The Best WordPress Plugins For Front-End Editing

Posted on 23/03/2018 by Neil Skoglund

A big reason that WordPress is as big as it is is because of its simple and easy to use admin interface. However, for some people, creating posts and pages using the WordPress dashboard can still be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are plenty of WordPress front-end plugins available, offering those with less technical knowledge a way to create content and customize layouts without ever touching the WordPress backend. In this post, we will be looking at the best plugins for dealing with layout and content editing and also some pros and cons to using each of them.

 

Visual Composer

Visual Composer is probably one of the most well-known page builder plugins for WordPress. For just £30, you can add this powerful plugin to your website. Or you could consider a premium theme that includes the Visual Composer. Some themes, like the Total WordPress theme, include addition page element modules & customizations as a part of their bundle giving you even more building options.

Switching between Visual Composer’s back end and front end editors is easy – just click to change grid layouts, add rows and columns, then drag content elements on to the page, rearranging them as needed. All elements also have multiple options and variations to customize your page’s look and functionality.

Pros

  • Over 45 drag and drop content elements.
  • Over 150 third-party add-ons available.
  • Over 60 prebuilt layouts.
  • Easy to use.
  • Live preview.
  • Compatible with most WordPress themes.

 

MotoPress Content Editor

The free MotoPress Content Editor enables you to build websites visually by dragging and dropping content elements. Used on over 10,000 websites, the plugin has a 4.8-star satisfaction rating, making this worthy of your consideration. There’s also a premium version of the plugin available, which adds additional content elements and premium support.

While MotoPress Content Editor is very easy to use, the plugin will only work with newly created pages, rather than your existing content.

Pros

  • Over 30 drag and drop content elements.
  • Extensible through add-ons.
  • Prebuilt layouts.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Live previews.
  • Free.

Cons

  • Does not work with existing content.

 

Live Composer

Live Composer is a front-end page builder with drag-and-drop editing. It is used on over 10,000 websites and has a 4.8-star satisfaction rating, making it well worth checking out.

You can enable the editor by clicking the green Activate Editor button on your page, which then lets you drag and drop elements on to the page. All in all, it’s simple to use, and all elements can be fully customized in terms of both styling and functionality.

Pros

  • Over 30 drag and drop elements.
  • Import or export sections or layouts.
  • Easy to use.
  • Live preview.
  • Free.
  • No shortcodes are used to create elements.

Cons

  • Cannot be used with existing content.
  • Adds custom post types on installation.

 

Elementor

When it comes to a free page and content building option Elementor certainly comes to mind. This powerful plugin comes loaded with useful content building elements such as columns, headings, images, spacing, lists and other key features you might want to add to your posts. The plugin also includes pre-built templates you can use for an even quicker start, as well as the option for custom CSS (for style tweaks).

For those who are code savvy, Elementor is well built and open source. So if you want to make a few changes and share feel free (though it’s pretty solid – so this is more if you need a custom solution).

Pros

  • 23 free builder blocks.
  • 24 more pro builder blocks.
  • Easy to use pre-formatted templates.
  • Translation ready.
  • Compatible with most themes.
  • Quick start templates.

Cons

  • The best features are only available with the Pro version.

 

Editus

Editus was originally known as Lasso. It’s a front-end editor that enables you to view your changes in real time. Starting at £70 for use on up to three sites, Editus is a powerful tool.

Using Editus is simple, and is accessed with one click from a small toolbar displayed over your posts and pages. From there, selecting the relevant content displays a formatting toolbar for further editing.

Pros

  • Real-time editing of text, links, images, and other content.
  • Featured image support.
  • Works on both posts and pages.
  • Multisite compatible.
  • Compatible with most themes.

Cons

  • Relatively expensive.

 

Front-End Editor

The Front-end Editor was originally developed as a feature plugin for possible inclusion in WordPress core. While that no longer seems to be the plan, the plugin is still available for use – at last count, there were over 2,000 installations, with a 4.2-star satisfaction rating.

Front-end Editor is simple to use, with zero configuration needed after installation. Once activated, a user with edit permissions visiting any post or page on your website can use both the Edit Page link in the toolbar at the top of the screen and an Edit link below the content to enable editing.

Pros

  • Real-time editing of text and links.
  • Featured image support.
  • Works on both posts and pages.
  • Free.

Cons

  • Limited functionality (you can't edit images).
  • Does not work with all themes.

 

Conclusion

While the WordPress administration interface is designed to be simple to use, many non-technical users still find it complicated. Using plugins that enable users to create and edit site content from the front end – rather than the WordPress dashboard – simplifies the process and cuts down the strain for those navigating around an unfamiliar environment.

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