The original Beaver Builder plugin lets anyone create their own WordPress theme from scratch. It’s a powerful plugin and it comes with so many default features for customizing the look, style, and functionality of your WordPress website.
Recently the team announced a new product called Beaver Themer.
This is technically an add-on to the original Beaver Builder plugin and it’s packed with features to help you make page templates and build custom headers/footers on your site.
You do not need any prior coding knowledge to work with Beaver Themer. It’s built right into the original plugin admin menu so it’s also easy to get started. But what does this really offer and why should you consider grabbing it?
Let’s delve into the Beaver Themer add-on to see what it’s all about.
What is Beaver Themer?
Beaver Themer builds on top of Beaver Builder which is a fully-customizable drag and drop page builder for WordPress.
The original Beaver Builder plugin lets anyone customize pages by adding elements, changing colors, fonts, and styles using a visual editor.
By adding Beaver Themer you can take this a step further by creating custom templates for these pages that you can re-use many times over.
You have full control over how these templates work and where they’re applied. If you have a few different blog post styles you can apply templates to various post IDs or based on tags/categories. Same goes for custom archive pages, WooCommerce products, and custom post types.
Beaver Themer takes page building to the next level. This add-on behaves more like a theme builder where you can mess around with a theme’s templates and header/footer designs.
I’d say this plugin best suits anyone who prefers designing visually over writing code. It’s a great way to add custom styles into your WordPress site without touching a single template file.
Just note this is an add-on to the original Beaver Builder plugin so you do need both to get this running.
There are three primary features built into the Beaver Themer extension.
These let you generate your own theme templates, create custom theme partials(like headers) and connect dynamic WordPress metadata into your page templates.
It can be tough imagining how all this works so let’s dive into some details about each feature.
You can also browse the Beaver Themer demo to see this in action.
Every theme template you make is reusable and applicable to any page on your site. Most WordPress themes support the basic template pages like archives and the 404 page.
All of these basic themes(single page, single post, archives) are malleable with Beaver Themer.
You can build one simple template and reuse this for many different pages. You could even create variations based on categories, for example different colored headers on archive pages for each category.
The header and footer are also considered “layout types” where you can edit them with custom templates. However this only works with specific WordPress themes that support the Beaver Themer plugin.
One of the biggest changes with this plugin is the addition of field connections. These work like dynamic selectors for theme content where you can add post/page data into templates dynamically.
Typically this would require custom PHP code but with Beaver Themer you can dynamically choose from all the major WordPress metadata on posts, pages, and archive templates.
Field connections are found in the visual editor when creating templates and it works with all the existing Beaver Builder modules.
You’ll have to play around with these field connections to really learn how to utilize them properly. There are so many options to pick from and they work on every template. Plus developers can use the Beaver Themer API to add their own field connections with custom metadata!
Custom Theme Parts
If you’ve ever wanted to add certain page elements into your theme then you’ll adore this feature.
It lets you target by all posts/pages or by individual pages, and you can include template styles for archives too. You can add a custom CTA, contact form, image gallery, “related posts” carousel, pretty much any of the modules supported in the Beaver Themer visual editor.
There is one drawback to these custom theme parts: Beaver Themer only lets you edit partials on supported themes. This is because the header/footer area needs to be coded in a certain way to allow Beaver Themer to work properly.
If you try to create a part using a non-supported theme you’ll see this in the editor:
Granted this is still one of the best features and it’s well worth using if you’re okay running a supported theme.
The default WP Beaver Theme is an excellent choice(yes, this plugin has its own theme!).
I also recommend the Genesis theme since it comes with a full framework and support for all Beaver Themer plugin features.
Installation & Setup
To get started you’ll need three things:
- Beaver Builder plugin
- Beaver Themer plugin
- Official Beaver Theme(or other supported theme)
Make sure you have both plugins added into your /wp-content/plugins/ folder and then install them both from the admin panel.
Beaver Builder has a smaller panel under the “settings” link in your dashboard. But the Beaver Themer plugin gets its own menu item.
If you want the full effect you’ll also want to install the Beaver Theme which should come with the Themer plugin. Activate this theme and you’ll be able to create templates for headers, footers, and even partials for any page.
For example under the “Builder” menu I’ll click “Theme Layout” and then click “add new” at the top.
Give this a sample name and leave it as a template. Then on the new page launch the Beaver Builder visual editor to create a new theme layout style.
In the visual editor you can build your own template(columns, HTML elements, WordPress content) or use an existing one from the Beaver Builder library.
From here you can apply it to any page(s) like singular pages, archives, or even select the specific post/page from a list. This is why larger blog/magazine websites truly benefit from using the Beaver Themer plugin.
For this example I’ll select a basic blog post and use this layout only for that post. Since you can categorize templates I’ll place this into a “Blog Content” category so I can add more layout styles while keeping them all organized.
Here’s the new blog layout style:
As you can see the Beaver Theme is pretty simple and it’s tough to screw up. This layout is designed to support featured images as a background, but you could change this layout to anything you want in the visual editor.
You could even build pre-made templates in the Beaver Themer templates section and use those too!
Beyond page templates you can also create header/footer templates using the Beaver Theme.
This lets you specify the behavior of the header/footer, the content style, and when it appears(site-wide or specific pages). You can even define custom header/footer parts based on the user either from their role or their status of logged in/logged out.
But even if you don’t have a Beaver-supported theme you can still edit the default page styles like 404 and archives.
If you go to Theme Layouts -> Add New you can pick from four distinct theme templates:
The theme parts are the most complex because these let you add contact forms, tables, CTAs, or pretty much anything else you want, onto any page you want!
This offers massive control over your pages that you can’t find with other plugins.
For example, I can build a theme part containing a fullscreen CTA banner. This can be applied to any post, any page, or all posts/pages.
Once you save this you can launch the visual editor to add the CTA button.
In the visual editor you may feel a bit confused because you’re seeing an entire page, but you only want to include a partial HTML element. This is how Beaver Themer represents the partial so you just need to worry about which elements you add onto the page.
I’ll click Advanced Modules -> CTA and drag that out.
Now if I save changes then every page on my WordPress website should have this CTA banner placed above the content.
If I ever wanted to move this around it could be placed after the content, in the header, in the footer, sidebar, pretty much anywhere that’s supported in the theme.
And this brings us to the biggest hurdle for Beaver Themer: selecting and running on a supported theme.
Benefits of Beaver Themer
If you prefer visual editors then this plugin is a must-have resource. The original Beaver Builder was incredible just on its own, but the new Beaver Themer add-on packs a much stronger punch.
You can build custom theme templates for all the major pages, designate specific themes for individual posts/pages, and even add custom partials above/below the content anywhere on your site.
This includes fully-customizable headers and footers which are two big focal points for any layout.
The largest benefit is even greater control knowing you can change any individual post/page using templates and partials with ease. You can even duplicate templates to create many variations if they fit better with different types of content.
Just note: to get the full benefits you need to use a supported theme. Genesis or GeneratePress would both work incredibly well, along with the default Beaver Theme that comes packaged with the plugin.
So take a look at Beaver Themer and see what you think! You can try a live demo right on the site and you can learn more from their official announcement post covering the highlights of this exquisite Beaver Builder extension.