WordPress is the world’s leading CMS system. However, no matter who you are, if you’ve been using it for a while I’m sure that we can all agree it’s not exactly “workflow friendly”.
Even though the latest update to WordPress has made it easier when it comes to adding and editing your photos in your Dashboard Visual Editor, it’s not exactly a godsend…
And when you need to add videos, columns, or anything else outside of just plain written content, that Visual Editor you’re working starts to look less and less like what you had in mind. In fact, most of what you see in your page or post editor usually looks nothing like what it does on the real page. (Frustrating!)
As this is often the case, we WP users tend to jump for joy when something comes out that makes using WordPress even easier.
The VelocityPage Plugin may just be that new reason to jump for joy.
What Is The VelocityPage Plugin?
VelocityPage is a WordPress plugin that adds Drag-and-Drop functionality into your theme and unlike many other Drag-and-Drop themes-like Divi that only allows you to build the page in the backend using the WP Dashboard-VelocityPage allows you to edit a page in real time without ever needing to using a line of code or using the WordPress Dashboard.
Well, as mentioned before, the plugin allows you the ability to visually edit a page on your current theme.
But before we get into all that, let me show how to get things up and running in order for you to use it.
How To Set Up VelocityPage
Once you have purchased the plugin, you simply go to your VelocityPage account and go to the “Download” tab in the menu.
After you’ve downloaded the file, take it and upload it in the Plugin area in your WordPress Dashboard.
Once you have that activated, go back to your account at VelocityPage and grab your license key.
To do this, click on “Download” in the top bar menu, and select “View Licenses” under the “License Keys” section on the page.
Click on the picture of the key under the “Key” section of the page and then highlight and copy the code found there.
Go back to your WP Dashboard, and add that key to your VelocityPage settings area and save it.
Now you are ready to use VelocityPage!
How To Use The VelocityPage On Your Site
Now that you have the plugin set-up on your site, you can start using it to design your pages.
To do this, create a new page and publish it. Now click on the “View Page” button at the top of your WordPress Dashboard so that you are taken to the realtime version of your page. (a.k.a. the page that everyone sees when visiting your site)
I should also mention that you do not need to create a new page for this to work. If you have a current page that you would like to edit, then by all means, start with that one.
No matter which page you start on, if you wish to use VelocityPage to design it, you will have to be on the page itself to start.
Once you have decided which page that you are going to start with, you will notice a small black tab in the right hand corner of your browser. (Don’t worry. This tab is visible to you as the Administrator of the site and not to the general viewing public.)
To start using VelocityPage, click on that tab marked as “EDIT”.
Doing this will reveal a new menu of options for you to choose from.
You can either:
- Edit the current Theme Page
- You can use 1 of 4 VelocityPage Templates to override the overall look of that page to create something a little different
Whichever you decide to go with is completely up to you. I think that the Templates are a great idea for creating a conversion or landing pages on your site, but again, choice is your’s on how you wish to use it.
For this walkthrough though, I am just going to use my current theme (News Pro Child Theme For Genesis Framework) and add content using VelocityPage. I’ll be starting with a new page while leaving the default layout with the sidebar on the right and I will change it to full width at the end to test how well things adjust.
After I click on “Edit” in the tab, little grey colored tabs (like the ones pictured below) will appear as you hover over your content area.
The tabs come with two main abilities:
- Add Rows
- Add Items
The “+ add row” button allows you to add columns in a variety of layouts.
Column variety include:
- Full width (this is width to the content are of the page)
- 1/2 + 1/2
- 1/4 + 3/4 or vice versa
- 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3
- 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/2 or vice versa
- 1/4 + 1/2 + 1/4
(If you are confused by this breakdown of layout styles, please refer to the picture above for a visual reference)
The “+ add item” button allows you to choose what you wish to add within each predetermined column.
