One of the things that most of our clients want are WordPress custom page layouts – home page, as well as posts. I was reading this excellent post by Chris Lema about drag and drop themes, and thought I’d make one of my comments into a post because I think the Visual Composer plugin isn’t getting the credit it deserves. Maybe I’m missing something critical, but we have been using Visual Composer in our client sites and it works great. There were some hiccups that required reformatting of text during one of the plugin upgrades, but I’m hoping that sort of problem is in the past. Even with this problem the value it adds is very substantial.
What Is Visual Composer?
What Visual Composer allows you to do is customize the layout of specific pages and posts. So you don’t use it for the default layout of the website per se. It’s more a case of choosing / building a theme that has a multiple layout options for pages/posts and then choosing (e.g. full width or one column, 2 columns, 3 columns, etc.) a full width layout for a page or post and then using Visual Composer to layout within that page/post.
Here are some examples that SunriseWeb.ca has done:
- http://themarleigh.ca/suite-floor-plans/ : Visual Composer used extensively on several pages – the site is actually a heavily customized child theme of Chameleon from Elegantthemes.com.
- http://peivacationproperties.com/ : Visual Composer used for the home page layout – child theme of Fusion from Elegantthemes.com
- http://cavendishsunsetcampground.com/activities-events/ : Visual Composer used extensively including for the home page – child theme of the free Graphene theme (http://www.graphene-theme.com/) which I am growing to love a lot lately because of its flexibility, plethora of hooks, and speed – very well designed. The drawback is it is not responsive so have to use the separate Graphene Mobile theme with it.
Canvas from Woothemes.com is another flexible theme – but I don’t like it as much as Graphene. We’ve also used iThemes Builder in the past and are excited to check out the responsive version 4.0 that is just being released.
Believe it or not I haven’t used the Genesis theme framework yet – I’ve heard so many good things it might just be the cat’s meow – looking forward to trying it and hoping it works will with VC (but likely does).
So if you need to create a WordPress custom page layout I’d say give Visual Composer a try!