Best Bricks Builder Add-On Plugins: Premium Add-Ons Used And Tested [Article]

By
Fabrizio Van Marciano

Welcome back, in this post, I will share some of the best Bricks Builder Add-ons to use in your design projects.

Are you looking for some quality add-ons to help you make the most of website builder tools like Bricks Builder and Oxygen? Well, you’ve arrived at the right place.

As far as add-ons go for any website builder, whether working with Bricks or Oxygen, some of you may know my thoughts regarding this.

I don’t like to use add-ons. That’s the short of it.

For the most part, unless you’re a freelance web designer or agency owner, then you should not waste your time and money on add-ons. That is 100% purely my opinion.

You see, in many cases, using add-ons and plugins is simply an opportunity to bloat your WordPress site with unnecessary files. For the most part, you can do most things in Bricks without add-ons, because essentially, add-ons do the same things as the actual builder, just in different ways.

There’s also the learning curve with many of these add-ons. Learning to use Bricks is challenging enough, let alone how to use the extensions that are supposed to enhance your experience and make your life easier with Bricks.

But, that said, there are exceptions. I’ve found a few add-ons that have proven to be quite useful in some of my projects when I’m working with Bricks and Oxygen. Be here I want to share five add-ons that I’m currently using. I’ve tested most of these in real-world scenarios and used them on my client and personal website projects, training material here on Van Marciano Pro, etc.

Best Bricks Builder add-ons to improve your workflow as a designer!

1. AutomaticCSS

I’ll start with AutomaticCSS which probably doesn’t need any introductions, though if you are new to the world of WordPress, page builders, and visual design, you might want to pay attention to this one.

I was somewhat late to ACSS or should I say, showing any real interest. As I said, I do not like to use too many add-on plugins with Bricks.

When I eventually got around to using testing ACSS, I was very impressed by many of the features which for the most part have helped to streamline my workflow and improve quality of life when working with Bricks.

⚠️ Before I continue, I need to mention that I no longer use Automatic CSS but continue to keep an eye on it and recommend it to budding designers and freelancers. I’ll explain my reasons shortly.

Best Bricks Builder Add-ons for your next project

ACSS is not exclusive to Bricks. In other words, it isn’t just designed to work with Bricks, it works with Oxygen too, because as you might know, Van Marciano Pro is built with Oxygen and ACSS.

So why is ACSS on this list? Here are some reasons –

  1. ACSS, for the most part, works right out of the box. I don’t like steep learning curves. I like to jump straight into something and begin using it right away. So even if you’re a complete none-techy, you don’t need to feel overly intimidated by ACSS, which offers plenty of options. And most of which you can completely ignore. Depending on the goal and objectives of your design project, you can make small or massive tweaks in ACSS.
  2. Layout options. Layouts are a great feature within ACSS, which makes creating responsive layouts easy. Because let’s face it, unless you have experience and some CSS knowledge, you’re going to find creating complex layouts in Bricks a minefield. With ACSS, you can get as basic or complex as you like with layouts. ACSS supports both Flexbox and Grid layouts.
  3. Color palette management, for me, is one of the features that I love most with ACSS. Here you can define a set of brand colors at the start of a project using the utility classes and color variables. I can also go back at any moment during the design process and make changes very quickly, all via ACSS. So there’s no need for me to start messing around with the colors in Bricks, ACSS takes care of all that. The color palette also lets you refine color shades, which is pretty awesome. [Important: Bricks now comes with its own variable manager which is one of the reasons I stopped using ACSS]

So, yes, those are just a few reasons I’ve been enjoying using ACSS, I know there is more to discover about this add-on. But I think if you’re looking for a way to add consistency in your design, as in ensuring each page you build in Bricks is consistent with regards to the layout, spacing, font styling, colors, buttons, links, fluid typography, and more, then the easiest way to do all of these things is to use ACSS.

I recommend checking out ACSS, if you haven’t already done so. Kevin Geary, the creator of ACSS has some of the best tutorial videos so you’re in good hands.

Why I no longer use ACSS

To summarize why –

  1. It’s not essential
  2. It’s expensive
  3. I can do most things I need with CSS and WPCodeBox

So as I mentioned at the start, even though ACSS is easy to use, great for beginners and none-techies, I stopped using ACSS on any new projects, however, I continue to use it on Van Marciano Pro, a few other personal websites, but not new client websites –

Firstly, ACSS is a quality add-on, it does what it says it does, and all the rest of it. However, it is NOT an essential plugin. I originally thought it might be, but it isn’t. However, if you’re a web designer then it’s a different story altogether. ACSS might be more beneficial for speeding up your workflow, etc, especially when working on multiple projects.

ACSS is an expensive add-on for most regular users. Unless you are an agency or freelancer, with over 100 client websites a year per say, the cost is a drop in the ocean. But if you manage just half a dozen websites in your portfolio, then it makes absolutely zero sense to be paying $149 every year.

Especially when Bricks is between $79 and $250 per year. You’re looking at $400 a year to manage up to 3 websites before taking into account your web hosting fees… Throw in an extra $80 minimum, per year for ACSS for three websites on top of that. Now you’re almost up to $500 per year before you’ve even looked at other add-ons you might need.

ACSS does offer, at the time of writing this post, a $399 one-time fee which you can use on up to 100 live websites, which I think is pretty good. But then again, once you’ve used up the 100 live sites licences, say that they’re all client sites, what do you do? Buy another 100 site licences for almost 400 bucks?

