Bricks: Laying Down a Foundation in the WordPress Page Builder Market

In a mature and ever-growing market of WordPress page builders, Thomas Ehrig decided to bring a new product to the ecosystem. Joined by Luis Godinho, the initial team launched Bricks in March. Unlike most other builder plugins, the project is bundled as a theme.

As a small, 100% bootstrapped company, the team decided against going the freemium route. Pricing currently starts at $59 for a lifetime license, but that could change as the business model evolves. Potential customers are encouraged to test the product out via the open playground demo site.

A restaurant header with several cooked steaks in the Bricks builder.
Creating a restaurant menu via the Bricks demo site.

“Bricks aims to provide an all-in-one site-building platform that empowers you to create beautiful, fully-fledged, and responsive sites that rank,” said Ehrig. “Without having to buy and rely on dozens of expensive and disjointed plugins.”

One of the problems that the team wanted to avoid was end-users trying to find a Bricks-compatible theme. Instead of offering a default or placeholder, Bricks serves as an all-in-one bundle.

The difference between a theme and a plugin is mostly a semantic one in WordPress. Aside from a few small things, a theme can do anything a plugin can do and vice versa.

“The main advantage I see providing it as a plugin is from a marketing perspective,” said Ehrig. “Elementor has done a fantastic job in this department. As you can see on the many free and premium themes that it comes bundled with. This greatly helped boost its exposure in the early days.”

Aside from a few users trying to install it as a plugin, he said the team has been happy serving Bricks as a theme.

He described the builder as a “theme that aims to tame the plugin madness.” The focus is on customization, design, and performance, but the development process is user-driven. All of this is done in the open via the project’s idea board, forum, and Facebook group. Users can submit feature requests, which others can vote and comment on. The team builds its development roadmap from this foundation.

Voting systems like this often work well in a project’s early history. However, they can become unruly as audiences grow. We will have to check in with Bricks a year or two down the road to see how their feedback system has evolved.

“We don’t build in secret,” said Ehrig. “Our public roadmap makes sure everyone knows at all times what to expect and what’s next. It also keeps us accountable. If you are not only looking for a beautiful builder that is fun to work with, but where you have an actual say about its development, I think you should take Bricks for a spin.”

Bricks is bringing in its third team member to develop predesigned templates. However, they are already looking to grow the team more. Their current need is for a Vue.js and WordPress developer.

Building in an Established Market

Editing a slider panel in the Bricks page builder system.
Slider element in the Bricks builder.

Elementor has become the de facto standard for third-party page builders. Others have made dents, and WordPress is launching several sub-components of its Full Site Editing experience in version 5.8. It is getting crowded, but Ehrig believes there is plenty of seats left at the table.

“The WordPress builder market is well established,” he said. “This actually gave me the confidence to start this project in the first place. It’s been heavily validated, and it’s not going away anytime soon.”

Not wanting to launch a half-baked builder, he said the team forwent a deadline for their version 1.0. They wanted to create an MVP with all the essentials and hit the ground running. Based on the initial feedback in the past couple of months, he said it is clear there is still space in the market.

Personally, I think there is always going to be space. After all, we are talking about tens of millions of WordPress sites that need to be launched, re-built, managed, and constantly optimized. It’s also not a winner-takes-all market, which is nice.

Your users’ trust and loyalty have to be earned every single day. If not, many move on to a different solution. As the web design and development landscape evolves, so has your product.

All those moving pieces ensure that no single player can rest on his/her laurels for long. Meaning there are always going to be opportunities if you take the time to look out and execute on them.

While the builder is somewhat of a competitor against the core platform it is built upon, it works alongside WordPress. Users can convert their block-built pages into Bricks data. This data conversion works the other way around too.

“So there is no lock-in effect,” said Ehrig of the feature, which his team made available from Day 1. “Which I think is really important. If someone decides to move away from Bricks, we don’t want him/her to be tied to our platform.”

The team is also exploring the concept of creating blocks visually within Bricks. The goal is to enable more integration between the two, but they must wait to see how Full Site Editing evolves in the coming months to know what that might look like.

Version 1.2 and Beyond

Bricks template builder screen.
Inserting a Container element from the sidebar.

