My name is Liz and WordStamped is my blog about building a WordPress blog from scratch using a builder. I’ve worked with WordPress since 2008.
At first I used free themes to build WordPress sites, but soon realised these were definitely not helping me become proficient at site building. Then I heard about the Thesis theme. I used Thesis for a few years until it seemed to lose its way. Then in 2012 I fell over the Genesis Framework.
The Genesis Framework
Genesis became my preferred framework for the following 7 years until 2019. Russell (my husband) developed a number of useful Genesis-related WordPress plugins to make the job of working with Genesis easier. For example, Genesis Dambuster was one of ours. It’s no longer maintained because with the new generation of site builders, it is not required.
After Gutenberg was released by Automattic I realised that inflexible themes would eventually become irrelevant. I thought that building sites based on WordPress themes where design and layout decisions are largely already made, was incompatible with the ideology behind Gutenberg whose sights were clearly on whole-site editing.
With all of this in mind, I looked around for a builder that would eliminate the need for a theme and suit someone like me, who at the time disliked all contemporary page builders.
Then I came across Oxygen Builder which was exactly what I wanted. I liked Oxygen, but when I showed it to my husband (who is an outstanding software developer), he looked at the code and didn’t like what he saw.
I still use Oxygen though because it is still better than Gutenberg. But all the time I knew that Louis Reingold, the chap behind Oxygen Builder, had made some poor software engineering decisions and he had also limited the earning potential of Oxygen Builder by amongst other things,
- not offering an affiliate program and
- only ever selling the software on a lifetime fee basis.
It was therefore unviable to fix the engineering problems inherent in the builder and to provide a timely fix to the large number of bugs. There wasn’t, by his own admission, enough money.
So after several years, Oxygen’s owner decided to start a new builder called BreakDance and seems to have lost interest in the Oxygen Builder project. But BreakDance has its adherents and it seems to be well-liked by those that use it.
Despite assurances to the contrary, many people who invested a lot of time and energy into Oxygen Builder as a tool, decided to look elsewhere. At around the same time another builder called Bricks Builder began to gain traction.
Bricks is favoured by many as the best choice post-Oxygen. Today I am still using Oxygen Builder, but will probably switch to Bricks at some point.
Location, Location, Location
I’m British and up until 2019, I lived in the UK, but I have always loved France. Directly after Brexit, what little remained of Cool Britannia evaporated, and overnight the UK became a country I didn’t recognise.
I now spend most of my time in France and a few months per year in Scotland. Here are some photos from the two locations.
In case you’re wondering, I’m using the Modula WordPress plugin to display galleries like the one above. It’s lightweight and comes with a ton of options to build engaging galleries of images and/or videos.