Your Video Website: Tools for Creating in WordPress

If WordPress is so capable, why are here add-on plugins that help you in creating your website?

WordPress’s built in editor is becoming more capable with each new release, but some people don’t like the strict “block by block” building paradigm because they feel it forces them into a predictable look. I use Gutenberg for my posts, because posts are basically a combination of words, pictures, and sometimes a video or two. No need to complicate things. But even Gutenberg has add-ons that help it’s functionality. Here, we’ll review various ways that smart designers help their flexibility in layout and look via various building systems, themes, and auress site.thoring systems. As in all of these past few web oriented posts, I’m only reviewing tools I have used on an actual sites.

Integrated Themes with Site Builders

DIVI from Elegant Themes: According to Elegant Themes, the authors of DIVI, “Divi is our flagship theme and visual page builder. It’s the most widely used premium WordPress theme in the world according to stats from BuiltWith.com. Divi is more than just a theme, it’s a website building framework that makes it possible to design beautiful websites without ever touching a single line of code and without installing and configuring dozens of disjointed plugins. We think this is the future of WYSIWYG and it’s unlike any WordPress theme you have ever used before.”

DIVI is truly what it claims to be– a highly capable visual page builder for people with big ideas that otherwise wouldn’t have a clue how to accomplish them. DIVI is a one time purchase, with a small renewal fee each year. With it you get access to two DIVI-specific themes, and a number of extra plugins for social media and email list building.

My author website, www.videobizbook.com, was built with DIVI. I used a template from the free collection of templates included, and substituted picture and text, then added sections like “client recommendations” and “About Us”.

DIVI will get you outstanding results, and you’ll even get more out of it when you realize it can use layers to build montages and effects. It is a language of its own, so it will take some experimentation and tutorial-watching, but that pretty much true for all these recommendations.

My author website, www.videobizbook.com, was built with DIVI. I used a template from the free collection of templates included, and substituted picture and text, then added sections like “client recommendations” and “About Us”.

DIVI will get you outstanding results, and you’ll even get more out of it when you realize it can use layers to build montages and effects. It is a language of its own, so it will take some experimentation and tutorial-watching, but that pretty much true for all these recommendations.

Here’s the rub: DIVI websites are hard to export if you someday want to switch to another website builder or theme, or if you want to work a bit closer to the code underneath (like CSS). It’s a common critique among purists in web-building, but those that love building with DIVI (or building a business around DIVI) don’t seem to care. And why? Because it makes everyone look good. The current one year access plan is $67; one-time lifetime fee is $187. This is a Cyberweek special, good through Christmas. The website is elegantthemes.com.

THRIVE THEMES: Thrive Themes offers a suite of products for one price, calling them “Conversion Focused WordPress Themes & Plugins, built from the ground up to make your entire website convert more of your visitors into subscribers, customers & clients!”

Thrive Themes sells these tools through an annual membership package. That package includes Thrive Theme Builder, Thrive Architect, Thrive Quiz Builder, Thrive Leads, Thrive Membership, Thrive Ovation, Thrive Comments, Thrive Optimize, Thrive Ultimatum, and Thrive Apprentice. In addition to all that, you get access to Thrive University, which includes both training for their tools, as well as marketing training to complement the tools in their package. That makes sense, because anyone that has ever tried to sell anything on the web knows that reaching customers is a multi prong process– offer a freebee, build a list, followup, send a newsletter, a/b test a form, acquire customer testimonials, measure results, etc. And Thrive Apprentice is a complete e-learning builder, for those that want to sell courses and online learning.

Suffice it to say there is a learning curve. But Thrive sends out regular mailings about updates, new techniques, marketing approaches, etc. I’ve never seen better handholding than they provide. For all this, there is an annual charge of $19/month or $228 paid annually.

Website Builder Plugins

ELEMENTOR: This is a swiss army knife of editing capabilities for any theme you may choose, or you can use included templates to build a site from scratch. When you edit a page or post with Elementor, Your theme becomes editable right from the front facing page, in other words, WYSIWYG. At the left, a collection of “widgets”– tools to accomplish various things– appears. You simply drag and drop those elements onto your page.

It is a plugin and comes in free and paid versions. The paid version offer a lot more capability and template libraries, sophisticated header footer and menu builders, and more.

These widgets include a vast array of possibilities provided by Elementor, plus others provided by plugin developers whose tools are added to the widgets via plugin. The list of possibilities is endless– team sections, product sections, text, headline, youtube insertion, post sliders, top of page hero sections, your latest social media posts, contact forms, galleries, etc. Really, just about anything you can think of. Each of these capabilities come with total control of spacing, color, text, links, and special effects.

I use Elementor on three of my most important sites, including this one. I found it easier to learn than some other systems, and discover new capabilities every day.

Elementor can be found at elementor.com. Pricing for the full version is $29 / annually for one site, $99 annually for three sites, and $199 annually for all you can eat. Elementor offers a ton of support, plus youtube is filled with thousands of tutorials from various experts. The full version offers

  • 50+ Pro Widgets
  • 300+ Pro Templates
  •  10+ Full Website
    Template Kits
  •  Theme Builder
  •  Form Builder
  •  WooCommerce Builder
  •  Popup Builder
  •  Support for 1 Year
  •  Updates for 1 Year

RAPIDWEAVER for Mac: I have used this off and on since it first became available a dozen or more years ago. It is an offline builder. Unlike WordPress oriented themes and builders, you do not build through a browser on-line. You build on your computer and then upload the site to your host (this is a built-in function). Rapidweaver was developed by RealMacSoftware.

Like some of the above listed approaches, Rapidweaver uses drag and drop widgets to build your site. RapidWeaver is template-based which means in addition to the built-in templates there are many more free or paid-for designs to fit your web design needs. In addition there are plugins to add specific functionality, including the most important one, Stacks, an incredible and sophisticated tools that enable you to do just about anything you need in a web site. Rapidweaver website are adaptive- ready for browsers, phones and tablets.

There is a thriving community of developers who continually release plugins and themes for Rapidweaver. These are always competitively priced along with being a tool for any type of site. As mentioned, the most important of these plugins is Stacks, which has become a defacto part of any RW designer’s arsenal. The most heavily developed area of RW plugin development is various sophisticated stacks for the stack plugin. There are many add-on themes available, and virtually anything is possible thanks to the plugin architecture. Most of these 3rd party plugins are reasonable in price. I developed and maintained a nice restaurant site on Rapidweaver, and still maintain a video producer’s site, my brother’s tributenewyork.com.

Summary

I hope this overview has been helpful. Not every video producer wants to create his or her own website themselves, but sometimes the finances just demand it. Whether you’re a designer on not, you can look professional and I have used all of these tools to do just that.

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