Breakdance and Oxygen are two highly regarded website builders for WordPress, with both have been developed by the same innovative company, Soflyy. These builders are both incredible in providing individuals and businesses the ability to design, develop, and manage their own WordPress websites.
Soflyy first launched Oxygen in 2016, and it quickly turned heads in the world of WordPress web development. It offered a refreshing and powerful new way to build WordPress websites, bringing a wide variety of customizable features and advanced design options to the table. This breakthrough platform gained a considerable following, with the Oxygen community consistently growing and evolving over time. Popular communities like Isotropic and WPDevDesign are just a few of them.
In June 2022, Soflyy surprised its community with the release of a new website builder, Breakdance. The introduction of this new builder generated a significant amount of discussion and controversy. The initial reaction was mixed, as many Oxygen users and other WordPress enthusiasts questioned the reasoning behind developing a new platform while Oxygen was still actively being used and appreciated.
Despite these early debates, Breakdance has managed to carve out its own space in the world of WordPress website builders. It has succeeded in drawing in a substantial number of Oxygen users as well as other WordPress enthusiasts.
Over time, it has become clear that Breakdance was not developed to take Oxygen's place, but rather, to offer a different approach to website building.
Each builder serves the purpose of creating dynamic and functional websites. Yet, it's important to note that they target different user bases.
Oxygen tends to be favored by more experienced developers due to its advanced features and capabilities. Breakdance, on the other hand, appeals to beginners and intermediate users due to its simplicity and ease of use.
Hence, the two are not direct competitors but tools developed to meet the diverse needs of the WordPress community. They signify Soflyy's commitment to providing a range of solutions for website builders of different skill levels and requirements.
But between the two of these builders come many differences among their similarities. What's the difference between the two? Let's talk about it.
Differences Between Breakdance and Oxygen Builder
The primary distinction between Breakdance and Oxygen, as highlighted by Soflyy CEO Louis Reingold, is their user target demographic.
In a Facebook post made in June 2022, Reingold outlined the company's strategy, stating, “Oxygen has always been for advanced users…” and “Breakdance will be for non-techies…” Thus, the two website builders diverge in their approach to website creation, each catering to different skill levels in the user base.
Breakdance Builder, despite carrying similar features to Oxygen, is more simplified and user-friendly. It's designed to assist users, particularly those without coding knowledge, in creating functional and visually appealing websites. The builder offers pre-designed templates and blocks, which users can simply drag and drop onto their web pages.
Breakdance empowers those without an extensive (or really any) background in web development to navigate the process of website building in a straightforward, hassle-free manner. You could also check out our full review if you want to learn more.
Oxygen Builder caters to a more advanced segment of the web development community. This builder provides a more sophisticated, versatile approach to website creation.
It integrates a visual design interface with a robust code editor, permitting users to meticulously tailor their websites to meet specific requirements down to the exact pixel (that was actually what Louis aimed to create.)
With Oxygen, users can design complex websites, modify code directly, and integrate advanced features. This capability to fine-tune and customize, while invaluable to experienced developers, does present a way steeper learning curve than Breakdance.
In essence, the primary difference between these two platforms is the level of complexity and customization that they offer.
While Breakdance Builder focuses on simplicity and user-friendliness, appealing to beginners or 'non-techies', Oxygen Builder takes a more comprehensive approach, inviting users to go deep into web development.
The choice between the two would largely depend on the user's technical proficiency, their website's complexity, and the level of customization required. Both tools are sustainable builders and will support WordPress websites for many years to come.
Breakdance vs Oxygen – A Detailed Comparison
Now, let's dive deeper into the technical differences between Breakdance and Oxygen. We'll comprehensively compare both website builders, going over their individual characteristics and features.
Breakdance Builder, with its emphasis on simplicity, primarily targets beginners or individuals who lack extensive technical expertise. This website builder is an excellent fit for bloggers, small business owners, or anyone aiming to craft a WordPress website without a steep learning curve.
Breakdance eliminates the need for users to grapple with complex technical aspects, ensuring a smooth website building experience. If you want to make your site more complex, you definitely still have flexibility in doing so – just not to the extent of Oxygen.
Conversely, Oxygen Builder caters to a more seasoned audience, including web development professionals, designers, and experienced individuals. It boasts advanced tools and functionalities that offer users an exceptional degree of control over their website's design and functionality. If you're a development enthusiast or enjoy experimentation, Oxygen is likely to pique your interest.
