Table of Contents
- What Can Breakdance Do?
- Ease of Use and User Experience
- Website Performance
- A New Paradigm in WooCommerce Design
- Breakdance's Template Library
- Breakdance Headers & Menus
- Popup Builder
- Form Builder
- Dynamic Data in Breakdance
- Global Styling
- Breakdance Builder's Element Studio
- Advanced Features & Developer APIs
- Plugin Compatibility and Integrations
- Customer Support and the Breakdance Community
- Documentation & Tutorials
- Conclusion and Final Thoughts
In the constantly evolving landscape of website builders, one can't help but wonder if the new players on the block can genuinely outdo the legacy systems that have long dominated the market. Breakdance enters the arena with bold promises of modernity, speed, and unparalleled customization capabilities. But can it really deliver?
If you've been working with older page builders, you're likely well-acquainted with their offerings—design options that you've worked with for years, a range of features tailored to various needs, and a user interface you've probably become comfortable navigating.
These legacy systems have their merits and have served as dependable tools for web development for years. However, as technology evolves, one naturally wonders whether they can still hold their own against newer, more advanced platforms like Breakdance.
Switching to a new website builder is no small feat, especially if you've invested time and resources into mastering your current tool. So, is it worth the effort to make the transition to Breakdance? What does this new builder have to offer that the veterans don't?
In this comprehensive review, we'll take a deep dive into Breakdance to see if it lives up to its lofty promises. We'll explore its features, examine its ease of use, and most importantly, assess whether it can genuinely offer a superior website building experience.
(editing the beautiful included TravelTrip template)
What Can Breakdance Do? Is It Truly the All-in-One Solution?
When it comes to capabilities, Breakdance doesn't fall short. In fact, it can do just about everything. Whether you're looking to build an eCommerce site, a brochure-style website, a landing page, an online store, or a specialized platform for a small business, Breakdance is flexible and powerful enough to accommodate your needs.
But let's be honest: many other builders out there can do the same.
So, the real question we need to ask is: Does Breakdance perform these tasks better and faster than its competitors?
That's precisely what we'll be delving into throughout this review. From a detailed feature analysis to real-world usability, we'll scrutinize whether Breakdance truly stands out in a crowded marketplace of website builders.
So, if you've been content with your current builder but are always on the lookout for something that could make your workflow even more efficient, or offer you possibilities you didn't think were possible, stay tuned.
Ease of Use and User Experience
When it comes to website builders, the user interface can make or break your experience.
The Breakdance interface is incredibly well-thought-out. You can tell that the developers have paid attention to the details, making the entire process of website building seamless and intuitive. Even if you've been committed to older builders, the transition to Breakdance feels surprisingly smooth.
Breakdance strikes a balance between beginner-friendly design and advanced features. You'll likely find the interface familiar enough to get started quickly, yet robust enough to discover new efficiencies in your workflow. For total beginners, the extensive documentation and active Facebook community offer a wealth of resources to get you up to speed.
Below, we’ll dive into the specific features of the user interface that set Breakdance apart.
Simply put, Breakdance is fast. Not just 'kind of' fast, but remarkably so. The interface loads up quickly, letting you jump right into your project without any delay.
The searchable UI panels are a game-changer in Breakdance, especially for those who work on complex projects with numerous elements and settings. No more scrolling endlessly to find that one elusive setting or option. With searchable panels, you can quickly type what you're looking for and have it instantly displayed.
The efficiency of this simple yet impactful feature cannot be overstated, making us wonder why it hasn't been adopted as a standard in Elementor, Divi, and the other crop of legacy builders.
Super Useful: See All Settings That Apply To An Element In One Click
In many website builders, you're often left digging through multiple menus and tabs to understand how an element is configured. Breakdance solves this issue elegantly with a one-click feature that reveals all settings associated with a specific element.
This is a game-changer for debugging or optimizing your designs, as you can instantly see what's affecting an element without the tedious navigation through multiple panels. It cuts down on the guesswork and speeds up your workflow, allowing you to focus more on the creative aspects of your project.
These visual cues instantly show you the origin of styles applied to different elements, allowing you to quickly grasp why a particular segment of your design looks the way it does.
