February was a short month. I was chuckling to myself thinking that February is a great month if you’re a landlord, but not so much when you’re a renter.

We’ve got a pretty sweet office here in Campbell, CA, and we’re lucky enough to have a pretty cool landlord, too.

Our hot water heater went out, so we shot him an email about it. The next morning there he was ready to replace it with a new one! Luckily for everyone, he’s quite familiar with the building and the problem ended up being a blown circuit. All he had to do was switch the breaker to get it back up and running again.

We felt a bit sheepish as any one of us could have probably “fixed” it if we took the time to check, but he said he was happy to feel clever about finding the solution! His familiarity with the building allowed him to fix the problem in seconds, whereas we might have beat our head against the wall (literally and figuratively) looking for an answer.

As web designers, we’re a bit like landlords for our client’s websites…

Clients call us when something goes wrong. Sometimes the fix is a simple as switching a fuse, other times you end up tearing out walls or elbowing through crawl spaces. You just never know. Regardless, though, the more familiar you are with the construction (be it buildings or code) the faster you’ll be able to pin point the problem.

One of my clients reached out this week because the their mobile navigation menu had a quirk where it would open, but then immediately close. It seemed like a simple enough problem. Probably a Javascript bug or maybe some rogue CSS interfering with the animation. I told them it would take less than an hour and asked them to set me up with a login to their site.

This was a pre-Beaver-Builder client, and they hired us to build their site using one of those “all-in-one” mega themes. What I thought would be a simple fix ended up taking forever.

After digging through the theme files, dissecting the theme’s utility plugin, and un-minifying Javascript/CSS, I ultimately figured out the root of the issue was because the theme/plugin were long out of date.

Easy fix, right!? Nope!

I updated the plugin/theme and then found that their latest update wasn’t backwards compatible and many of the modifications we made we’re broken. Ugh!

In case you missed it in the Beaver Builder story post, one of the reasons we created Beaver Builder was to avoid themes like this one! We wanted a lightweight, framework-style theme that we knew inside and out so we could streamline our development. Something simple but also flexible enough to create a wide variety of designs.

Just like our landlord knowing our building, knowing the code that makes up the Beaver Builder theme enables us to pinpoint problems and fix them in minutes instead of hours.

While there are many good framework themes out there, we’re naturally a bit partial to ours. While our Page Builder plugin put us on the map, the Beaver Builder theme is quietly gaining traction at a fantastic rate.

As a matter of fact, the Beaver Builder Theme now powers thousands of websites!

Behind the scenes, we’re working on a few updates to our web page (including a new Beaver Builder theme marketing page) to highlight how cool the Beaver Builder Theme is. Of course, if a picture speaks a thousand words a demo could write a book. One of our latest major updates to the Beaver Builder Theme was to move all of the theme settings into the native WordPress customizer. If you haven’t already, give it a spin; it’s pretty cool.

Beaver Builder Theme Demo (launch the Theme Customizer Demo)

Moral of the story: if you’re building client websites, take some time to experiment and learn a solid theme framework. It will allow you to build sites faster and save you tons of time!

Enough already! Tell me about the news..

Well, I got carried away again and wrote a novel. Oh well, on to the updates…

We’re super excited that a few podcast inteviews we recorded are going to be released this month. Thanks again @KimDoyal, aka, the WP Chick and @TroyDean from WP Elevation for risking their good names by bringing on their shows for a chat. We’ll be sure to blast the shows when they’re live on our Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t already, give us a like or a follow to stay tuned.

Update: Our interview on the WP Chick Podcast is live: http://thewpchick.com/wordpress-sites-in-minutes-my-interview-with-the-team-behind-beaver-builder-wpcp-053/

Update: Our interview on the WP Elevation Podcast is also live: http://www.wpelevation.com/2015/03/episode-72-beaver-builder/

Our friend Oliver Juhas released a sweet looking new theme, Q’tron, that fully supports Beaver Builder for building page layouts. On that note, we actually just published an article with tips & best practices for including Beaver Builder in your theme.

In our latest update, 1.5.0, we launched several new features & translations:

  • Added a help tour and included customization settings for white-label/agency users.
  • Added “Ghost” buttons.
  • Added Arabic and Spanish translations.
  • Added smooth scrolling to anchor links. This plays very well with the relatively new option to add a CSS id to any module or row.

We covered a few of our major updates in our last post, but a few of them are worth repeating…

First, we’ve decided to offer a 40% discount on renewals!

We had the darndest time deciding how to handle renewals. After seeking advice from the WordPress community on Facebook and through email, it seemed like a no brainer.

Thanks to the Advanced WordPress Facebook Group, @CoryMiller303, and @JamesLaws for their advice. Everyone’s surely heard the quote, “It never hurts to ask.” Well, we’ve been following that advice often and reaching out to some of our mentors and role models for advice. It’s been overwhelming how many people are willing to take some time out to provide advice.

Lastly, there’s a new header-less/footer-less page template available in the Beaver Builder theme. You can toggle this from the Page Attributes meta box in the WordPress editor. This was a much requested feature and it should be great for creating landing pages and squeeze pages!

Did you know we use User Voice to track feature requests. If there’s a feature you’d like to see in, please add it to our User Voice page!

Robby McCullough's Bio