Last week, the Bricks team launched version 1.2 of its builder. It is touting its new “Container” element, which is essentially a box to put other items in. Users can control its display settings, and it already supports flex layouts, which many designers will welcome. Grid layouts are forthcoming, according to Ehrig.

“After that, I am currently very excited about the upcoming visual WooCommerce builder,” he said. “It’s a very challenging integration to get right. Not just code-wise, but also from a UI/UX perspective.”

Of the several things he thinks the team has gotten right, he mentions data integration with popular plugins like Advanced Custom Fields, Meta Box, Pods, and CMB2. He also said the version-1.0 features like global theme styles, responsive editing modes, and color palettes were things the team nailed down.

“But the one thing we are most proud of is not even a feature and something no one has really any control over,” said Ehrig. “And that’s the community that has formed around Bricks and its cause.”

In two months, its Facebook community has grown to 2,000+ members. “Very active, positive, and helpful,” he said. “You can’t put a price tag on that.”

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27 responses to “Bricks: Laying Down a Foundation in the WordPress Page Builder Market”

  1. David McCan says:

    Great theme and great team.

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  2. Marc says:

    Looks like exactly oxygen builder.

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  3. Miro says:

    I can not ignore how much sinilar to Oxygen the UI looks like…

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  4. Yannis Sintos says:

    It is one of the best investments i made. The community around it is great, and the most important think is that developers listen to the community and implement the features quickly and effectively.

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  5. Amanda Lucas says:

    Bricks offers so much to the community in terms of performance and ease of use for end users. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for this builder.

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  6. JonnMc says:

    They did not tell you how fast it is. In building designs and later on the frontend. Hope the WooC implementation will rock. Definitely worth the first try prices.

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  7. Mohammad Sobhy says:

    I like it so much i am the first birds and love it.. Great work from Thomas with the team.. I expecting more features in the future great work

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  8. Salek Antoz says:

    To those thinking whether bricks is similar to Oxygen or not… It’s not.
    Oxygen is geared more towards coders, while bricks focuses more for non coders but still keeps the options for coders as well.

    Long story short it’s the best of Elementor & Oxygen. Making this a truly unique builder/theme.

    And let’s not get started on how good the build is based on Vue.js3. this comment box would turn into an article to appreciate truly this

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  9. Karin says:

    Looks very promising, similar to Elementor in certain areas, intuitive gui, the responsive settings on top of page also seem a nice feature.

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  10. The best builder in the market at the moment. Clearly cutting edge and super fast, this is the most important aspect of it. The second is the builder interface which listened to the feedback of all the other builders, pros and cons and implemented them all into one single product. The interface is very powerful, responsive and fast, and the UX is amazing and amazing and builds with the user in mind. You have all the tools in the right place right where you’d expect them.

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  11. Lawrence says:

    I’m a die hard Elementor fan but feel they’ve become quite ‘corporate’. This won’t stop me from using Elementor again, but I much rather spend my give-back-to-the-WP-community currency supporting a new player like Bricks.

    Testing Bricks was also an opportunity for me to finally build my personal site and… damn it’s fast! :)

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  12. While it has a similar appearance to Oxygen (if you install additional plugins), this is significantly faster and easier to use. Thomas and team have been making huge strides in a short period of time and this is the benchmark for this type of solution (IMO). On the negative side, if you are concerned about WCAG compliance, it is not there yet (on the roadmap). My purchase was an investment for what I think it will be, not what it is.

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  13. Jornes says:

    The very first thing Bricks made me impressed was the speed of the site builder. Next is the performance of the website speed created with Bricks. It is blazing fast and lightweight.

    I started my first site with Bricks. The way it took was so simple and easy, to begin with( I didn’t code much with it). Even though Bricks is still very new and not a mature builder(soon, it’ll be solid). But Thomas Ehrig and his team work very hard to solve all the bugs(we encountered while using Bricks) and work on the upcoming features requested by the community to make BricksBuilder a powerful site builder.

    The most important is the devs of Bricks heard us; they cared about their users; this is what I love the most. Keep the good work!

