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Oxygen builder is a… WYSIWYG builder.
But it’s not a page builder in the sense you’re used to.
Oxygen Builder is a very special breed of WordPress plugin. It’s a tool with extremely powerful functionalities, miles ahead when compared to what Elementor or Divi can do. But the steep learning curve comes along with the extra functionalities.
It doesn’t work with blocks, modules or layouts. It works with divs, columns and other “codespeak” elements.
So it was a very interesting tool to review. If you’re thinking about using it, make sure you read our Oxygen Builder review beforehand.
Have you ever tried building something in Webflow?
It’s a CMS, like WordPress, but it’s extremely complex and non-techies will have a really hard time using it to its full extent.
And that’s coming from a non-techie that has been using Webflow for well over a year. I still can’t seem to use it to its full extent.
The same is true for Oxygen.
It’s a website builder with extremely complex functionalities, that allow experienced web developers and designers to create amazing sites.
But here’s the thing – I’m not an experienced developer.
But I’m not an experienced developer.
I went ahead and reviewed this tool nonetheless. Most of the people in our audience are not experienced developers either, so it’s important to provide this perspective into Oxygen.
But one thing’s clear right off the bat: If you’re a simple blogger that just wants page builders as a means to achieve a decent website, don’t use Oxygen.
It’s just not built for people like you and me.
However, there are cases in which Oxygen is a wonderful choice:
So I teamed up with expert opinions on the internet, and a friend that has his own web development company, to provide the most insights possible into Oxygen.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into this review.
Like most other paid plugins, Oxygen needs to be downloaded after you signed up on their website:
And then uploaded manually into WordPress:
It’s not the hardest procedure, but it is a bit more complicated than just adding a plugin from WordPress’ repository.
However, this is where things get harder.
After you activate Oxygen, you’ll be prompted with an installation option:
I wanted to go for the left option, but that actually resulted in an error. According to my developer friend, this is most likely a compatibility issue between Oxygen and Siteground, so keep that in mind if you use Siteground for your hosting.
However, the second option worked, and it just means you’ll need to do some extra work when adding templates and pages.
If you want to get to the actual Oxygen interface, you’ll need to create a page, give it a title, publish it, and only then can you access the Oxygen builder.
The first thing that hit me?
You don’t actually drag and drop elements. You just click them.
I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it actually takes a bit of time getting used to if you’re familiar with builders like Elementor.
And I wanted to mention it in case you try to use Oxygen and the pre-made elements won’t drag into the page. It’s not an error – which is what I thought initially – that’s just how Oxygen works.
By all accounts, Oxygen’s interface is amazing.
It didn’t feel that way in the beginning. I just saw this:
And I got so confused. So many elements that I didn’t understand. But don’t let that discourage you, because once you get used to what each button can do, it all becomes crystal clear.
I especially liked the Structure sidebar on the right:
You can see how your page is structured at all times.
On top, clicking any element will open up advanced editing options on the left sidebar:
Which makes editing a page extremely easy, because you don’t get lost among the visuals elements of a page.
The Divi Builder has something similar with their wireframe view:
But you have to toggle that, while in Oxygen you have it available at all times.
I’ll use this opportunity to make a general point about Oxygen – it’s probably one of the best website builders for WordPress, because it can do anything other page builders do, but always at least slightly better.
However, not everyone will be able to use that “slightly better” option because of the skill required to operate Oxygen.
For example, if you go to the Advanced options for any element, you can choose its tag:
If you’re a developer, you’ll know that setting the tag to “aside” should only be done for secondary content, that’s usually displayed in a sidebar or callout box.
Non-techies like me can understand that.
But we’ll need quite a few extra Google searches to understand why, how, and when we should change tags for elements.
So all in all, Oxygen’s user interface and easily accessible edits are amazing. They’re depthful, but not overly complex. They make sense.
