If you are following my blog, probably you already know that I’ve been building websites for quite some time. I’ve built websites using Joomla and WordPress. In the last period I’ve been focusing mostly on WordPress sites, because it is more convenient for me to create a simple website using this CMS.
WordPress has become very popular and more and more people are starting to use this software for building their website. According to BuiltWith, over 17.6 million (out of 363 million monitored) websites are running on WordPress and 24% of top one million websites are powered by this CMS. It is crazy!
A complete industry is built around WordPress: theme providers, hosting companies, plugin developers, WordPress SEO agencies, and the list continue.
It is a challenge even for experienced developers to choose a good theme and the right plugins for their next WordPress project. It is time consuming to try out different plugins, themes or hosting providers to see which works the best for you. It is also very pricey.
So to save you some time and money, I decided to share my experience with the latest WordPress tool I’ve tried out. As the title already suggests, in this post I will talk about BoldGrid. I’m not only going to write my opinion on this framework, but will provide a complete BoldGrid review as well with screenshots, tips and tricks. Stay tuned!
What is BoldGrid?
You might not be familiar with the term BoldGrid, because it is quite new on the market. In short, BoldGrid is a drag-and-drop page builder for WordPress that is revolutionizing the WordPress industry. In the following I will tell you how.
BoldGrid is basically a framework, which has to be installed to your WordPress site like any other plugin. Once you install BoldGrid, you will have access to a set of tools that you can use to deploy a new site, customize it as you like, create custom layouts, add pre-made pages and example content, insert forms and Google maps and add images on the go.
Unlike other WordPress page builders, BoldGrid is compatible with all WordPress themes and plugins. You can use any new WordPress theme and build custom pages with BoldGrid.
How to Get Started With BoldGrid?
BoldGrid is free to use, however to get access to the software you have to be a customer of InMotion Hosting. If you are a customer of InMotion Hosting, you can install it through the AMP (Account Management Panel) by clicking on the “Install BoldGrid” icon.
On the signup page, don’t forget to click on the BoldGrid Auto-Install option. This way you can start building your website with WordPress and BoldGrid once your account is verified.
How to Create a Website with BoldGrid?
Once BoldGrid is installed to your WordPress site, login to your dashboard on the /wp-admin page. You will notice that the default WordPress login design has changed:
Once you login to your WordPress website, you will notice some minor differences in the admin menu. These extra menus are added by the BoldGrid framework. If you like more the default WordPress menu structure, you can change it back on the “BoldGrid Settings” page, but in my opinion is easier and faster to work on your website with the BoldGrid menu structure.
To setup your website, go to the Inspirations menu, and click on the Install New Site. Choose the website category you would like to install and click Select.
It will take few seconds to load the themes that match the selected category. Once themes are loaded, select the design you like most and click to proceed.
In the third step of your BoldGrid site installation you can choose what page structure you want to automatically create. The Base set will install few standard pages such as About and Contact, the second set will add the 5 most common pages for your chosen category and the” Kitchen Sink” set will add all available pages. Depending on the page set you select, the setup time can be shorter or longer.
Once your website is ready, you can access the Customizer to edit the main elements of your design. The Customizer allows you to change website title, colors, background, fonts, setup menus, edit social media profiles, choose front page type (static or blog) and so on.
Once you are done editing your design, save it and go back to the dashboard. Here you can choose to install your website as Staging or Active.
Now this can confuse many WordPress users. Why? Because this feature is something new, something different, that you can’t find in other plugins or themes (at least I’m not aware of). With BoldGrid you are allowed to work on your website, save it for later editing, but without publishing the updates just now. This is something very cool in my opinion. You can rework your whole website and deploy it when is completely ready. You can change the whole design and view it in live action and only publish when you are completely done with it.
The fun part only begins!
The system automatically added pages and example content to your website. But you want to change this, because you want to add your own text. Using the default content installed by BoldGrid is not beneficial from SEO perspective. So just add your own text!
On the page editor you will notice, that new features has been added to the WYSIWYG. With the “Add GridBlock” button you can insert pre-styled layouts to your page or post.
Once you have the layout set, you can change the text and insert the images you want. You can upload images to your website like you do usually via WordPress media manager, or you can use BoldGrid’s connect search for finding related images in their online database and insert them into your content. The advantage of the BoldGrid’s image search is that you can crop the images right in the media manager and don’t have to use any third party software to work on it.
Working with the builder is very simple. Once you added a layout you want, you can drag and drop elements easily and customize it to fit your needs. You can clone buttons, paragraphs, and boxes and insert them in other area of your page. Adding forms is also very simple, using the in-build Ninja forms builder.
It is also possible to preview your content on desktop, tablet and mobile view right in the page editor. This is very handy because this allows you to make eventual changes to your page to improve user experience and conversion of mobile users.
BoldGrid adds advanced SEO features also. You can edit the title and add meta description to your pages using the editor. This is also a pro, because don’t have to use third party plugins in order to have a great SEO for your website.
I think I covered the most important features in my BoldGrid review, but certainly there are some that I missed. You should check it out for yourself, to see it in full action.
You can learn more about the software by watching the and reading BoldGrid tutorials, which are available at InMotion Hosting.
How Should You Try out BoldGrid?
I know, you might be complaining about BoldGrid now.
I know that many people will not invest in a hosting plan, just to try out BoldGrid. Well, let me tell you something. InMotion is a reliable, trustworthy and friendly hosting provider. Please read my InMotion hosting review to learn about my positive experience with the company.
Besides the fact that InMotion is a very good host, they offer 90 Day Money Back guarantee. So if you buy a hosting plan, just to try out BoldGrid and you don’t like it, you can ask for a refund. You have basically 3 months to test and use BoldGrid. Yes, it is true that you need to buy hosting, but if you are building a website you will need hosting anyways.
You don’t want to mess with free hosting accounts, do you?
So I suggest signing up with InMotion Hosting, trying out BoldGrid free of charges and in case you don’t like the software, asking for a refund within 90 days.
Conclusion – Is BoldGrid for You?
In my opinion, BoldGrid is a great piece of extension to WordPress, something unique and revolutionary. BoldGrid might not be for everyone, but I’m sure that beginners and non-technical users will love it! Some WordPress developers might consider BoldGrid a no-go, because developers can build stunning landing pages with CSS and HTML coding. But don’t forget that not everyone who use WordPress can also write code.
So if you are a beginner who is looking for an easy-to-use tool for building awesome layouts in WordPress or if you are a developer in a rush setting up a unique website for a client, you should try out BoldGrid.
PS: If you already tried out BoldGrid, please share your experience in the comment section below. I’m very curious about your opinion!