Our very own website uses Oxygen (yes, this one) and I wouldn't use anything else. I've used Breakdance on a few production-level sites since its release, but personally I prefer Oxygen since web development is a pretty strong background of mine.
If you ask experienced website builders, they'll probably tell you that they prefer using Oxygen Builder over Breakdance. But if you talk to beginners, you'll likely hear the opposite. The reason behind this is the difference in simplicity between the two builders. Breakdance is designed to be straightforward to use, especially for those who are new to website building. However, it wouldn't be entirely fair to claim that Breakdance is more "user-friendly" than Oxygen.
The truth is, both Breakdance and Oxygen are user-friendly in their own ways. They both have easy installation processes, intuitive user interfaces, drag-and-drop functionality, and a range of customizable pre-made templates. These features make both builders generally easy to use. However, the level of user-friendliness can still vary depending on the individual's skill level and familiarity with website creation.
In Breakdance, You'll find over 140+ premium elements, a form builder, a header and menu builder, global styles, dynamic data and conditions, and deep integration with WooCommerce. With Breakdance's simplicity, you can enjoy all these features and create an online store with just a few clicks (that's a huge selling point of BD over other builders).
When it comes to building an online store, Breakdance has built-in compatibility with WooCommerce. Installing the WooCommerce plugin is as easy as installing any other WordPress plugin. Once activated, setting it up is a breeze. You can create an unlimited number of pages for your online store and customize them easily.
Oxygen does the same but gives you access to EVERYTHING related to your WooCommerce setup. Again, this isn't a bad thing, but if you want to customize your products down to the borders and effects around them, use Oxygen. If you need an e-commerce store just to have one hosted on WordPress, Breakdance is the way better option.
Generally speaking, Breakdance offers a good degree of flexibility as a website builder, courtesy of its integration with various plugins like WooCommerce.
It's designed to work seamlessly with any theme, but it's recommended to start from scratch and only use the builder elements to create your site (same goes with Oxygen). Given that Breakdance is catered towards non-technical users, it does have some restrictions in terms of flexibility.
Oxygen provides an elevated level of customization options. Unlike Breakdance, Oxygen opens the door for users with coding knowledge to create intricate websites by offering them complete control over their site or online store. If you can build the site in WordPress, you can build it in Oxygen.
You might not even believe certain websites are built with Oxygen – just check out CodeWP for example. Everything is built with Oxygen & third-party plugins, it's incredible.
Breakdance Builder provides a selection of easy-to-setup templates including Single Product, Shop Page & All Product Archives, Single Product Archive, Single Post, Post Archive, 404 Not Found, and Search Results. You can also introduce a custom template, designate its location, and add conditions. These templates are also highly customizable and easy to design.
Oxygen features templates similar to those in Breakdance and permits custom template creation. However, the process of developing and editing templates in Oxygen is relatively complex compared to Breakdance.
Most elements are not pre-designed, requiring you to set the template and build the page using dynamic elements.
Oxygen allows you to introduce an 'Inner Content' element. This editable element lets you control the layout of content derived from the WordPress editor. Templates containing 'Inner Content' can be inherited by other templates, proving particularly useful when creating a singular entry not built with Oxygen.
Breakdance does the same, but only for advanced template editing (you generally don't need to worry about this).
Speed and Performance
While neither Breakdance nor Oxygen includes any specific types of SEO features, their SEO capabilities can be augmented through WordPress SEO plugins such as RankMath or Yoast.
Both builders are clean, lightweight, and avoid unnecessary bloat. To promote quick loading, they possess features like CDN-friendly options and built-in bloat eliminators.
Sluggish websites can result in high bounce rates and low conversion rates. The built-in bloat eliminators in these builders allow you to disable unneeded scripts and styles with just one click.
Both builders incorporate a 'Lazy Load' feature, which delays the loading of images and embedded videos unless required, thereby enabling faster page load times.
You do not have to worry about website speed in any regard when using Breakdance or Oxygen, both builders had speed in mind when being developed. I promise.
Plugins and Integrations
Breakdance Builder Plugins
Since it's fairly new, Breakdance has fewer plugins and integrations as compared to Oxygen. As of posting, there are 4 free and paid add-ons specially created for Breakdance users:
Destiny Elements is a Breakdance builder add-on with over 25 premium elements. Each element is carefully crafted to help streamline your workflow while saving you time and effort. All of them are easy to customize and optimized for speed and performance.
