The FastLine Page Builder is a frontend, drag and drop plugin for WordPress. This newly released tool comes bundled with a selection of great looking page layouts, as well as an impressive list of page elements.
The layouts can either be used as is, or customised to function as a starting point for your custom creations. Each of the modules can also be edited to ensure its appearance matches the overall design of your site, and functions in the way you envisioned.
A further impressive feature of this plugin is that any of the widgets that are active on your WordPress site can also be dragged and dropped into the layouts build with this plugin, giving you an almost unlimited range of option or adding content to your posts and pages.
The plugin has been developed by FastLine Media, who have recently entered the premium theme and plugin space. Despite only recently launching, the team have already made available the great looking Automator theme and now this page builder plugin.
This plugin is advertised as being compatible with any WordPress theme, including custom designs, with the developers happy to look into any issues you might encounter with the theme you are using.
To find out whether this WordPress drag and drop page builder is the right tool for you, read our hands on review of the FastLine Page Builder plugin.
Features and Usage
Once this plugin has been installed on your site, it adds a minimalistic settings page to the ‘Settings’ menu on the WordPress admin dashboard. From this options panel, users can select which post types the page builder will be available for, as well as having the option to uninstall the plugin.
It’s worth noting that the plugin doesn’t add a top level menu item to the sidebar, which will be appreciated by anyone with more than a few other plugins installed on their site that do this, as this can quickly clutter up the top level menu.
As the site FastLine Page Builder was tested on had the WooCommerce eCommerce plugin installed, the option to enable for page builder for Products was available.
The page builder itself is accessed from the post or page editor screen, where a new tab is added to the editor.
Clicking on the tab launches the page builder, with the first step being selecting one of the included layouts, or starting with a blank canvas.
At the time of writing there were 14 layouts available, with one blank canvas. However, the developers are reportedly working to add more layouts on an on-going basis.
The layouts looked really good and cover such uses as:
- Agency Homepage
- Photography Homepage
- About US
- Our Services
- Photo Portfolio
- Design Portfolio
- Business Contact
- Meet the Team
- Personal Contacts
Because you can easily set a page to be the homepage for your WordPress site, any of these layouts can be used as the homepage for your site, giving you plenty of options for what visitors see when they arrive at your website.
Using the Builder
As this is a frontend page builder, once a layout has been chosen, the editor switches to the frontend view of your site. The builder displays a set of options on a vertical menu at the side of your page, from where you can start working on your design.
The main menu is divided up into three sections: row layouts, builder modules, and WordPress widgets. From here you can edit the layout of the page, as well as add content in the form of modules or the widgets that are already present on your site. This includes the WordPress default widgets, such as recent posts, as well as any that have been added to your site via another plugin.
Adding any of these elements is as easy as dragging and dropping the desired option onto the post or page area.
Once you’ve added at least one row to the page, you can then either enter the regular post content, such as text or images, or add one or more of the available modules or widgets to the layout.
After an element has been added, it can then be editing by using the menu which is activated by moving the mouse cursor over it.
The settings available will differ depending on the element, but overall the interface is clean and easy to understand. You can also preview the changes you’ve made to the settings, before deciding whether to save them or not.
Although there is no live preview, clicking on the Save and Preview button does allow you to view the changes without closing the settings window.
There are over 20 modules that are currently included with the premium version of the FastLine Drag and Drop page builder plugin, with plans to add more over time.
Detailed descriptions of the modules can be found on the plugin documentation page.
Again, the settings for the modules can be edited by clicking on the hover-activated menu. From the settings screen you can adjust any of the module-specific options to get the look and functionality you need.
This page builder also gives you the option of duplicating your pages, allowing you to quickly make a copy to work off as a starting point for a new layout. Any layouts that are created can also be imported or exported with the WordPress built-in import and export tools.
Overall this page builder plugin is a great tool for anyone interesting building feature rich custom layouts for their WordPress site. By using a combination of columns and rows to create the layout, and then adding the included modules and widgets from any of the plugins installed, you have a powerful tool at your disposal which allows you to create attractive layouts from the frontend of your WordPress site.
There are three different plans available for the FastLine Page Builder plugin:
- Standard: $49
- Developer: $99
The prices are inclusive of one year of updates and support, after which time you must renew to continue access to the updates and support. However, you are free to continue using the plugin without renewing, although you won’t be able to keep the page builder up to date and receive support from the developers.
While the free option has a limited feature list compared to the standard and developer options, the main difference between the two premium options is the fact that you get access to the Photoshop files with the developer plan, as well as the plugin having Multisite support. All three options can be used on an unlimited number of sites.
To view the full details of the pricing plans, and to see the feature comparison table, visit the pricing page.
Support and Documentation
The documentation for the plugin is available on the FastLine website. This covers everything from installing the plugin to giving an overview of the modules that are included with the plugin. There is also documentation for developers, which will cover how to add custom modules to the plugin and more.
Premium users can raise issues via the support forums, which also includes a sub-forum for submitting feature requests. Alternatively you can send the team a message via the contact form. Support hours are currently advertised as:
- Mon – Thur 9am to 4pm PST
- Fri 9am to 12pm PST
- Sat – Sun Closed
Final Conclusion and Recommendations
At its most basic, this plugin allows you to add rows and columns to the WordPress post and page area in order to better layout and present your content. However, thanks to the great selection of modules, you can easily make your pages much richer, simply by adding one or more of the modules to your content area.
The fact that you can also add widgets, including those from other plugins, directly to your post or page content really gives you limitless possibilities for what type of content can be displayed on your site’s posts and pages.
The included layouts are also one of the highlights of this plugin. They all look really professional and easily match the page layouts included with many premium themes. The fact that they can all be edited using the page builder means you get a good selection templates to use as a stating point for your own custom page layouts.
If you are looking for a WordPress drag and drop frontend page builder plugin then you should definitely take a look at the included layouts and the content modules offered by the FastLine Page Builder and see if they appeal to you. If they do, this is an easy to use page builder that should integrate with any WordPress theme.
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