Make: A Free Responsive WordPress Theme with a Drag and Drop Page Builder

For the past few years, the holy grail for many WordPress theme makers is to create a theme that is easy for anyone to customize without touching a line of code. One of the most difficult aspects of site customization is building the layout, especially if you’re shooting for a responsive website.

Make is a new free theme that landed in the WordPress Themes Directory last night. It’s geared toward making it easy for you to design your own site with very basic level WordPress skills. Created by the folks at The Theme Foundry, Make is unique in that it comes with a page builder packaged into the theme.

make

The theme has a host of options built into the customizer which allow you to easily customize the background, layouts, fonts, colors, and logo. In addition to the customizer controls, Make includes a page builder for designing your own layout.

When you add a new page, you’ll see the option to add text, blank, banner and/or gallery sections as building blocks for your page. Stack the sections on top of each other in any order to create a unique design.

make-page-builder

Make enables you to build almost any kind of site from portfolios to magazines to e-commerce. It’s also built to be compatible with popular plugins like Woo Commerce, Gravity Forms and Jetpack. The theme’s homepage has several live demos of different sites built using the drag-and-drop page builder.

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 12.42.02 AM

The Theme Foundry is pursuing the freemium business model with Make in order to promote Make Plus, which adds commercial features such as custom builder sections for WooCommerce, widgets, post lists, quick start builder page template designs and more customization options. The basic Make theme with the page builder is available for free from WordPress.org. Search for ‘Make’ in the theme browser and then sort by newest to download it.

27 Comments


  1. This isn’t anything new. PageLines, CyberChimps, and others have been offering features like this for years now on WordPress.org.

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    1. Just want to add it is a decent theme, but I’m still unsure about loading up all those settings in the theme customizer. It is a bit overwhelming. Do like the simplicity of the page builder though.

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    1. Sounds awesome. I’ve been using a few customizable themes for year but all premium. Having a free option is pretty damn cool. I’m wondering how it compares to premium options like Builder or Thesis.

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  2. Looks beautiful and will put it to the test. The Drag and Drop is especially enticing as is the Woo integration, but you know what I’d like to see more of from professional theme shops?

    Integration and built-in styling for other eCommerce plugins, namely EasyDigitalDownloads.

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    1. Thanks for bringing this up Adam. Easy Digital Downloads support is on our list for Make Plus. Stay tuned.

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      1. Hi Drew, my pleasure and pleased to know it’s on your radar. Speaking of radar…I’m shooting you a message through your contact form shortly…

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      2. I wrote this on my dry erase board 5 minutes ago. I’ll wipe it off now. :)

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  3. What’s also nice is that switching to another theme after creating Page Builder content still allows access to that content. No more plugin/theme based content lockdown. Good job, The Theme Foundry – thanks!

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    1. Glad you noticed that Kelter! We made a point to make all the content portable :)

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    2. Yeah, but the layout disappears without the theme.

      In my opinion, there’s no reason for a page builder to be part of a theme–especially one as static as Make.

      The more user-friendly choice would have been to offer this feature as a plugin, but that would have freed the users from being locked into ThemeFoundry. Of course, what’s best for users isn’t always the best business move.

      I can attest, though, that one day, you will find this theme aging, and when you switch themes, you’ll be forced to build your pages over again.

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      1. Hey Jason!

        I know you’re not a big fan of this being in the theme. I know we discussed it when Basis came out :) I think we might just have to agree to disagree. If you want some insight into our thought process on this I’d listen to last week’s WPWeekly episode. I went into some detail on why we chose to do this as a theme. Ultimately, we think it makes for a better user experience.

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      2. Agree with Drew on this one – the content isn’t stuck with the plugin and with many themes the layout *is* the theme. However, I do also agree with Paul Afbaaldi regarding the upgrade nag – I reconsider keeping it only on the Themes page would be a lighter touch.

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      3. I think there is always a trade off when switching themes and you are using a theme with a lot of functionality. You are always going to spend time addressing issues and recalibrating things, unless you have been doing basic things. It’s hard to switch away from many of the flagship themes in the commercial market. Is it easy to switch from Headway to Thesis to Divi to X?

        There are now at least 15 page builder solutions out there (most plugins), I think there should be a data portability solution so users can switch their page building tools if they want. In that scenario if a Make user wants to change themes, they could opt to use a different page builder for example.

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  4. The ThemeFoundry on the rise. Every time I remember about ThemeFoundry I always wonder, how could one of the early theme developer getting their themes on WordPress.com repo seems like ‘unknown’, sink among names like StudioPress, Thesis and others.

    I don’t see the theme as bad themes neither. Good move Drew.

    (whops, my name is double :( )

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  5. Thanks for sharing Sarah, and to The Theme Foundry – wow this is just the greatest theme! Have been looking for a theme like this in such a long time! Never thought I would find anything like this for free to my site flyvsketanker.dk – most of my readers is not “computer-nerds” so I really needed something simple and easy to figure out for my readers, while I still could have a lot of features and choices. Thanks a lot!

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    1. Glad you’re liking Make! Send us a link when you’re up and running, we’d love to see it.

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  6. Alright. Above average theme, etc, etc. There should be a way to dismiss that horrendous “Upgrade to Make Plus” nag though.

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    1. Looks like the newest version has removed the nag and put it into the style options. Much better – looks good Drew.

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  7. Just what I need. I recently created a WP site for my daughter who is very creative by not very technical. I used a Genesis Child Theme which works fine for me but when she wants to start changing fonts, colors, etc. she can’t do it herself.

    I have downloaded the Free version to my localhost and I’m impressed for a version 1 product. I’m sure I will want to buy the Plus plugin but isn’t that the point? The nice thing is you get to test drive without giving up your credit card number.

    Looks like smart marketing to me. Wish Theme Foundry had an affiliate program but understand why they don’t

    Thanks Sarah for posting this.

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  8. Hmm, I don’t see any options to use the drag and drop theme builder functions in the free version. What I do see when I attempt to load up the builder template in the free version is the following message:

    “Want some ideas?
    Upgrade to Make Plus and get a quick start with pre-made designer builder templates.”

    So in essence another useless free version that doesn’t really offer me any ideas as to whether or not it will really work for my needs.

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    1. Hey Jim,

      The page builder is fully functional (and really powerful) with the free version. You’ve may have hit a bug or maybe a plugin conflict. Drop us a line in the WordPress.org support forums with some more details and we might be able to help.

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  9. What’s also nice is that switching to another theme after creating Page Builder content still allows access to that content. No more plugin/theme based content lockdown. Good job, The Theme Foundry – thanks!

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  10. Good! but i already know about a theme generator that is more advanced and genuine, that is the TemplateToaster. TemplateToaster i have been using since when i was in search of such a software which can make my theme quickly and without technical knowledge.

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