You can add:
- A Spacer
- An ‘hr’ or page divider
- Media like YouTube videos
- A Shortcode from your theme or plugin
- Custom HTML (i.e an affiliate ad or something of the like)
- Aweber or MailChimp sign-up form
- Header tags (h1, h2, h3, h4) for SEO purposes
And you can use the grey tabs that pop out to the right and left to adjust the where the text is, (left, right, center) as well as delete the complete content or row that you have just created.
Below is a picture to give an idea of the kind of look you can get on your page. I changed from my theme’s default layout to full width after editing my page. The page responded well and nothing funky came up after the fact which was nice.
Once you have designed your page to where you would like it to be, remember to click the “Save” button in the right upper corner of your browser and you’re page is all set.
Overall Thoughts On The VelocityPage Plugin
VelocityPage is a nice option for website owners and designers looking for some fluidity and ease when adding content to pages on their sites.
It makes it amazingly easy to add things like videos and pictures without really breaking the look and layout of the page. (i.e. having a YouTube video expand over your written content and look just plain awful!)
It also makes it nice for creating rows with a variety of column layouts (choice ranging from full width to breaking it up into quarters or thirds). This will give a nice change of pace to how the page layout will look without having to mess with the codes in the backend, be that, CSS or Shortcodes.
I can see how using the plugin would speed up workflow as I wouldn’t have to be going back and forth between my WP Dashboard and the Preview page to see what my configurations have produced.
It would certainly take down the overall troubleshooting aspect of designing a page. However, there are some downsides to the plugin that should be considered as well.
The price for plugin maybe one reason why some may choose not to use it.
Pricing for the VelocityPage is a three tier option:
- The Basic option costs $97 and you get to use it on only 1 site with support and updates for only 12 months as well as the basic templates.
- Plus costs $167, which allows you to use it on 3 sites, with12 months of support and updates and access to all Premium templates
- The last option is Professional and it includes everything that the other two do, except you have the ability to use them an unlimited amount of sites and costs $247.
However, even with the Professional option, there are conditions that come with that “Unlimited Sites” option.
Unlimited Sites, or Sites as the other two state, refer to a website that you are the owner of. If you plan to use VelocityPage on a client’s site, there is an additional fee that will be charged.
That fee is $47 per client site, per year. Also, all the prices for the plugin are not one time fee’s.
If you want continued support and access to their updates, you have to pay the above stated prices every year.
Another thing that may keep you from using it is figuring what it actually does.
As with many Drag-and Drop interfaces, you can only use the plugin to design pages and not posts on your site. Thus, this is not a plugin you can use to create custom post types.
Also, when I say it only designs pages, I literally mean that it only designs a page.
Unless you use a VelocityPage template to override your page, you cannot change the look of your site itself.
By this I mean that you can’t use this plugin to change Font, Menu Color, Hover Color, Edit sidebars or anything outside the Content area on the page alone. If you need to change those type of things, you’ll need CSS code to do so, unless of course, your theme makes those changes simple.
What I’m trying to get at is that, the plugin doesn’t add Drag-and-Drop capabilities to your entire site. It is only for a page within the content area.
However, you can easily design all your pages including your Home Page if you use a WordPress Static page.
Another good thing to know is that the plugin doesn’t work with every single WordPress theme on the market. It works with most themes, but on the off chance it doesn’t work on the one you are using, you can get a refund.
For me personally, I don’t see myself needing to use the plugin, especially when I look at the price. However, for someone who doesn’t code for a living, who isn’t familiar with the WordPress Dashboard or for someone who prefers visual front-end editing, this would be a great solution.
And even though I may not need the plugin now, I could see myself using the plugin down the road if I needed to seriously speed my designs. Designers understand that time is money and after seeing how the plugin works and testing it out, I see this as a valuable time saver.
If you want to test things out, for yourself, simply go over to their website and play around with their demo to get an idea for yourself as to how it works.
And if you do, be sure to come back and comment below to tell us your thoughts about it!