theme, not a WordPress plugin. Bricks has 60+ premium elements, which are in 8 categories – Single, Layout, Basic, General, Media, WordPress, WooCommerce, and Products. The four most important elements are the Section, Container, Block, and Div, which is the most basic.
By clicking the Settings (gear) icon, you can access the Theme Styles, Page Settings, and Template Settings. After creating your Theme Style (Ex: Sports), you can set as many conditions as you like and apply your selected theme style to certain areas or your entire website. You can also set conditions for your template, which will precede the default templates.
You can do a lot of things via the General Settings on the Theme Styles menu. Here, you can change the site layout, the lightbox height and width, and the background color of both. You can also select an image for the background and add dynamic content, as well as set the color and the width of the lightbox when closing.
The Theme Styles feature also allows you to choose your own global colors via your own custom “color palette”. In short, you can set any color combination you like. For your content, you can set the spacing by using the margins option available. Here, you can set individual margins for all four sides – top, bottom, left, and right.
Bricks also lets you customize the appearance of your link through the website without any coding knowledge. This gives you the freedom to choose the decoration and transitions, depending on how you want your users to view those links. Note, however, that if you don’t make any changes, it will follow the default theme styles.
It's easy to let users of various roles edit Bricks pages. You could also enable/disable code execution based on role. Very helpful.
Bricks also works very well in terms of WooCommerce integration. It has fewer WooCommerce elements (30+) compared to Breakdance, but provides near complete customization of them. This includes Product Title, Product Gallery, Product Short Description, Product Rating, Related Products, and Add to Cart. You can also find a dedicated tab for the WooCommerce integration in your WordPress dashboard.
Breakdance may be slightly more friendly than Bricks but the latter offers more flexibility, especially if you have coding & development skills. Bricks offers more customization options for developers. If coding is not your cup of tea or if you don't want to learn at least basic html, css, js, and maybe even a little php – it might not be worth the investment.
I say again that Breakdance and Bricks are both flexible, but on different levels. Different designers with different target users in mind. If you love coding and you want a page builder that can be as flexible as Bricks, you should check out my unbiased Oxygen vs Bricks review.
Templates & Theme Support
Breakdance has over 16 stunning, professionally-designed complete-website templates for different industries. This includes Architecture, Auto Repair, Beauty Salon, Car Wash, Cleaning, Dental, Fitness Zone, Law Firm, Plumbing, Real Estate, and Security. You can easily import them on WordPress and customize them based on your needs. You could also import specific sections of these:
Breakdance works with any theme and you can keep your theme if you'd like. You can also use functions.php and a child theme. Regardless if you're using theme support, Breakdance recommends using its active theme, Breakdance Zero.
Bricks offers 60+ pre-designed templates and a native Unsplash integration (free, copyright-free images). They focus more on a template library for individual parts of a page, rather than complete design sets. They're still very responsive & beautiful to work with, too:
Breakdance vs Bricks Pricing
While I'll always say you shouldn't base the use of a page builder on how much it costs since it's an investment, I completely get that pricing comes into play. Features matter most. If you're solo and just want to use the builder for a single site, they're the same price. Bricks is also a lifetime purchase right now, but $49 more.
$99/199 per year
$99 / $249
Money Back Guarantee
* Both page builders have two pricing options – one for a single website and one for unlimited websites.
Breakdance Builder offers both a free trial and a free version. The free trial is only for a sandbox (demo) website, while the free version can be used on an unlimited number of websites. Breakdance Pro now has two tiers - $99/year for a single site and $199/year for unlimited websites. Both offer a 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
Bricks Builder has no free trial and free version but has two tiers, both offering a lifetime deal (LTD). The Starter Plan costs $99 and is for 1 website, while the Ultimate Plan costs $249 for an unlimited number of websites. Both plans allow you to use all Bricks’ features and offer a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, two weeks shorter than what Breakdance offers.
Community Thoughts & Feelings
Breakdance has been growing a Breakdance Website Builder - Official Group on Facebook, which currently has over 7k members. This group was created by Soflyy founder and CEO Louis Reingold himself, who routinely asks questions & interacts with the rest of the group. People also love to talk about how happy they are:
Bricks also has a very active community on social media. The Bricks Community Facebook page now has over 17k members, all helping each other and sharing experiences. Both groups have users that love the product:
Last Thoughts & Opinons
Both of these are great tools to start a new WordPress site with in 2023. If I were creating a website for a client and needed extended functionality, I'd pick Bricks. If I wanted something that was easier to set up, maybe something I'd recommend to a friend or family member, yet still had very strong capabilities, I'd go with Breakdance.
Breakdance stands out with its dynamic yet simple approach with a vast library & element set. This is a great attraction for WordPress users who want to build simple sites but might extend those capabilities as they get better at using it.
Bricks shines with its modular approach, focusing on flexibility and efficiency. Its features like dynamic content and smart layout options enable users to build responsive web pages quickly and easily. It also uses a more modern technology stack - VueJS 3, but that doesn't mean Breakdance is outdated.
Technically, Breakdance and Bricks aren't direct competitors, so you don’t really need to be confused as which one is actually "better". It all depends on your personal preferences, specific website requirements, and coding skills. Regardless of your choice, page builders can unlock your creativity to take your website-building experience to new heights! Let me know your thoughts below!