Lastly, most of what I need in Bricks I can do with custom CSS anyway. For example, I used ACSS for managing colors and variables. But now, I can do this in Bricks with the variable manager. I can even create my own set of class presets using the class manager in Bricks.

I also used ACSS to tweak fluid typography. Well, now I can do this with custom CSS without an external plugin.

So those are just some of the reasons I stopped using ACSS. You can easily create your own workflow, custom variables, fluid layouts and typography, and pre-styled classes without using an add-on plugin, ONLY… I should emphasize, only if you know how.

🔗 Go to AutomaticCSS website >>

2. PiotnetForms

As a long-time user of WPForms Pro and Gravity Forms, I realized something, the cost of these plugins. I was paying well over $200 a year just for form plugins. I must have been crazy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the features of WPForms, but the annual subscription seems to keep rising. So, what is the solution?

The solution could be, PiotnetForms.

Before I continue, I should mention something about PiotnetForms. Sadly, as of late, the customer service has been appalling. I have nothing bad to say about their product, although others might have experienced bugs, glitches, and even security issues. But I haven’t, yet, experienced any of those things.

PiotnetForms has been a breath of fresh air and its conversion uses are limitless. I mean, you can literally create any type of web form for almost any conversion goal you have in mind, and at the same time, have complete control over the layout, design, style, functionality, and more.

Another negative side, if you can call it that – Piotnet Forms is highly customizable, it takes a little while to get around all of the features and options, and there are a lot of it. It can be quite overwhelming at the best of times.

In addition to this, remembering where everything is a complete nightmare. So to put it bluntly, even though this is a great plugin with plenty of options for creating customized forms, the UX really does suck! Almost as bad as Bricks…

I should also mention you can now use PiotnetBricks, which is an add-on for PiotnetForms that will let you build complex functions for your forms without writing a single line of code. So that might be worth checking out as well.

🔗 Go to PiotnetForms website >>

3. WPCodeBox

Next on my list is WPCodeBox. Now, this is one plugin that I use persistently and one that I can’t recommend enough.

These days, I never start a WordPress website project without installing WPCodeBox. It is now part of my WordPress website blueprint.

WPCodeBox2, which is the latest version available, is a powerful code snippets builder and code management plugin for WordPress.

Whether you’re looking to add some code snippets or to create a full-blown stylesheet to add to your WordPress site, WPCodeBox is the plugin to use.

So what’s the benefit?

For one, you can use it with any WordPress theme, it’s not exclusively for website builders!

Not only can you use WPCodeBox to add custom code to your WordPress site, including PHP, JavaScript, SCSS, and LESS, but you can also export and import your snippets, and upload your snippets to the cloud so that you have access to them on other websites using WPCodeBox, and more.

Being able to upload to the cloud is a huge benefit, especially when you are working from a blueprint, you can drop all of the default snippets you will need for your project from the cloud.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

One of the features I use and love the most is being able to create and manage multiple stylesheets for each Bricks project, and it will even compile SCSS for you, which is awesome.

Sadly, despite being at almost version 2.0, Bricks Builder’s code editor continues to suck big time. It’s nothing more but a text editor. There is no dedicated stylesheet manager and that sucks even more.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, WPCodeBox works with almost all WordPress themes but works even better with page builders like Bricks and Oxygen. Again, highly recommended.

🔗 Go to WPCodeBox2 Website

4. Meta Box

When it comes to adding custom fields to your WordPress site, there are a few options available.

Meta Box is one of those options, and having used several other custom field plugins in the past, yes including Advanced Custom Fields, for me, Meta Box is by far the simplest to use. That’s based on my personal experience, anyway.

As you’ve probably guessed, Meta Box is an infinitely flexible WordPress custom fields plugin. The core plugin is free to use with additional features available under premium options, as it is always the case with plugins.

Even with the free version, you can create custom post types, and custom fields, for almost any goal you have for your site.

I have detailed tutorials on using Meta Box with Bricks Builder in my Bricks Builder 1.7 Web Design Legacy Course, although this will be updated later in the year.

🔗 Go to Meta Box Website

5. BricksForge

BricksForge shares some similarities with AutomaticCSS, however, there are a few additional things that you can do.

The core features of this plugin are the builder customizer, global classes management, animations, and BricksForge terminal.

My favorite features are animations, the backend designer, which lets you create custom dashboards, login pages, and admin bar, and the ability to customize the builder which comes in useful if you’re using Bricks to build client websites that you want to make easy to use.

Additionally, the Pro Forms feature is nothing to be sniffed at. It has some powerful tools to help you create multistep forms with multiple actions and you can even customize the conditions for the submit button.

🔗 Go to BricksForge Website

6. Bricksable*

Last but not least is Bricksable, which I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t yet gotten the opportunity to look at properly.

However, I’ve recently worked on a client site that has this plugin enabled, and from what I could see has some useful features that many beginners will find handy.

Like all of the plugins mentioned above, Bricksable is designed to enhance Bricks Builder, speed up your workflow, and comes with a nice bundle of useable elements such as FlipBox, floating elements, tiltable images, and more.

The best part about Bricksable is that it’s free to use! So go and check it out, install it on a demo site, and take it for a test drive.

🔗 Go to Bricksable Website

Summary

So there you have it. This is not a massive collection but a few premium, and the odd free, Bricks Builder add-ons that I like and believe would help enhance your experience, improve your workflow, and help you get the results you’re looking for when working with Bricks Builder.

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