FastLine Page Builder Review: A Frontend Drag and Drop Layout Builder Plugin for WordPress

Today we are taking a look at the FastLine Page Builder plugin, a frontend drag and drop layout editor for WordPress. One of the key selling points of this plugin is the included attractive page layouts and the great selection of content modules which can be dragged and dropped into your custom layouts. Find out if this plugin lives up to its potential in our FastLine Page Builder review.

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 sample layout

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.

Another sample layout

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.

Plugin settings

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.

Plugin interface

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.

 

Included Layouts

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.

Insert a layout

The layouts looked really good and cover such uses as:

  • Homepages
  • Agency Homepage
  • Photography Homepage
  • About US
  • Our Services
  • Photo Portfolio
  • Design Portfolio
  • Business Contact
  • Meet the Team
  • Personal Contacts
  • FAQs

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.

Frontend builder

 

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.

Adding rows and columns

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.

Row settings

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.

The Modules

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.

Available modules

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.

Button module settings

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.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mumzQ47v9vQ[/youtube]

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.

Pricing

There are three different plans available for the FastLine Page Builder plugin:

  • Free
  • 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.

Download FastLine Page Builder

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Joe Fylan
Joe Fylan
Joe is a big fan of WordPress and uses it on a daily basis making and updating websites for clients and publishing content. He enjoys writing about all things WordPress as well as his other hobbies which include travel, fitness and photography. To discuss any content writing needs please get in touch via his site.

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5 Responses

  1. Hey Mike,

    I’m glad to hear the builder worked out well for your project. That’s awesome! I also appreciate the feedback regarding CSS classes. We’ve had that request from a handful of customers and have it on our list to implement in the near future. Don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything else we can do to improve the builder.

    Justin

  2. I have to echo this post here. I’ve always been hesitant to use plugins and systems like this because, in my experience, it takes more time to unstyle them than it does to build something from scratch and style it correctly. But, I recently had to turn around a WP website for a client in ~2 weeks, and each page had more or less a “magazine approach” to it’s design. The layout also had to be idiot proof as the client would be taking over the site after 3 weeks. I was originally going to lay out the pages with custom short codes to get the right style, but it would have taken for ever to build and would have been a pain for the client to update after the fact… So I took a chance and bought FastLine’s Page Builder.

    The design had a mix of full width and “page width” elements on each page, which would have normally been a pain to put content in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor. But, with Page Builder I could drop in a row, add a custom class (ie, full-width or page-width, as I defined them), and then drop the content blocks into that.

    Another nice feature is that every element on the page is given it’s own “node-id” as a class… this usually looks like something like “node-1234567” as a class. This makes adding custom functionality via JS and custom styling a lot easier.

    My only recommendation would be that they allow you to place classes on everything. You can place classes on rows, columns, and structural elements, but not on individual elements like buttons, text blocks, and so on. I think every element should let you drop a custom class onto it, because it would make global styling a lot easier. Otherwise, I really loved the plugin and it was the only way that I would have gotten this site finished in time.

  3. Sorry if this question sounds too dumb, but I’m a total newbie… All the comments I see on this page builder make it sound like the best one ever. My only concern is that it sounds like there are not very many modules. In practical terms, does this limit what the page builder can do or can a person simply extend the functionality to whatever is desired by installing other plugins?

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