Nowadays, we take the tools we have at our disposal for granted. We use them every single day without wondering who created them and what for. People, in general, don’t like to know how the sausage gets made.
Case in point: WordPress is still the world’s leading CMS thanks to its active community and active third-party developers. These are the people who ensure that your experience with WP remains as seamless and enjoyable as possible. But most users don’t even know who they are. Who built Gutenberg? Divi? Elementor?
So, let’s change that. Today, I’ll tell you all you need to know about Thomas Ehrig, the founder of the community favorite, Bricks Builder.
An Elusive Man: Ehrig's Beginnings
After hours of looking for every crumb of information I can find about Ehrig online, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re dealing with a man who does his best work in the shadows.
His Twitter only has ~100 tweets and hasn’t been updated since 2020. His LinkedIn account still lists Codeer as his current work, a Cyprus-based company that has no online presence at all. My hours of searching only unearthed three interviews with him, and one of them isn’t even out yet (at the time of writing this)
But here’s what I did find:
Thomas Ehrig is a self-taught web developer from Dresden, Germany. He started coding in 2008 when he was just around 19 years old. Like other developers, Ehrig became quickly enticed by the digital nomad lifestyle, and by 2015, he left Prague to go see the world. He started heading east, before settling for some time in Barcelona, before expanding his horizons by going to Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam.
And that’s about it, except this: everywhere his name is mentioned, you'll hear good things about him. One blogger said that he’s a community hero, and another talked about his skills and good attitude. Seems like this enigma, however invisible he may be, inspires a lot of people in his journey.
Working with WordPress
Ehrig’s first time with WordPress was in 2008, but it wasn’t until 2014 that he gained some notoriety in the community. That was the year he launched Worx: a simple WordPress theme for portfolios. This quickly drew the attention of WP users, earning a spot in CreativeMarket’s 2014 Top 100.
From there, it will be years until Ehrig unveils a new product. In March 2020, he released HappyFiles: a streamlined and intuitive WP media library.
This little plugin proved to be a success. To this day, its roadmap is still being updated. But this isn’t Ehrig’s magnum opus. That’s yet to come. So, let’s move forward exactly one year later.
Brick By Brick: Creating His Own WP Builder
Ehrig released Bricks Builder in March 2021. This no-code, visual site builder for WordPress has features like:
- Visual Drag-and-Drop Interface: Allows you to create and customize layouts without ever learning how to navigate a codebase.
- Responsive Design: Create websites that look amazing on all devices.
- Live Preview: See your website as you edit.
- Extensive Template Library: Includes images and galleries, videos, buttons, forms, and themes.
- Global Blocks: Create set styles for the entire website.
- Third-Party Integrations: Connects to popular tools such as Unsplash and Google Fonts.
- Dynamic Data Support: Content that adapts to changes.
Now, those are cool and all — but many other site builders already have those. So, beyond features, what does Bricks Builder offer that others can’t?
Thomas Ehrig answers that question: He says that the most important aspect of Bricks Builder is that it’s community-driven. In fact, it’s why he developed it in the first place.
He noticed that, while other builders are already feature-rich and have extensive ties to the WordPress community, few of them actually offer complete transparency and responsiveness to feedback. He felt that there was a void that he could fill by developing a lightweight and innovative product that actually listens to its user base.
And he succeeded.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bricks Builder, you can read our full review of the product here, or you can check out one of our comparison articles like this one.
Ehrig supports complete development transparency. Thanks to his policy, we have an overview of what’s yet to come to Bricks Builder. Their current roadmap includes updates in progress, such as a live AJAX search, global components, a star rating component, and native sorting and filtering.
They’re also planning to add dynamic data to SVG and as a code element, a component that brings the user back to the top of the page, and a password for your entire site.
You can also view their idea board, which displays user suggestions. Some of the most popular unimplemented suggestions are GSAP animation, an alternate template for query loops, a load more option to the image gallery, and a nestable carousel.
The Bottom Line
Thomas Ehrig challenges the notion that developers must have an active social media or repository to be productive and to network. He’s nowhere to be seen unless he wants to. In fact, the only way to contact him is through email and by submitting a suggestion to the Bricks Builder idea board.
We may not know much about him, but based on what we know, he’s a capable and charismatic developer with an upstanding character. Someone whose principles are as solid as his grasp of design and development. But beyond creating HappyList and Bricks Builder, his most important contribution is this:
What he’s done is build a community that shares his passion and create a site builder that they deserve — that we deserve. He’s truly one of a kind.