But to use that to its full extent on your site, you need to know what you’re doing. If not, any other visual builder is a better choice. Even the vanilla WordPress page editor is better.
First, let’s talk about templates.
Oxygen doesn’t have a whole lot of those, and the ones that do exist are just some content packs of elements you can add on page.
It makes sense, considering that it’s a builder meant to give you as much flexibility as possible. The rigid structure of a pre-made template might actually make your job a bit harder, as a pro developer.
However, the templates that do exist are beautiful, well-optimized for all screen sizes, and easy to modify once on-page.
If you’re one to rely on templates, or if you just want a page builder with a bit more pre-made pages, try Divi.
When it comes to content blocks, again, the variety is not impressive.
But you’ll need to dig a bit deeper to see all the options you have.
There are the classic text boxes, buttons, or images, as well as premade blocks as part of a library.
But Oxygen also has some widgets that I’ve never seen on other page builders.
For example, there’s the Modal block:
It’s a dynamic element that you can use to trigger pop-ups when certain events take place. Sure, Oxygen is not the only website builder for WordPress that can create pop-ups, but the way it does it is impressive. The modal block offers amazing flexibility for when and how pop-ups are displayed.
Again, you can see the emphasis of giving full control to the user to make changes however they want.
With Oxygen, you can also create your own Templates.
Which makes it easy to display elements you’ve already created on other pages. For example, you can use that to create headers, footers and contact forms, then just paste the element on all the pages it should be featured on.
So overall, the templates and content library of Oxygen Builder are satisfactory. They’re not as exhaustive as that of a page builder like Elementor, but that’s by design – the few elements you have are flexible enough to cover an even wider array of needs.
Plus, the strength of Oxygen Builder doesn’t lie in its templates.
This WordPress website builder works best when the developer gets their hands dirty with advanced CSS customizations.
One key advantage of Oxygen over other website builders is that of its code cleanliness.
And that’s because Oxygen overrides any WordPress theme you had on your website before installation. The complexity of its modules also ensures fewer code for the same results.
So that means that while in something like Elementor you have the code of your theme, bundled along with the code of the visual editor, in Oxygen you get a single unit of code.
And that’s huge.
Of course, that also means you’ll need to do some extra work to get to your desired result.
But it ensures easy indexation, fast loading time, and an effective site even when you build something complex.
Speaking of – if you want to see what Oxygen is capable of in terms of end results, check this page out.
When is this important?
If you want a basic site just to bootstrap a place to post your articles on, code cleanliness might not mean so much to you.
Hey, even if you’re just going for a basic website design, like we have here at Authority Hacker:
The code cleanliness you need can be achieved with a smart use of classic WordPress websites functionalities.
However, if you’re going for something a little bit extra – with fancy transitions and innovative site designs – there’s nothing quite like Oxygen out there.
Moreover, Oxygen does have an edge over all other website builders because it loads less elements whenever someone visits your page. Builders like Elementor load your entire library of content, while Oxygen only loads what’s needed for a specific page.
If you use something like Elementor or Divi, you can even ignore the page builder and add posts via the WordPress website management dashboard.
With Oxygen, it’s not that easy.
Your initial theme is overridden, so you have to do things the Oxygen Builder way. There’s a half hour tutorial made by the developers of Oxygen showing you how to do that, and it’s actually easy to follow and replicate, even if you’re not a developer.
Basically, you’ll need to add the heading, text, and visual blocks on a page, then save it as a template for other articles. You can create different post types and keep the template on the ready.
At first glance, this might seem like a disadvantage.
You need to learn how to do things their way.
But in reality, it’s even better to do it this way because you have way more control over the appearance of blog posts.
On top, if you want to create stunning blog posts that actually take your site further, you’ll need some help from a visual editor anyway.
First of all, plugins like RankMath integrate well with Oxygen Builder, so you can keep doing things like you’re used to.
On top, the lean code of Oxygen ensures good indexation and, most importantly, fast loading times for your websites pages.