By providing an instant, at-a-glance understanding of where a specific color, font, or layout setting is coming from, these indicator lights not only save you time but also streamline your creative process. You'll find yourself wondering how you ever managed to design without this level of clarity and efficiency.
Similarity To Familiar Tools
If you've already spent time with popular visual builders like Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder, Oxygen, or Visual Composer, you'll find that Breakdance's interface isn't a radical departure from what you're accustomed to. This design choice is a definite plus, as it means you can transition into using Breakdance with ease, getting up to speed in no time without facing a steep learning curve.
Website Performance, Load Times, & Google PageSpeed Insights
Here's a quick rundown of why Breakdance should be your go-to builder for performance:
- Lightning-fast loading times
- High Google PageSpeed Insights scores
- Clean, optimized HTML code output
- Efficient use of assets
- Streamlined for both frontend and backend performance
In summary, if you're looking for a WordPress page builder that doesn't compromise on speed and performance, Breakdance is a solid choice. Its focus on delivering fast-loading, highly optimized websites makes it a strong contender in the market, outpacing its competitors in key performance metrics.
Unparalleled Website Performance
In an era where website speed is not just a luxury but a necessity, especially for SEO and user experience, Breakdance excels remarkably. Built with a focus on performance, Breakdance ensures that your website loads at lightning speed. This isn't just an empty promise; our tests confirmed that websites built with Breakdance are significantly faster than those built with older, more cumbersome builders.
(GTMetrix.com performance report for Breakdance.com)
Google PageSpeed Insights: Scoring High Marks
If you're concerned about your website's performance on Google PageSpeed Insights, Breakdance has got you covered. Websites built with Breakdance consistently score high on Google's PageSpeed Insights without the need for lots of manual tweaking, making it an excellent choice for those who are keen on optimizing for search engine performance.
(Google PageSpeed Insights test of Breakdance.com)
In today's digital landscape, accessibility is not just a buzzword; it's a critical component of web design that ensures your content is available to all users, regardless of their abilities.
And in some jurisdictions, website accessibility is not just a nice-to-have but a legal requirement. With Breakdance, compliance and quality go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, Breakdance is designed with accessibility at its core, making it easier to satisfy both legal and user experience considerations.
Breakdance pays meticulous attention to detail "under the hood," incorporating features like aria-label attributes for screen reader compatibility in its elements. It's worth noting that one of the standout features of Breakdance is its Mega Menu Builder, which we'll delve into in greater detail later in this review. This feature allows you to create complex, multi-layered navigation structures – all without sacrificing accessibility.
A New Paradigm in WooCommerce Design
If you're looking to build or scale an online store, one of your primary concerns will be how your website builder integrates with WooCommerce. Breakdance takes WooCommerce integration to a new level, offering a seamless experience that allows you to build every part of your store visually.
With Breakdance, you get a suite of advanced features and granular control that redefines what you can achieve with WooCommerce. In this section, we'll dive deep into how Breakdance takes WooCommerce design to a new level.
Global Styles: Consistency Meets Customization
One of the standout features of Breakdance when it comes to WooCommerce is its robust global styles system. With this feature, you can define your brand's colors, typography, button styles, and various other design elements globally. Then, these global styles are automatically applied to every WooCommerce element—be it product pages, checkout forms, or cart summaries.
Here's where it gets interesting: Breakdance allows you to modify these global styles for individual WooCommerce elements without affecting the global settings. This gives you the flexibility to maintain a consistent look and feel across your online store while also tailoring specific pages or elements to serve a particular purpose.
For example, you might have a global button style that you use throughout your site. But for a limited-time offer on a specific product, you could easily tweak that button's color or shape just for that particular item, all without altering your global button style.
Beautiful Out-of-the-Box WooCommerce Styles
One of the first things you'll notice when setting up a WooCommerce store with Breakdance is how incredibly modern and visually appealing the default styles are. Gone are the days of bland, cookie-cutter WooCommerce layouts that require extensive customization to look decent. Breakdance delivers a premium, on-trend aesthetic right out of the box.
