When you write content on your WordPress website, it is sometimes difficult to estimate how it will appear on the front of your website. This is because the WordPress editor is on the back of your website: the admin section. However, gradually more and more front-end editors for WordPress have gradually emerged. This brings you directly to the front of your WordPress website, so you can see how it looks.
Visual Composer ($ 33)
Visual Composer is one of the best-known WordPress content builders. This plugin is like a box of bricks with many elements that you can drag into your content: images, videos, sliders, headers, text, widgets, etc. You can also distribute your content with this plugin in different columns.
Visual Composer offers a powerful API which allows 3rd party developers to implement their own add-ons, and sell them on CodeCanyon as stand alone plugins. VC offers the most comprehensive list of add-ons available of all plugins sold on CodeCanyon, highlighting the power behind this awesome Drag & Drop Page Builder Plugin. Lifetime Updates free of charge. Front-end AND Back-end Page Editors. There are now 20+ add-ons available for Visual Composer, making it one of the most powerful and most customisable WordPress plugins available.
For a year, the plugin offers the ability to do these operations at the front end. When you click an element, the editor opens in a popup on the screen. When you’re done with your changes, click ‘Save changes’ and you’ll see what’s happening in the website. This has the advantage that you continue to use the trusted editor that Visual Composer also offers in the back end. One disadvantage is that you are not yet right to see how your changes appear while you are still typing; You must first click ‘Save changes’.
We are moderately enthusiastic about the Visual Composer. On the one hand, it’s a very powerful tool to set up a professional website without programming. On the other hand, we notice that the Visual Composer for the regular user is often too complicated. You need to put time in order to be handy. In addition, the Visual Composer has been so drastically developed in the past that old versions are not just updating. As a result, websites do not update the plugin with all security risks. We recommend this plugin, especially for professional users or convenient DIY users.
A fairly new initiative is Envato’s Layers. This plugin brings the front-end editor into the “theme customization” functionality that is currently standard in WordPress. Links next to your WordPress website will create a menu in which you can make any adjustments to your website. The changes can be seen directly in your website. When testing this functionality, we sometimes had to search a lot in the left menu to make the adjustment we wanted to do. So it is not entirely self-evident, but it is also possible a matter of habitation.
An advantage of LayersWP is that the changes are implemented immediately as you type. A disadvantage is that standard themes do not work with LayersWP, so you need special LayersWP themes. The plugin is free, but you still need to purchase a WordPress theme. ThemeForest already offers a special category LayersWP themes, but the question is whether theme developers are eager to still make more. So we have to wait a moment for this initiative to be a real success.
Live Composer ($ 28)
Live Composer is an attractive competitor to the Visual Composer, and – even more than his concurrent- focused on the front end. At the bottom of your website there is a wide blue bar from which you can drag all kinds of elements into your website, including text, image, video and sliders. In addition, the elements can be further subdivided into columns. Several WordPress themes (including Jade) have already provided the Live Composer as standard.
Compared with the Visual Composer, Live Composer has more text elements available that you can modify directly into your WordPress site (such as titles), but for example, blocks of text you can edit content still in a popup. One big drawback, however, is that you can only format your pages with the Live Composer in the front end; A back-end editor is missing.
Frontend Builder ($ 22)
The Frontend Builder is the least attractive plugin of paid front end plugins, but the cheapest. Left and right of your WordPress website, this plugin shows a narrow bar. From the left bar, you can organize your page into columns and then place texts, images, videos, etc. The right-hand bar lets you edit any element, for example, entering text, adjusting font size, changing colors, or uploading images.
An advantage is that the Frontend Builder offers the ability to see how your content looks different on screen sizes, such as tablets and phones. One drawback is that it is difficult to edit the page in the back end. You will still be able to see the text and images of your page, but customizing and editing columns is no longer possible. Once you’ve made a page with the Frontend Builder, you have to keep it in the front end afterwards.
Front-end Editor (Free)
The Front-end Editor has many similarities with the WP Front-end Editor, but the most noticeable difference is that the “Edit” button is not displayed by default. Only when you mouse over a title or text field that you can edit, you’ll get a “Edit” button next to the content field. When you click on it, you can edit the corresponding text directly in the page. You can also determine the text size and place headings between the paragraphs.
A big advantage of this method is that your page looks like editing a text field as it is also visible to visitors. Additionally, you can place images in your text, but a major weakness in the plugin is that it did not use the media library in WordPress. Therefore, you must paste the URL of an image yourself and that is not very user-friendly. This plugin seems suitable for simple websites that do not work with a content editor / page builder.
WP Quick FrontEnd Editor (Free)
The WP Quick FrontEnd Editor plug-in offers more or less the same functionality as the Front-end Editor. When you activate the plugin, an Enable WP Quick Front Editor button appears in the black toolbar above your website. After clicking on it, appear in your page lines to edit the text areas that are edited. Then you can click and paste your mouse with your mouse. The editor interface is a bit different from the standard text editor that you used to in WordPress.
An advantage of this plugin is that you can also add images to your text from your own WordPress media library. One disadvantage is that while editing your text you can not immediately see how the page is coming to visitors.
For publishing text-oriented articles on your WordPress website, Visual Composer is by far the most pleasant plugin in use. The plugin is user-friendly and you’ll see how it will eventually look like your content. Unfortunately, it does not have an attractive pricing model, so for a free alternative, you can work out the WP Front-end editor. However, this plugin is still under development, so not quite stable.
Are you less text-oriented and want to be more flexible with setting up your web pages, for example by using columns and various media elements? Then the Live Composer ($ 28, front-end only) is highly recommended. Keep in mind that you need time to get to know all the ins and outs of these composers.
The free alternate LayersWP is not really free because you have only got the plugin to date when you purchase a special LayersWP theme. In addition, with the latter-mentioned, more flexible editors you can not always see how the page will be finalized on your WordPress website. In that regard, text-oriented front-end editors are better at their disposal.