Standalone WordPress themes simply don’t cut it anymore. In today’s environment, where clients demand instant project turnaround at rock-bottom prices, the race is on for a single WordPress theme that can do it all – at least for those clients who favor quick results and lower prices.
This is where WordPress website builders come in and most of us have probably tried out Divi and some of the other more popular builders.
However, the latest version of BeTheme – developed by Muffin Group – not only wants to be the only theme you need. It also wants to be the first WordPress website builder that shrugs off those slow loading times that can make them so frustrating.
BeTheme version 20: A faster website builder
Version 20 of BeTheme rolled out on June 19 this year (2017) and there was one particular update that caught my eye. The theme package has now been reduced to 6MB, which is a significant decrease from the original version’s 31MBs. Now this still doesn’t make it the lightest of themes, but it does put it does put BeTheme up there with the best.
For example, the latest download I have for Divi 3.0 comes in at exactly 7MB. Of course, this only counts for the theme package itself, which doesn’t include additional content, customizations, plugins or other changes you make. However, it does give you a faster platform to get started with – and that’s all we can ask for.
BeTheme speeds up the workflow
With loading times being less of an issue with BeTheme, its main strength really starts to shine through. When you have clients who want a site up and running quickly, this is the best website builder I’ve come across in terms of creating a fast workflow.
BeTheme comes packed with more than 260 pre-built websites for clients in different industries. Most website builders take this kind fo approach, but BeTheme doesn’t simply set you up with templates. It gets you started with complete designs, ready to customize and get approved as soon as possible.
The first thing you’ll notice about the pre-built websites on BeTheme is it’s a far more impressive collection than we’re used to seeing from templates on website builders. Not only are there considerably more pre-builds than BeTheme’s alternatives offer, they look great. There’s also a great deal of variety between these designs, making them a great starting point that require less time spent on customizations – and this is the key.
Unlike Divi, which provides you with more of a blank canvas to start with, BeTheme aims to get you as close to the final design as possible before even get started. With the right kind of clients, it’s quite possible to get a site finished within a day using BeTheme.
You can also start from scratch with BeTheme by choosing a “Base Grid”, layout and header style. You can do this by either using Muffin Builder 3 or Visual Composer – both of which come as part of the BeTheme package. It really comes down to which interface you prefer.
Other key features of BeTheme
As I say, the key selling point with BeTheme is its ability to cut down your workflow to the bare minimum. And when you have clients that want a simple website set up as quickly as possible – or at the minimum cost – BeTheme proves to be a valuable tool.
I won’t go into every feature here, but there are some worth mentioning.
Optimized for speed
This is the other key point for me. The Muffin Group team is making every effort it can to cut down the loading times of websites built using BeTheme. It’s no magical cure for the speed issues website builders have, but it’s a good step in the right direction and promising that Muffin Group continues to make this a priority.
You can tell Muffin Group really cares about BeTheme. All you have to do is look at their customer service record and the update log for this theme. They really are constantly working on ways to improve performance, security and add new features.
Child theme files included
Child theme files come included in the BeTheme package and you simply install them in the same way as the parent theme. You really can do it all with no coding.
With BeTheme you can add backgrounds to any section, select from Google Fonts (or upload your own), upload video backgrounds, create custom layouts and use up to six responsive columns for more intricate designs.
How can I get my hands on BeTheme?
The only way you can get BeTheme (as far as I know) is through ThemeForest for the very modest $59 asking price. The only thing I will say is that I’ve been locked out of my Envato account, for no obvious reason – and I know I’m not the only one.
I’m not sure how widespread this problem is but there are a number of threads open across the various Envato forums. I got locked out of my account about six months ago, although I don’t use it very often, so it could have happened a long time ago. I’ve started roughly six tickets with Envato support and not had so much as an automated response from them.
Hopefully, this won’t be a problem for yourself and this is the last you’ll hear of it.
If you do run into problems, try getting in touch with Envato response anyway because I know some people have had luck. It seems my tickets aren’t being generated on their end as I’m not getting the automated confirmation or any manual responses.
Likewise, if you happen to come across a fix/workaround for this issue, I would love to hear it!