These default styles cover every aspect of your WooCommerce store, from product grids and individual product pages to cart summaries and checkout forms. Breakdance offers a comprehensive, visually stunning design solution that makes your products shine and enhances the shopping experience for your customers.
But what if you have specific brand colors or typography you want to incorporate? No worries—Breakdance has you covered. The default WooCommerce styles are fully integrated with the platform's global settings feature.
This means you can easily align the look of your online store with your brand's identity without manually building out all parts of your store like you would have to do with legacy visual builders. Simply update your global settings, and those changes will automatically propagate throughout your WooCommerce elements, ensuring a cohesive look and feel that's uniquely yours.
In essence, Breakdance's out-of-the-box WooCommerce styles not only save you a ton of time but also provide a high-quality, modern design that stands head and shoulders above what we've come to expect from a visual builder’s WooCommerce integration. With just a few clicks, you can have a store that looks like it was custom-designed by professionals—all while staying true to your brand's identity.
Breakdance's Template Library
When diving into Breakdance's template library, it's immediately clear that quality and consistency have been prioritized. Each template boasts a modern and professional aesthetic that's both fresh and versatile.
But what truly sets Breakdance apart from builders like Elementor and Divi is its seamless integration with global styles.
With Breakdance, once you set your global styles (like colors, typography, etc.), every template you import will automatically adapt to those styles. This ensures a consistent brand image across the site without the need to manually adjust each template, a process that can be tedious and time-consuming in other builders.
However, while Breakdance's library is impressive, it's essential to note that in terms of sheer volume, it might not rival the extensive collections of Elementor and Divi. Those builders have been in the market longer and have amassed a larger array of designs. That said, Breakdance's offerings, though fewer in number, often outshine in terms of quality, adaptability, and the ease with which they can be customized.
Note: Breakdance is actively expanding their template offerings. Over the past few months, they've consistently released three new complete website kits each month. This steady influx of fresh designs hints at a promising future for their library. Furthermore, they highlighted the emergence of third-party sellers crafting templates specifically for Breakdance. Websites such as bdlibraryawesome.com, breakerblocks.com, and moreblocks.com are contributing to the growing ecosystem, providing users with more design options.
One of the bold claims Breakdance has put forth is the superiority of their builder elements. Is there substance behind the claim or is it just another marketing gimmick?
Having delved deep into its offerings in this review, the verdict is clear: Yes, Breakdance truly delivers.
Boasting an expansive library of over 130 built-in elements, Breakdance significantly outpaces mainstream builders like Elementor, Divi, and Beaver Builder.
But it's not just about numbers; the distinction lies in the quality.
Each element in Breakdance, from the pricing tables to the tabs, emanates a polish and finesse not typically found in WordPress visual builders.
They don't merely function; they captivate with designs that are both modern and adaptable.
When you juxtapose Breakdance against heavyweights like Elementor, Divi, or Beaver Builder, the differences become glaring. Take, for instance, the design aesthetics. Breakdance's default designs, whether it's for a pricing table, testimonial slider, or gallery, exude a contemporary charm. They're not just placeholders but are thoughtfully designed pieces that can fit seamlessly into any modern website.
In stark contrast, other builders often lean on dated defaults.
With other builders, you also might find yourself frequently reaching for additional plugins or custom CSS to achieve a specific look or function. With Breakdance, that necessity diminishes. Functionality is at the heart of Breakdance's elements, and a huge number of options for customization are available. Users aren't boxed into rigid designs, and even though there are a ton of options, they are well-organized into sections and subsections, so it’s easy to find which option you’re looking for.
In conclusion, when Breakdance claims their elements stand a cut above the rest, they're not just blowing smoke. Their offerings substantiate the claim, providing tools that empower users to create websites that are both aesthetically pleasing and functionally robust.
Breakdance Headers & Menus
A header and mega menu builder? At first glance, it might seem trivial to highlight something so commonplace in a review. After all, don't most website builders offer these functionalities? Why would Breakdance's version warrant a spotlight?
The answer, as you delve deeper, is astonishingly simple: Breakdance reinvents the wheel in a way we hadn't imagined.