BD-dLibrary is a freemium plugin with a wide collection of ready-made Windmill blocks, exclusively for Breakdance builder users. The free option consists of 100 blocks, while the paid version has 300+ blocks. You can use these for both personal and paid websites.
Elements Hive is a free WordPress plugin with 13+ unique elements, including Magnetic Cursor, Ink Mouse Cursor, and WebGL Slideshow. It provides animations, interactive UI patterns, and micro-interactions to your design. Elements Hive is available at WordPress.org.
BD Library Awesome
Breakdance Awesome is a premium plugin with 50+ layouts, 50+ headers, 30+ footers, and 100+ sections called wireframes. It currently offers two plans – Yearly ($179) and Lifetime ($249), with a one-click installation process.
Oxygen Builder Plugins
Even though Oxygen is a comprehensive page builder, it doesn't limit you from enhancing your website's functionalities. It does this through the use of add-ons and integrations, essentially plugins that can provide additional features and capabilities. Since the builder is so developed, Oxygen currently supports over 70 free and premium plugins, significantly broadening the possibilities for website creation and customization. Here are some of the most notable ones:
- Agency Base
- Editor Enhancer
- Hydrogen Pack
- Oxy Transfer Pro
- OxyNinja Core
- Swiss Knife Pro
WordPress Themes Compatibility
Breakdance displays a high level of compatibility with many pre-established WordPress themes. However, by default, Breakdance firmly advocates its users to disable the WordPress theme system entirely.
When you select the "Disable Theme" option, you are unlocking the potential to exert complete control over every part of your website design. This approach is particularly useful if you want to start building your site from scratch or if you're going to break free from the constraints imposed by pre-existing themes (the sluggish and unoptimized pre-built themes that haven't been updated in years.)
However, if you decide to stick with the "Keep Theme" option, there are ways to override your theme/plugin templates. This can be achieved through the use of functions.php and a child theme (for instance, the Breakdance Zero Theme).
A child theme is a sub-theme that inherits all the functionalities, features, and style of its parent theme, allowing you to modify without affecting the original theme. This approach allows you to continue utilizing the existing theme while also customizing it to better suit your specific requirements.
Contrastingly, Oxygen operates a bit differently from Breakdance in that it doesn't require a theme to function. More specifically, Oxygen actually disables the entire WordPress theme system, completely separating it from traditional WordPress website building.
So, what does this mean for you as a user? Well, if you're using another page builder in conjunction with a theme and are considering a switch to Oxygen, there's an important factor to keep in mind. Your existing theme's styles and layout won't carry over or be applied to your site within Oxygen. This is a crucial difference that could significantly impact your transition process.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean it's a disadvantage. This will generally result in way faster website performance. This is because there's no extra theme-related code for your site to process, meaning your pages would load more quickly, enhancing user experience.
However, one potential downside is that you're somewhat restricted to starting from scratch. You won't have the option of bringing over a pre-existing theme, so you'll need to build from the ground up.
The good news is that Oxygen does provide a range of pre-made, in-house themes that can kickstart your website design process (as well as plugins that help speed this process up.) These can serve as a helpful starting point if you're new to Oxygen or if you want to speed up the process of creating your website.
Remember, this approach may require more upfront effort, but it also means you have absolute control over every aspect of your site's design.
Breakdance offers a two pricing plans, one website for $99, and unlimited for $199. This is a drop from the future $349 which will increase sometime in the future. This discount essentially means you get to save $200 per year, forever.
Breakdance offers a hassle-free 60-Day money-back guarantee, meaning if you're not completely satisfied with the product, you can ask for a refund, no questions asked. There's also a free version of Breakdance available, but it comes with limited features and fewer design elements.
The free version of Breakdance Builder includes:
- The ability to build unlimited websites and client sites
- Access to 80 design elements
- Limited dynamic data fields
- Partial integration with WooCommerce (Limited Elements/Conditions)
- Access to templates, albeit with limited conditions
The premium Breakdance Pro version provides:
- Still, the ability to build unlimited websites and client sites
- Access to 120+ design elements
- Over 40 advanced dynamic data fields
- Client Mode/User Role Manager, enabling you to control user access
- A CSS Class and Selector Manager
- An advanced form builder
- Popup triggers for engagement
- Unlimited access to the Design Library
- More comprehensive WooCommerce Elements/Conditions
Oxygen Builder offers a range of plans with substantial features, all of which include lifetime updates, lifetime support, and the ability to install on unlimited websites. What's more, you can use Oxygen on websites you create for your clients. They do not need to purchase their own license.