Don’t underestimate that.
Sure, keyword relevancy and backlinks matter way more than the site code.
But if you’re looking for every edge possible to conquer the SERP, having a clean code and a comprehensible structure is an important front to cover. Moreover, because you’re able to create different post types and save them as a template, content upload goes a bit faster too.
As a page builder, it’s decent for SEO. You can trust Oxygen to help you keep Google happy.
The first thing we’ll mention is, obviously, the steep learning curve of Oxygen Builder.
I’ve been using this tool for a month, I’ve built a few pages and I researched everything people think about it. I spoke with expert web developers and got their input on what Oxygen builder can do.
So that was enough research to understand that… I still don’t know half of what Oxygen can do.
Sure, I know enough to understand how to make changes to the basic stuff, and how to work with websites created by other people in Oxygen.
But there’s still so much I don’t understand.
So the steep learning curve is definitely a problem for non-techies. So big of a problem that, again, if you’re not a developer it’s advised to choose another page builder.
Oxygen used to struggle with many things before. For example they didn’t use to have an undo function for the longest time, if you believe it.
Of course they have one now.
And you’ll see a lot of these problems thrown around in other Oxygen reviews. A lot of them were written while we still had Oxygen 2.0, and probably are long overdue for an update, because the builder improved significantly since Oxygen 2.0.
Now it’s at the 3.6 iteration and, as far as I can tell, besides the steep curve there are no other problems, at least not objectively.
Sure, for some people the blogging and templating processes could be simplified. Webflow for example offers the same amount of customization, but handles blogging so much better:
But if you’re a developer, you’ll definitely enjoy Oxygen.
Oxygen’s support can be hard to access.
A ticketing system with 24-48 hours response time seems a bit slow in today’s market.
But it’s not the only support you can get.
Oxygen also has a sizeable knowledge center, filled with text and video tutorials:
And their forums and Facebook groups add just enough help to make sure you don’t run into obstacles you can’t overcome.
On top, a lot of Oxygen reviews mention how the community helped them grow into better developers overall, so once again a reason this tool is good both for professionals, and for people that want to learn web design.
This is what Oxygen’s pricing scheme looks like:
Pretty straightforward, going from $99 – $169.
The Basic plan is good for bloggers, the WooCommerce plan is a must if you want to use Oxygen for an online store, and the Agency plan has a better integration with the WordPress ecosystem thanks to its Gutenberg block builder.
What we liked is that all plans have a lifetime unlimited access. That’s right, you pay once, and you can use the tool for life, and you enjoy all updates and support for life.
Not to mention, you can install it on as many sites as you want.
That’s just huge, and I don’t think Oxygen is matched in what they offer by any other website builder.
A free or a demo version would be great, maybe even something like Beaver Builder has, at least to get the hang of what Oxygen does without spending any money.
But considering that they have a 60 day money back guarantee, their pricing is still top notch. One of the (if not the) best on the market.
So you’ve read our Oxygen review, you know more or less what it can do.
Is this the right page builder?
WordPress websites can be built with a ton of tools, so it’s important to understand what’s right for you.
Just pick Oxygen. Beaver Builder also does a good job for developers, but it pales in comparison to what Oxygen can do. On top, Oxygen is cheaper. Webflow is also a decent option if you’re willing to switch from WordPress, but that’s a topic for a different day.
Elementor might be the best choice, especially if you’re on a budget and just want a tool that gets the job done. Elementor’s free plan is what you’re looking for.
You can make do with a lot of tools, including Divi, Elementor or even Oxygen. However, the best choice for marketers is Thrive Architect, thanks to its premade conversion focused templates.
However, if that paragraph doesn’t sound like you, try something else. The amount of learning and experimentation you’ll have to do to use Oxygen defeats the purpose of WYSIWYG editors. That is, unless, you want to hone your web development skills.
Read our best page builders roundup to see what works for you.
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