The Header Builder Element
With Breakdance's dedicated "Header Builder" element, building headers takes a turn for the better. In contrast to the traditional approach of using generic "Section" elements in legacy builders, Breakdance offers a specialized tool tailored for headers.
The Header Builder includes many header-specific options that make it much easier to build complex website headers - for example, numerous options for sticky headers, overlay headers, etc.
Essentially, it streamlines the header design process, offering functionalities specifically curated for creating modern, interactive headers without the extra hassle of doing it manually with a section.
The Menu Builder Element
While many visual builders offer mega menu capabilities, none have a built-in menu builder that can rival the finesse and granularity of Breakdance. From the inclusion of rich media like images and videos in your menu to the simple creation of intricate column structures and even the ability to integrate dynamic content, the possibilities seem endless. And the best part? Despite its advanced capabilities, the menu builder remains astonishingly user-friendly.
In terms of customization, Breakdance's menu builder far surpasses the functionalities offered by many legacy visual builders.
Compared to Elementor's recent dropdown menu addition, Breakdance clearly has an edge. The Breakdance team says they looked at sites well-known for getting design right, like Stripe.com and Dribbble.com, as inspiration for the menu builder, and it shows. The result is a menu that's easy to set up, looks great out of the box, and functions smoothly. Plus, they didn't forget about accessibility—another win for Breakdance.
Having experience with Elementor's popup builder, we found similarities in the workflow when working with Breakdance's version. The interface felt familiar, yet Breakdance seemed to provide a touch more flexibility in design and deployment.
However, one thing that disappointed us is the absence of pre-made designs for popups, which could have expedited the design process for those looking for quick solutions.
Concerning the functionality itself, from simple popups to intricate modals and slide-ins, Breakdance’s built-in Popup Builder gives you the freedom to create any type of overlaid content. You also get precise control over when these popups are triggered and who sees them.
Breakdance allows for a variety of implementations, from off-canvas menus to contact forms nestled within a popup. The triggers and positioning options are comprehensive, providing the control needed to ensure popups appear at the right time and place.
For many website creators, a form builder is an indispensable tool, offering a direct line to engage with visitors, collect data, or drive conversions. Traditionally, dedicated form plugins have been the go-to solution.
We were happy to discover that Breakdance challenges this norm with its in-built form builder, which offers a comprehensive solution for forms, allowing you to design and implement a wide variety of forms with an ease and flexibility that outpaces legacy visual builders.
Breakdance offers functionalities that are rarely seen in legacy visual builders. Whether it's the ability to display form fields conditionally based on user inputs, creating multi-step forms for a smoother user experience, or even allowing file uploads, Breakdance has covered a lot of ground.
In-Depth Integration Options
What good is collecting data if it doesn't seamlessly integrate into your existing systems? Breakdance has this covered. Here are the integrations provided:
- Send Email On Submit
Manage Submissions In The WordPress Admin
One nice aspect of Breakdance's form builder is the convenience it offers after the data is collected. You can easily manage and view submissions directly from the WordPress admin panel, ensuring you never miss a beat when it comes to engaging with your audience.
Forms + Global Styles
We appreciated the sleek aesthetics of Breakdance’s default form styles. Like Breakdance’s other elements, the Form Builder looked modern and professional right out of the box - no tweaks necessary.
The revelation is truly the Global Styles feature. There are plenty of customization options to play with, and the tedious process of individually styling each form was a thing of the past. With Breakdance's Global Styles, we were able to customize the look and feel of every form on our site, from the contact form to the WooCommerce cart and checkout forms, from one location. In just a few tweaks, all of our forms had the look we wanted - and most importantly, they all looked consistent.
Dynamic Data in Breakdance
The platform offers a seamless experience in connecting the WordPress database to design elements, enabling even those with minimal technical expertise to visually link their designs with database data. This feature, coupled with the capability to construct custom post loops visually and the flexibility in displaying content, makes Breakdance a game-changer in the realm of advanced dynamic website creation. It's an invaluable tool for those keen on building data-driven sites without the cumbersome coding process.