Firstly, we have the Basic plan priced at $129. Features included with this plan are:
- A lifetime unlimited license, meaning you can use Oxygen Builder on an unlimited number of websites without worrying about renewal costs.
- WooCommerce integration, which allows you to build eCommerce sites with Oxygen and WooCommerce.
- Gutenberg Block Builder, which enables you to create Gutenberg blocks using Oxygen's visual interface.
- Simplified Client UI, allowing you to limit what your clients can see and do in the backend of WordPress.
- Composite Elements, enabling you to build and use your own reusable elements.
The WooCo plan, priced at $149, is essentially the Basic plan plus additional WooCommerce integration features. This plan is perfect for users who want to take full advantage of Oxygen's integration with WooCommerce.
Lastly, the Ultimate plan offers all Oxygen Builder features for life, for a one-time payment of $179. This plan is the best choice for users who want to take advantage of everything Oxygen Builder has to offer without any limitations. Like the other plans, it includes a lifetime unlimited license, WooCommerce integration, Gutenberg Block Builder, a simplified client UI, and Composite Elements.
Oxygen made a significant announcement in November 2022, stating that their Lifetime Unlimited License offering would likely be replaced by annual licenses sometime in 2023. This alteration in the pricing structure will only apply to new subscribers, who will join after the implementation of the new price plan.
Oxygen has typically been less expensive than Breakdance. However, with the switch to annual plans on the horizon, some users have speculated that this may be a strategy to motivate them to use Breakdance instead. Pricing really shouldn't be the reason you switch page builders – but for some it unfortunately makes sense.
Community and Customer Support
Both Breakdance and Oxygen have very active social communities.
On Facebook, Breakdance Website Builder - Official Group has over 6.8K members, while the Official Oxygen User Group has 36.7K members. You can find members answering each others questions and sharing their experiences.
Other similar Facebook groups are the Official Breakdance Website Showcase (2.0K members), Oxygen Builder - No Code Beginners (1.3K members), and Oxygen Builder WordPress Community (900+ members). People commonly discuss plugins and share their builds within these groups.
When it comes to customer support, Breakdance and Oxygen both have their respective Contact pages, where you can submit support tickets. Both page builders have extensive documentation, video tutorials, and FAQ pages – but Oxygen has more due to its age. We have tons of Breakdance tutorials that we've made over the last year if you're interested in seeing that as well!
User Reviews and Testimonials
On its official website, Breakdance claims that it already has thousands of users.You could even read some awesome testimonials (including mine!) Most of them praise the builder for its features, speed, and usability. Many claim that the builder is way better than Elementor.
Oxygen claims to have over 30,000 happy customers. At G2, it has a current rating of 4.5 out of 5, with 26 reviews. Oxygen users are generally very satisfied with its speed, features, and flexibility. Most users encourage bloggers and online store owners to take advantage of the lifetime plan offer before it's too late.
My Final Thoughts
Breakdance has solidified itself as a robust, user-friendly WordPress page builder that's perfect for beginners and non-techies, providing a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.
On the other hand, Oxygen stands out as an advanced, powerful tool offering unprecedented control and customization capabilities to those with a knack for coding and a desire for intricate designs.
It also just came out, which I think is a massive pro. There's such a push to grow this builder I'm so positive it's not going away anytime soon.
Both builders offer an impressive suite of features, with a keen focus on user-friendliness and adaptability, catering to different skill levels. They both come with strong customer support systems and a multitude of learning resources, reflecting their commitment to user satisfaction (I mean... users are the reason these builders are successful).
With Oxygen's impending shift to an annual subscription and Breakdance's simplified yet effective approach, it's clear that both tools are continually evolving.
Remember, the ultimate choice lies in what you find to be the most fitting for your building journey.
I probably won't get rid of Oxygen anytime soon. Actually ever. I'll use the product till it dies or till I find a better alternative (I've been eyeing Bricks), but I also would totally build a site with Breakdance. It's just so easy.