    Best Regards,
    Jornes

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  14. richard Ginn says:

    Well at least the price for 1000 sites is much cheaper than Elementor…

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    • Jornes says:

      Indeed. For now, we paid once for Bricks to get 1000 sites license. Not sure how much would that be when Bricks killed(might be) the Lifetime Deal in the future.

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  15. Fahim R. says:

    I see lots of potential in the future… Personally I like bricks builder I truly believed within 3-4 month it will be more stable for clients. Great work team Bricks :)

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  16. Ricardo says:

    Looks so good!
    Everything one could expect from a powerful tool: speed of use, performance and efficiency – front & backend!
    I think WP should keep an eye on this.
    I wonder how this tool behaves in the block world..?
    Congrats to the team!

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  17. caffeinedesign says:

    gave bricks trust, for 2 important things (i already am an oxygen user and elementor and beaver builder with the agency i work with)
    support for all custom fields plugin(it’s one of the things i hate in oxygen, they support just acf and toolset both cost almost twice as the builder itself…).

    they have a public roadmap with user suggestions.

    i think other builders should learn a lot from bricks, even if it’s at its first releases it already have features others don’t have

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  18. Corey Kretsinger says:

    Thomas Ehrig is one of the nicest guys in the WordPress community. He’s also incredibly talented and a visionary.

    Give Bricks a try. It’s already amazing and will only get better.

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  19. Arpad Szucs says:

    Great builder and great community! Bricks is at v1.2 but already better or on par with other established builders, which is a great accomplishment! Looking forward to seeing its development and using it on upcoming client projects.

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  20. Max says:

    I rebuilt a design I made in minutes after grasping the new container concept. I love the fact that they are leveraging the new Vue 3 optimizations. I always regretted the decision from WordPress to use React (Facebook) over Vue…

    This builder is fast and amazing and going to be even more amazing down the road. I am happy to have onboarded in its early days, but I am still only playing with the Builder (testing and rebuild pages I made with other builders) … the 1.2 release is certainly a milestone and makes me confident to soon be building landing pages and full client sitesMax with Bricks Builder …

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  21. Rob says:

    Seems to be rather closed with regard to working with third party plugins. Definitely cannot use third party block plugins, though Bricks claims Gutenberg compatibility. Be careful with exactly what that means.

    Everything must be coded specifically to work with Bricks theme. I don’t find that so useful, while not being a coder myself.

    I see a lot of praise for this theme but I’m not that impressed. I’d rather work with a theme that enhances the block editor and allows third party blocks. Sure, it is exciting to see what Bricks can do, compared to the WordPress block editor today. How long is “lifetime” when Gutenberg w/enhancements becomes a site builder?

    How many plugins does this theme actually work with? In their group on Facebook, I see people suggesting that some pretty popular plugins don’t work well with Bricks theme. Why would someone create a theme that doesn’t work well with third party plugins? Where is the WordPress “Best practice” in that?

    Bricks is a shiny object right now. The developer(s) have already pushed back the release of some very important additions, missed their projected release of “woo” as well as Accessibility enhancements. That’s a biggie. What else aren’t they going to be able to keep up with?

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  22. Shea says:

    Great post Justin- I will be looking at it again for more discussion! Thank you for being a motivation in 2021. You’ve helped me see dreams come true in my own life. Excellent work from Thomas with the team. Keep up the great work!

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  23. Played with Elementor, Brizy, Gutenberg. Bricks is the only page builder I have ever spent money on. Very impressive, and to me the selling features were the sync compatibility with Gutenberg, the fact it is not a plug in but a theme, and the reputation of Thomas. Now my sites will have so many less plugins to work the way they should, and I am excited with what is on the roadmap.

    The speed of updates and any bug fixes is amazing!

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  24. Dalv says:

    This is Oxygen with some improvements but not as many features. I think that Bricks should detach from that Oxygen feeling, and go more for the Elementor – Brizy way, or find their own way, otherwise this will become just another tool for developers and not for the common user.

    They should make a newcomer feel at home and start building without watching tutorials. I think that their main competitor Zion Builder nailed that part better than them. I’m happy to see these new page builders rising, and make the old rusty page builders do something about it.

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  25. Sergei Dugin says:

    Interesting review. I’ve been working with Elementor for many years, recently started using Oxygen, and now I want to try the new tool Bricks for myself.

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