Embedding Dynamic Data
In WordPress, dynamic data refers to content that is populated in real time from various sources rather than being hard-coded. Often pulled from custom fields created with plugins like Advanced Custom Fields or Metabox, dynamic data can represent anything from post titles, content, and custom fields to custom post type data, WooCommerce product prices, etc. Basically, dynamic data is anything that exists in your WordPress database and that is separate from the “design” of your website.
While most other website builders have traditionally overlooked this crucial component, Breakdance seamlessly integrates it, providing users with an edge in dynamic content display. Although platforms like Elementor have recently incorporated a loop builder, Breakdance's offering is undeniably more robust and flexible.
Breakdance supports ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) and Metabox repeater fields directly out-of-the-box. Other builders falter here, necessitating third-party add-ons or intricate coding to achieve similar integration. But Breakdance effortlessly streamlines the process. It's clear that Breakdance is in a league of its own, prioritizing straightforward, comprehensive solutions over patchwork fixes and leading the way in intuitive dynamic website building.
Conditional Element Display
Conditional element display enables website elements to be shown or hidden based on a set of predefined conditions. For instance, a special offer banner might only appear for users who are logged in, ensuring exclusive deals for members. Elements could also be tailored based on the day of the week, perhaps showcasing a 'Weekend Special' only on Saturdays and Sundays.
Such condition-based adaptability ensures that website content remains dynamic and directly relevant to each visitor's unique context, making their experience more personalized and engaging.
Historically, this functionality has been available for other builders like Elementor and Divi as a 3rd party add-on - not as part of their standard offering. Breakdance changes the game by including it.
In the realm of visual builders, the concept of global styles isn't novel. Many platforms have dabbled in providing users with some level of global styling capability. However, when it comes to the depth, breadth, and intuitiveness of these features, Breakdance stands head and shoulders above the rest.
The sheer robustness of Breakdance's global styling controls is immediately evident, with far more in-depth global styling controls than you’re used to seeing in visual builders. Breakdance’s controls cover everything from brand colors and typography to forms and WooCommerce.
Design coherence can make or break a website's user experience, and Breakdance's global styling controls are a beacon of efficiency and consistency in this regard. They save significant time when creating a cohesive website design, and it’s clear they're not an afterthought in Breakdance.
They're intricately woven into the platform's fabric, reflecting a clear understanding of the challenges designers face in maintaining site-wide consistency.
Breakdance Builder's Element Studio
Element Studio is an entire development environment within Breakdance that allows users to craft custom builder elements from scratch. Imagine the power to design an element tailored exactly to your site's needs without any constraints.
For developers and advanced designers, this is a dream come true. The potential here is enormous. With Element Studio, you can tweak pre-existing elements or build your own from the ground up. Whether you need a specialized testimonial slider, a unique header element, or any other specific design component, Element Studio hands you the tools to realize your vision.
These elements can be “exported” to a WordPress plugin and distributed, used on other websites, or even sold.
As of 2023, we’ve never seen anything in another visual builder that comes close to the innovation of Element Studio in Breakdance. It's a significant step forward, challenging the conventions of what visual builders can be and reshaping what advanced developers can expect in a visual builder.
Advanced Features & Developer APIs
For those looking to integrate more complex functionalities into their websites, Breakdance doesn't disappoint. The platform has been crafted with advanced designers and developers in mind.
No matter how powerful a visual builder is, there's always a time when web designers and developers need to get their hands dirty with some custom CSS. Breakdance makes this easy. Whether you're looking to tweak an element's style just a bit or embark on a full-blown design overhaul, the platform provides a straightforward interface to add your custom CSS, ensuring your designs always hit the mark.
For those instances where you need to introduce a bespoke functionality or integrate a specific PHP-based solution, Breakdance has you covered. The ability to inject custom PHP can be invaluable for more advanced website builds.
Breakdance recognizes the importance of extensibility in the modern web development landscape. With its robust set of developer APIs, the platform ensures that developers can craft custom extensions, integrate third-party solutions, or even build upon Breakdance's existing functionalities. This ensures that as your needs grow or change, Breakdance can adapt right alongside you.
Custom WP Queries
For those looking to display content in a specific way or pull data based on certain criteria, Breakdance's support for custom WordPress queries makes the process easy. Whether you're setting up a unique post display, filtering content based on custom taxonomies, or creating a specialized archive page, the platform's visual WP query builder provides all the flexibility you need. And for those times when the visual controls aren’t enough, you can manually provide a PHP or “array” query directly in the Breakdance interface.
Plugin Compatibility and Integrations
When delving into the inner workings of Breakdance in this review, it became apparent that its core structure is designed to emulate the WordPress theme system. This design choice ensures that just about every WordPress plugin will integrate with Breakdance smoothly - same as it would work with a standard WordPress theme. In our testing, we found that prominent plugins like WooCommerce, Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), and Yoast SEO worked flawlessly without any hitches.
For those using plugins that might require editing theme files directly, Breakdance offers a solution in the form of the "zero" theme. This theme allows designers to leverage the full power of Breakdance for website design while retaining the conventional behavior of the standard WordPress theme system. This means you can create child themes, edit template files, and make other modifications just as you would with any other theme.
Customer Support and the Breakdance Community
Online reviews and the active Facebook group suggest that help is readily available and effective. The community is engaged, with both users and Breakdance's team actively participating in discussions, troubleshooting issues, and sharing best practices.
Documentation & Tutorials: Videos Galore, Written Docs Could Use a Boost
When diving into a new tool or platform, especially one as comprehensive as Breakdance, a solid foundation of resources can be a lifesaver. Thankfully, Breakdance doesn't leave its users floundering. The platform offers a plethora of video tutorials that cover a wide range of topics, ensuring that both newbies and seasoned pros can find their footing quickly.
These videos are thorough, well-produced, and tackle the intricacies of the builder in a digestible manner. For visual learners or those who prefer a step-by-step walkthrough, these tutorials are a goldmine.
However, when it comes to written documentation, Breakdance could use a bit more beefing up. While the video tutorials are top-notch, there's an undeniable value in having a comprehensive, written reference manual. Such documentation serves not just as a learning tool but also as a quick reference guide for those times when you need a quick refresher on a specific feature.
On the bright side, the intuitive nature of Breakdance's interface somewhat mitigates the need for extensive written guides. Many users will find that the platform's design is so user-friendly that they can navigate and utilize its features with minimal external guidance. But, for those who appreciate the solidity of written words, the current documentation might feel a tad lacking.
It's worth noting that Breakdance seems to be cognizant of this gap. We've observed efforts to bolster their written resources, and it's heartening to see a commitment to continuous improvement in this area. In the interim, the rich collection of video tutorials should keep most users well-supported as they journey through the platform.
A website builder isn't a one-off tool you'll use sporadically. If you're a professional, you'll likely be diving into your website builder of choice weekly, if not daily. The real question isn't so much about the price tag but about the value it brings to your workflow.
While Elementor’s single site license is $40/year less expensive than the single site offering from Breakdance, Breakdance's Pro plan comes packed with advanced features that go far beyond what Elementor offers.
Breakdance's price for its unlimited websites offering is far more enticing than Elementor’s, considering Elementor’s package at the same price only includes 25 sites.
Free: Essential features for WordPress site-building.
Pro (One Website): $99.99/year for all Pro features on a single site.
Pro (Unlimited Websites): $199.99/year for all Pro features on unlimited sites.
One Site: $59/year.
25 Sites: $199/year.
Unlimited: $399/year for unlimited sites.
Breakdance Builder — Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Breakdance is not just another WordPress builder—it's a comprehensive solution that excels in every department.
Whether you're a beginner or an advanced user, if you're looking to build fast, beautiful, and functional WordPress sites, Breakdance should be at the top of your list.
For beginners, the learning curve is impressively gentle, thanks to the well-thought-out user interface, rich templates, and the inclusion of just the right tools to get started without feeling overwhelmed.
On the other end, for power users and developers, Breakdance provides all the advanced features you could need in a builder, from custom PHP to developer APIs.
It's impressive and a testament to Breakdance's design philosophy that they can pack in this level of complexity while keeping the interface so clean and user-friendly.
Breakdance strikes a rare balance in the world of website builders, and whether you're taking your first steps in website creation or you're a developer who's built hundreds of sites, Breakdance is poised to offer you a seamless, efficient, and enhanced building experience.